Home Button is now detrimental to the design of the iPhone

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Batman89, May 2, 2014.

  1. Batman89 macrumors 6502

    Jul 7, 2010
    As amazing as the iPhone 6 will be, the home button has now become an issue, in the sake of symmetrical design.

    How does Apple resolve this? Perhaps adding the fingerprint scanner onto the screen itself and removing the physical button altogether?
  2. FSMBP macrumors 68020


    Jan 22, 2009
    I think that is the plan but technology isn't there yet. The home button's functions are easily replaced except Touch ID:

    1. Siri (Apple will add "always listening Siri" in iPhone 6 like Moto X)
    2. Multitasking will be done via gesture.
    3. TouchID - maybe be tricky & probably is the biggest hold up on removing the Home Button. I doubt the affordable tech to integrate it into the screen is there
  3. Retired Cat macrumors 65816

    Jun 12, 2013

    There was a patent that seemed to indicate that the iPhone display would get the TouchID function, making the home button redundant.

    I was hoping this tech would make it to the iPhone 6 and shake things up a bit, but it appears from the leaks that we will have to wait.

    I've had this debate with myself. I like the Home Button's tactile feedback and resistance to accidental presses. However, a virtual home button would allow more screen area, and reduce the probability of mechanical breakage. I'm not sure which trade off is the best.
  4. afsnyder macrumors 65816

    Jan 7, 2014
    You don't need commercial tech to have a patent...
  5. goobot macrumors 603


    Jun 26, 2009
    long island NY
    Or they can just make a non symmetrical bezel like every other phone.
  6. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    That's what I'm expecting, but not for the iPhone 6. It's obviously a barrier just like the 30-pin connector was to making the phone thinner. I wouldn't expect an integrated fingerprint scanner until at least the iPhone 7 if you go by the same upgrade schedule (6, 6s, 7). That's quite a huge undertaking, and the iPhone 5s only about six months ago got a fingerprint scanner.
  7. Technarchy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2012
    Apple may not want to "resolve" this.

    The iPhone design is apparently iconic, and Apple generally seems very reluctant to deviate much on the front end of things. The look of the iPhone speaks for itself and is known instantly around the world. That's not easy to walk away from.
  8. pdutta2000 macrumors regular

    Jun 4, 2008
    I agree with this. They created the MacBook Air to get the wedge shape while slowly making the standard macbook smaller. It allowed them to implement a new form factor while not touching their main money maker. The 5.5" phablet might be where they implement the no home button concept while keeping the 4.7" phone the standard design.
  9. Batman89 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 7, 2010
    They have changed the front end of it. They added a camera to it, made the front taller, replaced the home button with a fingerprint sensor, and will make it overall bigger with the 6. All of these done in separate generations.

    Obviously the basic design is the same, but Apple has shown that it is not reluctant to make necessary changes to the front to innovate and adapt to the market, and the market today wants bigger screens.

    However, if the home button is kept, and because of Apple's insistence on symmetry, you're going to have a phone physically the same size as some Android phones, but with a much smaller screen. That makes no sense in terms of function and practicality.
  10. dontwalkhand macrumors 601


    Jul 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I don't think they would want to touch it. I mean this is the generic icon that grocery stores, mailers, etc. use for saying "Call me at 1-800-blah blah blah" etc or "download our app"

    People KNOW the iPhone

    Attached Files:

  11. mtneer macrumors 68030


    Sep 15, 2012
    While I agree that the familiar facade of the iPhone is iconic, Apple has never been shy of dropping past icons and moving onto new things if they find a better implementation. The key question is whether a better implementation has been found.
  12. zorinlynx macrumors 603


    May 31, 2007
    Florida, USA
    Regardless of what they do they should shoot for more reliable button designs.

    Lock button and home button failures are the most common reasons people have iPhones serviced under warranty.

    You'd think they'd realize how much money they are losing to this and fix them. They're buttons, buttons are mature technology and shouldn't have reliability issues.
  13. TC03 macrumors 65816

    Aug 17, 2008
    The home button will always result in bigger bezels. Bigger bezels means a bigger phone. A bigger phone means the phone can get either thinner or have an increased battery capacity.

    Conclusion: Apple should leverage the disadvantage of a physical home button into an advantage.

    It's not the first time they did this, the first retina display was a similar case. Bigger screens with higher resolutions were arising. Apple initially chose to grab this opportunity to make retina displays rather than providing more screen estate. Thus they used a disadvantage (inability to increase screen size because apps were more important) into an advantage (better screens than the rest). They can do the same now: turn the disadvantage of being inable to decrease the bezel (because iconic design and Touch ID are more important) into an advantage of better battery life or thinner phones.
  14. SAIRUS macrumors 6502a

    Aug 21, 2008
    An always listening device isn't as good as a stand alone button to trigger Siri. I have various Android phones and it's not as easy as it seems. Esp when you have music playing in the background.
  15. sunking101 macrumors 604


    Sep 19, 2013
    Exactly. Apple charge a premium, and they advertise 'premium' products. So why were my first SIX iPhone 5 handsets faulty? I sent three back for scratches and three back for loose buttons. In fact all seven had loose buttons, including the one I ended up keeping. The loose buttons have always irritated me, they feel cheap and nasty. My old iPhone 4 was used hard for two years and still had tight buttons. My father has used it for over a year and it *still* has tight buttons. I won't accept an i6 which has loose, crappy buttons.
  16. Prof., May 3, 2014
    Last edited: May 4, 2014

    Prof. macrumors 601


    Aug 17, 2007
    The iPhone 5s feels cheaper than previous iPhones. TouchID rattles and my screen has become un-laminated for a second time. I'm not even going to get it fixed again because it's just going to happen again. :mad::rolleyes: Hopefully they address these issues with the 6.

    My iPhone screens clicks whenever I tap/type on the screen. Keep it up, Apple.

    EDIT: WOO! 4,000th post on MR! :D
  17. I7guy macrumors P6


    Nov 30, 2013
    Gotta be in it to win it
    I think you are unlucky. Probably got the entire lot of bad iPhone 5's.


    Un-laminated screen would be back at apple in a New York second.
  18. omasa macrumors newbie

    May 1, 2014
    I'm tempted to call the iPhone 5S the iPhone 5P, for "potential." This is Apple's half-step year, a rebuilding year. It's telegraphed by the name itself: adding an "S" versus giving the phone a whole new name. The 5S introduces technologies that could transform the future of iOS as a computing platform, and maybe pave the way for future products in 2014
  19. Prof. macrumors 601


    Aug 17, 2007
    The Genius at my local Apple Store replaced it in a heartbeat the first time I went. "Oh yeah, you know it does sound like it's becoming un-laminated".

    Once I got my replacement phone, I bought a new case and a tempered glass screen protector to ensure it would never happen again. Low and behold, it has happened again. Now all I hear is: pop pop pop when I type.

    Note: The iPhone has only been dropped once from waist height onto carpeting.

Share This Page