iOS 10 tidbit: unlocking iPhone and iPad without launching Home screen

By , Jul 5, 2016

iOS 10 Lock screen unlock options space gray iPhone screenshot 001

As we wrote before, iOS 10 changes the way unlocking your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch works. For starters, iOS 10 does away with the familiar slide-to-unlock gesture so instead of “Slide to Unlock”, which now takes you to a dedicated widgets screen, you get to see a new “Press Home to unlock” message on the Lock screen.

As a result, unlocking a Touch ID-outfitted iOS device now requires you to press the Home button rather than rest your finger on it, like in prior editions of the software. But as it turns out, iOS 10 gives users another, previously unavailable option for unlocking their device without automatically launching the Home screen.

Unlocking iPhone without launching Home screen

To unlock the device without being automatically taken to the Home screen, simply pick up your iPhone so that the Lock screen turns on and then rest your finger on Touch ID without pressing the Home button. The “Press Home to Unlock” message changes to ”Press Home to Open” to indicate that the device has been unlocked.

You can now launch the Home screen by pressing the Home button with any finger, including those that have not been enrolled in Touch ID. A small padlock icon in the iOS status bar disappears to indicate that you’re now staring at the Lock screen of an unlocked device.

How’s this useful?

When an iOS device is unlocked, iOS gives apps access to encrypted data.

As a result, launching Camera from the Lock screen of an unlocked device gives you unrestricted access to the whole Photos library as opposed to showing only the images taken during that particular session, invoked by launching Camera from the Lock screen of a locked device.

Here’s another example.

For security reasons, many people prevent Lock screen access for the Notification Center. As much as this is great for preventing someone from sniffing around your Notification Center, it’s also a nuisance as reading your incoming alerts requires you to unlock the device, an action that prior to iOS 10 automatically launches the Home screen.

iOS 10 Notification Center cleart alert iPhone screenshot 001

But now, you can simply rest your finger on Touch ID to unlock the device, then slide down the Notification Center from the top of the screen without ever going to the Home screen. And when the display shuts off and the device locks itself again, the Notification Center becomes unavailable from the Lock screen until you place the finger on the Touch ID sensor again.

iOS 10 Home screen gestures

Summing up, iOS 10 changes how we interact with the Home screen as follows:

Getting to Home screen

You now have to press the Home button on the Lock screen in order to unlock an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with Touch ID or your passcode and simultaneously get to the Home screen. Previously, the iconic slide-to-unlock gesture was used for phone unlocking.

Unlocking without opening Home screen

Rest your finger on the Touch ID sensor until the “Press Home to Open” message changes to “Press Home to Open”, and a padlock icon in the iOS status bar disappears, indicating that the device is currently unlocked and has full access to encrypted data. All prior iOS versions lack this new feature.

Getting to your widgets

Replacing the slide-to-unlock gesture, sliding from left to right on iOS 10 swooshes a new widgets panel into view. Widgets in iOS 10 have been removed from the Notification center and live in a dedicated place on your Lock screen and Home screen zero.

iOS 10 Lock screen widget slide over iPhone screenshot 001

Quickly launching Camera

Sliding your finger from right to left instantly takes you to the Camera app on iOS 10. In prior iOS versions, launching Camera from the Lock screen required you to slide the whole screen upward by grabbing the tiny app icon in the lower right corner.

iOS 10 Lock screen camera slide over iPhone screenshot 002

Touch ID and iPhone Unlocking

It should be noted that resting your finger on the Touch ID button does not unlock the device permanently. A device that uses Touch ID and is set up with the iPhone Unlock option will immediately lock itself when the screen turns off after thirty seconds.

For non-Touch ID hardware, iOS will turn the screen off after an idle period of time has passed, as defined in Settings → General → Auto-Lock. After locking itself, the device will then require your passcode after a cut-off time defined in Settings → Passcode → Require Passcode.

Enabling Touch ID with the iPhone Unlock option turned on shall automatically change the Require Passcode option to Immediately. Also, note that when an iPhone is in Low Power mode, the Auto-Lock timer is reduced to the lowest value of 30 seconds. Other values will become greyed out as long as you’re in Low Power mode.

How do you like these Lock screen changes in iOS 10?

Source: (Google Translate)

  • Share:
  • Follow:
  • Luke Per

    “A small padlock icon in the iOS status bar disappears to indicate that you’re now starring at the Lock screen of an unlocked device. ”

    Should be “staring”
    Also, nice article but why would you want to do this?

