How do you think Apple could get rid of the Home "popper" button?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Piggie, Dec 17, 2010.

  1. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    Personally I feel the iPad is a superb bit of design.

    The only 1 tiny let down for me is the physical home button, which just has a metal popper underneath, a bit like an old joystick from the 1980's

    And now we have to press the dam thing twice to call up the multitasking bar.

    Also due to the fact the iPad could be in any of 4 different orientations, this button could be in one of 4 locations.

    Do you think there could be a way to get rid of this one bit of physical moving tech and put in a soft button, or something else to make the whole iPad solid state.

    I'd be interested if you had any ideas of how they could get over this design that's too build into the system as a whole to get rid of, but as I say seem a shame it has to be there in the way it currently is.

    Could there be a soft touch sensitive button on the bezel?

    But there is always the accidental press issue.

    I really can't see a workable answer at the moment. Can you?
  2. applefanDrew macrumors 65816

    Jul 17, 2010
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    Next home button could be optical. Like the incredible's mouse.
  3. cRuNcHiE macrumors 6502a

    Jan 2, 2007
    Agreed, i find double tap for multi tasking very annoying, especially when you are using it and your toddler gets woken up by it clicking!

    Why cant they just do a five finger tap or even a one/two finger gesture to bring it up?
  4. patp Guest

    Apr 10, 2008
    now you're talking. this would be the best way as it makes sense for a touch device. Atomic Browser uses multi finger gestures. I set it for full screen on/off with 3 fingers touching the screen.

    2 or 3 finger tap to bring up the multi tasking bar would be perfect.
  5. map1978 macrumors 68020


    Feb 9, 2006
    Jacksonville, FL
    It should be some sort of "magic pad" like they make already
  6. Piggie thread starter macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    Thanks for the interesting suggestions so far.

    Just one point I'd like to make, and please feel free to disagree :D

    I don't think you could have swipes on the screen to function as the home button press as you could be setting it off all the time.

    How about then making the bezel touch enabled, at least to some degree, even if not full multi-touch, just able to register 1 contact perhaps?

    Then a swipe on the bezel, away from any apps or games, for the home button.

    No matter which direction you had the iPad up, a swipe say in one direction for home and the other direction for multitasking.

    Or something like that.

    I feel the bezel is the area it would have to be done on, as we don't want movements on screen triggering it.

    Or possibly some other idea?
  7. cRuNcHiE macrumors 6502a

    Jan 2, 2007
    If you have a Macbook/pro then default expose is 4 finger swipe upwards.

    Do you set that off all the time? nor me

    Granted, some games etc may use 4 fingers in the same direction but i cant think of any at the mo

    I cant think of any at all that use 5 finger tap except for atomic switching from full screen mode.

    Anyways, i digress. i'd probably just be happy with a button that doesnt click so bloody loud!
  8. adnoh macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2010
  9. applefanDrew macrumors 65816

    Jul 17, 2010
    Is there enough room on an iPhone for 4 finger swipe?
  10. applefanDrew macrumors 65816

    Jul 17, 2010
    Plus gesture based home screen would require two hands...kinda defeats the purpose of holding an iPhone in one hand and having the other free.
  11. Zcott macrumors 68020

    Oct 18, 2009
    Belfast, Ireland
    Soft switches are liable to failing if there's a software problem. Hard switches don't. The iPhone and iPad have been pared down to the minimum of bard switches but I don't see them going away anytime soon.
  12. cRuNcHiE macrumors 6502a

    Jan 2, 2007
    On the very rare occasions when my iphone/ipod/ipad has crashed/frozen, the fact the home button is physical hasn't helped at all as the software has stopped responding to it. The power button on the other hand is what has let me force it to turn off.

    So it does need one physical button to be able to turn it off in case of a freeze/crash but not two IMO.
  13. Piggie thread starter macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    Oh yeah.

    I'm not in anyway saying to get rid of switches around the outside for things like volume, power on/off, and the lock/mute switch.

    They are not ones you have to use, perhaps 100+ times a day.

    I'm only talking about getting rid of the hole in the glass, the physical popper home button, and making the entire thing a solid sheet of glass, with some electronic solid state way of duplicating the home button you have to use to get our of every app and call up the multitasking bar
  14. cRuNcHiE macrumors 6502a

    Jan 2, 2007
    A button on the side would be good near or even between the volume rocker as then you could trigger it without having to move your thumb all the way off the screen and just kinda squeeze the phone instead?
  15. Piggie thread starter macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    Perhaps a side button may work for the iPhone, but not the iPad which is what I'm really asking about.

    Any real physical button you press all the time is going to have issues with case design.

    I'm sure Apple would love to get rid of the hole in the Glass and the button, but even they have not thought of a way to get around it yet.

    Well, not one they like anyway.
  16. NT1440 macrumors G5


    May 18, 2008
    The power switch and home button are the only way to force a full restart. Also, in the case recovery mode is needed, thats what the home button is for. It will never be a soft button.
  17. Nishi100 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2010
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    How about "invisible" buttons - you know the ones that you can only see when the light comes on, it's also a "hardware" switch. Apple could put 1 on each side.

    Yer, they could also add a touch sensitive bezel and back. /sarcasm
  18. NT1440 macrumors G5


    May 18, 2008
    I actually used my first Windows 7 phone yesterday and the lack of a physical button with a "home screen" functionality actually bothered me. It just felt wrong to just place my finger on a little area (out of random the first time as the capacitive button isn't always lit up) rather than having some feedback.
  19. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    I would like that. Very nice!
  20. applefanDrew macrumors 65816

    Jul 17, 2010
    Yea I would too actually. I was impressed with it on the Incredible.

    Interesting User name btw. :)
  21. WB2Colorado macrumors regular


    Aug 1, 2008
    Durango, Colorado
    So... basically you're saying copy the Palm Pre?
  22. lokerd macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2010
    Its called JAILBREAK. I RARELY click the home button...I just swipe the status bar fwd, rev, or 2x to bring up different things, like going back to home screen.
  23. Hammie macrumors 65816


    Mar 17, 2009
    Wash, DC Metro
    I like the idea of making the bezel have limited touch, or maybe just a four finger swipe from the bottom bezel to the center of the screen would enable multi-task and from the top to the center will take you home.

    I also wish the same finger motions that work on the MBP touchpad and Magic Trackpad applied to the iPad screen.
  24. Dumbledorelives macrumors 6502


    Oct 24, 2010
    As has already been said, the home button should never be a software button. For a piece of technology that does regrettably crash occasionally, as well as one where it is impossible (mostly) too pull the battery out to reset it, it is essential we keep a few physical buttons for a hard reset if needed. Plus, I have soft buttons on my current phone - half the time, the damn things don't work. It's really not a perfected technology.
  25. jmann macrumors 604


    Dec 8, 2007
    bump on a log in a hole in the bottom of the sea
    Realize that there are other buttons on the iPad that can be used for a hard reset, like the volume buttons. They are never used in combination with the lock button and could serve as a reset in case of a crash/freeze.

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