The days of failing home buttons on your iPhone could soon be over.
Corroborating previous rumors, Bloomberg reports the iPhone 7 will sport a new pressure-sensitive home button.
The new button will not physically click, but will use haptic feedback technology — similar to the Force Touch and 3D Touch technology used in Apple’s new MacBook trackpads and the iPhone 6S — to simulate the feeling of a press.
There are several advantages to a capacitive home button. A touch-sensitive button that doesn’t actually depress when pressed is likely to have fewer mechanical parts, leading to a lower failure rate. This change could mean fewer people will fear mechanical breakdown, and thus won’t need to use iOS’s AssistiveTouch feature.
Another reason could be related to better weather sealing. It’s believed the new home button could prevent water and dust from seeping in.
As some reviewers discovered, the iPhone 6S is surprisingly resistant to water, despite the fact Apple doesn’t advertise it.
Couple this with the elimination of the headphone jack, and it’s very possible Apple will tout water-resistance on its new iPhones. Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge and new Galaxy Note 7 are all IP68-rated, which means they can be submerged in up to 5 feet of water for up to 30 minutes.
Bloomberg’s report also reiterates reports that the larger iPhone 7, the so-called iPhone 7 Plus, will feature a dual-lens iSight camera on the back.
One new nugget is how the two-camera system will work. According to the report, each camera sensor will “capture color differently” to “produce brighter photos with more detail.” The two images captured from each camera are them composited into one, allowing for sharper details even when zoomed in on a subject.
It certainly sounds very similar to the dual-camera system on Huawei’s P9, which uses one camera to capture a color image and another to capture a monochrome one, and then software composites them into a single sharper image.
That would be a bummer for those who really like the LG G5’s use of dual cameras — one camera for a regular field of view (FOV) and one for an ultra-wide FOV.
Apple is expected to announce its new iPhones sometime in early September. Apple might also use the event to announce the Apple Watch 2.
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