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Apple May Remove the Home Button On the Next IPad 329

An anonymous reader writes "Steve Jobs is notoriously frugal when it comes to buttons so the latest rumor emanating out of Cupertino might not come as a huge surprise. Apple is reportedly planning to do away with the home button on the next-gen iPad and iPhone and replace its functionality with multitouch gestures. And as luck would have it, the newly seeded iOS 4.3 includes support for new multitouch gestures, one of which is the ability to use a four or five finger pinch to go back to the homescreen" The attached video demonstrates the new gestures for switching applications and demonstrates how you could function without the home button.

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Apple May Remove the Home Button On the Next IPad

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  • Fun for people (Score:5, Insightful)

    by somersault ( 912633 ) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @09:55AM (#34860722) Homepage Journal

    Great feature for those with missing fingers!

    Okay okay so I'm just being awkward. But seriously, whenever I've used an iPad or iPhone, I've wished it had the Android "back" button. So much more convenient than hunting for application specific menus to get back to where you were.

  • Obvious play? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by emocomputerjock ( 1099941 ) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @10:01AM (#34860800)
    Is this because you can't patent a button but can patent multitouch gestures? Get enough people speaking your "language" and other manufacturers will have to pay to use your patented gestures.
  • What if you crash? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Drakkenmensch ( 1255800 ) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @10:02AM (#34860820)
    Not all apps are as stable as you'd like. You need something to press to exit to your home screen if your app decides it just wants to freeze...
  • by LordKronos ( 470910 ) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @10:02AM (#34860822)

    Replacing the home button with multitouch gestures? So using the device will now require you to use both hands? Great! That should be fun when the people driving around me need to not only divert their attention to controlling their iphone/ipod touch, but now must take BOTH hands off the wheel to operate it.

  • by carou ( 88501 ) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @10:10AM (#34860942) Homepage Journal

    I do not think that Apple will remove a signature button from their iOS device lineup.

    I never thought they'd ditch the iconic "scroll wheel" which had been a signature design feature since the very first iPod...


  • Re:Fun for people (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @10:22AM (#34861124) Homepage

    What about people who never heard of "five finger pinch"? Are they supposed to read a manual before they can use it?

    Seriously, I can't see this 'rumor' being true. Most likely it's just some viral marketing crap to get horrified Apple fans posting the word "iPad" all over the Internet the week before it launches.

  • Re:Being serious, (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TOGSolid ( 1412915 ) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @11:00AM (#34861696)

  • Re:Being serious, (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Moryath ( 553296 ) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @11:09AM (#34861822)

    Accessibility is being sacrificed to Steve Jobs' irrational (bordering on personality disorder) dislike of buttons.

    It's almost to the level of a phobia.

    The iPhone would be FAR better with a slide keyboard. "Touchscreens" are shit-poor interfaces for trying to type on a mini-chiclet keyboard space unless you are using a stylus; sure the iPhone pops up a "larger" image of the button you are "pressing", but I can't read it past my thumbnail anyways, so it does little good.

    I've lost count of the number of times I misdialed a number simply because I was on the "edge" of the damn touchscreen dialing interface and bumped the 4 instead of 5 or 5 instead of 6. With a real touch interface, I'd have tactile feedback and I'd know which damn button I was on.

  • Re:Being serious, (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Captain Splendid ( 673276 ) * <capsplendid AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday January 13, 2011 @11:21AM (#34862004) Homepage Journal
    Eh, I don't get the hate. As someone with ridiculously large hands and fingers, I find using iOS a lot easier than some of the teensy keyboards found on other smart phones.

    Point is: It's not black and white, and Apple's success in this field obviously means they have at least a clue what they're doing. Listening to most /. geeks, you'd think the opposite was true.
  • Re:Fun for people (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, 2011 @12:24PM (#34863168)

    So spinning around the wheel to go up and down

    Okay, see that right there? There's your first problem. "Around" somehow translates to "up"? "Around the other way" is "down"? That's not intuitive. Maybe if the iPod interface displayed everything actually in a wheel form it would be, but when something is arranged top-to-bottom, the intuitive way to do it is up and down buttons, or some other motion that implies an up/down motion, not rotation. Except, well, the iPod's wheel DOES "click" like buttons should in the up/down positions, but they don't do what the user expects them to do.

    The definition of "intuitive" is not "the way Apple does things", and "the way Apple does things" is not, by default, "intuitive". If something is intuitive, it should NOT require the user to completely rethink or relearn how they do things or how certain actions relate to certain motions. Just because you forced yourself to get used to it for the shiny factor doesn't mean it's good, just because it's different doesn't mean it's clever, and just because Apple told you to do it doesn't mean it's intuitive.

I owe the public nothing. -- J.P. Morgan