News: What the iPhone 7's New 3D Touch Home Button Means for You

What the iPhone 7's New 3D Touch Home Button Means for You

Among the many new changes ushered in by the iPhone 7, only one has the potential to completely change the way you interact with your smartphone—a new 3D Touch-enabled home button. Instead of the mechanical click we've grown accustomed to, your home button will now behave like the rest of the phone's touch screen interface.

It's a move that finally brings consistency to the way we interact with our iPhones. Instead of having to physically depress a mechanical button to perform core functions, you can now tap, long-press, and 3D Touch your home button just like the rest of your phone's interface.

Some might miss the satisfying click from the old setup, but the move to a capacitive home button with pressure-sensing capabilities allows Apple to pack in some additional features—most notably, a new IP67 dust and water resistance rating.

The iPhone 7's non-mechanical home button helps make waterproofing possible. Image via Apple

Additionally, it allows room for a new and improved Taptic Engine, which provides subtle, pinpoint vibrations to make your touch interactions feel a lot more real. This will certainly help make the iPhone 7's click-less home button feel a bit more like a real button when you press it.

The new 3D Touch home button makes room for a better Taptic Engine. Image via Apple

Touch ID is still supported, so the new home button will let you unlock your iPhone with your fingerprint, as well as provide authentication for Apple Pay and other services. Then, of course, all of the gestures from years past are still present, including Siri's long-press shortcut, the double-tap gesture to see your recently-used apps, and triple-tap gestures to access Accessibility features.

But Apple's even providing a new API for developers to interact with the new 3D Touch home button and its fine-tuned Taptic Engine, so be on the lookout for new gestures and features coming to your home button in the future.

Just updated your iPhone? You'll find new features for Podcasts, News, Books, and TV, as well as important security improvements and fresh wallpapers. Find out what's new and changed on your iPhone with the iOS 17.5 update.

Cover image by Apple

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