Apple made a lot of changes and improvements to the iPhone 7, with perhaps the most discussed variation being the removal of the headphone jack.
One other major change that Apple implemented with the iPhone 7 is the new home button. Previously a physical button that users can press, the home button in the company's latest flagship smartphone has been changed into a non-physical, solid state pressure sensitive button that sits on the surface of the device.
In a post made on the MacRumors forum, user iwayne revealed that the new iPhone 7 home button comes with a quick workaround, as implemented by Apple, in case it stops working. In an image of the iPhone 7 lock screen that he uploaded, a message stating that the home button may require service is shown, which apparently pops up if the smartphone's system detects something wrong.
The quick workaround is that, if such a problem is detected, an onscreen home button is automatically shown on the smartphone's screen, allowing iPhone 7 owners to keep using their smartphone until they get the home button repaired.
The onscreen home button itself is not a new feature for the iPhone, as it can be activated through the Accessibility options of the iOS. Tapping on it reveals a variety of functions to users, and it can be dragged to any point of the screen.
Apple made the decision to replace the physical home button with a non-physical one because without any mechanical parts, the new home button for the iPhone 7 has less chances of failing compared with the home buttons of previous iPhones. In addition, with no physical home button, the iPhone 7 was able to achieve an IP67 waterproof rating.
The instant activation of the onscreen home button in case of failure presents another advantage that the new home button has over the old one, as users are provided that extra confidence in making the most out of their iPhone 7.
One disadvantage that a non-physical home button has, however, is that the user needs to create skin contact with his or her fingers to activate it. This would become a problem in instances when the user is wearing gloves, which is a necessity during the cold months of winter.
The replacement of the physical home button for the iPhone 7 is rumored to be a sign of an even bigger change coming to Apple's flagship product, and that is the removal of the home button altogether.