Analysts: iPhone 7 may ditch the physical home key for a 'Force Touch ID' button

Analysts: iPhone 7 may ditch the physical home key for a 'Force Touch ID' button
Apple might be moving towards a capacitive, instead of a physical home key - that much we've heard already - but adding more water to that particular rumor mill is a memo from investment research firm Cowen and Company. The analysts are citing "field checks," which is an euphemism for supply chain sources, and claim that the iPhone 7 will be using a "Force Touch home button."

Now, Force Touch is another euphemism for Apple's 3D Touch technology, which can distinguish between a light tap and harder presses, reacting accordingly to display different images on the screen. So far, it's been employed for Apple's iPhone 6s and 6s Plus displays only, and it will be interesting to see if and how the company is planning to embed it in the signature home key.

The analysts suggest that the new capacitive home key will still give ample feedback when pressed, perhaps with some sort of a vibrating motor underneath, so the familiar physical feeling won't be entirely lost. All of these aren't hard to believe - after all, the HTC 10 already sports a capacitive home key with embedded fingerprint scanner, so we doubt it would be hard for Apple to make one.

As for the 3D Touch physical feel component - well, Apple equipped the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus with a new state-of-the-art taptic engine that responds to your presses with subtle feedback, so you know you are doing something, and a similar action might be employed underneath the new Touch ID home button, too. Now, there is only one thing left to say - when will we be able to weigh something on the new iPhone 7 home key?

Related phones

iPhone 7
  • Display 4.7" 750 x 1334 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 7 MP front
  • Processor Apple A10 Fusion, Quad-core, 2340 MHz
  • Storage 256 GB
  • Battery 1960 mAh(14h 3G talk time)

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34 Comments

1. BradyCrack

Posts: 835; Member since: Dec 29, 2015

I hope not. I've tried the HTC 10's capacitive button and it's horrible, the vibration doesn't feel like pressing a button at all. Physical buttons for life!

2. vincelongman

Posts: 5693; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

IMO Apple's vibration on the 6S is better than the HTC 10's The 6S's vibration feels very close to physical buttons button

37. PhoneFixer unregistered

It is so pathetic n naive that apole wants to remove home pressing button while android makkers cooying samsung and they want so much home button

42. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

How can it? Its not a button. First off, when I press buttons they dont vibrate. What you feel is a soft "click" where the button makes contact with the underlying components. There is no vibration with such a gesture. Some computers have added haptic feedback to physical buttons, which may add vibration effects, but this is not normal button feedback. Capcitve buttons usually dont offer feedback that you feel, it's usually audible feedback. Like on Samsung devices, clicking the button gives a sound. They remove haptic feedback from them which I am glad because I always turned it off because its not a natural feel.

5. Nopers unregistered

If it makes fingerprint reading more reliable and fast then I'm all for it. Taptic Engine 2.0 more like the MacBook track pad and positioned below the home button could lead to a very convincing feel.

8. fonelover

Posts: 255; Member since: Mar 19, 2015

Is there a difference between physical home key and force touch id button?

20. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

Generally speaking, C'mon guys, This is cool. A move we surely expected to see in future. I've heard nothing but praises on this tech. . People/haters always complaints tht Apple tech is few years back. Now they are upping their game. So Stop complaining & Support them Lol. Give credits where it is due. . Besides it is much more logical than removing 3.5mm audio jack.

43. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Yes! With Force Touch you are using in apple's case a screen designed to detect pressure points. However, you don't need such for force touch to work. On Apple's own Macbooks, the trackpad also uses force touch. But it doesn't detect pressure the same way. Also they use the Taptic Engine which is a set of codes that are pre-programmed to mimic what your hand would feel doing a certain type gesture. For example, when you take your finger and rub it over a textured surface, your fingers can feel this as feedback because you can feel the texture and it creates a certain amount of resistance based on surface type. Because the mac tarckpad is glass, the surface is smooth. So they pre-programmed the taptic engine to mimic what you fingers would feel if the surface was textured. So when you rubs you finger on the glass pad, you get a small amount of vibration as feedback. The harder you rub, the more intense the feedback. The problem is, if you rubbed your finger on real glass, you only feel resistance because your own fingers have texture. Glass does not. Since you fingers has its own texture and you rub it on a surface that also has a texture, your brand can actually decipher the difference in the 2 touching each other, which is a feedback that electronics simply can't mimic.

