There are many who are probably still questioning Apple’s decision to keep using a physical home button, especially since there are plenty of smartphones out there that now use soft keys in its place. Unfortunately it seems that if you were hoping Apple will ditch the home button anytime soon, you might be in for a wait.
In a recent patent filed by Apple (via BusinessInsider), it describes a system in which the home button could be used for more than just returning the user to their home screen or doubling up as a fingerprint scanner with Touch ID. The patent talks about how the home button could incorporate additional functions, like pressing down or holding it could launch a search function.
It also suggests that the touch function of Touch ID could be used in games, like in a shooting-style game where you would have to wait. So instead of touching your screen to position the crosshair, which can obscure your view, it suggests using the home button instead which in some ways could offer up better precision.
That being said this is just a patent application which means that Apple could simply be trying to protect their idea from being used by the competition, and that there’s no telling if the Cupertino company ever plans on making it a reality. However the patent does sound intriguing and would definitely help justify the continued usage of a physical button, but what say you?