With the iPhone 7 duo now officially out and already shipping to users, the hype is at an all-time high. Most are busy either waiting for a unit, praising the Cupertino genius or alternatively, mocking the lack of a 3.5mm audio jack and the AirPods, or if not that, coming up with outlandish ways to torture units on camera for those all-important YouTube views. You know, just the usual Apple launch activities. However, all these antics seem to have overshadowed a potentially showstopping design flaw, that was recently discovered by one Myke Hurley, seemingly almost by chance.
It concerns Apple's new touch sensitive, solid-state home button. It has already proven to be a polarizing subject, but to add even more fuel to the flames, it appears to require direct contact with the skin to function. With the winter season quickly creeping in, this might just turn very rapidly from a mild inconvenience to a major obstacle for even using the phone with gloves on.
I think I worked it out, the TouchID sensor is what's making the connection.— Myke Hurley (@imyke) September 16, 2016
No sensor connection, no click.
It appears the issue lies with Apple's TouchID fingerprint recognition technology. In the iPhone 7 pair it has also taken up the task of registering touches for the user, a task, which just like most capacitive touchscreens struggles when using gloves. Frankly, this is not a new issue and simply lies in the essence of the tech itself. We could have probably even foreseen it, were it not for the aforementioned abundance of other iPhone 7 distractions.
To make matters worse, iOS 10 seems to be a lot keener on using the home button than previous versions. You can no longer swipe over to the passcode entry from the lockscreen. The home button "press" is necessary. And even if you could unlock the phone, using it would still be a struggle without said control.
Now, it is important to note that this matter requires some further investigation in order to judge its severity. Some users are reporting that using touchscreen-friendly gloves fixes the issue, but other have had no luck with that approach either. It might simply be a matter of ramping up sensitivity, a common software remedy employed by many smartphone manufacturers.
Still, it is interesting to see when and how Apple reacts to the matter. We'll be sure to keep you updated on any future developments.
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