Apple might have just revealed the iPhone 8’s home button secret
Somewhere deep in Apple’s new spaceship campus, CEO Tim Cook and chief design officer Jony Ive are cursing out the world as fanatic developers continue unearthing clues about the unreleased iPhone 8 from a recent software leak.
The latest discovery: The iPhone 8 might have a resizable virtual home button that would replace the iPhone’s physical home button. At this rate, will there even be anything left for Apple to announce next month?
Once again, developer Steve Troughton-Smith has come up big by scouring through the Apple HomePod firmware that leaked earlier this month.
By parsing the leaked code, he’s discovered evidence of a home button on the iPhone 8 that resizes within a “periphery area,” possibly located towards the bottom of the display.
We know some facts re iPhone 8 home button area:
indicator can be hidden
no API to change color
tab bars extend under it
Steve T-S (@stroughtonsmith) August 10, 2017
“There is a system periphery area that expands/minimizes and shows/hides the home button indicator as needed,” he tweeted.
Furthermore, Smith says the new virtual home button will have a static color in order to be distinguishable and says it will be made to contrast with different apps.
The new home button will also reportedly disappear when you’re using certain apps (like, say, watching full-screen video on YouTube). It’s unclear, however, how the home button would be brought back on screen. Perhaps, with a tap or swipe up from the button of the screen?
Following the discovery, Apple blogger John Gruber posted a mockup of what he thinks the iPhone 8 with a resizable home button might look like running iOS 11:
Instead of content using the full edge-to-edge display, he believes there will be a dedicated section at the bottom used for the virtual home button at all times. Additionally, his mockup borrows form Max Rudberg’s concepts, which leaves two “devil horn” areas between the screen’s notch black.
It’s not a bad idea, but a pill-shaped home button just doesn’t seem like the type of design we’ve come to expect from Apple. Samsung used an oblong home button for years before killing it on this year’s Galaxy S8.
iOS developer Matt Bonney also made an interesting discovery on the iPhone 8’s usable screen area:
If this ends up being true, the larger iPhone 8 screen might not actually mean more pixels for content. Yikes!
While the great HomePod firmware dump continues to expose the iPhone 8’s secrets, Apple’s likely keeping some features close to its chest. As always, remember that everything’s a rumor until Apple makes it official.