It’s pretty well-known at this point that the upcoming iPhone 8 won’t have a physical Home button. But now, a new report suggests that it might lack a virtual Home button, too.
In place of a software-based Home button, Apple is reportedly opting for touch-based gestures to operate important tasks, according to sources familiar with the matter cited by Bloomberg. The publication also reportedly viewed images of the upcoming OLED iPhone. In lieu of any kind of circular button — virtual or otherwise — is a “thin, software bar,” Bloomberg reported.
What those gesture controls look like in a practical sense varies depending on the task at hand.
To open the phone, for example, a user will drag that software bar up to the middle of the screen.
When within an app, a similar gesture will start iOS’s multitasking pane — which has been redesigned to appear as a series of “standalone cards,” rather than a stack of cards on current iPhones.
A simple flick upwards, rather than a Home button press, will close an app and return the user to the Home screen.
A newly redesigned Dock interface will also appear on the Home screen, which will be similar to the new dock on iOS 11 for iPad, according to images of the new device shown to Bloomberg.
In addition to the software changes, the edges of the iPhone 8’s OLED screen will sport rounded corners, as opposed to the squared corners of the current iPhone. The display itself, however, will be completely flat — although it will “curve” into a stainless steel band on the sides of the device. That steel band will also feature “small antenna cuts” for improved reception. Additionally, the side-mounted power button will be longer so it’s easier to press when holding the premium flagship with one hand.
The device will still have extremely thin bezels around its edges, even though the top and bottom bezels have been removed. Though, because of the way that OLED displays show the color black, the sensor notch and thin edges of the phone will reportedly blend in “perfectly” with black pixels. Presumably, that will be most noticeable on apps with predominantly black backgrounds, or when the device is turned off.
Other New iPhone 8 Features
Bloomberg also doubled-down on a few other well-known facts about the new flagship. Namely, the publication indicated that the iPhone 8 will use 3D facial recognition to unlock the device and make purchases — and the flagships’ infrared sensor will allow for facial recognition in the dark. The camera suite has also been “reconfigured” to enhance augmented reality experiences, and the device will feature inductive wireless charging.
The iPhone 8, along with several other devices, is largely expected to make its debut at Apple’s annual fall event next month. While no date has been set in stone, severalreports have suggested that the keynote will take place on Sept. 12. Presumably, the new devices will become available for preorder that Friday before shipping to consumers on Sept. 22.