While Apple's keen to make sure nobody ever uses the iPhone's slide-to-unlock system, Google seemingly couldn't care less. It's filed a patent listing a whole heap of news ways to unlock your phone — including voice commands.

Patently Apple report that Google has filed a patent that describes new ways to unlock mobile devices, which would allow users to simultaneously execute commands, like calling a specific contact or launching an application. In fact, some Android devices already allow something similar — my HTC Sensation allows me to open one of four applications as I unlock my handset — but this patent also explains how different commands could be used to the same effect.

Most interestingly, the patent discusses using voice commands to unlock handsets. While in principle that sounds great, the idea of an always-on mic make me feel slightly uncomfortable. Still, it's only a patent: let's see if anything comes of it before we start worrying about privacy too much. [Patently Apple]