The iPhone Pro and the disappearing home button

Dave here. James Thomson, in a Twitter thread with Steve Troughton Smith, pondering the interface possibilities of the coming iPhone Pro (and I use that name as a shorthand for any and all phones Apple announces next month with a new hardware layout):

This raises an interesting question. If the home button no longer has dedicated real estate but is, instead a fungible, virtual spot, with the ability to be turned on and off, what happens if an app runs full screen? How will you exit the app?

In other words, if a game takes over the full screen, presumably the home button will not be there. What will the user do to force exit the app, to return to the home screen?

To be crystal clear, I don’t see this as a problem. I see this as an interesting puzzle. We don’t know that the home button will disappear, we don’t know that developers will be allowed to grab the full screen without saving room for the home button.

But it’s an interesting question, one that I am quite certain Apple already has a lovely solution for.

As Federico Viticci so eloquently put it:

the next few weeks are going to be so fun – we think we know what the next iPhone is going to be like, but we also know nothing of its software.