Google Patents Functional Pattern-Unlock UI

Google already responded to Apple's ludicrous "slide to unlock" lock-screen UI element patent claim with ideas such as pattern-unlock, and a slightly more functional "drag to unlock," but wants to improve upon that.

The company behind Android has just been granted patent to making the pattern-unlock UI element more functional. In addition to being able to unlock the phone using a user-set pattern, the patent covers the ability to assign specific patterns to perform specific functions, or launch apps. The new feature could only be implemented on a future version of Android, as the recently launched Android 4.3 "Jelly Bean" only features the pattern-unlock feature we've come to know.