Apple Inc. plans to transform the way people use its following high-end iPhone by eliminating the concept of a home button and making additional adjustments into a flagship device that’s becoming almost all screen, according to images of this new device viewed by Bloomberg News and individuals familiar with the gadget.
The home button is the key to the iPhone and the design hasn’. Currently, users click it to return to the app grid that greets them multiple times a day. They hold it down to talk to the Siri electronic assistant. Click it and you get where programs that were different displays multitasking can be swiped through like a carousel.
Apple is preparing three new iPhones for introduction next month. One of the versions, a new high-end apparatus, packs in enough changes to make it among the biggest iPhone updates in the product’s decade-long history. With a crisper screen that takes up nearly the entire front, Apple has tested the entire removal of this home button—even a digital one—in favor of new gesture controllers for jobs like going to the main program grid and opening multitasking, according to the people along with the images.
In the new, high-end iPhone, Apple also plans a taller screen with rounded corners, a cutout on peak of the screen for the camera and sensors, and new antenna locations, the images show. Apple often tests different designs and the details may differ from what the company ultimately releases. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.
Across the bottom of the screen there’s a thin, software bar in lieu of the home button. A user may drag it up into the middle of the screen to start the phone. When inside an program, a similar gesture begins multitasking. From here, users can continue to flick the program to close and go back to the home screen. An animation in analyzing sucks back the program . The multitasking interface was redesigned to appear like a series of standalone cards that can be swiped through, versus the stack of cards on current iPhones, the images show.
The new model’s overall size will be similar to that of the iPhone 7, but it is going to include an OLED screen that’s a little larger than the one on the iPhone 7 Plus (5.5-inches), people familiar with the product have told Bloomberg News. The phone will have symmetrical, slim bezels around the entirety of the screen, meaning the region under the screen that used to house the home button and the area above the screen for the earpiece have been eliminated. The earpiece, facial recognition sensor, and selfie camera are rather present in a cutout, or “notch,” in the peak of the screen, the images show.
The new screen is rounded on the corners, while current iPhone displays have corners. The power button on the right side of phone is more so it’s easier to press while holding the device in one hand, according to the images and the people.
The screen is also taller than the iPhone 7 Plus’screen, meaning it might show more of a web page or text messages, the people said. The phone will still have six vertical rows of programs, showing 24 icons on every page, excluding the dock, a grey bar at the base that houses commonly used programs. The dock is redesigned with a interface similar to the one on the iPad version of iOS 11, the images show.
Apple has opted not to hide the area showing a cutout on top of programs with non-black backgrounds. The cutout is noticeable during program usage in the middle of the very top of the screen, where the status bar (the area that shows cellular reception, the time, and battery life) would usually be placed, according to the images. Instead, the status bar will be divided into left and right sides, which some Apple employees call “ears” internally. In images of test apparatus, the left side shows the time while the area on the right side of the notch screens cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity and battery life. Because of limited space, the status bar could change based on the task at hand, according to a person familiar with the testing.
The color reproduction of the OLED screen means that when the screen shows black, it blends in nearly perfectly with the phone’s notch and thin black borders on the front, presenting a seamless look, according to the people familiar with the product. The screen itself, however, is flat like current and past iPhones and lacks the fully curved screens of the most current Samsung phones.
Apple also plans to incorporate a stainless steel band around the phone. The steel band has little antenna cuts on the corners such as iPhones the images show. Apple formerly used steel sides and a glass casing for the iPhone 4 and 4s before moving into a mainly metal back and sides with the iPhone 5. The iPhone 6 line and newer have had backs.
Apple also is planning two additional new iPhone versions that use faster processors, but include the same displays as the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The new devices will debut at Apple’s September launch event alongside updated Apple TV and Apple Watch versions.
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