Apple set to remove Home button from iPhone 5 and iPad 2

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

The introduction of multitouch gestures in the new iOS 4.3 will coincide with the removal of the only physical button present on the front of the iPad and the iPhone, sources close to the matter have told BGR.

The site adds that the iPad will be the first to lose the button and that the iPhone will be the next on the list; it is likely that the iPod Touch will follow suit.

Instead, multitouch gestures will be used to access the home screen and to launch the app switcher. It is likely that the multitouch gestures settings will be customisable as well.

Button-less devices are apparently already being tested on Apple's Campus in Cupertino and the changes may happen as early as this year.

The Home button can currently be configured to access and control a number of the iOS accessibility features, such as toggling VoiceOver on and off. It is unclear how the switch to multitouch gestures will impact upon those who rely on the Home button for quick and easy access to these accessibility settings.

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3 Comments

apple iphone to remove home button

I'll tell you how it will effect us, we won't be able to use any of the devices very well. it's saying in a way no blind people allowed.

No drama

Woah there Brandon, deep breths! Whoever has been adding these new gestures at Apple would be working through a list of features that the home button performs. Given how long the tripple click function has been present in iOS, I can't see why that wouldn't be on the list of things to replicate.
That said, I'll be pretty surprised if they actually do this. Seen too many new users cling to the comfort that the button provides.

I'm slightly worried about this

What's wrong with keeping the home button anyway? I have a hard enough time doing certain gestures, such as the one that switches between pages of apps, so in order to quickly get to the app switcher, or toggle voiceover on and off on the Iphone, exactly what's wrong with keeping the home button as is? Is apple that afraid of buttons that they would remove the only quick and easy way for those of us who use accessibility features to get to them?
What exactly does multi-touch gestures mean anyway? I personally like the devices the way they are, home button and all, there are still times when having at least one button on a touch screen device is useful, especially when you are blind and accidentally kill speech just by holding the phone in a way that makes it think you are doing the gesture to turn off speech. I can never remember what that gesture is, but it has been real nice to just be able to turn on speech quickly with the volume buttons when that happens. I'd hate to lose that feature. Also being able to toggle voiceover on and off using the home button is nice, and I like the ability to quickly do this, rather than having to try and remember a combination of gestures to do it. So I hope apple isn't going to leave us blind users out in the cold here, there are tasks we want to be able to do quickly, and I hope we wil still be able to do them quickly. The home button has allowed for this, and I don't understand why they feel they have to remove it!