The classic 'Slide to Unlock' iPhone gesture is gone from iOS 10

Pour out some pixels for the gesture that unlocked every iPhone for years.

I’ll really miss Slide to Unlock, which I stopped using 18 months ago anyway.

In iOS 10, Apple is getting rid of the gesture that unlocked an iPhone since the very first model, back in 2007. Slide to Unlock got audible gasps of amazement at the original iPhone’s unveiling, and it’s been as constant as the grid of icons ever since, through every iteration of iOS.

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But after the introduction of Touch ID—I joined the party when I got my iPhone 6—I was sliding-to-unlock almost never. If my fingers were wet or in gloves and Touch ID didn’t register at all, I’d have to move my thumb up to slide to unlock, but in iOS 10, all you have to do is press the home button to be presented with the passcode-entry screen (or your home screen if you don’t use a passcode, which you reeeeeeally should). Touch it, if that doesn’t work, press down. Apple is all about simplicity, and doesn’t mind killing a sacred cow now and then, so this feels like a very Apple change to make.

Plus, now sliding your thumb across the lock screen will jump to the camera app or your widgets. In iOS 9, you can jump to the camera app by sliding up on a small camera icon on the bottom-right corner of the lock screen, but it’s a smaller target.

iOS 10 is in developer beta now, with a public beta coming in July. Not all of its features are set in stone by any means, but since Craig Federighi did demo sliding from the lock screen to the camera or widgets, it seems safe to say Slide to Unlock is headed for the iPhone interface history books.

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Susie Ochs

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