Bloomberg: iPhone 8 to replace Home button with iOS 11 Dock & new gesture controls

iPhone 8 won’t have a non-moving Home button like iPhone 7’s nor will it replace a physical button with a virtual one. The high-end handset will instead use iOS 11’s iPad-like Dock and new gesture controls to help you navigate the interface, bring up the app switcher and more.

Young Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman in today’s scoop details how Apple plans to change the way you use Apple’s next flagship smartphone.

The report is reportedly based on unspecified iPhone 8 images viewed by Bloomberg News and people familiar with the upcoming OLED handset.

Here are the key highlights from the report:

  • The Dock—The new iPhone dock will be similar to the dock featured in iOS 11 on iPad.
  • New gesture controls—Like on iPad, you’ll swipe up from the bottom of the screen to bring up the Dock and continue swiping to open the app switcher while inside an app. Executing the gesture on the Lock screen will open the phone.
  • App switcherLike we’ve seen before, the app switcher on iPhone 8 has been redesigned around standalone cards that can be swiped through or flicked upwards to close the app and go back to the Home screen. The report states that an animation in testing “sucks the app” back into its icon, like on macOS.

The rest of the article corroborates some of the more popular rumors regarding the next iPhone, such as a crisper screen based on OLED display technology that takes up nearly the entire front, a cutout at the top of the screen for the front-facing camera, the earpiece and new 3D sensors, a split status bar that some Apple employees call “ears” internally and more.

“The color reproduction of the OLED screen means that when the display shows black, it blends in nearly perfectly with the phone’s notch and thin black edges on the front, presenting a seamless look,” according to sources.

The status bar shows the time on the left side, with cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity and remaining battery life displayed on the right side of the bar. “Because of limited space, the status bar could change based on the task at hand,” says a person familiar with the testing.

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The OLED screen will be taller than on iPhone 7, have rounded corners and lack the fully curved appearance of the latest Samsung phones, the report says, adding that the screen will be slightly larger than that on the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus model.

KGI has said that the screen will measure 5.8 inches diagonally, split between a 5.1-inch user area and the software bar across the bottom in lieu of the Home button.

Here’s an excerpt from the Bloomberg report:

The screen is also noticeably taller than the iPhone 7 Plus’s screen, meaning it could show more of a web page or additional text messages, the people said. The phone will still have six vertical rows of apps, showing 24 icons on each page, excluding the dock, a grey bar at the bottom that houses commonly used apps. The dock is redesigned with a new interface similar to the one on the iPad version of iOS 11, the images show.

The handset’s overall size will be similar to that of iPhone 7. The top and bottom chin have been removed and the device will have symmetrical, slim bezels around the entirety of the screen. The stainless steel band running around the edges of the phone features small antenna cuts on the corners like prior iPhone models to improve reception.

There’s also an elongated Power button on the side to make it easier to press while holding the device in one hand. What do you think about Gurman’s report? Are you looking forward to using the new gesture controls and iPhone 8’s iPad-like Dock?

Tell us in comments!

iPhone 8 rendering courtesy of Dutch 3D artist Martin Hajek.