Apple’s Obvious Hint: There’s a Camera Shortcut on your iOS 5.1 Lock Screen


John Gruber from Daring Fireball breaks down the obviousness Apple wants to convey in terms of shortcuts in iOS 5, in particular the camera shortcut on your lock screen. In iOS 5.0, double tapping the home button would bring up a camera shortcut icon.

However, this was changed in iOS 5.1 to a new ‘slide up’ shortcut indicated by a new icon. How does Apple hint this is an actual shortcut to the camera?

But if you do just tap on it, which is an obvious thing to try, you get a clever hint: the lock screen playfully jumps and bounces, suggesting visually that you can slide it upward. It’s not a gesture — you can’t swipe upwards from anywhere on the lock screen to invoke the shortcut — it’s a visual on-screen touch control. And it’s one of my favorite little touches from Apple in recent memory.

Pretty cool stuff. Just another ‘surprise and delight’ moment from Apple.


  • Slow news day for John Gruber. 🙂

  • SgtMeowsteen

    This won’t work from anywhere on the lock screen. It has to start on the camera icon and then swipe upwards.

  • Definingsound

    The new Windows 8 Consumer Preview with Metro has this “hint” style for the login screen. If I only click on the startup screen, it slides up 50 pixels or so, and then slides back down. Unfortunately, it’s not a touchscreen interface so it took me several minutes to realize I had to “grab” the screensaver and “throw” it upwards with my mouse pointer. I can’t say I’m a fan of throwing screens off the screen to reveal hidden screens beneath. Call me cave man and snail mail me floppies.

  • Edge

    I miss the excitement in the surprise that tapping the camera doesn’t work but you have to slide it. It’s not what I’d call a gem… I wish tapping it worked!

  • I’m unclear about what was wrong with the 5.0x button for the camera, and I’m happy that I haven’t upgraded to 5.1.

  • WatchTheThrone

     You don’t say?!

  • They copied that from Windows Phone. Of course, Gruber would never give Microsoft credit for that.