Home button becoming unnecessary?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by vincenz, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. vincenz macrumors 601

    vincenz

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    #1
    Thoughts on this?

    http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/...ve-one-button-too-many/?src=me&ref=technology

    I don't know about everyone else, but I haven't touched the home button on the iPad in weeks. I find it much easier to pinch with 5 fingers to get back to the home screen, swipe up to reveal the multitask bar, and swipe left and right to fast switch apps.

    I've begun using the home button less and less and find it much faster to use the multitouch gestures. Though I don't agree with the article about slicing the bezel, I do agree that for the iPad, the home button is getting less useful. Once you try it for yourself, you might come to a similar conclusion. It's more cumbersome to reach down to push it, and then back up to the screen, plus there have been many times when I found myself actually looking for the button as I use it in all orientations.

    On the iPhone, it's completely different and I'm thinking that one of the only reasons it still exists on the iPad is for uniformity in the iOS device line.
     
  2. number84 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    #2
    Well, it is still used for taking screenshots and putting the device in DFU mode... I suppose they could program one of the other buttons to play that role. One less physical button, once less thing to break I guess.
     
  3. Jackintosh macrumors 6502a

    Jackintosh

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Location:
    Illinois
    #3
    Makes sense, as it reduces physically wearing out the home button over time. The only thing I don't like about the 4-finger technique is it shmears up my screen from my greasy fingers. One finger was bad enough.
     
  4. fruitycups macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2011
  5. Batavian macrumors 6502

    Batavian

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
  6. Skika macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    #6
    Sometimes its just easier to push the home button. I use gestures a lot but i don't want the home button to go.
     
  7. xraytech macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    #7
    How about those individuals with fewer digits?
     
  8. foiden macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    #8
    Garageband and Musical Instrument applications with Multi-touch. That's my number one reason for keeping the Home Button.

    The problem? Playing keyboard instruments on it. When you do the organ, piano, or anything else like that, you'll often have 4 digits on the screen at the same time. Playing up and down the keyboard starts to cause you to activate the Task features. (eg. The task bar, and swapping between tasks).

    Generally, I turn off the task gestures when using stuff like Garageband, Sunrizer, Piano Accordian, and any of those. It's a must. So I would say there are big enough reasons to keep it, even if you have no need for it most of the time.
     
  9. BrennerM macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Location:
    Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
    #9
    I mostly use gestures but think the home button should stay, if only because it is much easier to teach someone (especially a techno-phobe) to use the iPad because if they get confused or lost in an app they can always push the button to get back to the home screen. It is simple and effective. Having to teach a multi-finger pinch to a newbie would be more complex.
     
  10. foiden macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    #10
    Agreed. It's one of the reasons I'm able to give a couple to my parents with very little instruction.
     
  11. Moonjumper macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    Location:
    Lincoln, UK
    #11
    The home button is simple and easy to pick up for a new user.

    I use so many different pieces of software that I cannot remember all the shortcuts, so I just focus on the few I need a lot and use the menus the rest of the time. The iOS gestures don't really seem to give much of an advantage, so I don't bother.
     
  12. palpatine macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #12
    i don't use the home button too much, but i do need it, and on android the home icon is useful. the problem with android is that you give up screen real estate to show the silly thing. if someone could figure out a way to give us an escape button of some sort (home button) without leaving it on all the time, then i'd happily say goodbye to the ipad's home button.
     
  13. BJMRamage macrumors 68020

    BJMRamage

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    #13
    I use gestures a lot but find if I have a stylus in my hand and try the Home Screen gesture it doesn't work since one finger is up holding the stylus a bit...and I either have to drop the stylus, use my left hand of thumb the button since my thumb is already down there.

    I generally thumb the button as my hand might be near that orientation.
    I've used the screen shot too and I do like the button as there have been a few times when an app freezes where it seems gestures don't work but the home button might.
     
  14. palpatine macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #14
    if you guys aren't using the home button, how do you shut off apps that are open chewing up ram?
     
