The iPhone 7’s Home button won't work without skin contact

Sunday, January 29, 2017

IPhone 7 Home button

 

The new Home button requires physical contact with the user’s skin (or a capacitive surface) in order to function. The redesigned button isn’t an actual moving button anymore. Instead, the Tap-tic Engine provides hap-tic feedback to simulate the feeling of pressing a button even though the button doesn’t actually move.

The problem is that the new button requires physical contact with your skin or with another capacitive surface in order to function, which is likely to prove problematic come winter. You won’t be able to use the button with gloves on (which has been true of Touch ID in iPhones past). But on the iPhone 7, it’s the Touch ID sensor that’s recognizing when you press the Home button. So if the Touch ID sensor isn’t triggered, the Home button won’t work at all — not even to wake the phone and enable you to enter your passcode.

Additionally, the new iOS 10 lockscreen doesn’t enable users to simply swipe over to access the passcode entry screen. Instead, you have to press the Home button. So, since you can’t press the Home button with gloves on, Miller notes that “you essentially have no way to get into your phone without taking removing the gloves or using Assistive Touch. And even if you were able to get in, you wouldn’t be able to use the Home button anyway.” Some users have reported that using gloves optimized for touchscreens will activate the Home button, while others have said that such gloves don’t work.

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