With all this talk of Touch ID coming in the iPhone 5S and half of iPhone users, including Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer, not using any sort of passcode to protect their device and sensitive data, I thought a compromise might help solve things for some of us.
You can set a Passcode on an iOS device, but also set a delay timer for when it is required under Settings > General > Passcode Lock > Require After. For example: I keep my Passcode delay at five minutes. This means I can unlock my iPhone, type my Passcode, do something, set it down, and, two minutes later, unlock again without having to type my Passcode. If it’s 5:05 later? Then I—or a thief who took my iPhone—would need to type the Passcode again. As you can see in the screenshot, you can set a Passcode delay up to 15 minutes, an hour, and four hours. Yes, those intervals are the same in iOS 7.
This delay option makes it easy to protect your device and all your sensitive data, yet use it often within a short span of time and avoid the monotony of repeatedly typing your Passcode.