11. Loveneesh

Posts: 435; Member since: Jul 14, 2015

You don't even know how to disable habtic feedback.

12. Unordinary unregistered

Have you tried the new MacBook? It feels like you're clicking.

18. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

This. I had to check multiple times just to confirm that it isn't really clicking, some nice sorcery going on there. Absolutely hate the keyboard though.

24. Unordinary unregistered

I don't like shallow keyboards man... I like depth. The butterfly hinges are awesome but the keyboard is too shallow (for obvious reasons) and too close (for obvious reasons). Selling my Macbook for $950 this week. (Got it for $200 from insurance deductible).

26. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Same here, would like to see that keyboard tech on a Macbook Pro.

27. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1183; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

Dude, I was thinking of getting the new pro this year, with all the rumors flying around, it sure sounds interesting with the led touch bar and other s**t. If most rumors turns out to be true, I surely would grab one, my old pro is aging wonderfully, I might just turn that into my windows machine while the new one for macOS.

44. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Yes...its fake! lol. I don't mean that in a bad way. I am meaning, because the Mac trackpad is glass, they are using the Tapic Engine to mimic the same gesture being done on a moving or responsive surface, where that surface would provide a natural feel/feedback to your brain. hey are trying to fool your brain into thinking it touching a real textured surface that provides a natural feedback, by using the electronics to mimic the real thing. It does work per se, but its fake in that its not real. I didn't say it was a bad idea. But the problem is simple. When 2 different people touch the same type of surface, their brain deciphers what they fell differently. Because for example, some people have a more sensitive touch than others. When people touch the Macpad, they both feel the exact same sensation the exact same way, because the sensation is programmed and not natural. The downside to this is, a person who is blind who need touch as a way to tell them what is happening, will get false sensations sent to their brain which would prevent them from being able to decipher a difference if one exists.

17. Bankz

Posts: 2543; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

Apples haptic feedback is state of the art to be honest..

3. Phonehex

Posts: 763; Member since: Feb 16, 2016

The Force touch trackpad on the newer macbook pro is just amazing. Feels exactly like a real click.

6. ameran

Posts: 344; Member since: Dec 04, 2013

A real thing is far better, than a thing that feels real.

9. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Not exactly, the one thing you can almost certainly count on to fail in an iPhone is the home button. Getting rid of the physical one might fix that problem at least and leave just the power button to fail.

16. Zomer

Posts: 361; Member since: May 31, 2013

I owned every iPhone since the first one, not one home button failed on me you iSheep. Removing the physical home button is the most retarted thing ever.

29. SenorThrottles

Posts: 284; Member since: Dec 23, 2015

The home button on my iPhone 5 stopped working properly. As long as the new home button feels similar to a physical home button, I don't see the problem.

40. AlikMalix unregistered

I have never seen an iPhone to have a non working home button. The only time one didn't work was because the phone was cracked so hard - it fell out. Stop trolling!!!

46. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Actually you would be the liar and he isn't trolling. Example, we all know gresy finger wreak havoc on home buttons. many woi;d press and just get stuck in the down position, or no longer "click" because the silo was filled with dirt and grim. The button has been known to lose its cover, or completely fall out of place when it got disconnected on the inside. or you would press it and simply nothign would happen. Some fixes that I have tried and worked is takign a q-Tip and some rubbing alcohol and rubbing it around the edge of the button silo to hopefully remove dirt and grim to free the button up. But your claim the buttons never broke is complete Bullcrap! iPhone home button failure. https://www.apple.com/support/iphone5-sleepwakebutton/ iPhone 5 Sleep/Wake Button Replacement Program if what you claimed was true, Apple wouldn't have made this as a backup: "iOS has a neat feature that helps when hardware buttons stop working. To activate this, go to the Settings app, and select General, then Accessibility. Scroll down to the Interaction section, and tap AssistiveTouch. Now tap the button next to AssistiveTouch so that it turns green and slides to the on position" Hundreds of articles on how to fix the iPhone's broken or non-responsive home button https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=home+button+not+working+on+iphone This is what makes capacitivee buttons better. For one...THEY NEVER BREAK. They will whoever stop lighting up, but they still work. Home buttons, or any physical button can stop workign for a number of reasons. Water, dirt, grease and similar are the usual issues with them. Come on man, love your phone, but don't lie about it. https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=home+button+not+working+on+iphone&tbm=vid Videos on how to fix iPhone home buttons. I guess all these videos are lying? I've jammed by button on the original ipad trying to put it in DFU mode. I had to take it apart and replace the whole part to get it to work as the button was completely stuck.

