Here is one likely reason why Apple removed the physical Home button in the iPhone 7

Here is one likely reason why Apple removed the physical Home button in the iPhone 7

Apple has removed one of the hallmark features of the iPhone in the latest iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, and no, we're not even talking about the audio jack. The physical home key, one of the most recognizable elements of an iPhone, is no longer there, at least not in the form it used to be.

What you'll find on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus instead is a solid, capacitive button that does not actually physically travel: instead, Apple uses its novel vibration motor that it calls the 'Taptic Engine' to create a click-like sensation every time you press this new button. However, rather than fully mimic the click of the physical button, this new feedback creates a feeling as if the whole bottom part of the phone is vibrating and many users are complaining that it just does not feel as good as before. You can also now adjust the strength of this feedback (with a choice of 1 to 3 for the intensity of the vibration), but neither option is able to fully simulate the clicking of an actual physical key.

So why did Apple do it?

It turns out that millions of people never use the physical keys on their iPhones for a crazy reason: a wide-spread belief that the button breaks. In fact, in most of Asia and other nations like Brazil, people use their iPhones with the help of a floating button on the screen that is used as a complete replacement for the home button. The feature called AssistiveTouch is hidden deep in the menus and is designed for users with a disability who have a difficulty to actually press a physical button. Contrary to its original design, though, it's used for a whole different reason: to prevent the wear and tear of the physical key. This way when someone decides to sell their iPhone, they can do so at the best price.

Of course, nothing could be further away from the truth than the claim that iPhone's home button breaks easily: in fact, it's been tested to withstand long years of use and abuse. So where does this come from? The origins are rooted in an early batch of iPhones way before Touch ID even existed that did have such a problem. That problem, long ago fixed, has stood like the ghost of the past over the use of the modern Touch ID button and the lie about its breakability repeated a thousand times has convinced millions of users to never use the physical key on their phones.

Interestingly enough, it's also said that in many countries sales reps are even setting up new iPhones and enabling the function for users, which goes to show how widespread this is.

Here is one likely reason why Apple removed the physical Home button in the iPhone 7

At the end of the day, it seems that a simple misconception that has changed the way millions use their iPhones has been at least one of the reasons why Apple switched to this new capacitive buton. For those used to the reassuring click and travel of the physical key, this will be a downgrade rather than an upgrade, but for millions of others, it might mean they get to finally use their iPhone in a proper and more enjoyable way.

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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79 Comments

1. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Why did Apple remove it? For profits, from licensing the use of the iPhone7 proprietary port to 3rd party accessory manufacturers. Simple.

3. kiko007

Posts: 7383; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Accessories....... for the button.........really???!

10. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

No. Accessories for 3.5mm Jack removal. Though it's off-topic here...

24. sgodsell

Posts: 6640; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

I think the real reason is to make the phone water resistant. Having a big button like Apple had in the past would let lots of water underneath that button.

31. drunkenjay

Posts: 1615; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

doesnt make sense when samsung can do it. you just seal it off with some glue.

71. Ultimodrew

Posts: 59; Member since: Aug 14, 2015

Could easily be that Samsung has some sort of patient with their waterproofing methods. Instead of paying a license feel to use the same method, or dealing with another lawsuit, they just went a different direction with it. I think for me coming from a android, it will feel a lot like how my HTC 10 home button works, but probably will need to turn down the vibration on the button.

85. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

IP6x certification does not require licensing. This is just Apple being lazy. Waterproofing electronics is expensive to do and time consuming. This is just Apple being lazy. The fact electronics have benefit waterproofed for years with buttons, just shows you';re trying to dig for BS excuses. Waterproofing holes is as simple has providing a bushing or seal that stands up to a certain amount of pressure. If the pressure exceeds what the bushing can hold, the proofing will fail. If you remove any openings altogether it saves cost. But in Apple's case it just maximizes profits because it mean spending less money. Instead YOU have to go out an spend money for stupid adapter or learn to use your phone in a different manner.

118. 87thobee

Posts: 10; Member since: Aug 02, 2014

Not the actual IP certification, the method used to get it water proof.