    • Thanks, fixed… For starters, you may want to launch Camera from the Lock screen with full Photos access. Another example: If you prevent the Notification Center from showing up on the Lock screen but want to see some alerts without needing to get to the Home screen, you can now place your finger on Touch ID and then access Notification Center

      • Luke Per

        Ah okay, thank you for clarifying!

  • I want those wallpapers! Please!

  • Onaje RnbCelebrity

    Where can I get those wallpapers!!??

  • David Pomerleau

    Is it easy to accidentally unlock the screen or launch cameras/widgets? Seems like there’s a lot going on on the lock screen and worried that it’ll be too easy to do that stuff on accident.

  • Abhijeet Gupta

    What a BS article

    • Also, life is short..

      • Abhijeet Gupta

        So is IDB’s

      • Agneev Mukherjee

        Then why don’t you close your browser like a guy instead of complaining!!!?

  • Vasu Chawla

    hey, does raise to wake work in iphone5s or is it just me?

    • It’s not just you: Raise to Wake in iOS 10 only works on devices that have a motion coprocessor embedded inside the main A-series system-on-a-chip, and these currently include the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus and iPhone SE.

      • Vasu Chawla

        i might buy the new iphone coming in sept

      • Rosan

        But I thought iPhone 5s has m7 motion co-processor…actually it was the first one to have motion co-processor!!

  • Agneev Mukherjee

    Nice article Christian, is the font on the lock screen San Francisco?

  • siddique

    Wishing IDB and All the Fans a Happy EID MUBARAK 🙂

  • john snow

    That is so stupid. I want raise phone – place my registered finger and unlock it this way. I don’t want to press Home button thousand times

    • Swanny246

      They made it an option in beta 2.

      • john snow

        this option doesn’t work

  • BlackSheep_dsg

    it shortens the life of the home button which sucks

    • Ronald

      You can enable the “rest finger to open” and match it with ” raise to wake”
      this can help you to unlock your phone without touching anything, power or home. HTH

  • Swanny246

    Another use case for this: you can now use third party keyboards on the lockscreen when it’s unlocked.

  • Mallouk Malek

    What if I don’t want to add passcode? Will I be able to unlock the phone just by pressing the home button or no ?

    • Grzegorz Sawczak

      If you’re hands are dirty/wet you’ll not be able to unlock you’re device. Imagine having no password now. Would you not be frustrated if you needed something to do quickly?

      • Mallouk Malek

        Actually I mean no password and no Touch ID. Or we will be forced to add passcode and Touch ID to unlock ?

      • Grzegorz Sawczak

        Interesting. If iOS 10 is installed on iPhone 5 then no touchID is needed and then again pressing the home button will unlock a device, I guess, not? IDK

        But still, I tried both of these functions and I have to press the home button anyway, it doesn’t work either way.

      • Grzegorz Sawczak

        It has already been dealt with. With iOS 10 beta 2 there’s an option ‘rest a finger to unlock’.
        So just raise your iPhone and place a finger to unlock.

  • Vali

    I preffer the old Touch ID way, this is more complicated and annoying, always pressing the home button.

  • Disappointed

    I thought older models no longer would be able to get these updates, i.e. Ipad mini2. I hate the new “press home botton to unlock”, i dont have touch id since my ipad mini is 2nd generation. Why aren’t we given options to revert, etc. on something like this, after all a lock screen is intended for security purposes.

    It is so much easier to swipe to unlock for me since im always locked in landscape screen/mode making it unnecessary to hit the home button. Also because by sliding/swiping the screen it is faster and creates less noise making it very discreet so others won’t notice me as I type to unlock my ipad mini 2 – but, now, clicking the home button means others can hear me “press click click home bottom” and that discreetness i miss and love is gone. If the ipad mini2’s home button didn’t create so any “click click” noise i wouldn’t mind this update at all.

    I use this in the libraries a lot, at night, places i wait to meet up with people, and when babysitting kids(after i put kids to sleep) so discretion is key here in quiet places. Imagine trying to a child to sleep to only be awaken by clicking noises….

  • David Percan

    What to do if this rest to open function doesnt work? its activated but i still have to press to button to unlock the phone. Hate it.

    • Rick Kirkpatrick

      And, at least for me, sometimes you can get to your Home Screen with your fingerprint and sometimes not. As in, sometimes I have to press the button and sometimes it just opens up. Can’t find a pattern to this so I called Apple and they couldn’t tell me the rules for this. Oh, no. Could I have another faulty iPhone? This one’s only a month old after replacing my old replacement phone after getting two where the keyboard would lock up intermittently. Thanks, Tim! You run a really tight ship there.

  • john snow

    Thanks a lot