When did Apple begin to think different about the iPhone Home button?

“Apple is now expected to lose the Home button on the iPhone 8, replacing it with gesture controls,” Jonny Evans writes for Computerworld. “The decision sounded quite shocking, but on closer reflection, Apple appears to have been hedging its bets on the future of the Home button for longer than we thought.”

“Think about it like this: Apple introduced the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus this time last year. These new devices were very successful, attracted lots of new and upgrading users and wowed them all with their excellent cameras. But they did a little more than this,” Evans writes. “They also subtly changed the nature of the Home button — these new Apple smartphones just weren’t as reliant on the button as these devices had been until then.”

“The company used the button as part of the force restart process in iPhones until the iPhone 7 series devices. You see, all earlier Apple mobiles let you restart the device by pressing and holding the Sleep/Wake and Home button at the same time,” Evans writes. “This changed in late 2017 when Apple’s new devices dismissed the Home button so you needed to press the Sleep/Wake and Volume Down buttons for at least 10 seconds in order to restart the thing.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: R.I.P., Home button!


    1. We will.

      Getting rid of the home button seems to me to be a really silly thing to do. I hope Apple pulls it off, but I have my doubts.

      And the real question is: Why?

      Why remove something that is a critical part of the UI? What’s the point? What does it accomplish? Why force everybody to learn a new technique for something that was obvious and intuitive?

      The home button was a brilliant part of the iPhone design. It almost immediately felt intuitive, much more so than the later gestures. Is Apple sacrificing ease of use for trendiness here? I’d say yes.

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