Picture of the JBL Go 2 Bluetooth speaker, connected via its AUX input to an iPod Touch portable media player.

IPod Touch Screen Lock Problem

There are two functions that the 3rd generation Apple iPod Touch Screen Lock feature provides in version 5.1.1 of iOS:

    1. Input disabled.  When the screen locks, the touch accepts no further screen input until you unlock it.
    2. Backlight extinguished.  Also, there’s a power-saving feature incorporated into this lock mechanism.  After the screen locks and goes into screen-saver mode, the back light shuts OFF too. This conserves battery power.

IPod Touch Screen Lock

The problem here is that in order to utilize this complete-screen-shut-off power-saving feature, the screen must have locked first.  Thus, to access the iPod controls again, you must first unlock the screen. This requires an extra flick of the finger across the touch surface. And then you must enter a pass code if you’ve set one up.

Now you can disable the screen locking function altogether. However doing so creates other problems. Since the above two functions work together, you also must disable screen power management.  So if the screen does not lock, the back light stays on for the entire time you use iPod Touch.

Picture of the iPod Touch portable media player, displaying its home screen.
iPod Touch portable media player, displaying its home screen.

IPod Touch Screen Lock: Fixes

But we’d prefer the screen not have to become locked in order for the power management functions to kick in. Since we keep no sensitive data on our iPod Touch, we have no need for the screen lock feature.  So we would prefer not to use it.  Yet in order to benefit from the timed screen back light turn off, we must use screen lock.  That is, we cannot have the screen turn off automatically unless we also have it lock automatically.

So, Apple would do well to separate the screen locking and power saving functions. This is in fact how they do this on a personal computer.  That is, the iPod Touch back light could turn OFF after a configurable time. But the screen would not lock along with it. So screen darkening would be completely independent from the screen locking.

Indeed this would save finger action. Why? Because users would just have to  touch the screen once to unlock it. We would not also have to move the on-screen unlock slider too.  The additional screen slider step should not be  necessary.

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    4. How to Reboot iPod Touch Player with Unresponsive Touch Screen
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    1. Apple iPod Touch Support Page
    2. iPod Touch 3rd Generation  Specs Page
    3. Where to Buy the iPod Touch