Once you’ve got all your contacts, personal emails, embarrassing party photos, etc. on the G1, it’s nice to have a way to keep everything nice and secure in case the phone gets lost. Luckily, the G1 has a very Googley solution that allows you to avoid typing a password each time you go to use the phone. It’s called the Unlock Pattern. You enable it by going to Settings–>Security and Location and selecting Require Pattern.
You’ll be promoted to draw a little pattern by connecting a series of dots. From now on, when your phone is sleeping and you press the Menu button to unlock it, Android will ask you to repeat it.
You then simply redraw your pattern to get access to the phone. As an aside, I still haven’t worked up the courage to press the Emergency Call button…
If a thief were to find the phone, it’s unlikely that they would be able to guess the pattern. Also, after a few incorrect attempts, the phone shuts you out for 30 seconds, preventing thieves from using brute force to break in.
If you’re afraid of your friends seeing the pattern, you can avoid the little green circles by unchecking the Use Visible Pattern box in the menu where you turned the feature on.