Proximity sensor on Apple's iPad 2 could bring auto screen lock, unlock

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
New evidence suggests Apple's forthcoming second-generation iPad will include a proximity sensor, which would automatically lock and unlock the touchscreen device when a cover, attached to a case, is placed over or removed from the display.



The mention of a proximity sensor was discovered in the iOS 4.3 beta this week by blogdoiphone.com. The developer build of the forthcoming operating system update includes two new strings entitled "PAD_CASE_LOCK" and "PAD_CASE_LOCK_FOOTER."



The new additions to the software are part of the Settings application on the iPad, which would allow users to enable or disable the feature. It describes placing a cover over the iPad screen to automatically lock the device, rather than pressing the power/lock button on the top right. Users could also unlock the device without



"Automatically lock and unlock your iPad when you close and open the iPad cover," the setting reads.



The current iPad includes an ambient light sensor, but not a proximity sensor. The potential addition of the proximity sensor would allow the screen to automatically turn off, and the device to become locked, much like the iPhone does when the handset is placed against a user's ear during a call.







If implemented, the change could help Apple remove buttons from the iPad, something a recent rumor suggested the company is looking to do. Currently, the iPad must be unlocked by pressing the home button and then activating the device through the "slide to unlock" gesture.



The first beta of iOS 4.3 enabled new multi-touch gestures that further negate the need for the home button, allowing users to quickly switch between applications or return to the home screen by making quick four- or five-finger gestures on the touch display.



The mention of the auto-lock and unlock feature via a proximity sensor would require the use of a case with the iPad to cover its screen. Currently, the iPad does not ship with a case, though Apple sells its own first-party case designed for the iPad, which includes a flap to cover the 9.7-inch display.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 40
    I don't think Apple is looking to remove the buttons right now: they're just making things easier/faster/convenient. This convention makes a lot of sense.
  • Reply 2 of 40
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,249member
    Is it any coincidence this "feature" appears in AI right after the article of the Playboy announcement?
  • Reply 3 of 40
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    I hope it will still turn the display on and off for those that lock their device.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post


    I don't think Apple is looking to remove the buttons right now: they're just making things easier/faster/convenient. This convention makes a lot of sense.



    There is no way they’ll remove the buttons. Desktop OSes have had alternative ways to do the same task. Often these are faster but they aren’t as intuitive to use as other options. I think this holds for iDevices.
  • Reply 4 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    New evidence suggests Apple's forthcoming second-generation iPad will include a proximity sensor, which would automatically lock and unlock the touchscreen device when a cover, attached to a case, is placed over or removed from the display. ...



    On the face of it, this sounds completely ridiculous.



    Doing this would completely circumvent the "security" of the swipe to open feature. The swipe to open "feature" is something that people have been asking for the ability to remove since the first day of the first iPhone. Apple has steadfastly resisted all efforts and protestations to do so on the basis of "security." This is also the number one thing standing in the way of having an integrated home screen which has also been asked for since day one.



    I just don't see Apple screwing people over about this for four solid years and then just casually introducing a feature that completely goes around it.
  • Reply 5 of 40
    I agree they aren't going to remove any existing buttons any time soon.



    Also, how would this work if your hand/finger covers the proximity sensor? Would that immediately lock your iPad? I love the idea that closing my iPad case would lock the device for me. I'm just not sure how they could do it with a proximity sensor without your hand/finger also setting it off while you're using it.
  • Reply 6 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    On the face of it, this sounds completely ridiculous.



    Doing this would completely circumvent the "security" of the swipe to open feature. The swipe to open "feature" is something that people have been asking for the ability to remove since the first day of the first iPhone. Apple has steadfastly resisted all efforts and protestations to do so on the basis of "security." This is also the number one thing standing in the way of having an integrated home screen which has also been asked for since day one.



    I just don't see Apple screwing people over about this for four solid years and then just casually introducing a feature that completely goes around it.



    I think you are mistaking swipe to unlock for the passcode lock. You could still have a passcode. The point of swipe to unlock is to avoid calling people or messing up your data because the device is receiving random touches from an accidental unlock. Makes a lot of sense for Apple to do this.



    How is Apple screwing anyone over? Why don't you go back in time and change that post.
  • Reply 7 of 40
    irelandireland Posts: 17,424member
    The Home button isn't going anywhere.
  • Reply 8 of 40
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,586member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Vatdoro View Post


    I agree they aren't going to remove any existing buttons any time soon.



    Also, how would this work if your hand/finger covers the proximity sensor? Would that immediately lock your iPad? I love the idea that closing my iPad case would lock the device for me. I'm just not sure how they could do it with a proximity sensor without your hand/finger also setting it off while you're using it.



    One sensor per corner?
  • Reply 9 of 40
    onhkaonhka Posts: 1,025member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    On the face of it, this sounds completely ridiculous.



    Doing this would completely circumvent the "security" of the swipe to open feature. The swipe to open "feature" is something that people have been asking for the ability to remove since the first day of the first iPhone. Apple has steadfastly resisted all efforts and protestations to do so on the basis of "security." This is also the number one thing standing in the way of having an integrated home screen which has also been asked for since day one.



    I just don't see Apple screwing people over about this for four solid years and then just casually introducing a feature that completely goes around it.



