Why is the iPhone 'home' button - a button?

applemax

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Feb 22, 2005
1,032
3
Anyone? Surely, the phone would be much nicer if the button was touch as well! a la iPod 3G. Does anyone agree? Thanks

:):)
 

danielforman

macrumors regular
Sep 29, 2007
152
0
do you mean the home button actually appear on the screen. If so then personally I dont think this would be very good because it would mean that it is an extra button on the interface that will have to appear in the same place all the time. Personally I think having the home button as it is now if perfect. It is in a good place, fits in with the design and makes sure that you can always get back to the home screen no matter where you are.
 

applemax

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Feb 22, 2005
1,032
3
do you mean the home button actually appear on the screen. If so then personally I dont think this would be very good because it would mean that it is an extra button on the interface that will have to appear in the same place all the time. Personally I think having the home button as it is now if perfect. It is in a good place, fits in with the design and makes sure that you can always get back to the home screen no matter where you are.
No - I mean it'd stay in the same place, but instead of it being a physical button it'd be a touch button like on the 3rd Gen iPods (http://linuxbrit.co.uk/gadgets/lg/IMG_0450.JPG) (like one of the top 4 buttons)
 

kdarling

macrumors P6
You're right, a lot of people thought it was going to be a touch button below the screen, and there was some surprise that it was mechanical... especially given what Jobs said about buttons. (Of course, he conveniently ignored the volume, standby and ringer buttons.)

I think it's because they needed a reliable home button that wouldn't be disabled easily.

The OS and its applications are clearly not bulletproof yet and, along with the ability for apps to crash back to the home page, having a wired home button was a good idea.
 

lofight

macrumors 68000
Jun 16, 2007
1,954
2
no,
or maybe,
because people like to press things ;) expecially me.
But it would be nice to make the Macbook, Macbook Pro, iMac, Mac pro on/off buttons to be like you suggested a sort of touch thingy, pressure sensitive.
 

avalys

macrumors 6502
Jun 4, 2004
299
23
I agree - I wondered about this myself. After you've been lightly tapping your way through the rest of the interface for a few minutes, actually having to press a button seems like a monumental effort.
 

After G

macrumors 68000
Aug 27, 2003
1,583
1
California
It would probably be a pain in the butt if you accidentally brush it and wham, you're back to the home screen.

Actually requiring you to push the button is a user interface win, imo.
 

Knolly

macrumors 6502a
Jul 22, 2007
610
0
My theory is that they needed some mechanical button somewhere (yeah... there are side buttons, but those disappeared on the iPod touch) to handle resets, etc.
 

p0intblank

macrumors 68030
Sep 20, 2005
2,548
2
New Jersey
The home button is physical for obvious reasons... The user would accidentally awake their iPhones and it would drain battery life. Think about it. I'm glad it's not touch sensitive.
 

ntrigue

macrumors 68040
Jul 30, 2007
3,805
1
Home Button allows the user to 'crash' to the Home Screen regardless of software glitch. When a program freezes (Installer.app - Customize) no part of the continguous touch display is working. It is herein necessary to have an end all control over your device independent of software.
 

aerospace

macrumors 6502a
Jun 26, 2007
661
0
Home Button allows the user to 'crash' to the Home Screen regardless of software glitch. When a program freezes (Installer.app - Customize) no part of the continguous touch display is working. It is herein necessary to have an end all control over your device independent of software.
it could easily be an independant system. I for one would love to switch out the button for a touch image...say an apple. it could be modded like any other image
 

ARH1956

macrumors 6502
Sep 12, 2007
384
38
NE Alabama
I agree - I wondered about this myself. After you've been lightly tapping your way through the rest of the interface for a few minutes, actually having to press a button seems like a monumental effort.
Really, a monumental effort ? That is too funny, LOL.
 

Phatzer

macrumors regular
Nov 3, 2007
228
0
Maybe its so that it is easier to feel you have double-pressed the button.
 

kdarling

macrumors P6
Maybe its so that it is easier to feel you have double-pressed the button.
The double-touch is an tacit admission that programmable buttons are a Good Thing.

In order to do a little of what most all other devices do with dedicated buttons... e.g. go straight to the phone or media player... they had to overload the only main button available.

Of course, other phones also have dedicated buttons for wifi on/off, comm managers, favorite program launch, etc. To get the same functionality on a single button, Apple will have to come up with using Morse code.

:D
 

wentwj

macrumors regular
Sep 6, 2006
206
0
I much prefer the physical button. Especially typing in things it'd be really easy to brush against the button and drop out to the home screen, thus destroying your e-mail/website post/what-have-you.

Plus it wouldn't be for useability.

The purpose of the touch sensitive display/buttons are that the interface can change as need be. Physical buttons are static and always present, in my opinion, using a touch sensitive button for a static button that is always present is silly and obviously an over use of that feature. The home button always does one thing, and it should always be in the same place, so it's not a candidate for a touch button
 

hidehide

macrumors 6502
May 1, 2007
347
0
I actually like the home button in iphone, its sexy to press on it :)
But for ipod, I like my 3G ipod "select" button. the 4G, 5G select button is ugly, you have to press on it.. its very ugly..
 

powerbook911

macrumors 68040
Mar 15, 2005
3,735
159
I actually like the home button in iphone, its sexy to press on it :)
But for ipod, I like my 3G ipod "select" button. the 4G, 5G select button is ugly, you have to press on it.. its very ugly..
Cool. I agree the 3G iPod was the coolest of all.
 

rayward

macrumors 68000
Mar 13, 2007
1,608
53
Houston, TX
It would probably be a pain in the butt if you accidentally brush it and wham, you're back to the home screen.

Actually requiring you to push the button is a user interface win, imo.
It is also important because it's used in tandem with the on/off button to execute a a forced reboot after a crash. If it was a software button, that wouldn't be possible.
 

lofight

macrumors 68000
Jun 16, 2007
1,954
2
It is also important because it's used in tandem with the on/off button to execute a a forced reboot after a crash. If it was a software button, that wouldn't be possible.
it doesn't have to be a software button, it could be a small piece of hardware with heat sensor or pressure sensitive sensor.
 

Pattycerts

macrumors 6502
Jul 4, 2007
275
0
I like the fact it is a physical button. The only thing that gets frustrating is when people ask to see my phone, 90% of the time they think it is a "touch" button and I have to say

"No PRESS it"

"No, I mean actually PRESS it"

"Here like this"

Rookie: "OHHHHHH, its a REAL button. I get it!"
 
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