iOS developer Steven Troughton-Smith dug up some interesting code strings from HomePod’s version of iOS that may potentially provide valuable insight into iPhone 8’s virtual Home button.
As Apple’s edge-to-edge handset is widely expected to ditch iPhone 7’s non-moving physical Home button and replace it with its virtual counterpart sitting in a so-called function area at the bottom of the OLED display, questions arose as to how the feature could be implemented.
Red = New New iPhone “function area” and status bar.
Blue = Current iPhone 7 content area.
Yellow = Minuscule extra content space.
In a tweet yesterday, Steven said that the virtual Home button is resizable and can be hidden and shown as needed. For instance, it automatically hides when video is playing fullscreen.
The strings don’t provide any indication as to how small or large the button could get.
The background of the bars extends underneath the button and there don’t seem to be any APIs that would permit developers to change the virtual Home button’s color programatically.
No API for color styling is a bit of a bummer. That could be really fun.
Though, it could also be really bad.
— Adam Selby (@adamselby) August 10, 2017
“There is no evidence to suggest any app’s user interface moves to the Home button area at all,” he added. “No toolbars, no other junk.”
This supports a thesis that the function area is reserved for the system, meaning apps won’t be permitted to add their own navigation buttons there, at least initially.
very simply, that tab bar backgrounds extend beyond their regular bounds outside of the 'safe area' pic.twitter.com/MkOxxKIhIK
— Steve T-S (@stroughtonsmith) August 10, 2017
All of these things are supported by API evidence.
In other words, there’s a strong likelihood that this is what we’re going to see when iPhone 8 hits although we won’t know for sure until Apple announces the phone.
So, what are you thoughts about the upcoming Home button changes on iPhone 8?
Me likey, but how about you?
Mockup via Max Rudberg