It’s the end of an era for the iPhone.
No, I’m not talking about iPhone X’s “notch” or even the fact that Apple’s most anticipated iPhone ever comes in the most boring color selection in recent memory — I’m talking about the home button.
The button that, for 10 years, was one of the iPhone’s most iconic features. The feature that was instrumental in teaching us how to navigate the first real smartphone. The home button is about to go the way of the headphone jack and even though I’ve (grudgingly) learned to love AirPods, I am in no way ready to kiss my home button good-bye.
I get that any major change to the iPhone is likely to controversial, but this is about much more than unwillingness to embrace change. Removing the home button will only make the iPhone less intuitive and more difficult to navigate.
The iPhone X will require you to pretty much relearn how to use your iPhone — as everything from app-switching, to
TouchID FaceID, and the Control Center now require new gestures. It doesn’t stop there either: screenshots, reachability (the feature that makes larger iPhone displays easier to navigate), and — of course — exiting apps will all be drastically different now.
Seriously, think about just how many times a day you jam your thumb into that home button. Now, think about how quickly you’ll lose your patience when you, say, activate multi-tasking when you meant to look for the Control Center because the latter is now triggered form the top of the display.
“But wait,” you might be thinking, “the home button isn’t actually dead yet — it’s on the iPhone 8.” That may be true, but I wouldn’t read too much into Apple’s decision to keep the button for the iPhone 8.
As good as the iPhone 8 is — and I’m in the camp that it’s more than good enough for just about everyone — Apple has made it clear that the iPhone X is the future. It’s the home button-less iPhone X that’s the new standard bearer for Apple’s most important product.
So while the home button is sticking around for now, the iPhone X points toward a not-so-distant future where the home button is as novel as an original iPhone is now.
And I’m not ready for it.