Apple will detect if your iPhone7 home button is dead & provide a temporary solution


21 Jun 2013
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The new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus may not look very different from last year’s iPhone 6s-series, but they do bring some bold changes. Right from removal of the legacy 3.5mm audio port to water and dust resistance capabilities to better cameras and faster hardware; Apple has also done away with the mechanical home button that has been present since the very first iPhone, and replaced it with a capacitive touch button. But what if this home button malfunctions? It turns out that iOS 10 can now detect if the home button has failed and prompt the user that it needs to be serviced.

The new home button has no moving parts and it uses a ‘taptic engine’ to simulate a click. This change has also enabled Apple to give the new iPhones the water and dust resistance capabilities. The programming that controls the taptic engine is deeply integrated into iOS 10 . When the iOS 10 diagnostic software detects that something has gone wrong with the home button, it automatically deploys an on-screen home button as a temporary workaround. This on-screen button is nothing but the Assistive Touch feature that brings on-screen shortcut controls for home, back, Siri and control center among others.

The problem was faced by MacRumors forum member iwayne , who posted a screenshot of the prompt. He also mentioned that when he plugged in the iPhone 7 for charging, the device turned off by itself. When he restarted the device, the message ‘The Home Button May Need Service’ appeared as a popup. “It worked at first then started spazzing out. The Haptic engine kept firing [three to four] times in a row for every ‘press’. I restarted [the phone] again and it’s back to not working,” he noted.

The on-screen home button is a welcome feature as it would allow users to continue using the phone without any issue. Obviously you won’t be able to use Touch ID to unlock the phone but at least you would be able to keep using it till you take it to an Apple service centre. But, at the same time, this feature may also be a precursor to things that are about to come in the future iPhones. Next year will mark 10th anniversary of the iPhone and Apple is rumored to launch the iPhone 8. The new iPhone is likely to come with a completely new design with front and back glass. Rumors also point that Apple may completely ditch the home button in favor of an on-screen one. The next iPhone may also employ an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner that can be placed underneath the glass. We have already seen the Xiaomi Mi 5s use this type of fingerprint scanner, without a clickable home button, and the implementation could be similar on the new iPhone.

So far, every iPhone, iPad and iPod touch have featured a physical home button. On the other hand, there are a lot of Android smartphones that feature on-screen buttons. Besides eliminating the hardware button and reducing the chances of failure, it also helps to shrink the bottom bezel or add something else, such as a secondary stereo speaker.

With iOS 10, Apple has also ditched the slide to unlock feature. Now, the Touch ID automatically unlocks your iPhone when you rest your finger on it. By default, your registered fingerprint is turned off on iOS 10. Thus, even if the screen is on, you need to press the home button to unlock. But, if you don’t want to click the home button to unlock it, head over to Settings > Accessibility > Home button and toggle on the Rest finger to Open feature. After activating this, you can unlock your iPhone without having to press the home button.

The new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus have already gone on sale in India. Prices for the iPhone 7 (32GB variant) starts at Rs 60,000, whereas the top end variant with 256GB storage will set you back by Rs 80,000. The
iPhone 7 Plus , on the other hand, costs Rs 72,000 for 32GB storage variant and goes all the way up to Rs 92,000 for the 256GB storage variant.

Apple will automatically detect if your iPhone 7 home button is dead and provide a temporary solution
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