Apple Looking to Eliminate Home Button on iOS Devices, Integrate Touch and Display Driver Chips?

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 22, 2015.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Apple is seeking to develop an in-house single-chip solution for integrating both the touchscreen and display drivers for mobile devices onto one chip, according to a new report today from Taiwanese site DigiTimes. The touch and display driver integration (TDDI) chips would also include "integrated fingerprint sensors", potentially allowing Apple to do away with the iconic home button.
    TDDI is a new advance in the industry, with Synaptics introducing the first such solution earlier this year. Synaptics created its new TDDI chips by leveraging its recent acquisition of chipmaker Renesas SP Drivers, combining Synaptics' touch technology chipset with Renasas' display technology. Apple reportedly explored acquiring Renesas SP Drivers last year but the talks failed to lead to a deal.

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    Synaptics had hoped its acquisition of Renesas SP Drivers and its TDDI chips would entice Apple to once again become a Synaptics customer, but today's report suggests Apple is pursuing its own solutions.

    DigiTimes suggests Apple's solution could eliminate the traditional iOS device home button, presumably by integrating its functionality into the device's screen, something Apple has explored in previous patent applications. This could allow future iPhones to see increased display sizes with edge-to-edge screens or smaller form factors with the same 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch displays seen on today's models.

    Article Link: Apple Looking to Eliminate Home Button on iOS Devices, Integrate Touch and Display Driver Chips?
     
  2. bushido Suspended

    bushido

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    yes please or at least make app switcher a gesture. double tapping the home button all the time is annoying. also less bezel!
     
  3. lowercaseperson macrumors 6502

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    Good! About time they try and maximize screen space for the form factor. With their unrelenting desire to make everything thinner and lighter, I never understood why they wouldn't also want to eliminate the "wasted" space on the front of the phone.
     
  4. Dilster3k macrumors 6502a

    Dilster3k

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    Seems practical, I'd be down for that.

    Besides, on current Touch ID home buttons double tapping seems intuitive... I wondered why they don't allow users to enable single tapping to emulate a button click. This would be also great for users who have weaker or broken home buttons.
     
  5. AngerDanger, Jun 22, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2015

    AngerDanger macrumors 601

    AngerDanger

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    *waits for Taylor Swift's open letter of approval*
     
  6. Smith288 macrumors 65816

    Smith288

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    I dunno...I've grown quite fond of the AssistiveTouch after the home button dies....
     
  7. MisterK macrumors 6502

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    Is there any way of Apple putting the FaceTime camera behind the screen also? I think I remember a rumour about that. If they can, it would make sense (and a lot more "wow") to do both at the same time and give a phone that was nothing but screen.
     
  8. bit_bucket macrumors regular

    bit_bucket

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    How about an edge to edge screen with force touch home. May be a learning curve, and I am not sure where the touch id sensor would go, but an edge to edge screen on one of these would be divine.
     
  9. happydude macrumors 65816

    happydude

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    well, about once every two, three weeks my screen becomes unresponsive due to an app that's misbehaving or a bug that hasn't been fixed in iOS or for whatever reason. so to do away with a hard-restart option does not seem like a great idea. maybe a on/off button-volume button hard restart option would have to be instituted instead.
     
  10. the-oz-man macrumors 6502

    the-oz-man

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    The earliest this could be seen would be iPhone 7. Not going to happen for the 6S.
     
  11. KieranDotW macrumors 6502a

    KieranDotW

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    I was thinking about the possibility of a completely edge-to-edge display the other day. Realistically I don't see why the earpiece couldn't be moved to the top of the device, and then with this technology there would be no need for a physical home button. It would certainly be a welcome change from Apple's huge bezels and give them an edge (pardon the pun) over the competition.
     
  12. bmunge macrumors 6502

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    This technology seems a ways off in my opinion. I don't think we'll see this for at least a few years.
     
  13. cmichaelb macrumors 68020

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    I would assume screenshots and rebooting would done via a combination between the volume and power buttons.

    Smaller size would be great.

    That's an excellent point.
     
  14. Moonjumper macrumors 68000

    Moonjumper

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    #14
    I look forward to a future without bezels. I might be wishing for too much.
     
  15. Jsameds macrumors 68040

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    Urgh. I hate software buttons for these kind of uses. Samsung Galaxies are the worst for it. Can't even hold the phone without it triggering the back button all the time, it's awful.

    iPhone's have it pretty much perfect with the balance of software/hardware buttons and switches. Physical home button all the way for me.
     
  16. BMcCoy macrumors 68000

    BMcCoy

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    Synaptics are doing some amazing things with integrated displays.. really exciting and innovative.
    I keep expecting to hear that Apple have bought them, but it seems not..

    Still, this would be an exciting route for Apple to go with the iDevices, with some amazing creative possibilities.
     
  17. The Doctor11 macrumors 603

    The Doctor11

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  18. Jsameds macrumors 68040

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    Under the display, most likely.
     
  19. yaboyac29 macrumors 6502a

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    As long as they stop trying to make everything paper thin, I'm okay with whatever else they want to do design wise.
     
  20. The Doctor11 macrumors 603

    The Doctor11

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    Yes, but does Apple have the technology to do that?
     
  21. TMRJIJ macrumors 68040

    TMRJIJ

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    The most valuable tech company in the world? No, dude, they don't have the technology. /s
    But seriously they had to have been working on this a while to have rumors about it floating around
     
  22. aristokrat macrumors regular

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    They definitely need to keep some kind of hardware buttons that have the ability to force quit/reboot the device. I'm so tired of all-touch devices that become practically useless once something hangs/crashes because the screen/touch buttons can't get any CPU time. Even the best developers will 100% continue to create new bugs (which is no one's fault), and there's nothing more frustrating than being locked out of your device.

    I recently had to de-solder the power cables in a touch-only device to get it to reboot. So stupid.
     
  23. CFreymarc Suspended

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    Makes sense. That space to the left and right of the home button is so unutilized. Instead of a home button, the whole piece below display can click and be reactive to swipes.
     
  24. RogerWilco macrumors 6502a

    RogerWilco

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    Ah yes, we all knew it was just a matter of time...the return of a tiny hole on iOS devices sized for insertion of a bent paper clip. For those instances when the device screen inputs are "unresponsive".

    Bravo Apple!
     
  25. Rogifan macrumors Core

    Rogifan

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