home button Stories May 18, 2016

AAPL: 94.56

1.07
Concept image: Martin Hajek for Computer Bild
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Concept designers have been creating renderings of bezel-free iPhones – where the display extends all the way to the edges of the phone – for years now. One major barrier to realizing this vision has, of course, been the Home button with its embedded Touch ID sensor.

Third-party companies have already developed transparent fingerprint sensors capable of being embedded into a smartphone display, and an Apple patent filed in March of last year but only published yesterday describes the exact same approach …

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home button Stories April 25, 2016

AAPL: 105.08

-0.60

The iPhone 7, expected to debut later this year, is not believed to be a major design overhaul from the iPhone 6s, but that doesn’t mean it won’t include some substantial exterior changes, at least according to one sketchy Chinese rumor site. The reports indicate that the iPhone 7 could feature a digital touch-sensitive Home button, essentially making the iPhone front completely flush, replacing the current physical clicky hardware button. This would help make the iPhone 7 completely waterproof and dustproof, via Storm …

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home button Stories March 8, 2016

AAPL: 101.03

-0.84

When Apple signed an exclusive deal to use the superstrong alloy liquidmetal way back in 2010, there was a lot of speculation about how Apple might use it. The only immediate answer we saw was in the SIM ejection tool supplied with iPhones.

While some had expected Apple to use liquidmetal for product casings, the high cost of the material seemed to rule that out, at least in the short-term. There’s also been no sign of the super long-lasting batteries some had suggested.

But Apple clearly does have a use for it beyond SIM eject tools, last year renewing those exclusive rights – and a patent granted to the company today suggests one possible reason why …

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home button Stories August 13, 2015

AAPL: 115.24

1.75

As regular readers will know, it took a little while for the Apple Watch to really grow on me. But even back when I wasn’t convinced I needed a smartwatch, I still had to admire the design. And the Digital Crown was a large part of how Apple got the smartwatch right when others hadn’t yet cracked it. A fundamental problem with a small touchscreen is that touching it covers up much of the content. The Digital Crown overcomes that, allowing us to scroll content without our thumb getting in the way.

But while today’s iPhone screens may be larger than they used to be, they are still pretty small in the scheme of things. Scrolling with a thumb still covers up a chunk of the content. Worse, it’s easy to accidentally tap on targets accidentally including ads. There have been numerous occasions since using Apple Watch when my thumb started absent-mindedly reaching for the non-existent Digital Crown on my iPhone …  expand full story

home button Stories July 21, 2015

Touch ID built into iPhone display one step closer as third-party company announces new tech

The possibility of Apple embedding the Home button into the display of a future iPhone model got a step closer today as a third-party company announced technology that allows fingerprints to be read through Gorilla Glass.

TNW reports that Sonavation has developed ultrasonic fingerprint sensors capable of 3D scanning from beneath the Gorilla Glass Apple uses for its iPhone displays.

Though details on how it will work are sparse, Sonovation says its sensors are “capable of capturing fingerprint data into the ridges and valleys.” It also says 3D scanning can take place if a finger is wet, dirty or oily — all without compromising accuracy.

There’s nothing to suggest any link between Apple and Sonavation – this is merely an indication that the type of technology required to replace a physical Home button with an embedded one is already out there. A sketchy report last month suggested that Apple is working on this type of technology.

Don’t look for this in the iPhone 6S, though. While a recent leak confirmed our report that the new iPhone would get Force Touch, it also revealed that the external appearance of the phone will be almost identical to the iPhone 6.

Concept image: Martin Hajek for Computer Bild

home button Stories June 22, 2015

Concept image: Martin Hajek for Computer Bild
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The idea of replacing the iPhone’s physical Home button with a pure touch one embedded in the display has been around for quite a while now, but a report from the variably reliable DigiTimes claims that Apple is already working on the technology.

Apple is internally developing touch and display driver integration (TDDI) single-chip solutions for its iPhones, according to sources in Taiwan’s IC design industry.

The TDDI single-chip solutions will also come with integrated fingerprint sensors, said the sources. The integrated design would fit into future iPhone designs – models with ultra-thin and ultra-narrow displays, and with a whole plane design eliminating the Home button.

While the report doesn’t specifically reference embedding the home button into the display itself, referring only to ‘a whole plane design,’ this would seem to be what the report hints at … expand full story

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