The home button was pronounced dead on November 3, 2017, when Apple introduced the iPhone X. In its place, Apple introduced swipe gestures, which have become the basis of not only Apple’s iOS—most recently on the iPad Pro—but Android, too.
At first, I thought I would hate life without the home button. Ever since the original iPhone was released, the home button has been a staple of the device’s design. No matter how the iPhone’s shape and size changed, the home button was always there, reliable and easy to understand. Press it, and you knew exactly what it would do. It’s like one of those easy buttons from Staples.
But thanks to the iPhone and other devices like it, that safety net is no longer there. Swipe gestures are the new normal, whether you like it or not. For me, having used the iPhone X for the past year, I don’t miss the home button at all.
That’s because swipe gestures provide an improved and heightened experience. As I said in my reviews of the iPhone X and iPhone XS, gestures feel more natural compared to mechanical buttons. Jumping from app to app on an iPhone XS is 100 times more intuitive than on an iPhone 7.
That being said, swipe gestures take time to learn, making phones harder than ever to understand. Still, the transition is very much worth it and I wouldn’t wish to go back for a second.
As smartphone displays continue to erase bezels, the last remnants of the home button will disappear for good. Samsung is gearing up to make the move, while OnePlus has already made its OxygenOS gesture friendly. Even Apple’s affordable iPhone XR said goodbye to the home button, just over ten years after the original iPhone was released.
Do you miss the home button?