The new home button on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus has divided opinion. Apple has replaced the traditional, clicky button with one that doesn’t actually move. Instead, a haptic engine, which Apple calls the Taptic Engine, responds to touches with subtle vibrations, giving the experience of movement.
“The Home Button May Need Service. In the meantime, you can use the onscreen Home button below,” the message said.
This doesn’t change the fact that the original home button no longer works and the phone needs to be replaced. But at least you’re offered a temporary alternative.
On the other hand, since it has no moving parts, the new home button is supposed to be sturdier and less prone to failure than the old one. Obviously it’s not 100% fool-proof.
Rumors have it that next year’s iPhone will be a radical departure from the current design and that it will have no physical buttons at all. This home button feature is another (tiny) indication that Apple might be looking in that direction.
Bonus: Yes, the iPhone 7 can survive being dropped in water