One of the changes with the iPhone 7 that has earned mixed reactions thus far is the new Home button. No longer is the iPhone’s Home button an actual moving button. Instead, a Taptic Engine beneath the display provides the illusion that you’re pressing the button, even though there is no physical part being moved.
Adding fuel to people’s argument that the new “solid state” Home button is a move in the wrong direction, Myke Hurley made the discovery that the new Home button requires physical contact with your skin or a capacitive surface in order to function…
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While this doesn’t seem like a huge issue on the , it essentially means that you won’t be able to use your Home button at all if you have on gloves. In the past, Touch ID wouldn’t function properly when gloves were on, but this issue is far deeper than that. Put simply, with the iPhone 7, it’s the Touch ID sensor that’s recognizing when you “press” the Home button. So if the Touch ID sensor isn’t triggered, as is the case when you’re wearing non-capacitive gloves, you’ll be unable to use the Home button in any fashion (via Daring Fireball).
Further proving the significance of this flaw is the new iOS 10 lockscreen. You can’t simply swipe over to access the passcode entry screen. Instead, you’re required to press the Home button. Well, since you can’t press the Home button now with gloves on, you essentially have no way to get into your phone without taking removing the gloves or using Assistive Touch. And even if you were able to get in, you wouldn’t be able to use the Home button anyway.
Some have reported that using gloves optimized for touch screens will activate the Home button like normal, though those reports are scattered at best. It seems to be very inconsistent, as others have said that their touch screen optimized gloves do not work.
With winter fast approaching, this flaw will undoubtedly be an annoyance to those in colder climates. It’ll be interesting to see how (or if) Apple responds to this.