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Apple’s new iPhone 7 home button requires capacitive touch in order to operate

Published Sep 18th, 2016 1:29PM EDT
iPhone 7 Design
Image: Apple Inc.

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Since the iPhone 7’s release on Friday, it didn’t take long for users to notice that the newly designed home button is capacitive. As a result, the home button can only be called into action when a conductive object — like a finger — is used to press it.

DON’T MISS: 14 awesome iOS 10 tips and hidden features you weren’t aware of

Originally brought to light by Twitter user Myke Hurley, the new design may prove to be a bit frustrating in extremely rare use-case scenarios where users are trying to unlock their device while wearing winter gloves.

Incidentally, the iPhone 7’s new home button won’t have much of an impact on users attempting to view their notifications as iOS 10’s new Raise to Wake feature helps out in that regard.

Understandably, users in cold-climate areas may find this a bit limiting, but we should note that one can always opt to buy iPhone friendly capacitive gloves. Besides, the iPhone screen itself has always been capacitive so the idea of not being able to use one’s device without an appropriate pair of gloves shouldn’t be all that jarring.

One quick thing to keep in mind is that there are varying reports about whether or not capacitive gloves designed for previous iPhone models can be used activate the home button. While some outlets are reporting success, MacRumors had a different experience.

“We tested with a pair of gloves that are designed for touch screens and while we could unlock the iPhone 6s Plus with the gloves and use the touch screen, that wasn’t possible with the iPhone 7 Plus — the Home button wouldn’t activate,” the report reads. “There are mixed reports on Twitter from people with capacitive gloves, and while some work, others do not appear to.”

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.