Friday 30 September 2016

The iPhone 7 home button doesn't work if you're wearing gloves

Published 19/09/2016 | 08:41

Apple ceo Tim Cook launches the company's latest phone, but is it worth the upgrade. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg
Apple ceo Tim Cook launches the company's latest phone, but is it worth the upgrade. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

One of the key changes in the iPhone 7 has been the introduction of a new pressure-sensitive home button, which instead of clicking, responds with a vibration when pressed.

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The solid state design helps to make the phone waterproof, as well as being more durable, although the loss of the satisfying mechanical click of the old home button has been met with a mixed reaction. 

There is one big problem though: most pairs of gloves, or any material in between the thumb and button, make the new home button useless. While previously, a gloved hand would only prevent users from unlocking an iPhone using the Touch ID fingerprint scanner, with the iPhone 7, it makes it impossible to unlock the phone.

This is because new home button on the phone appears to register direct skin contact, sensing a press only when the Touch ID scanner is activated. Any pressure, no matter how hard, that does not activate the fingerprint scanner is not registered as a click.

But whereas in previous generations this might have been sold by pressing the iPhone's sleep button and swiping, in iOS 10, the new operating system that the iPhone 7 comes installed with, the phone is unlocked with a press of the home button rather than with swipe to unlock.

While smartphones are often registered useless by gloves anyway, due to them often not registering on touchscreens, this is not always the case, and manufacturers now sell touchscreen-friendly "capacitive touch" mitts. Pairs tested by Apple blog MacRumors and others do not appear to work, although others were able to activate the home button.

 For those who want to wear gloves and still use their phone, a tweak in the iPhone settings allows you to add a button on the homescreen. Go to Settings -> General -> Accessibility and turn Assistive Touch on. This will add a dot that you can move around the screen.

To unlock an iPhone 7 without pressing the home button, press the sleep button on the right of the phone, press the Assistive Touch dot and press the home button to unlock it.

Telegraph.co.uk

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