iOS 11 on iPhone 8 means no home button at all, just swipes
Ten years of home buttons will come to an end, at least on the iPhone 8, as Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman can visually confirm that the button won’t appear as a software feature on iOS 11. Sources also say that a dock as seen on iPad interfaces from WWDC will provide quick app access and gesture controls to access features like Siri, the Control Center, the app grid and other features.
The design of the iPhone 8 has long been speculated to almost completely fill its front side with an OLED display with rounded corners, leaving little room for sensors and an earpiece at the top and no room at all for a physical home button at the bottom.
Gurman says that a persistent bar interface can be swiped up from the bottom of the screen. Samsung flagship phones have a similar graphical cue for users to swipe on to activate Edge features. In an app, this would take the user to the multitasking page — active apps will be arranged in a grid, not a stack, for one-touch access or removal. Another swipe up would bring users back to the home screen. From sleep, the same gesture will wake the iPhone 8 up.
Apps will fill up the iPhone 8’s entire screen and surround the “notch” at the top, leaving “ears” for radio signal strength, battery status and time — any of those elements can be switched out for an app-specific attribute. The home app grid will feature six rows of four icons plus the dock.
The iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, which are expected to launch with the iPhone 8, will retain the physical home button and a more analogous software experience with the iPhone 7 and other previous iPhones.
Current rumors place the iPhone launch event for September 12.