No, the iPhone home button is not dead (yet)

No, the iPhone home button is not dead (yet)

Gesture controls are the touchscreen equivalent of keyboard shortcuts on a traditional computer —that is to say they are meant for pro users. For that reason, users shouldn’t expect that Apple will kill off the iPhone home button entirely anytime soon, despite radical changes expected on the pro-focused “iPhone 8.”

The home button has been a staple of the iPhone since the first model launched in 2007, but all signs point to the physical button being removed with this year’s flagship “iPhone 8.”

Many assumed that Apple would simply introduce a dynamic, virtual home button on the handset, which some have taken to calling an “iPhone Pro.”

The logic: A software home button could function the same as a physical one, but disappear when needed to offer extra screen real estate. And with Apple’s Taptic Engine, pressing a virtual home button can feel just as real as clicking a physical one.

A virtual home button would be the simplest transition —continuing with an established and simple user input method, but doing away with the physical button.

Those assumptions, however, may not be correct. The latest rumors claim that instead of tapping a virtual home button, users will invoke new gesture controls to accomplish tasks like returning to the home screen and switching between apps for multitasking.

According to Bloomberg, a new “thin, software bar” will be shown at the bottom of the screen. Users can drag it up to the middle of the screen to open the phone.

While in an app, users will reportedly drag upward to invoke multitasking, and continue dragging to return to the home screen.

This may be convenient. It may even be faster and…

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