By January 16, 2011

No Home button on iPad 2?

icon_iphonesdk4 If you’ve been following the iPad2 rumours this week you may have also seen that there are rumours to suggest that the iPad 2, and indeed all future iOS devices, will not have the ever-present Home button.

Initially this sounded like a ridiculous notion. iOS devices only have a few hardware buttons and the Home button is used for so many things, not only for switching between an Application and the homescreen but also, more recently, invoking the task list for the multitasking support. So not only does the removal of the Home button sound like a bad idea, it also would seem to be impossible with the current user interface. To me this seemed like one of those made-up daft rumours.

HOWEVER. Just a few days ago Apple released iOS 4.3 Beta 1 to developers. Along with some minor changes including full screen iAd support and new FaceTime and AirPlay support there’s a couple of more significant changes that do lend support to a possible removal of the Home Button:

The iPad 4.3 beta 1 iOS software now has multi-touch gesture technology. This means you can use four or five fingers to:

  • Pinch to the Home Screen.
  • Swipe up to reveal multitasking bar.
  • Swipe left or right between apps.


So what do you all think? Personally I like the comfort of a physical home button and, having used the features in iOS 4.3 Beta 1 I have to say I’m not totally convinced. There are bound to be some apps out there that use multitouch that are going to get confused and you’ll end up closing them. At least it can be switched off.

Time will tell.


Posted by: Matt

Posted in: Rumours

About the Author:

More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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