“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; There is nothing new under the sun. – Ecclesiastes 1:9
Apple will bring back the iPhone home button. I know this as I know that spring will follow winter; as I know death will follow life.
I make this prediction shortly after supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted next year’s iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max versions would change from clickable volume and power buttons to solid-state “buttons,” similar to the home “button” found on the iPhone 7 These “buttons,” called solid-state due to the fact that they have no moving parts, are actually non-clickable, but give the illusion of clicking with the use of Apple’s Taptic Engine. . On the iPhone 7, they looked like a home button and let you open the phone with your fingerprint. They’re meant to gently pull you away from something you still want: a pimple. The phone, if it unfolds as Kuo expects, will be completely, but not functionally, buttonless.
I predict that soon after replacing the power and volume buttons with solid-state “buttons,” Apple will completely remove their clickable appearance. Not having learned the lesson of this terrible work delivered by the Macbook Pro that I own, they are going to make these elements accessible only by touch screen. It will be horrible and everyone will hate it. Apple will try to make improvements. They will fail. And finally, as they did with the traditional function keys on the Macbook Pro, they will bring back buttons.
I understand that a return to buttons might be hard to imagine, as it goes against the four main goals that Apple tries to achieve with each new iPhone iteration:
- More difficult to use
- More boring
Yes, they will indeed have to give up at least some to allow the button to return. We may have to wait until the iPhone has less of a hold on the mobile phone market, in which case it will be humiliated enough to admit the mistake. We may even have to wait for Tim Cook to die, and of course, can he RIP then. But the button will come back to us.
Why will the button come back? Because it’s better. There’s only how far you can go in the opposite direction for the best before you have to turn back or perish. People like buttons because they tend to work. Just click on it. You don’t have to look to see where they are. You don’t have to hold your phone in front of your face. You don’t have to use gestures. You just click. If you want to have a topic that everyone can agree on at the Thanksgiving table, I suggest this one: “Apple should bring back the home button on the iPhone.”
Flip phones are back, and in fact, there are rumors that Apple will release one as early as 2024. They’re back because they were good. Last year, Apple announced its return to a magnetic charger because the non-magnetic charger was, obviously, bad. Ideally, Apple would also bring back the headphone jack, but that seems less likely to me. (Although, now that all the other phones have also mistakenly dropped their jack, it might be up to Apple to be the only phone that has it and lets you listen to music with ease. They can call uh… the bop portal.)
While some might dismiss this prediction as that of an old crone clinging to the past, I’m sure those with enough foresight will see it as that of an almost ageless beautiful goddess who can see many steps into the future. Water finds its own level. The button will return.