    I didn't see anything that about the "slide to unlock" gesture being removed.
  • Reply 10 of 40
    Apple isn't removing the button, people need to stop spreading that ridiculousness. Every case design seen so far has the notch for the home screen button. It's just a bunch of idiots trying to make up news & increase hits on their blogs. Move along, nothing to see here.
  • Reply 11 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Vatdoro View Post


    I agree they aren't going to remove any existing buttons any time soon.



    Also, how would this work if your hand/finger covers the proximity sensor? Would that immediately lock your iPad? I love the idea that closing my iPad case would lock the device for me. I'm just not sure how they could do it with a proximity sensor without your hand/finger also setting it off while you're using it.



    The iPhone has multiple sensors, I suspect iPad will too. I'm sure it will be a feature you can turn off if you find it annoying or useless.



    If they introduced a fingerprint reader now that would be cool!
  • Reply 12 of 40
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Onhka View Post


    I didn't see anything that about the "slide to unlock" gesture being removed.



    And this welcome addition is only effective if you have a ?lid' on your iPad case. I doubt that pocketable iDevices will get this feature.
  • Reply 13 of 40
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hezetation View Post


    Apple isn't removing the button, people need to stop spreading that ridiculousness. Every case design seen so far has the notch for the home screen button. It's just a bunch of idiots trying to make up news & increase hits on their blogs. Move along, nothing to see here.



    "A bunch of idiots? I agree with, but I think their reasoning is based on their idiocy, not because they are trying to increase page hits by spreading something they don?t believe in. If that were the case they wouldn?t be idiots, just annoying people trying to make a living.



    For those that don?t know, the rumour came about from iOS 4.3b1 having some clever four and five-finger gestures which make the iPad much easier to use by allowing you to complete tasks faster by not seeking out the Home Button. You get to stay on the display and do a four finger swipes left and right to quickly go back to previous apps, and a five-finger pinch to get to the Home Screen. Just short cuts, but not something new users would intuitively think to do.
  • Reply 14 of 40
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,597member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


    Is it any coincidence this "feature" appears in AI right after the article of the Playboy announcement?



    well I think the old instant Excel page works just as well
  • Reply 15 of 40
    cmf2cmf2 Posts: 1,427member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    If implemented, the change could help Apple remove buttons from the iPad, something a recent rumor suggested the company is looking to do. Currently, the iPad must be unlocked by pressing the home button and then activating the device through the "slide to unlock" gesture.



    That can already be accomplished with the power button instead of the the home button. Stop trying to remove the home button. It's not happening and there is no reason to do so.
  • Reply 16 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    On the face of it, this sounds completely ridiculous.



    Doing this would completely circumvent the "security" of the swipe to open feature. The swipe to open "feature" is something that people have been asking for the ability to remove since the first day of the first iPhone. Apple has steadfastly resisted all efforts and protestations to do so on the basis of "security." This is also the number one thing standing in the way of having an integrated home screen which has also been asked for since day one.



    I just don't see Apple screwing people over about this for four solid years and then just casually introducing a feature that completely goes around it.



    How it will work:





    Close the case the screen turns off.

    Open the case the screen turns on (no unlock)

    Close the case the screen turns off.

    Open the case the screen turns on (no unlock)

    Close the case the screen turns off.

    Open the case the screen turns on (no unlock)

    Close the case the screen turns off.

    Leave it closed for X # of minutes.


    Open the case the screen turns on (slide to unlock)
  • Reply 17 of 40
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post


    How it will work:

    image: http://www.techerator.com/wp-content...e-autolock.jpg



    Close the case the screen turns off.

    Open the case the screen turns on (no unlock)

    Close the case the screen turns off.

    Open the case the screen turns on (no unlock)

    Close the case the screen turns off.

    Open the case the screen turns on (no unlock)

    Close the case the screen turns off.

    Leave it closed for X # of minutes.


    Open the case the screen turns on (slide to unlock)



    Sounds reasonable to me. I can?t see how it could work any other way.
  • Reply 18 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Vatdoro View Post


    I agree they aren't going to remove any existing buttons any time soon.



    Also, how would this work if your hand/finger covers the proximity sensor? Would that immediately lock your iPad? I love the idea that closing my iPad case would lock the device for me. I'm just not sure how they could do it with a proximity sensor without your hand/finger also setting it off while you're using it.



    Apple has engineers.
  • Reply 19 of 40
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post


    Apple has engineers.



    We only have two hands, at most. I?m thinking one sensor next to the camera and one sensor on an adjacent side, not the opposite side, so that when holding it with two hands on either opposite sides a sensor should still be un-obstuctued.
  • Reply 20 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post


    How it will work:





    Close the case the screen turns off.

    Open the case the screen turns on (no unlock)

    Close the case the screen turns off.

    Open the case the screen turns on (no unlock)

    Close the case the screen turns off.

    Open the case the screen turns on (no unlock)

    Close the case the screen turns off.

    Leave it closed for X # of minutes.


    Open the case the screen turns on (slide to unlock)



    This still seems a bit ridiculous to me. Do people seriously have trouble finding one of the two buttons on the thing that turn the screen on and off? and if you still have to swipe it, then I don't see how this actually confers any kind of advantage on the user.



    Also, one possible fly in the ointment is that they have to have a sensor either around the edge or in the bezel to control this, so someone putting their finger in the wrong place is going to turn off the screen all the time.



    I presume they have a preference to turn this on and off, but then *that's* a bit wacky too since Apple usually goes out of their way not to give users preferences like that. The whole thing sounds really un-Apple-like to me.
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