It’s all rather convoluted, and someone has clearly spent WAY too long messin’ around with their iPhone, but it seems there’s a rather simple trick that lets you partly circumvent the lockscreen on an iOS 6.1 device.
Update: An Apple spokesperson has told The Next Web that “Apple takes user security very seriously. We are aware of this issue, and will deliver a fix in a future software update.”
The good folk at Gizmodo seem to have spotted this issue first (via this YouTube video) and from our tests it certainly works, though it will only get you access to some of the phone’s content. To try it out, you will of course have to passcode-enable your iPhone. Then, hit the ‘Emergency Call’ button.
Before you do anything else, however, you must then hit and hold the power button as though you’re about to shut the device down. Rather than shutting it down though, cancel that request. Then, enter an emergency number, such as ‘999’, and then dial…but hang-up immediately, before it’s actually done anything (you don’t want to get in trouble, after all).
Then hit the power button to turn the screen off, open the screen again and hold the power button for a few seconds (before it asks you whether you want to power off again), and then press the Emergency Call button again.
You’ll then be magically whisked off to the phone function on the device, where you can access contacts, keypad, voicemail and so on. It took me a few attempts to master, and it is all in the timing.
Indeed, I managed to place a call using the technique outlined above. You will also be able to access the photos by going to add a new contact, and opting to add a photo from the camera roll.
Here’s what seems to be the original YouTube video outlining the technique (in Spanish).