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(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

The biggest, but quietest, change for iPhone 7? The home button isn't a button anymore.


Not the hot-button issue it should be?

You use your phone's headphone jack often -- probably at least once a day.  And you have been since the first iPhone you bought years and years ago. So the fact that the headphone jack is going away for the iPhone 7 -- that's kind of a big deal.

But guess what's also been on the iPhone from the very first model, gets used probably 100x more often than the headphone jack and was also cut from the design of the iPhone 7 (and without as much fanfare): the home button.

Yeah. Bet you didn't even notice.

Surprise: Your home button is gone!

"What. That doesn't sound right. I saw the iPhone 7. It has a home button."

Sure, in appearance, the home "button" on the iPhone 7 looks the same as the one on the iPhone 6s. But it's not a real button anymore -- not one that actually clicks, anyhow.

Apple calls it a "solid state" button. Like the MacBook trackpad, it's a solid surface with a pressure sensor and haptic motor underneath. When the pressure from your finger's push is sensed, the haptic motor vibrates, simulating a click.

The new iPhone home button
(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Look at the size of that taptic engine! (No wonder Apple had to get rid of the headphone jack.)

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The good and the bad

This new home button is 3D Touch-capable and was built into the iPhone 7's design to make the phone water resistant, which are positives! But some excerpts from people who have actually used it might make Team Classic home Button nervous.

"On the iPhone, the whole bottom of the phone just sort of 'kicks' [when you press it]," wrote Dieter Bohn at The Verge. "It doesn't feel like a button at all. It's a bummer."

On the flip, Lance Ulanoff at Mashable liked it! "[It] fooled my dense digits into believing the button was actually moving up and down," he wrote.

The iPhone 6s home button
(Daniel Bean/Circa)

The iPhone 6s home button.

More home button changes to come

Of course, this home button change is small potatoes compared to what's expected to come for next year's rumored iPhone 8, which will reportedly come without a home button at all. (Yeah, kind of crazy -- read about it here.)

For the meantime, the smart money is on the bet that those lacking the discerning taste of a gadget journalist will not notice, or at least not be bothered by, the new iPhone 7 home button. And if that's winds up being true, Apple can call the quiet overhaul of probably its phone's most-used function a success.

Classic or new home button?

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