We’ve been hearing whispers that Apple intends to eliminate the home button in favor of a “virtual” on-screen button that apparently, works by the placement of your finger on the screen. Well, we now have something in the way of tangible proof with regard to the home button on the iPhone and what it could be in the iPhone 8.
Before I get into the proof, let’s take a look at Apple’s transformation of the home button this year. Whereas in years past, the iPhone home button has been somewhat clicky (though not as clicky as Samsung’s, no doubt), Apple has always made it so that no matter where you were, you could always tap the home button and head home. With the new Taptic Engine in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, the home button now registers each different type of touch as a different set of instructions. Apple aimed for this with 3D Touch in the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus (that, sadly, hasn’t gone anywhere, with little update as to how effective the new feature has been).
Well, according to a reliable statement from the New York Times, Apple intends to go with a full-screen virtual button next year in the iPhone 8:
Apple is likely to continue making iPhones without headphone jacks, and next year’s iPhone will have a full-screen face with the virtual button built directly into the screen, according to two people at the company who spoke on condition of anonymity because the product details are private.
The bold font in the NY Times quote is mine, but it shows that this year’s new Taptic Engine will lead to the end of the home button as so many iPhone fans have known it. Apple seems to believe that its customers will be willing to move along with the vision, but that is a matter of deep controversy at the moment.
The iPhone 8, in addition to a full-screen virtual button, will also have in-built wireless charging and feature an AMOLED display and glass casing. Currently, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus do not have wireless charging because they are made of aluminum metal (and aluminum metal and wireless charging don’t mix). Samsung’s Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge, and Galaxy Note 7 all have wireless charging and glass casing — which means that, once again, Apple is following in Samsung’s footsteps with regard to the things most consumers care about.
You can check out the above statement, as well as the company’s own review of the latest “Apples,” in the source link below.