Why a capacative home button would be a terrible idea

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Tanker-X, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. Tanker-X macrumors member

    Aug 5, 2002
    People who want a capacitive home button on the iPhone 5, let me tell you what a awful, awful idea that would be. I've had many phones; windows phones, android phones, iPhones, but I always seem to go back to the iPhone. One particular experience comes to mind with a capacitive home-button and a Samsung Focus (Windows Phone) that drew me back to the iPhone. I was playing a game holding the phone with both hands in landscape position and anytime my finger just grazed the windows button (home button for windows phones), the phone would throw me out of the game and take me to the home screen. It was so damn annoying! This happened when I was writing emails, browsing the web, I longed for a push button solution like the iPhone. I say Apple should just keep it the way it is. Just speaking from experience.

  2. saving107 macrumors 603


    Oct 14, 2007
    San Jose, Ca
    Any decisions on this matter (Capacitive vs Physical Button) by Apple were already made 18-24 months ago.
  3. AIP5 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 2, 2011
    I can relate to your experience. A friend of mine has an HTC with a touch home button (that can also be pressed like the iPhone). It was quite annoying when even the slightest touch would set it off.

    But what I was thinking was that, if Apple did do a gesture based home button (that can also click like previous home buttons), then I think they might be able to pull it off quite well. Here's why: if they leave the home button to be indented into the phone, rather than having it stick out like the HTC that I saw, then it can help protect from accidental touch. If they also keep the physical button that has to be pressed to go to the home screen, then that will allow for even less accidental commands.
    I dunno, I really want to use a gesture based home button to be able to switch between apps like the iPad and Lion. That would be awesome :)
    Just my view.
  4. Bkfraiders7 macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2011
    I like the physical home button better...but there needs to be another way to multitask. That home button design was never made for that many clicks...as evident with the many home buttons stop working.
  5. wrinkster22 macrumors 68030


    Jun 11, 2011
  6. vitzr macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2011
    Saying a touch sensitive button is stupid is like saying the screen of an iPhone lacks responsiveness. It's all BS. whoever chose an old school mechanical button that's vulnerable to the elements had their head up their trash can.
  7. rollerross45 macrumors newbie

    Sep 13, 2011
    Surrey, UK
    Practical buttons are much better theres times the capacitive buttons activate when not wanted (Mum has an HTC) and times when there not responsive enough. Its almost illogical in design terms to go with touch button. However a mix of both could work, touch for gestures and click for home, like a blackberry button.
  8. aztooh macrumors 6502a

    Jul 5, 2011
    I had an Atrix for a month, never accidentally pressed any of the capacitive buttons while playing a game or performing any other task on the phone.
  9. Agent-P macrumors 68030


    Dec 5, 2009
    The Tri-State Area
    I completely agree on all those points.
  10. fireshot91 macrumors 601


    Jul 31, 2008
    Northern VA

    Your opinions might (And might not be) heard for the next iPhone.

    But for the iPhone that's supposedly releasing this year, Apple already has everything planned out. The phone was probably designed close to a year and a half ago. And it probably went into production close to 6ish months ago.

    These are just rough estimates.
  11. iEnvy macrumors 65816


    Jun 25, 2010
    Apple puts practicality in their products. A physical home button is just better imo.
  12. batting1000 macrumors 604

    Sep 4, 2011
    Same with my Nexus S.


    You multitask on Android by holding on the home button.
  13. sulpfiction macrumors 68030


    Aug 16, 2011
    Philadelphia Area
    Ur comparing a capacitve touch button from OTHER devices. That would be like saying..since the touch screen on the original Droid was terrible, iPhone shouldn't go with a touch screen.

    I really don't care about the home button either way. but I have a feeing if Apple implemented one on the iPhone, it would be in a different class then anything we see on these other devices. In other words, it would be one bad a$$ capacitive home button.
  14. Pooshka macrumors 65816

    Jun 28, 2008
    Touch-capacitive home button? That's just plain stupid. They might as well make a third physical home button that would have to be pressed in order to activate the touch-capacitie home button that would control the home screen.

    So imagine an iPhone with a nice screen and 16 home buttons right beneath it? Quite revolutionarily stupid, innit?
  15. batting1000 macrumors 604

    Sep 4, 2011
    No one said it'd be like Android with 4 buttons on the bottom. They meant one button that looks like the current one, but more elongated and capactive.


    There's only so many ways you can make a capacitive button..
  16. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    ^ This. And it's another reason why I think a non-capacative button would be fine.
  17. rjohnstone macrumors 68040


    Dec 28, 2007
    PHX, AZ.
    Ditto... never had an issue with it and I like the fact that it won't "wear out" like a physical button will.
  18. Pooshka macrumors 65816

    Jun 28, 2008
    You totally missed my point. Why create something touch-capacitive in order to control something touch-capacitive? Would it not make more sense to combine the two similar parts into one? Do you get where I'm going with this?
  19. batting1000 macrumors 604

    Sep 4, 2011
    Take the webOS device family. They have a gesture area to do things like go back or get to card view.

    Android; home button to go home, back to go back, etc. You can't go backwards in menus and such on Android which is why the buttons were added.

    It's also more convenient instead of reaching into the top corner (on most phones) to go back.
  20. Pooshka macrumors 65816

    Jun 28, 2008
    I still think that one large screen could execute all of the above functions and very conveniently knowing Apple.
  21. Bkfraiders7 macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2011
    I know. I'm currently rocking the old school OG Droid :)
  22. DeathChill macrumors 68000

    Jul 15, 2005
    I never ever assumed that Apple would actually ditch the mechanical button; if any capacitive abilities would be added it would be on top of the mechanical button.
  23. Gjwilly macrumors 68030

    May 1, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    I think a minimum of 2 physical buttons is necessary for troubleshooting.
    The capacitive would be ok when the OS is working but when it's not working you'd need some guaranteed way of entering DFU more or some other diagnostic mode.
    Maybe it could be done with 1 button but then you'd have a greater risk of activating it when you didn't mean to.
  24. eaglesteve, Sep 13, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2011

    eaglesteve macrumors 6502

    Aug 10, 2009
    I completely agree with the OP. I had a Samsung Galaxy S and it was far too prone to accidental touching of the back button which often throws me out of what I was doing. This is especially true when trying to operate the device one handed because the flesh on users' palm naturally touches the back button when trying to reach the top left portion of the screen.

    Even with non-iPhone physical buttons it is easy to accidentally touch it when the phone is inside your pocket. This is why I think iPhone's concave/sunken physical button is the best.
  25. kdarling macrumors demi-god


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    That's the way that many Android tablets work: the primary control buttons are on a part of the screen and can thus be moved to any side when the device is rotated.

    However, since the primary buttons must be there anyway, it also makes just as much sense to have multiples of them outside of the screen area so that the screen can be used for more content.

    Either way works.

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