iPhone 7 could see Apple finally scrap the home button

Every year, the rumour comes around again that Apple is ready to kill the home button on its iPhone, but this time it might actually happen. Thanks to existing features and new tech being developed by Apple, it’s now possible that the iPhone 7 will be the first Apple handset without a physical home button.

Find a more detailed look at the next iPhone, read Everything we know about the iPhone 7

The home button

Mobile phones have changed dramatically since the days of the Nokia 3210, and while the original iPhone almost did away with buttons completely, it kept a single home button on the front of the device. Since then, the home button has become one of the most recognisable features of the iPhone, and it now includes Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint reader.

However, Apple patent applications, plus technology debuted on the iPhone 6s, suggest the company could be poised to remove the home button for good.

3D Touch

Unlike other buttons, the home button represents a single command, taking you back to your home screen every time you press it. Unlike buttons you see on the screen, it’s not troubled by the context in which it’s being used.

Before the iPhone 6s, Apple had no way to emulate the home button using the touchscreen, but 3D Touch technology has changed that. As a result, the iPhone 7 could theoretically have a much larger screen than before and do away with the home button completely.

Instead of a physical button, Apple could create an area of screen that could be hard-pressed to behave like a home button, but act as a normal area of screen at any other time.iphone_7_no_home_button

Fingerprint sensor

Removing the home button would remove Touch ID, too, but Apple may already be working on a solution for that. A patent filed back in February and reported by Apple Insider suggests the company is working on a fingerprint sensor that sits under a touchscreen. That means the iPhone 7 won’t need a home button to house Touch ID, and Apple would be free to remove the home button completely.

Apple removing the home button on the next iPhone may be a long shot, but its days are certainly numbered.

Find a more detailed look at the next iPhone, read: Everything we know about the iPhone 7

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