What if your iPhone 7's capacitive Home button fails? Use a virtual Home button!

What if your iPhone 7's capacitive Home button fails? Use a virtual Home button!
Imagine the surprise when the iPhone 7 you're charging suddenly turns itself off and comes back to life with a message saying your Home button is bust and you're now downgraded to an on-screen virtual one until you take the entire thing to the service.

That's what happened to a MacRumors forum member, and it may be bound to happen to anyone at some point. After all, no piece of technology is 100% break-proof, and although the haptic engine-based Home button is sturdier than the mechanical one of past iPhones due to the absence of moving parts, it's not guaranteed to work forever.

At least the iPhone is smart enough to let you know that there's a problem and offer an alternative until you bring it in for service. Now that you know about this, you won't be startled by the eventual appearance of this message and you'll know what you have to do.

Hopefully, the iPhone 7's capacitive Home button isn't prone to failure by nature and there won't be a mass epidemy of iPhone 7 units with on-screen virtual keys – which is a workable, but certainly not as elegant solution.

What if your iPhone 7's capacitive Home button fails? Use a virtual Home button!

source: MacRumors

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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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52 Comments

1. Ezio2710

Posts: 548; Member since: Aug 22, 2015

Noe a days Apple follows Android foot steps

48. AlikMalix unregistered

It's an article about a self diagnosing feature on a new iPhone, with a real world scenario as proof. Give it a rest - it's not an explosive issue (pun intended).

2. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4766; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

Oh boy! More problems! The number 7 is definitely not a good number.

6. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3938; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

And it's suppose to be lucky smh, Apple and Samsung just became mythbusters lol.

9. Nopers unregistered

Where in the article did it say people's home buttons were breaking or not working? This is just reporting on a feature that allows you to use your phone IF the home button fails.

13. lyndon420

Posts: 6452; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Second paragraph...first sentence. :)

19. bucky

Posts: 3771; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

No, that said HIS home button broke. I still don't see anywhere in the article saying peoples home buttons are breaking.

21. lyndon420

Posts: 6452; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

They may as well have said "people" because it's just a matter of time. This phone has only been available for a short time and these things don't happen just once. Capacitive buttons are just another component waiting to fail, so using on-screen buttons eliminates that problem.

24. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4766; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

Was about to say that. It's been what? Just a few weeks? And it has started malfunctioning.

35. miket1737

Posts: 3092; Member since: Mar 17, 2013

About a month since launch but this has been the only report so far that I have seen on Macrumors forums/iPhone subreddit

31. sgtdisturbed47

Posts: 960; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

It being a capacitive button doesn't make it more or less reliable than a physical button. If anything, the physical buttons used for home buttons are more likely to fail. This isn't the next exploding Note 7 issue, so there's certainly no reason to overreact.

33. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Quote: "This isn't the next exploding Note7 issue, so there's certainly no reason to overreact" What does that sentence have to with anything in this topic? Typical deflecting.

34. lyndon420

Posts: 6452; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

No one is overreacting. You still can't deny that on-screen buttons are way more reliable than any physical or capacitive button. However...I do like the idea of a physical slide switch that completely disconnects the battery from the rest of the phone in cases of when the battery cannot be removed - which in my opinion should become a standard.

40. epdm2be

Posts: 815; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

"...I do like the idea of a physical slide switch that completely disconnects the battery from the rest of the phone...." Yeah, and call it... wait... Power button :-)

43. lyndon420

Posts: 6452; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

I prefer Power Slide :)

22. swephone

Posts: 26; Member since: Sep 30, 2016

@nopers totally agree but remember trolls love to troll or he is just to stupid to read

26. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4766; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

Yes I'm stupid...you have a cure?

25. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4766; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

IF you'd have understood what I have written, you would know that there's another catch to it. Even so, what has to be said is commented by Lyndon...i don't need to explain.

3. drkarim

Posts: 18; Member since: Mar 29, 2014

hahaha apple doesnot trust its capacitive buttons what a shame

4. aznhachi

Posts: 212; Member since: Apr 12, 2016

dude xD

8. Nopers unregistered

Ever heard of fool proofing? This is what it is.

32. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

@Nopers Yes, the on-screen navigation keys of the iPhone 7 is for fool-proofing. But, the first sentence of the second paragraph in this article clearly stated that the capacitive button of the iPhone 7 has apparently failed on a user at MacRumours. If indeed true, then the iPhone 7's capacitive button might have already begun failing this early, which isn't good.

44. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Yup, you are right it is for fool proofing, but it does beg the question, did a normal button before these new buttons, did this functionality already exist, if not, why?

49. AlikMalix unregistered

Yes this was a feature on iOS 5 and on I think. The only difference is this is a new self-diagnosing process that brings the old feature up from for user in case they didn't know about it.

53. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Nifty, that said I've never really heard of a physical home button on any phone 'breaking' heck in many drop tests, physical buttons seem to be the last to go, for their home click, sensors in them (fingerprint) I've seen go before due to surface of button being ruined but other then that...

27. emmawilliam834

Posts: 241; Member since: Feb 09, 2016

Apple thought to keep the old button as well , because they knew the new home button is just an apple gimmick to sell the new phone . So now that 100 have been sold they will just take away the new apple gimmick Here http://techpathy.com/5-reasons-not-to-buy-the-iphone-7/ folks can read 5 REASONS NOT TO BUY THE IPHONE 7

42. swephone

Posts: 26; Member since: Sep 30, 2016

its called fool proofing and its not a capacitive button, its a force touch enabled touch id button. capacitive reacts on touch,but force touch on pressure. the benefit of that is so you don't accidental invoke the home button while holding the phone, pretty smart if you think about it.

5. HomerS

Posts: 419; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

Seems Apple already knew about this. The capacitive Home buttons will likely fail around the time 24 months have past, so that you are forced to by a new iphone.

18. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

Of course. Buttons on my 4S, 5 and now SE never had any problems. iPad Air as well, so what, am I lucky that they all work perfectly after so many years?

20. bucky

Posts: 3771; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

Me too I guess. Never had a home button fail.

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