Why iPhones Don’t Have an Unlock Pattern

by nativetechdoctor

Very widely adopted by Android users, the unlock pattern points to absent subscribers on iPhone. Did you know why? Apple is in any case not ready to back down.

iPhone and Android are definitely two very different platforms from each other, in many ways. Lightning against USB-C or closed ecosystem against open-mindedness, in many areas the two brands stand out. Rather anecdotally, there is one point on which Apple and Google seem to disagree: security. Whether on an iPhone or an Android phone, both do not have the same vision of privacy and do not approach it in the same way.

For Apple, it is out of the question to take the subject lightly. And this goes from the use made of user data, to how to unlock your iPhone. On Android, there are several ways to lock your phone: password, four-digit code, facial recognition, fingerprint sensor and even… unlocking pattern.

If you’ve always owned an iPhone, then you’ve probably never heard of it for one simple and good reason: Apple never wanted to offer it on its phones. This is a “drawing” to be reproduced on a grid of nine circles intended to secure your telephone. But for Apple, this system would be far too inefficient to ensure the safety of its users.

Based on dozens of studies published over the last ten years on the subject, Apple understood that it was clearly not advisable to introduce the unlocking pattern on the iPhone. According to these studies, when a person looks over the shoulder of someone who unlocks their phone with a security pattern, they have a 64% chance of picking it up on first sight. If she looks at it multiple times, that number rises to 80%.

Easy-to-remember templates

The reason is very simple: to produce this model, the user will move his finger from one circle to another. On the screen, a small route is drawn between these circles and remains visible as long as the phone is not unlocked. It is therefore very easy for a malicious person to retain the model and then try to steal the phone afterwards. Sure, there is an option to hide the pattern, but not many people use it or favor an easy-to-remember pattern that anyone can quickly observe and memorize. For the researchers of these different studies, the unlocking pattern is simply the worst method to protect your phone.

If the user prefers a six-character alphanumeric password, the situation is completely different. From 64%, the chances of a malicious person remembering the code on first glance drop to 11%. If they look at the screen again when the person enters their password, this figure increases to 27%. Again, the explanation is logical. Previously encoded characters are masked.

Finally, this decision by Apple to never introduce the unlock pattern seems rather logical. After the four-digit codes, Apple introduced Touch ID on its iPhone 5s in 2013. Then followed Face ID on the iPhone X four years later. Apple wants to offer the best possible user interface, also the easiest, but also the most secure

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