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Apr 12, 2001
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With the introduction of the iPhone 7, Apple did away with the classic click-mechanism home button in favor of a "solid-state" pressure sensitive one that uses haptic feedback to mimic traditional button presses.

The programming that controls the Taptic Engine-powered feedback is deeply integrated into iOS 10, so much so that it appears Apple's latest iPhone is able to automatically offer a temporary workaround when its diagnostic software senses that the technology is playing up.

iphone.jpg

MacRumors forum member 'iwayne' shared the above picture of his iPhone 7 display after the device unexpectedly turned itself off while charging and the haptic feedback began malfunctioning after a restart. A dialog prompt warns that the home button is in need of repair, but presents an alternative onscreen home button for temporary use until the phone has been turned in to Apple for servicing.

MacRumors has previously noted that the Taptic Engine can become unresponsive if the OS freezes, which forced Apple to change the reset process for the iPhone 7 series. Apple has also apparently safeguarded against instances when the button's haptic sensor system breaks completely, but whether or not its failure rate is any better than a physical button remains to be seen.

Rumors suggest Apple will ditch the iconic home button entirely for next year's "iPhone 8" in favor of one built directly into an edge-to-edge display, but it's unclear if Apple intends to implement the same button-based recovery methods for instances in which devices freeze or stop responding completely.

Article Link: Apple Offers a Temporary Workaround if the Home Button Fails on an iPhone 7
 

Adam Warlock

macrumors regular
Jun 22, 2016
216
1,392
Just one more point of possible failure that will end up frustrating customers. The car manufactures began using touch controls for volume, temperature, etc a few years back until, unsurprisingly, they started returning to physical buttons shortly thereafter. Software is much more prone to bugs than hardware failure. Physical buttons are best in many instances!
 

djcerla

macrumors demi-god
Apr 23, 2015
2,087
9,914
Italy
Software is much more prone to bugs than hardware failure. Physical buttons are best in many instances!

The physical button of the iPhone has constantly been a point of failure, to the point that in Far Eastern countries often it isn't used at all to preserve the resale value (they use Accessibility features instead).

The car manufactures began using touch controls for volume, temperature, etc a few years back until, unsurprisingly, they started returning to physical buttons shortly thereafter

In the car, touch controls are bad for a completely different reason: because you can't find them without looking.
 

Hanzu Lao

Suspended
Aug 24, 2016
473
781
Can't say that iPhone 7 release is stellar either. Plenty of issues here as well. Kinda happy mine hasn't arrived yet.
 
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Adam Warlock

macrumors regular
Jun 22, 2016
216
1,392
The physical button of the iPhone has constantly been a point of failure, to the point that in Far Eastern countries often it isn't used at all to preserve the resale value (they use Accessibility features instead).
Never heard that. Why would people in the Far East be more sensitive to preserving their home buttons than in the West?
In the car, touch controls are bad for a completely different reason: because you can't find them without looking.
That's one reason, certainly, but it's also because of higher failure rates & poor feedback.
 

iTom17

macrumors 6502a
Aug 2, 2013
935
1,065
Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Well at least there is a built in temporary fix. Hopefully this isn't something people will have to deal with often. I have been impressed with the performance of the home button so far.
True. I was afraid that it was gonna fail sometimes, because the Taptic Engine sometimes failed to provide feedback when using 3D Touch (especially with Quick Actions). But so far it has worked remarkably well! Really loving the new home button. It's sad to see it still had its failures for some people, though.
 
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Baumi

macrumors regular
Mar 31, 2005
237
328
Software is much more prone to bugs than hardware failure. Physical buttons are best in many instances!

On the other hand, software buttons don't suffer from fatigue due to mechanical stresses, and if they do have bugs, those can be addressed via OTA updates instead of hardware repairs.

Edit: Of course, should the sensor turn out to be faulty, people would still need to bring in their phone for repairs- but that would be a hardware issue again.
 

marvz

macrumors 65816
Aug 27, 2012
1,001
443
Berlin
It's good to have a fallback, but the aim is to never need a fallback. Why is a device so new already popping up such errors? iPhone 7 is truly an experimental device release. Looking forward to 2017's all new device.
You know how many iPhone 7's have been sold, right? Millions. If only one of 1 million iPhones has this problem it means 0.0001 %. But yeah this iPhone is such an experimental device. Please stop posting this nonsense.
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Never heard that. Why would people in the Far East be more sensitive to preserving their home buttons than in the West?
That's one reason, certainly, but it's also because of higher failure rates & poor feedback.
Then don't post such arguments if you don't know nothing. iPhone's old physical Home Button is the part that has to be repaired the most.
 
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smacrumon

macrumors 68030
Jan 15, 2016
2,683
4,010
You know how many iPhone 7's have been sold, right? Millions. If only one of 1 million iPhones has this problem it means 0,000001 %. But yeah this iPhone such an experimental device. Please stop posting such nonsense.
Two things, it's barely one month since the device was released and there is a problem, one customer's experience here could represent hundreds around the world. The device knows there's a problem but and it is telling the the user they may be a problem. From a design point of view, it is a confusing user experience.
 

Kajje

macrumors 6502a
Dec 6, 2012
722
958
Asia
The physical button of the iPhone has constantly been a point of failure, to the point that in Far Eastern countries often it isn't used at all to preserve the resale value (they use Accessibility features instead).
Hahaha yes they do that in Asia also. I had issues with my iPhone 4 home button but never had it with any iPhone after that.
 
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apolloa

Suspended
Oct 21, 2008
12,318
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Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
On the other hand, software buttons don't suffer from fatigue due to mechanical stresses, and if they do have bugs, those can be addressed via OTA updates instead of hardware repairs.

Edit: Of course, should the sensor turn out to be faulty, people would still need to bring in their phone for repairs- but that would be a hardware issue again.

Yes that's true, but many a games console owner would much rather have a physical button that the manufactures usually change back to physical buttons.
But it's a bit odd with Apple as they replaced one physical part that wears down with another, the haptic engine. I guess they don't the calculations and reckon it will last longer? At least they have provided a backup though with this software feature.
 

Appleaker

macrumors 68020
Jun 13, 2016
2,197
4,191
This is cool but I really hope they don't go onscreen for the 2017 iPhone.
They are extremely likely to have a bottom and top chin (albeit smaller) for this generation so I hope they don't do it.
I would even prefer it on the side rather than onscreen.
 

Adam Warlock

macrumors regular
Jun 22, 2016
216
1,392
On the other hand, software buttons don't suffer from fatigue due to mechanical stresses, and if they do have bugs, those can be addressed via OTA updates instead of hardware repairs.

For sure physical buttons suffer from mechanical stress, but these are less likely than bugs, and by the time the button has been 'worn out' you'll have long since changed to a new phone. ;-)
 

Surftony

macrumors member
Apr 28, 2015
39
7
Quebec, Canada
The physical button of the iPhone has constantly been a point of failure, to the point that in Far Eastern countries often it isn't used at all to preserve the resale value (they use Accessibility features instead).

Interesting, I always wondered why everybody used assistive touch in SEA when I travel there. Thanks for the info!
 
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Christoffee

Contributor
Jul 26, 2012
427
596
UK
Just one more point of possible failure that will end up frustrating customers. The car manufactures began using touch controls for volume, temperature, etc a few years back until, unsurprisingly, they started returning to physical buttons shortly thereafter. Software is much more prone to bugs than hardware failure. Physical buttons are best in many instances!
Except Apple has the ability to release bug fixes very quickly. The car companies do not have this ability.
 
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