Report: Future iPads Will Have No Physical Home Button

Yesterday’s dev release of iOS 4.3 revealed a myriad of new features to Apple’s already robust mobile operating system, but what’s prompting the most comment this morning is the new multitouch gesture introduced that allows you to pinch with your whole hand to return to the homescreen.

Now BGR is claiming that this new gesture is the first step to removing the physical home button from a future iPad. Nonsense, says I.

Boy Genius Report writes:

[We] are told that Apple, at some point in time, will remove the home button from the iPad’s design. Instead of button taps, you will use new multitouch gestures to navigate to the home screen and also to launch the app switcher.

No one’s arguing that Apple has a hatred of buttons, but this speculation is absurd. Why would Apple, a company which values simplicity and intuitiveness, replace a physical button with an utterly perfect purpose — to ground the user — with a convolute, easy-to-forget multitouch gesture that is utterly inaccessible to the handicapped.

No way. Apple may hate superfluous buttons, but that doesn’t mean they hate all of them.

  • amerist

    I say it makes sense.  Physical buttons get dust and lint between the contacts and can eventually stop working.  I had two original iPhones that had home buttons or lock buttons that failed due to pocket lint from transporting them in my pants pocket all the time.  After my third one was out of warranty, I took it apart and found the culprit and cleaned it out. Now it’s good as new.  Say what you want about gestures but they avoid physical button failure.

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John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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