The new Home button on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus is arguably nothing short of a technological wonder, but come wintertime, every owner out there might start singing a different tune.
Apparently, the new Taptic Engine-powered buttons aren't capable of detecting interactions when non-capacitive material is between them and the users' fingers. In other words, they need skin contact to work.
That spells trouble for anyone who needs to wear gloves during winter, as they won't be able to activate the Home button unless they remove their mittens and put them on back again whenever they need to use it, which might be hard to swallow even for some Apple loyalists.
The iPhone 7's Home Button Needs Skin Contact
The discovery of this issue comes from none other than professional podcaster Myke Hurley via Twitter.
I think I worked it out, the TouchID sensor is what's making the connection.
No sensor connection, no click.
— Myke Hurley (@imyke) September 16, 2016
Technology-focused blog Daring Fireball also chimed in, giving its take on the matter at hand and helping spread the word.
"Never occurred to me to try this. It's the capacitive ring around the Touch ID sensor that needs contact with skin — that's what turns on the sensor. This means no home button clicking while wearing gloves — yet another reason cast a stink eye in the direction of this new home button," the website says.
The Taptic Engine And The Home Button It Powers
For the uninitiated, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus have Taptic Engines under the hood. With that on board, their Home buttons can simulate the same motion as pressing the ones on previous iPhones without actually moving.
It's also worth mentioning that Apple's Touch ID already had problems with detecting fingers when users who were wearing gloves or whatnot were trying to activate it, and since the new Home buttons use the particular technology's sensor, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that this issue turned up.
The iOS 10 Lock Screen Becomes A Problem
The thing is, the new iOS 10 lock screen doesn't let users enter their passcodes until they press the Home button. To put two and two together, they need to find a way to trigger the Touch ID sensor when they want to unlock their smartphones.
Capacitive Gloves Is A Possible Solution
In light of the issue, some iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus owners have reported that they have tried out touch-screen-friendly gloves and got the Home button to work. However, that's not the case for everyone.
Put simply, this workaround isn't a solid fix.
The iPhone 8 Probably Might Not Have The Problem
The talk in town is that the iPhone 8 won't have a Home button, effectively throwing this problem out of the window. Of course, that's great news, but that doesn't exactly fix the current conundrum.
Long story short, Apple might have to cook up a solution quickly, as winter is almost near. Perhaps something along the lines of iMittens would work.
Have you had any issue with the Home button of your iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus? If so, feel free to drop by our comments section below and let us know.