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.
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.
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.
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?