A report by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman which cites, “people familiar with the gadget,” says Apple plans to transform how users work on the upcoming “iPhone 8,” by eliminating the concept of a Home button, a new dock that works similar to the way the iPad’s dock works under iOS 11, and much more.
— Steve T-S (@stroughtonsmith) August 30, 2017
With a crisper screen that takes up nearly the entire front, Apple has tested the complete removal of the home button—even a digital one—in favor of new gesture controls for tasks like going to the main app grid and opening multitasking, according to the people and the images.
Apple plans for the new handset include a taller screen with rounded corners, which will have a cutout at the top of the display to make room for sensors, antennas, and a front-facing camera.
Across the bottom of the screen, there is a thin, software-based bar in the place of a Home button. A user can drag it up to the middle of the screen to unlock the device, or from inside the app to start multitasking. Users can continue to slide upwards to close the current app and return to the Home screen.
The device’s multitasking interface will appear as a series of standalone cards that can be swiped through, in place of the stack of cards on current iPhones.
While the new device will be similar in overall size to the iPhone 7, it will boast an OLED screen slightly larger than the 5.5-inch screen on the iPhone 7 Plus. Gurman’s sources tell him the device will “have symmetrical, slim bezels around the entirety of the screen, meaning the area below the screen that used to house the home button and the area above the screen for the earpiece have been removed.”
The new screen is said to be rounded on the corners, (current iPhones have square corners). The power button will be longer to make it easier to press while holding the iPhone in one hand.
The screen will be taller than the iPhone 7 Plus’s screen, but will still display a six by four grid of 24 icons on each page, in addition to the Dock.
Apple is expected to debut the new OLED iPhone 8 at a press event on September 12. Apple has yet to officially announce the event, which is expected to be held for the first time at the new Steve Jobs Theater in Apple Park. The location depends on whether work can be completed on the theater by that date.