Earlier today Patently Apple discovered an Apple patent filing in Europe that covers iPhone X replacing the classic Home Button with an all-new GUI methodology dependent on gestures. The new user iPhone interface design reinvented the iPhone’s appearance with a new cleaner look that allows for a near full-display experience. Touch ID was replaced with facial recognition which is briefly covered in their patent filing.
Apple begins with the patent’s background. Apple notes that some electronic devices, such as handheld devices, include a permanent home button on the front face of the device that, when activated in a predetermined manner (e.g., when pressed for a single time), dismisses a currently displayed user interface and displays a home screen of the device.
However, a home button on the front face of the device reduces the space available for the touch-sensitive surface (e.g., a touch-screen display) on the device, but removal of the home button from the front face of the device removes a convenient way for a user to access the home screen and other functions associated with the home button.
Apple invention covers the original iPhone X interface that was the first iPhone to eliminate the classic Home Button.
In the big picture Apple’s invention provides improved methods and interfaces for providing a home button replacement. Such methods and interfaces optionally complement or replace conventional methods for using a permanent home button on the front face of a device. Such methods and interfaces reduce the number, extent, and/or nature of the inputs from a user and produce a more efficient human-machine interface. For battery operated devices, such methods and interfaces conserve power and increase the time between battery charges.
In some embodiments, the user interacts with the GUI primarily through stylus and/or finger contacts and gestures on the touch-sensitive surface.
Apple’s patent Figure 5A7 above illustrates displaying a preview of a lock screen when starting an activation of the button #501 and then displaying the lock screen when the activation of the button is completed; Apple’s patent Figure 5A2 illustrates unlocking device #100 to display the most recently displayed user interface prior to locking.
Apple noted in one segment that “In some embodiments, user authentication (e.g., biometric authentication such as a fingerprint, facial detection, iris scan or input pattern authentication such as a password, passcode, or touch input pattern) is required by the device in order to transition from the locked state to the unlocked state.” Apple chose Face ID using their new TrueDepth camera not specifically covered in this patent filing.
Apple’s switch to an all new way of operating an iPhone was a huge undertaking. The radical shift has changed the way we interact with our iPhones forever and provided a way for Apple to introduce close to an all screen interface which modernized its appearance.
It would be impossible to do this patent justice with a brief summary alone. Apple fans wanting to review this massive 237 page patent application filed in Europe could review it in the Scribd document below.
Apple’s patent application was originally filed back in Q2 2018 and published in Europe on November 22, 2018. This is a patent fulfilled.