Apple patent reveals Home button that doubles as a gaming joystick

“On January 15, 2015, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a possible next-generation multi-functional iDevice Home Button,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple. “”

“In the first mode, the Home Button retains its standard functionality. In the second mode, the Home Button transforms into a pure gaming joystick,” Purcher reports. “The transition from one mode to the other is rather simple through a pressure sensor.”

“In this way, the multi-function Home Button may be capable of operating as a button and a joystick at different times,” Purcher reports. “Further in this way, the input device head may not project outward from the surface when not being used as a joystick, thus avoiding compromising aesthetic appearance of the electronic device, preventing potential damage to mechanisms utilized to project the input device head, and/or keeping the input device head out of the way when not being utilized as a joystick.”

Read more, and see Apple’s patent application illustrations, in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The only way to play some games is with a joystick. To have one integrated in every iOS device would be a welcome addition for both users and developers.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Arline M.” for the heads up.]


  1. Hey, don’t forget the Mac Books and MBPros!

    In fact, why should we not have an option of a pressure sensitive touch screen on either side of the trackpad on the MacBooks?

    It is one way to offload notifications or other small lists where they don’t take up screen space with large documents.

    Given the current on chip video and separate video card in the MacBook Pros, this ought to be a snap.

  2. I like the idea if Apple could make it work while retaining touch id. It’s a real jony ive type of feature to simplify design. Well done. I hope they actually do it and not just talk about it.

  3. One of the HTC phones I owned a few years back had a home button that could be utilized in this way. I used to run an NES emulator and used the home button as a joystick.

    It worked rather well from I recall.

  4. Just when I thought Apple couldn’t add possibly add another awesome feature to that single button design.

    Seriously, that single button does so many different things well already – go to home screen (push), show multitasking (double push), authenticate fingerprint (hold down), start voice control (push and hold down – which is easy to combo with fingerprint unlock in one motion), and start one-handed mode (double touch). Am I forgetting anything?

    If that single button also responded to a hard press by popping out and becoming an analog directional joystick – I’m sorry, that would just be too fucking awesome. I’d have to sell my already awesome iPhone, and do whatever it takes to buy that the first day.

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