Apple iPhone 8 to feature a software "dock" in place of home button

Apple is expected to unveil three new iPhones on September 12th, two successors to the current iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, as well as a brand new, high-end iPhone model (that we'll refer to as the iPhone 8). That high-end iPhone 8 is the one that will go all out in terms of innovation: it will feature an OLED, nearly bezel-less display and do away with the home screen in favor of a new, 3D face recognition system.

A new report by Bloomberg, now reveals that the new iPhone 8 will also change the way users work with their phones. Currently, you press once on the home screen of an iPhone to go back to the app grid, press twice to get a stacked list of cards for multitasking, and long press to call up Apple's Siri voice assistant. With the removal of the home button, Apple is testing ways to remove these actions and replace them with gestures. This latest report is based on actual images of the new iPhone seen by the journalists, so there is a high probability that what it describes will indeed come to the new iPhone.

Apple iPhone 8 changes in a nutshell:

  • OLED instead of LCD display
  • Immersive, "bezel-less" display
  • Software "dock" in place of home button
  • New gestures for multitasking and other home button shortcuts
  • 3D face recognition built in the "notch"
  • iPhone 7-like size, iPhone 7 Plus-like display
  • Vertical dual camera system
  • Larger lock key on the side

Most interestingly, Apple also plans to introduce a dock-like interface to its iPhone 8. The feature has been a staple for Macs for years, and will arrive to the iPad family with iOS 11. The new software bar will stay at the bottom of the phone when it's locked and you'd be able to drag it up to unlock the phone. When you are in an app, an upward swipe will bring up multitasking. And the multitasking interface on the new iPhone 8 is redesigned from stacked cards to standalone cards that you can swipe on. The new software dock itself will feature commonly used applications.

We also learn that the new iPhone 8 will have a size similar to that of the current iPhone 7, but its display will be slightly larger than the 5.5-inch one on the iPhone 7 Plus. The screen will now also have rounded corners, but it will not be curved like on Samsung's Galaxy S8 and Note 8 series. The physical lock button on the side will also be larger than before on the iPhone 8, a move that will help for more comfortable one-handed use of the phone.

Apple is also planning to use a glass back with a metal frame for this new high-end handset, with tiny antenna bands on the metal frame for improved reception.

source: Bloomberg

Related phones

iPhone X
  • Display 5.8" 1125 x 2436 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 7 MP front
  • Processor Apple A11 Bionic, Hexa-core, 2390 MHz
  • Storage 256 GB
  • Battery 2716 mAh(21h 3G talk time)



1. Scott93274

Posts: 6033; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Hmm... this dock might be a bad idea if you ask me. From the sound of it, it will always be on the display, when it's locked, when you're on your home screen, and ... maybe when you have apps open? Not that there's a design issue with that, but as an Android user, I can attest to the image burn on an OLED display for the on screen Home, Back, and Recent Apps buttons found at the bottom of the device. With Apple's iPhone 8 sporting an OLED display, having static images always displayed could cause long term issues.

3. epic_ninja420

Posts: 131; Member since: Nov 18, 2014

I'm sure Apple had thought of this and will make sure thats not an issue. Probably be handled the same way Samsung handles the OSHB on the S8/S8+.

8. Scott93274

Posts: 6033; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Meh.... I'm still apprehensive about Samsung's solution as well, having the buttons shift a pixel to the side every so often to resolve the image burn seems like a half measure, like it would only slightly prolong the inevitable, but I guess I'll just have to wait and see. As much as I don't like Samsung, I will give it to them they know display technology like no one else. Still, I think it would be better if they just hid the navigation buttons altogether and created a swipe gesture from the bottom of the display to get them to appear just as you would for the notification screen. It would free up more screen for the user to work with and fix the image burn issue all at once. I'm curious how Apple will handle this issue.

12. irossdrummer

Posts: 369; Member since: Jan 17, 2015

I have an s8 and there was a new system update not awhile ago where you can choose to lock or hide the navigation bar so

17. Scott93274

Posts: 6033; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

That's awesome. I'm waiting for Nova Launcher to implement something like this. I guess they had up until just recently, but they changed it... not sure why.

