A new patent filing by Google shows the company wishes to use the pattern unlock screen on its Android mobile OS to launch apps. While this functionality is not new, this is the first time Google has suggested that it may end up in a future official release of Android.
While third-party skins and apps exist that allow users to launch apps from the lock screen, Google's variant would allow you to launch different apps via different unlock patterns. This new feature would allow users to launch apps such as their camera, messaging service, or even the dialer without having to actually unlock their phone. It is still unclear what version we will see this new feature arrive on, but with Android 5.0 in the works we are most likely to see it there.