Does the fingerprint button = end of old Home button?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by PracticalMac, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. PracticalMac macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #1
    If the speculated fingerprint Home button is true, IOW it is now simply another type of contact sensor, does that spell the end of the mechanical home button?

    By extension, the Low Cost iPhone also do away with the mechanical Home button for a non-fingerprint seeing but still touch sensing Home button?

    Discuss.
     
  2. futurefortress macrumors newbie

    futurefortress

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    Jul 22, 2013
  3. centavar macrumors member

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    Feb 12, 2011
    #3
    Pure speculation, for all we know the sensor could be integrated into the screen itself (as it was rumored).
     
  4. KeanosMagicHat macrumors 65816

    KeanosMagicHat

    Joined:
    May 18, 2012
    #4
    I think it'll be dual function - fingerprint sensor to activate, then once unlocked it'll function as the Home button in the normal manner.

    As for whether it's mechanical or not - too early to say.
     
  5. Namji macrumors 6502a

    Namji

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2010
    #5
    I hope so... the actual push of the button creates problems in the long term with debris in the crevices and causing issues with responsiveness..
     
  6. PracticalMac thread starter macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

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    #6
    Did not say the function will go away, just the mechanical part.
     
  7. sonicrobby macrumors 68020

    sonicrobby

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    Apr 24, 2013
    Location:
    New Orleans
    #7
    I hope it replaces the button, its a step closer to a true edge to edge display. I do wonder where it will be on the screen and how it would distinguish a home button press from a regular tap. Unless its not actually on the screen. Damn it Apple, reveal your secrets!
     
  8. Jimmy James macrumors 68040

    Jimmy James

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    Oct 26, 2008
    #8
    I hope they install a dual clutch transmission.
     
  9. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #9
    I like physical home buttons and hope Apple doesn't remove them.
     
  10. sonicrobby macrumors 68020

    sonicrobby

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    Apr 24, 2013
    Location:
    New Orleans
    #10
    I like them too. But from Apple's point of view, in the long term, hardware failure is most likely to be in the physical buttons. Granted, I dont think thats WHY they would remove it, but its a good justification for it, device longevity.
     
  11. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

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    Aug 28, 2012
    Location:
    Between the coasts
    #11
    There's no reason a mechanical switch can't incorporate an electronic sensor. Mechanical switches have been incorporating indicator lamps/leds for a very long time. The principle is the same.

    I think Apple would prefer to stay with a mechanical home button (and power button). The system reset process requires a switch that operates regardless of the condition of the system. For example, it couldn't function like the touch display, which is very system-dependent. Further, the home button functionality benefits from being pressure-dependent, to minimize accidental triggering. That suggests something like a Hall Effect switch assembly - a mechanical pushbutton with an attached magnet that controls a solid-state switch. That is significantly more expensive than an all-mechanical switch.

    Would the added durability of a solid-state switch justify the added cost? That's a matter of how often the mechanical switches fail during the warranty period (two years if the customer purchases AppleCare+), whether customer satisfaction would improve significantly, and whether the consumer would be willing to pay to have that benefit. I'm not sure the answer would be yes, though I'd be delighted if it was.
     
  12. wordoflife macrumors 604

    wordoflife

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #12
    The responsiveness of a messed up home button is still better than a touch sensitive button. Most of the time, they aren't missed up - which is even better.

    My home buttons have been fine.
     
  13. lordofthereef macrumors G5

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #13
    If the touch sensitive button is properly done, I would have to completely disagree with you. Yes, I have handled phones with some crap touch sensitive buttons. But those that are done properly are very nice to use. The Lumia line comes to mind. All touch sensitive buttons, never a missed press, never a want for a physical button.

    Also, great that you haven't had issues with your home button, but home button failure is one of the most common issues with iPhones. That's a simple fact.
     
  14. Namji macrumors 6502a

    Namji

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    Aug 13, 2010
    #14
    +1.. so common that apple added in a virtual home button with assistive touch to remedy the problem.
     
  15. mark34 macrumors 6502a

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    May 18, 2006
    #15
    classic
     
  16. musukosan macrumors regular

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    Aug 6, 2008
    #16
    I hope they don't take away the mechanical button. I really really do hate soft buttons. I hate them for many reasons, but the biggest one that comes to mind is that you have to actually see the "button" to know where to press it. You can't just feel for the button. I know they could put a different texture there, but I have not seen that implemented well.
     
  17. KenAFSPC macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 12, 2012
    #17
    The AuthenTec "smart sensor" that Apple acquired is less than 0.5" wide in its original design, so Apple could have easily incorporated the part into a mechanical type home button.
     
  18. lordofthereef macrumors G5

    lordofthereef

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    #18
    That's a very valid reason. I am curious though, outside of maybe using Siri without looking at the screen, what other situation have you come across where you aren't looking at the front of your phone when needing to press the home button.
     
  19. Mrg02d macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    #19
    Haptic feedback and a swiping motion where YOU KNOW the virtual button is located will solve the issue of eyes free activation.
     
  20. wordoflife macrumors 604

    wordoflife

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    Jul 6, 2009
    #20
    Citation?
     
  21. 12vElectronics macrumors 68040

    12vElectronics

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    Jul 19, 2013
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    California
    #22
    I hope not. I love the mechanical home button.
     
  22. lordofthereef, Jul 30, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2013

    lordofthereef macrumors G5

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #23
    I don't need one. My wife is customer service manager at Best Buy. Number one complaint with returned iPhones (outside of cracked screens). You can believe me, or not. No skin off my back.

    EDIT: And a google search found me this. Not sure on the credibility though (they are selling a service after all). I am fine with my wife's data. ;)
     
  23. Agent-P macrumors 68030

    Agent-P

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    Dec 5, 2009
    Location:
    The Tri-State Area
    #24
    I could actually see Apple as using the fingerprint sensor as an excuse to switch to a capacitive home button. Just think about it: for regular users, if Apple had just switched to a capacitive home button then the focus would be that Apple changed something everyone was used to. But if they say "we now have a fingerprint sensor on it" then regular people will focus on the fingerprint sensor more than the loss of a mechanical home button. And for Apple it helps them not have to replace iPhones due to faulty home buttons since it'll be one less mechanical part prone to failure.
     
  24. Vetvito macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2012
    #25
    I hope they make the white line on the home button pulse as a notification light. That would be pretty slick.

    I highly doubt they'll make it a capacitive fingerprint scanner.
     

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