Of all of the rumors surrounding the upcoming release of Apple’s iPhone 7, reports that the newest model will not include a traditional home button is one of the most interesting. This update would be no surprise, as Steve Jobs and Apple’s design team has historically sought to simplify products and create intuitive interactions for users. While the existing home button requires users to physically press down into the phone, the new home command mechanism would replace the button with ‘haptic feedback’ or subtle vibrations to indicate a successful “click” on the touch shortcut to the home screen display.
Damaged and defective home buttons have been a constant point of dissatisfaction for iPhone users for years. Not only will this update solve that issue, but it could also help to improve iPhone security. The home button serves as a fingerprint scanner with Touch ID as well. When current models’ home buttons are damaged, many users look to non-Apple repair shops in order to avoid pricey replacements. Third party repairs or Apple’s virtual home button solution (AssitiveTouch) render the fingerprint Touch ID useless and weaken the phone’s security. With users’ personal data and confidential work-related information at stake, security is one of the Apple’s biggest concerns these days.
Although we’ve seen reports that a fingerprint can be bypassed, this new feature still seems like Apple is taking iPhone security in the right direction. Replacing the home button with a touch surface will help to secure users’ information by safeguarding the phone’s first layer of defense – the Touch ID fingerprint scanner.