14. Nopers unregistered

If the dock behaves anything like on the iPad it disappears when you open an app, swipe up brings up the dock and another swipe up actuates the app switcher and control centre.

15. Scott93274

Posts: 6033; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Well then if that's the case then it would work, I was just going off of what I read, though my understanding of the dock could be incorrect so....

2. tedkord

Posts: 17356; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Didn't we already hear this? Maybe I'm thinking of something else.

4. darkkjedii

Posts: 31029; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

5.8, will be more like 5.1.

32. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

Technically, you can say that about all phones. What I mean is that all phones have a status bar that takes up the top part of your screen with the exception of watching movies etc. Apple just decided to take up part of that area with the notch. Your not really giving up usable space. You will lose that space for watching movies, but it would have been blacked out anyway if you want to watch the movie in 16:9. Lastly, if you think the touch bar will always be there, you might watch to watch some iPad videos running iOS 11.

5. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

Apple is raising the bar, the others will try to follow....

6. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3106; Member since: Sep 01, 2014


9. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Yeah Android users never had a dock before, good thing Apple came up with it /s

33. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

It did in iPhone OS lol! #2007

38. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

And Acorn did it in Arthur OS in 1987. So no Apple didn't invent the dock.

11. gigicoaste

Posts: 456; Member since: Feb 21, 2016

Yes yes.. because dock was not in Android since 26 October 2010!! LOL Sometimes is hard to understand if some users are sarcastic or they are that dumb to believe the nonsense are bumbling! Since I really cannot believe that a guy can be that dumb in extreme way.. I try to get it as sarcasm. There's no other way! :))

19. cmdacos

Posts: 4196; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

It's cnour... He's not familiar with tech at all.

18. tedkord

Posts: 17356; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

But they won't be able to follow, since Apple is just a speck in their rear view mirrors.

24. apple-rulz

Posts: 2112; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

What, who? Apples just a speck in their rear view mirrors, who is this "their" you refer to? Certainly not Samsung, who's compelled to mention Apple at every Samsung unpacked event. Who then, please clue me in.

21. PhoneInQuestion

Posts: 496; Member since: Aug 20, 2017

Software docks have been there since days of the green-screen Palm PDA. Try harder.

7. j_grouchy

Posts: 177; Member since: Nov 08, 2016

I'm confused...doesn't it already have a dock at the bottom? What makes this different and how does it "replace" the home button?

10. Scott93274

Posts: 6033; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

I think that the difference will be that it will be fixed at the bottom, that it'll always be visible regardless of if the phone is locked or there's an app open. I may be wrong, but that's what I took away from this article.

34. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

You're wrong. It is not always visible. It disappears with apps. You have to swipe up to access it like control center. Take a look at iOS 11 on iPad.

13. Papa_Ji

Posts: 848; Member since: Jun 27, 2016

marketing gimmick.... nothing more then old AMOLED panel on iPhone 6.

16. IgorEfremenko

Posts: 108; Member since: Nov 30, 2011

I suppose, if this is true, then we will have something similar to webOS gestures. And this is definitely not a bad thing.

20. CreeDiddy

Posts: 2186; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

Simply going to be slick!!! I see Android manufacturer's following suit.

22. lallolu

Posts: 732; Member since: Sep 18, 2012

If the dock is the only thing that will be shown on that part of the display, then I don't think it is a problem if there is image retention of the dock.

23. CreeDiddy

Posts: 2186; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

There shouldn't be issues. Its using OLED technology plus its a swipe up and down as it won't be static.

25. TerryD

Posts: 546; Member since: May 09, 2017

eh? 'do away with the home screen in favor of a new, 3D face recognition system' Does it mean Home button?

26. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

The logic of Android losers is very strange. I don't know why they have the same high stupidity level. Maybe since Apple is raising the bar a lot for them. Each time Apple does something, their answer is: Oh this exists from more than 10 years ago. Sorry, but why none talk about these features before Apple does it? Answer: Because Apple does it in a PERFECT way. Examples: Touchscreen, Siri, TouchID, Forcetouch, Apple Pay etc.....

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.