Monday, October 17, 2016
Apple ditched the physical home button on the iPhone 7 series, but it seems it didn't forget to contemplate the possibility of it not working as intended, presenting a virtual home backup should something go wrong.
The home button has been one of the iconic elements present since the first iPhone, upgraded to integrate a fingerprint sensor in the iPhone 5S, but keeping the same "clicking" action. That changes with the iPhone 7, which now uses a solid state TouchID sensor that doesn't move at all, relying on haptic feeback alone to simulate the clicking action.
The thing is, the home button is a critical component for the entire iPhone operation, and it seems Apple made sure it wouldn't leave users out in the cold should this new "button" misbehave. So, when the iPhone detects the button isn't working properly, it presents a backup virtual button on screen.
This button will look quite similar to all those that have already tried the virtual buttons available in the accessibility features and is a nice touch to bypass a situation where you could be left locked out of your iPhone - though some see this as yet another small step in the direction of having a virtual home button as standard - something that will have to happen sooner or later if Apple wants to expand the screen size to fill most of the frontal area of future iPhone generations.