Could force touch finally spell the end of the home button?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by sully54, Jun 7, 2015.

  1. sully54 macrumors regular


    Sep 15, 2012
    I was just thinking, force touch could have the potential for apple to finally get rid of the home button for the iPhone 7. touch id could be integrated to a thinner bezel and make for a more minimalist display. i hope apple is working on this.
  2. arn macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Seems unlikely to me so early. Force touch isn't really discoverable, so it would take a lot of reeducation. Maybe a few generations down the line.
  3. soupcan macrumors 6502a


    Nov 21, 2014
    One one hand, yes. On the other hand, it limits 3rd party devs from incorporation Force Touch into their apps since it will also mean "go to home".
  4. Tthomas612 macrumors 65816


    Aug 24, 2013
    Idk ... I honestly think that the home button is here to stay... It's synonymous with the iPhone.
  5. Andres Cantu macrumors 68030

    Andres Cantu

    May 31, 2015
    Rio Grande Valley in South Texas
    I doubt it, the circular home button is too iconic (in my opinion) to disappear.
  6. hamiltonDSi macrumors 68000


    Jul 29, 2012
    The iPod Click Wheel was iconic too. Now looking at the iPod line-up...
  7. Andres Cantu macrumors 68030

    Andres Cantu

    May 31, 2015
    Rio Grande Valley in South Texas
    Good point, but both are circular and help to identify those products as Apple products. I've used phones without a home button and I definitely prefer the click of a button, but that's just me.
  8. Harmonious Zen macrumors 6502a

    May 18, 2013
    Yeah, but that's because you've sort of been conditioned to be that way. I agree with Arn that it could potentially mean that we do away with the home button eventually, but not in the next iPhone. There's also the question of what you do with Touch ID if you don't have a home button.
  9. Andres Cantu macrumors 68030

    Andres Cantu

    May 31, 2015
    Rio Grande Valley in South Texas
    I guess I have :p
    Not having a home button will also create the need for alternative ways of launching multitasking, siri, taking screen captures, etc.
  10. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    What if you had a virtual home button with Force Touch? Like, an edge-to-edge display and a virtual home button on the bottom? Of course not sure how that would even work, or if that's a good idea with leaving it purely software related (difficult to do hard resets and the like). I suppose that would eliminate a lot of wasted screen space with the top/bottom bezels and such.

    At any rate I can't imagine what the iPhones in a decade would look like. The form factor has remained largely unchanged for so long, they'd surely be looking towards something different. However I'll be the first to admit I'm being quite optimistic . :)
  11. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    If you look at Apple Watch, even with force touch you still have a "home button" function through pressing the digital crown. There are too many functions (home, task switching, force quit, cold restart, screen grab) depending on a physical button that it's unlikely to be replaced by force touch, which has its own functions and features that it serves.
  12. solodogg macrumors 6502

    Oct 28, 2011
    i think you will see the home button become fixed, and the taptic feedback engine used to mimic the clicks (similar to the touchpad on the new macbook). would eliminate a lot of the touch id clicking complaints, remove another moving part from the phone, and give a much better feedback, with the possibility of force click being used for other options on the phone also.

    That change could be made rather simply, but removing the button completely could possibly become confusing for users without some way of highlighting it.
  13. willmtaylor macrumors G3


    Oct 31, 2009
    A Natural State
    We're one step closer.
  14. bhayes444 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 13, 2013
    I doubt the home button will go away anytime soon, but the three things you mentioned could be done without the home button. Multitasking can be launched by force pressing the left edge of the screen, Siri could be called up by saying "hey Siri" anywhere, and the screenshot could just use the power button and volume down (like some other phones do). Although the first two replacements I mentioned are less elegant, and less quick, than what we have now.

    Apple will most likely keep the home button design somewhere on the phone. I don't know if they could integrate it fully into the display as I thought the metal ring around it is required for TouchID to work correctly. Making the home button more useful would be nice, like swiping across it in certain directions to perform an action; or turning it into a large, but not too bright, LED notification area.
  15. blasto2236 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 4, 2012
    Keep in mind that the post you're responding to was made before 3D touch existed and at a time when "Hey Siri" only worked while plugged into power and therefore was not being used as ubiquitously. As far as the future of the home button, I'm interested to see where it goes. I agree that it may not be gone entirely this generation, but who knows? It seems necessary for a major redesign at this point. But essentially the entire screen would need to be capable of being a TouchID sensor in order to get rid of it.
  16. Nozuka macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2012
    Cold restarting the device has already moved from the Home Button to the Volume-down Button on the iPhone 7. Same for DFU Mode

    (You still have to press power too)
  17. Truefan31 macrumors 68040


    Aug 25, 2012
    I think we're heading there. Not sure about the iPhone 8 but eventually it'll just be a clean glass display on the front.
  18. Shirasaki macrumors G3


    May 16, 2015
    If there is something which is the exact equivalent of home button, then home button can be removed.
    But without home button, how much do we left as Apple DNA? When iPhone is no longer distinguishable from exterior alone, how others can immediately notice "hey, here is an iPhone user"? If Apple keeps dropping out their DNA features and designs, they will have a very hard time to compete with other Android users design wise.
  19. unagimiyagi macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2009
    So far force touch is nothing more than a right click. I prefer the home button. It's comforting and orienting and in stark contrast to Android where you have to be careful how and where you grip the phone because of the capacitive buttons. The more real buttons, the better as far as I'm concerned.
  20. blasto2236 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 4, 2012
    I don't know that the home button is as distinguishing or iconic as some folks around here think it is. Yes, it was a huge deal when the phone came out 10 years ago. Now? Not so much. You would be surprised the number of iPhone owners who have no idea what it's even called.
  21. yep-sure macrumors 6502


    Sep 21, 2012
    Melbourne, Australia
    A phone with a round button located under the screen, centre justified, is the iconic image of the iPhone.

    For example, the below is instantly recognisable.
  22. MICHAELSD macrumors 68040


    Jul 13, 2008
    Get rid of the bezel and have the home button take up as minimal space as possible. I use "button" loosely with the new home button.
  23. Shockwave78 macrumors 65816


    Jul 10, 2010
    Bottom bezel is here to stay for quite some time, the top one will shrink down first to near bezeless at some points. If they want to get rid of the home button then have two seperate force touch engines, one for the main screen and one for the bottom bezel. This way it will not affect apps.
  24. redrog macrumors 6502


    Feb 26, 2008
    This reminds me of people complaining that the original iPhone didn't have a physical keyboard.
  25. Nozuka macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2012
    if they can find a good way to replace it, why not.
    they'll find another way to make it recognizable

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25 June 7, 2015