Apple’s iPhone 7 has a hidden home button apart from the new “solid-state” pressure sensitive key that returns haptic feedback when “pressed.” The hidden virtual home button automatically becomes active in case the original malfunctions, giving users temporary relief before they can get their phone fixed.
Even more importantly, it may be inferred that Apple’s iPhone 7 has discreetly given the world a sneak peek into what the iPhone 8 holds in the future. There have been rumors that the next iPhone will have its display covering the entire front portion, leaving no room for a mechanical home button or front camera, earpiece, and ambient light sensor. Now that the iPhone 7 has clearly shown that Apple has the technology to make a virtual home button, the possibility becomes even stronger that the iPhone 8 rumors may be true after all.
Apple iPhone 7 Hidden Home Button Is An Immediate Fix
A forum member on MacRumors who goes by the name “iwayne,” shared that when his home button malfunctioned, a message popped on his phone screen asking him to make use of the virtual home button until he could get servicing done.
“So plugged in my iPhone 7 to charge and it turned itself off. When I powered it back up this appeared on screen. Really Apple?”
While this also displays that Apple knows its Taptic Engine is susceptible to snags, aficionados have chosen to focus on the positive side. They are lauding the company for taking preemptive measures to prevent users from being pestered by a malfunctioning phone. Apart from the temporary relief, iPhone 7’s hidden virtual home button is also being viewed as concrete evidence that the iPhone 8 rumors are true.
Supporting this theory is the fact that Apple has recently secured a patent for installing light sensors underneath the display of a smartphone. Effectively, this means the same spot on the phone surface will let the display, touchscreen, and also the sensor to function at the same time without any impediment.
This also means that rumors related to iPhone 8 are not as far-fetched as previously imagined.
Apple’s Radically New Technologies
It’s nothing new for Apple to give the world of smartphones radically new technologies. The Taptic-Engine designed by the company, which powers the feedback generated when the new iPhone 7 home button is pressed, has already wowed users. The hidden home button now further reveals how deeply integrated the engine is into the iOS 10. Based on its efficient self-diagnosis, the company is able to provide a software solution to a hardware flaw.
— iPhone News (@iPhone_News) October 17, 2016
Users who want to give the virtual home button a try can activate it manually from the iOS settings by choosing “Assistive Touch,” according to Fortune. However, the virtual version lacks the ability to recognize fingerprints and hence fails to give Touch ID support.
— iDrop News (@iDropNews) October 17, 2016
Previously, when a user faced the issue of a malfunctioning home button, it meant that his phone would need an immediate trip to the service center. The new hidden feature not only keeps the owner of the phone happier, it also helps Apple’s bottom line by reducing the pressure from its Genius Bars.
Good Times Ahead For Apple?
The new technology could be an early step towards completely doing away with physical buttons. Virtual keys bring more durability as they obviate the issue of breaking due to pressure, something that is often associated with physical buttons.
With Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 turning into an unmanageable fiasco and the holiday season around the corner, the iPhone 7 is bound to bring some major revenue for the company. Apple is currently in the middle of issues such as the EU fine and its feud with Samsung reaching the Supreme Court. News about the iPhone 7’s hidden home button will definitely work to boost sales, something Apple will welcome with open arms.
[Featured Image by Kiichiro Sato/AP Images]