What's a good alternative to the physical home-button?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Yr Blues, Apr 16, 2015.

  1. Yr Blues macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    The only thing that keeps the bezel from getting any smaller is the home-button.

    I love the reassurance of the physical button, but I know there's a better way.

    Force-touch is interesting, as well as under-the-screen Touch ID.
  2. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    I don't think the home button is the only determining factor with the bezel
    It is certainly one factor, but there are other considerations
  3. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    Physical buttons enable system resets - Force Touch won't help if your CPU is locked up, and using a single physical button for resets would likely lead to unintentional resets.
  4. Yr Blues thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    There's already a power-button. Hold it down, and it reboots.
  5. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    Not having a home button on the iPhone is like trying to use a computer without a keyboard.

    Force Touch is interesting, but it's too complicated to make it the standard on a phone. People aren't going to want to do gestures to go back to their home screen. The device is really thin too.
  6. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    No, it doesn't.

    Press the power button briefly, the screen goes dark. The system has gone to "sleep" to save power and prevent things like pocket dialing. The system keeps running, it has not rebooted. Press either the power or home buttons, and the system wakes up again.

    Hold the power button for a longer period, Slide to Power Off appears, you slide, and it's off. Really off. If you then turn it on again, it goes through a full boot-up. Apple considers this to be a "restart."

    If the system is frozen/non-responsive, you can hold the power button until the cows come home, nothing's going to happen. Similarly, if Slide to Power Off appears and you keep holding the power button... nothing further happens.

    Now... A "reset" is used to force the CPU to restart when the system is frozen/non-responsive. The CPU is given a formal "reset" signal. To do that in iOS, you hold both the power button and the home button until the Apple logo appears. Let go of the buttons, the boot-up continues.


    If you were talking about a Mac, it's a different story. If the system locks up, you can hold the power button until it restarts. But people don't carry their Macs around in their pockets, and when the lid of a laptop is closed, the power button and keyboard are protected from accidental operation.

    iOS has several fail-safes to prevent unintended circumstances. Slide to Power Off and the two-button reset exist because when you're holding an iPhone (or have it jammed in a pocket) it's just too easy to accidentally press a single button, or press it for too long.

    Why should it be hard to do a full power-off? You can't receive phone calls with it fully powered off. People can get pretty unhappy pretty quickly if the phone is off when they expect it to be on.

    Why should it be hard to do a full reset? If the system is running, a reset interrupts whatever tasks and processes are running. While iPhones do a pretty good job of constantly saving the current state so that it can resume as if nothing happened... It's not a sure thing. I have a number of games that lose the current score after a reset. Argh!

    But the net effect of all this is that Apple continues to depend on two mechanical switches in iOS devices for a reset (the ringer/mute switch is also mechanical - the best explanation I have is it allows us to check the position of that switch without looking at it). As long as there's battery power, a mechanical button works. Components that depend on "higher levels of system consciousness" (like the touch screen) are useless when the system has crashed. Since Apple wants to have a safety interlock on the reset function, both buttons have to function when higher-level functions are not possible. Hence, the two-mechanical-button solution.
  7. Conquest macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2015
    I just sold a phone with no buttons except on the back. 1 power and volume. The LG G2/3.

    Let me tell you, it is no fun when a phone locks up and there is no home+sleep button combination.
  8. sunking101 macrumors 604


    Sep 19, 2013
    You can do a hard reset on an Android handset by pressing the power button and one of the volume buttons at the same time. We don't need a home button for this reason.
  9. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    One only need to look at how devices with capacitive home buttons have reset for the past 4-5 years to remind them there are volume buttons on the device.

    Volume up + power/lock for 3-5 seconds = reset
    Volume down + power/lock = screen shot

    Or vice versa its been so long since I used an android device without a home button I can't remember.

    Reset and screenshot dillema solved.
  10. Conquest macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2015
    Try it on an LG G2


    On BB it was Alt+shift+del

    Every phone has a combination for reset.

    Anyway, home button or not, that won't get rid of bezels.

    I just got rid of a phone without buttons and the first one to have the thinnest bezels there are. It has a 5.2" screen and it's as big as the iPhone 6 with 4.7".

    And guess what, I'm typing this from an iPhone 5s I just bought today.

    I used to sound exactly like this when I had the 4s. I don't want buttons. I want a bigger screen. I want thin bezels. So I got it. And now, whatever.
  11. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    Hmm? My post was to a reply about reseting the device. Not in reference to bezel size. While I want the iPhone to be the best phone there is in all regards (because its my preference) I don't mind its bezel size compared to other phones.
  12. Conquest macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2015
    I mean on the LG phones. The back button design is fine until you have to press 2 of them at the same time.
  13. shenan1982 macrumors 68040


    Nov 23, 2011
    Happy 2012!
  14. Technarchy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2012
    Technically September 20, 2013
  15. shenan1982 macrumors 68040


    Nov 23, 2011
  16. bushido Suspended


    Mar 26, 2008
    I hate using the home button so I got gestures on my jb iPhone which works heaps better. swipe up from the left side up takes u to the home screen. swipe up from the center brings up the default control center and swipe up from the right side brings up the app switcher. no stupid double tap on the home button necessary
  17. hovscorpion12 macrumors 65816


    Sep 12, 2011
    Force touch could potentially allow Apple to to incorporate touch based home button, similar to android devices. Allowing touch based home button with Force touch will Apple to have a one single front glass. Force touch can allow multitasking or access to Siri.

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