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Bloomberg report details exactly how the iPhone 8 will work without a home button

Zach Epstein
August 30th, 2017 at 8:51 AM
iPhone 8 Rumors

Less than two weeks from today, Apple will finally put an end to more than a year of rumors and speculation surrounding the iPhone 8. Apple’s tenth anniversary iPhone is expected to be the first new iPhone since 2014 to feature a redesign, and all the leaks we’ve seen suggest it will indeed be a major redesign. In fact, the iPhone 8 will feature the first major design overhaul since the iPhone was first introduced in 2007, removing the device’s iconic home button so that the display can take up as much of the phone’s face as possible.

We’ve known for about a year that Apple planned to remove the physical home button from the iPhone 8. What we didn’t know, however, was exactly how the new iPhone’s software would handle the missing home button, which is obviously a key component in navigating the phone’s interface. Now, a new report claims to offer answers.

In a new report on Wednesday morning, Bloomberg claims to have seen images of the next-generation flagship iPhone and to have spoken with people who know all about the phone. These mysterious unnamed people are said to know all about Apple’s upcoming iPhone 8, and they had plenty to share.

Most of the details in the report are old news that has already been beaten to death. The iPhone will be made of glass and stainless steel, the front will be almost all screen, the antennas have been redesigned, and so on. BGR spent time with an exact replica of the iPhone 8, so we already know all of the details about the phone’s design. What we don’t know, however, is how Apple’s new iOS 11 software will adjust to a smartphone with no home button. This is where Bloomberg’s report finally has some new details to offer.

“Across the bottom of the screen there’s a thin, software bar in lieu of the home button,” the report says. “A user can drag it up to the middle of the screen to open the phone. When inside an app, a similar gesture starts multitasking. From here, users can continue to flick upwards to close the app and go back to the home screen. An animation in testing sucks the app back into its icon. The multitasking interface has been redesigned to appear like a series of standalone cards that can be swiped through, versus the stack of cards on current iPhones.”

The presence of a “software bar” along the bottom of the screen on the iPhone 8 is a concept that has been tossed around a few times, but nothing had been confirmed until now. We also already knew about the new multitasking gesture thanks to Apple’s leaked HomePod firmware, but the Bloomberg report does offer some new details that hadn’t been previously explained.

Apple will unveil the iPhone 8 alongside the iPhone 7s Plus, iPhone 7s, Apple Watch Series 4 and a new 4K Apple TV on September 12th. The new iPhone models are then expected to be released on September 22nd.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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