57. AlikMalix unregistered

You didn't have to write up an essay to show me that you cannot understand what I wrote. My response was to a claim that "you can almost certainly count to fail on an iPhone is the home button". The centimeter that all iPhones have a broken button. Guess what, I owned iPhones, my family owns iPhones and iPads, my friends own iPhones. They are all working great everything from 3GS to 6s to iPads. I did not say or claimed "home buttons NEVER broke". They can break just like any mechanical apparatus. And in sure there are a few that HD to be repaired. But it's a rare event and probably on devices that are way too old already. There was an incident with power button failure which Apple repaired even if devices were years out of warranty. And like I said I've seen a non functioning home button - but that was on a cracked dev i.e. Where the button was litterally missing - even the. iOS has an accessibility feature to override the home button functions onto screen feature (which the guy with the missing button was using). But it's certainly not a widespread problem like FF implied. And that was my argument - because I see more iPhones than android where I live (California) and I don't see failed or non functioning home buttons on "almost certainly" every iPhone. By your logic, if Google search is the metric by which determines the frequency of a problem, than any search will bring up just as many results: https://www.google.com/search?q=how+to+repair+samsung+home+button&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-us&client=safari Does that mean everyone running around with broken Samsung devices? Come on.

45. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

The chances of you keeping an iPhone long enough for the button to fail is minimal. Now I do recall in the past, the old iPhone/iPad/Ipod Touch home buttons had very high failure rates. Some would even fail just days after purchase. The button they use today I would say is less prone to failure because you you actually click it less. Example, before you clicked to wake up the display, you clicked to get to the home screen, clicked for Siri and other other gestures. Now you don't have to click to wake it up, which right there is 1000's of less clicks.

21. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

True. But speaking of tech, we enjoy not only what is real but We also enjoy illusions as well. We love watching 3D movie, we love 3D surround sound systems, even the visual we see on our display is not real is it? On a high-fi audio system what we feels is actually real thing captured in digital form and then to analogue. Same goes for video as well. We want close to reality pictures with our camera but still they are not real Nor as true and perfect compared to what we see with our eyes. . Simply speaking Technology try to bridges the gap with reality and illusion.

4. steodoreben

Posts: 379; Member since: Sep 26, 2013

I have iPhone 6S and I don't use this feature. It's their marketing like Retina Display in my opinion.

7. Barney_stinson

Posts: 672; Member since: May 30, 2016

Lol!! Screw analysts!!! NOTE 7 will put ip6ss on shame!!

13. Unordinary unregistered

We'll see when sales hit. Surely if it is better, it should sell more; since they are in the same price range. No excuses :)

47. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

What you say is so true. Because we know McDonald's has the best hamburgers and that's why they sell billions more than anyone else. Toyota must make the best cars because after all, the Camry was the top selling car for 10 years before it fell from grace. Since Hershey sells the most chocolate candy, it must surely be the best in the world. Guess what, no own in the world has ever said any of those things because it isn't true. Just like the stupid foolish statement you just made. I would say Mercedes makes the best car. Just because they have sold less cars in a year than Toyota, would that make my statement any less true? You're a complete moron! Chrysler sells more cars than Porsche, would you ever argue Chrysler makes a better car because they sell more? So why would you with Apple? Since HP sells more computers in a quarter than Apple sells in a whole year, surely HP makes better computers. Right?

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