Rethink automatic login
There's a new design for login and unlock, which has some implications for autologin. I'd also quite like to rethink autologin, anyway.
In the past I've had some issues with autologin. These include:
- It's not obvious what it does - once you understand, it's obvious, but to the uninitiated it's unclear what the setting does.
- It's hard to understand the relationship between "automatic lock" and "automatic login". They are similar but not equivalent, and are found in different places.
- How do I achieve a configuration where I never have to use my password to access my session? (Hint: you can't.)
The new unlock designs attempt to reduce the difference between logging in and unlocking, since from a user perspective it's much the same thing: entering your password to get to your session.
Another feature of the new designs is that the last logged in user is automatically selected after boot. This is intended to reduce the amount of friction required for the user when trying to access their session (it assumes that the last logged-in user is the most likely to be logging in). This is somewhat similar to what autologin does.
Options to consider here:
- Replacing the existing "automatic login" and "automatic lock" options with a single "screen lock" option. When it is active, this would result in the password not being required for either login or unlock.
- As part of the new lock/login designs, we need to decide what should happen when "screen lock" is turned off. Would you still see the shield and have to click/press a key to remove it? (I'm fairly sure that there's been some agitation for this not to be the case.)
- Adding a setting to select a specific user after boot, rather than the last-used user (I suspect this might be a bad idea, but including it here for completeness).
- Think about how to resolve the lack of connection between the privacy and the user settings. Perhaps a simple link from user account to privacy would be enough, such as "The privacy settings allow you to control how your user account is accessed".