New Google Phone Users to Draw Shape on Screen to Unlock Device

Owners of the new Google-powered mobile phone will be able to unlock the handset by drawing a secret shape on the screen, just one feature revealed during a sneak preview in California on Thursday.

In addition to the "signature unlocking" tool, a built-in compass lets users orientate maps in scouting out restaurants or venues and a customizable homepage allows for bookmarking.

The device, which is unlocked by drawing a shape only the owner knows on a nine-square grid, also will include a magnifying tool to zoom in on Web content on the small screen, as well as a mobile version of "Pac Man."

Demonstrating the device at a developers' conference in San Francisco, Andy Rubin, who heads the project at Google, declined to give a release date but said the first phones powered by Google's Android operating system will appear in the second half of the year.

Samsung, HTC, LG Electronics, and Motorola are among the companies that have said they will produce phones that run on Android.

Click here to read more on this story from the Times of London.