Apple iPhone 7: Will we bid farewell to the home button?
Apple is yet to confirm the release date of the iPhone 7 which is expected to hit market shelves sometime in September this year. The company is known for their highly covert and secretive research and development. Despite all this, the rumors have been piling up since last year. There have been reports of Apple testing a touch-sensitive home button that will replace the existing push-button home button that has been staple on all iPhones till so far.
A touch-sensitive button can be a virtual button which can be on the screen of the device will make way for a bigger screen. This could mean that the next flagship device will flash a bigger screen that will have little or no bezels at all. The home button will also be flat and flush with the surface of the device, aiding to the aesthetics of the smart phone.
Another leak from last year claimed that Apple is working on the development of a new display that will have fingerprint sensor embedded below the screen. These new screens with the integrated fingerprint sensors will allow the company to eliminate the iconic home button for a major visual overhaul.
Apple was granted patent for using the Liquidmetal alloy in a pressure sensitive home button which depresses when pushed and then returns to its normal shape after the pressure is removed. The company has been annually renewing its exclusive rights to use the Liquidmetal alloy since 2010.
It can be assumed that the home button can be pressed down by a finger and upon release it will revert back to shape. Apple was planning to develop a touch and display driver integration (TDDI) chip that will allow the integrated fingerprint sensors on the screen below the home button. The home button will also utilize haptic feedback used in the Apple Watch and iPhone 6S series.
Stepping up a number in Apple iPhone signifies visual upgrades as compared to the Plus and S versions of iPhones which feature hardware and software upgrades. Apple has been following the trend of trimming down device thickness with every new release like a lot of other manufacturers. A picture was leaked by a factory worker showing a device with no headphones jack. This move is crucial for slimming down the overall thickness of a device by a good margin.
The picture also shows A Smart Connector on the back of the device. Currently the iPad is the only Apple device that has a Smart Connector and is used to connect a keyboard to it. But smart phone users don’t need a keyboard so why put a Smart Connector on the phone? That is yet to be revealed.
The removal of the headphone jack can be upsetting to some of Apple’s potential buyers but the addition of Smart Connector, a larger screen, virtual Liquidmetal home button with fingerprint scanner in a more compact frame cannot be overlooked. Besides all these features would need power, which only means one thing. A bigger battery. Thanks to the removal of the headphones jack and physical push button, making way for a longer lasting battery in the iPhone 7.