A freshly published patent application shows Apple is working on a new quick-access feature that allows users to access a specific set of apps without unlocking the device. Since you can already access the camera app from your home screen, this new patent goes beyond this feature unveiling a virtual home button to extend the user interface right to the bottom of the iOS device.
According to information obtained by Patently Apple, the new system allows users to bypass the sliding input or security screen by “entering a predefined input using the [virtual] home button to enter a “quick access” mode of the mobile device in which certain applications may be immediately available to the user, regardless of whether a security wall may be enforced with respect to applications on the mobile device.”
Also, touching the home button presents a set of apps through an animation process, and the user may enter another specific input using the home button to rotate the first set of apps away, and display another set of apps.
Although many of the patent applications Apple is granted are not likely to be implemented, this patent is certainly among the ones I’d like to see in iOS 7. What do you think?