iPhone 7 Capacitive Touch Home Button Requires Direct Skin Contact to Operate [u]

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With the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, Apple updated the home bottom from a mechanical push-button to a capacitive solid-state sensor. This means, in order for the button to operate, it requires direct contact with skin or a capacitive surface, like a capacitive glove.

First noted by Myke Hurley on Twitter, the new home button is inoperable unless it makes contact with a conductive object. It seems that Apple has not implemented any form of pressure-sensing hardware as a part of the home button, and is instead relying solely on capacitive sensors.

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This could cause problems for device owners once winter rolls around. With a mechanical home button, users wearing gloves can still use the home button with ease, however this is not the case with the iPhone 7.

In order to use the new solid-state home button, users of Apple’s latest smartphone will be forced to either buy capacitive gloves or remove their gloves.

Update: A new video posted by iMore shows the iPhone 7’s capacitive home button working with some gloves:

[via Daring Fireball]

A software engineer with a passion for creation and innovation using technology. To learn more about me, check out my personal website, which contains links to my projects. Email: nick@iphoneincanada.ca

  • Or press the physical sleep/wake button? Or raise to wake? I can’t think of any situation where you’d need to hit the home button without also using the screen, other than quickly checking notifications. So those other two options should be enough.

  • Brandon Marcotte

    Actually that’s a serious inconvenience. And requires teaching your brain to “relearn” the device you’ve been using for many years…

    The reason, is with all my iPhones and I’ve been using since the 16gb first gen came out in America.
    I have pulled my phone from my pocket, and pressed the home button to see the time, date, notifications. And I do it constantly… I have never once used the “sleep/wake” button on the top or side of the phone, unless I was genuinely powering on or off the device… On the plus model iPhones, this is going to result in a lot of drops. A lot of broken screens, because they grabbed their phone and drew from pocket with an unfamiliar grip.

    There’s no arguement, it is definately an inconvenience. (Luckily personally I don’t wear gloves. Unless I’m on my motorcycle. So this isn’t really relevant, but I can see how it would be a problem FOR SURE.)

  • Nick

    That’s a bit dramatic. Things don’t stay the same way forever. Wearing gloves while using your phone is terrible in basically any instance. If you really need to use your phone, take a glove off.

  • Brandon Marcotte

    people will adapt for sure, but there is no arguement it is an inconvenience. There are plenty of girls who wear thin gloves all the time, that have full dexterity, but can’t use their home button lol, chances are, they used to pull the phone out of their pocket or purse and hold the home button to ask Siri to call or text their friend… They can no longer do it in that fashion. It’s an inconvenience, no matter how dramatic…

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m getting the iPhone 7, and I do not wear gloves when I use my phone as said before, so whatever, if it helps my phone survive 30feet of water for 5 minutes as seen on YouTube I’ll take a capacitive home button.

  • Andy

    Siri can be operated without even touching the phone. You still need to unlock the phone with your finger print (if using Touch ID) so you will need to take off the gloves anyways.

  • I can’t believe this is a surprise to anybody. How did you think it was gonna work? 😛

  • SOB

    I played with the iPhone 7 at the Apple store. I had a bit of a tough time getting used to the home button. Will require a rethink on how to use the home button going forward.