  15. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #15
    I mostly use the home button, because I find it faster than trying to get all four fingers out onto the screen. When I'm using my iPad, I usually just have my forefinger out, and the rest of my fingers are sort of curled in, not exaclty in a fist, but loosely turned toward my palm. I find I really have to pause and think about uncurling my fingers and getting them all on the screen at the same time -- it always makes me a bit nervous, like I could maybe set off some unexpected action if I let one finger touch the screen before the others. But reaching for and pushing the home button has gotten to be second nature, going all the way back to when I first had the original iPod touch.

    Plus, I also agree with the posters who pointed out that the home button is easier to explain to novice users. It's a physical feature you can point to, rather than an abstract gesture you have to explain and hope it'll stick in their memory.

    Swipe up to get the task switcher bar, hold down a icon until the red miuns button show up, push red button.
     
  16. Coltaine macrumors regular

    Coltaine

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2012
    #16
    Actually, I use the home button quite often.
    It's a neat and intuitive way to get back to a known configuration of the iPad.
    You don't have to explain it to anyone, like the "home gesture" (which is also useful, I admit).
    If you give the iPad to anyone, who hasn't already held it in hand, you can be sure they try the home button right away and understand its purpose.
    It's hard to get simpler as that.
     
  17. WindWaker macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2011
    Location:
    USA
    #17
    I'd say there are two major reasons that they haven't removed the home button:

    1) Not everybody who has an iDevice has five fingers on their dominant hand/ at all. This makes it nearly impossible for some to use gestures.

    2) Marketing. If a consumer who loves his/her iPhone sees a bigger "version" of their device with that same home button, they might be drawn to it and purchase it. Also differentiates iOS tablets from Android tablets.

    I personally don't use the home button very much, but I think they will keep it for that reason. If they kill it on the iPad, my guess is they might bump up the screen size on the iPhone and do the same. Also they would probably "redo" them to make them easier for the handicapped.
     
  18. Navdakilla macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2011
    Location:
    Canada
    #18
    I used to use my home button a lot

    just recently I decided to not ever touch it again, and make sure I use the gestures, and I actually like it a lot.
     
  19. MR1324 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    #19
    yup these are the two functions i use it for. i don't see anything wrong in leaving it there. maybe some people don't like using the gestures?
     
  20. brian017 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2012
    Location:
    Kilkenny, Ireland
    #20
    Given my disability, the iPad would be pretty much unusable to me without a home button. Yes, I know there's assistive touch in settings but that's not always practical.
     
  21. batotman macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2012
    #21
    I use gestures on my iPad. Rarely use the home button. Really could ditch it and I wouldn't care.

    I don't use it on my iPhone either. But if it wasn't jailbroken I would have to use it.
     
  22. Eddie Bombay macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2011
    #22
    Haven't used my home button once. Gestures made the home button obsolete unless taking a screenshot.
     
  23. thatoneguy82 macrumors 68000

    thatoneguy82

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Location:
    Beach Cities, CA
    #23
    The home button is still necessary. I still use it on occasion to force quit apps or to do a hard reset or return to the home screen, sometimes (rare). But, ever since I had the iPad 2 when I activated gestures, I've been accustomed to it. It just seemed so natural. However, there is one gesture that the iPad is lacking and I really wish it would be added. Safari should have a swipe feature for back/fwd like the desktop version of Safari. It seems more natural and I sometimes forget that I'm on my iPad and swipe. Going to the buttons at the top sometimes distract from the experience.
     
  24. Tones2 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #24
    What the argument for NOT having a home button if some people prefer it? It's not like it gets in the way of anything. Unless taking it away makes the bezel smaller, I can't see what the issue is if it stays. Kind of a pointless discussion really. :confused:

    Tony
     
  25. Emoo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #25
    I use gestures about half the time and the home button the other half. I'm not entirely certain that getting rid of the home button would be simpler than having both, as a lot of people I talked to weren't even aware of the four and five finger gestures.
     

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