113. vincelongman

Posts: 5579; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

It still has volume buttons, which are the same in terms of waterproofing methods I reckon the real main reason is physical space I bet the new setup takes up less space And also reliability, home buttons often break

81. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Not glue. Rubber.

80. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

So explain how other OEM's have water resistance with buttons? Hmmm!

5. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Cut cost, save cash = home button.

20. AmashAziz

Posts: 2868; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

I swear I have seen you trolling apple on nearly every article. Why are you so retarded, tell me? This is a universal question from you. We have had arguments in some articles weeks ago, and you acted the same way as now. I managed to stay patient during this time just to see a positive change in your behaviour, but no......you won't bend! You are stuck as a troller in your close minded shell, and there seems to be no cure for such disease. Call me whatever you want, but you cannot eradicate the fact that its people as retarded as you who create a mess everywhere and make our lives difficult. Just stay shut for the good!!

26. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

AmashAziz, I'm a critic. So I point out anything illogical from any OEM, not just Apple. I do not criticize by spewing false claims. You might need Wikipedia to inform you on what "trolling" is.

35. AmashAziz

Posts: 2868; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

Sorry trojan horse, telling every hater of yours to look for 'trolling' on wikipedia won't work everytime. We all know who you are and what your motive is. And also what trolling actually means. Want to know the gist? It's what you are doing here. And our lives can become less of a fuss if you erase yourself from this site, or just be silent. One more thing, you are not a critic. Even being that requires a lot of thought and proof for the criticism. You are just an idiotic troll, pointing out things unrelated to the article and without any evidence. That's what everyone says about you, not just me I promise!

48. sissy246

Posts: 6884; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

It's a tech site, anyone can post in any article. Apple fans post in Samsung articles all so. If you don't want to read what someone has to say skip over them.

59. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Thanks, sissy. How are you doing, darling? :D

52. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

AmashAziz I'm not going to sit here and try to convince you, alright? Conclude whatever you want, bruh. Have a nice day.

93. PhoneFix

Posts: 81; Member since: Aug 30, 2016

I don't think so.. It just pressing button is not in.. Dunno why samsung still doing it.. And I don't know why apple still made circle.. They should blend it with screen flush glass.. Loke on android phones and leave touch..

112. Valdomero

Posts: 582; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

They should remove the button at all, put the screen go up to the bottom of the front and make the AssistiveTouch thing permanently fixed. and add a fingerprint scanner behind the apple logo in the back, that's innovation

100. 47AlphaTango

Posts: 709; Member since: Sep 27, 2015

If android also has an assistive touch. Would you still be using the home icon on android?

115. Bernoulli

Posts: 4358; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

yes. profits, exactly the reason why sammy didn't fork over more cash to do proper testing on the note and is now paying for it.

119. Zylam

Posts: 1765; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

LOLOLOL the article wasn't even about the 3.5 mm jack, it was about the home button. Try reading the article first before commenting.

2. bobby84

Posts: 595; Member since: May 13, 2016

Cause they couldn't design a button that works is why.

6. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Weird, WTF have I been pressing on iPhones for the last 7 or so years then?

21. bobby84

Posts: 595; Member since: May 13, 2016

I know people with iPhones that have broke home buttons. They use some white circle that floats on their screen as an alternative.

27. Finalflash

Posts: 4061; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

If you've been using an iPhone for the last 7 years and it kept working after the first 2, it probably isn't an iPhone. Power button, home button, iOS lag, etc, everything should have failed by now.

50. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Well it hasn't, maybe, just maybe - all these MASSIVE problems with iPhones aren't actually that big in reality, like bending for example.

78. Unordinary unregistered

Ill take 2 years with a broken home button over 2 minutes with an explosion breaking my entire phone, and causing 3rd degree burns.

105. Ultimodrew

Posts: 59; Member since: Aug 14, 2015

Ok so you would take a iphone with a broken button over a Note 7, what about all the other phones available (not including anything from Samsung)? Or were you just trying to harp on the Anti-Android train, because of a huge mistake by only one of the OEM's that make Android devices? We all get it, Note 7 BAD...

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