The iPhone X may be Apple’s first iOS device without a home button. But it probably won’t be the last.

Bloomberg reports that Apple is working on a next-gen iPad that borrows some design elements from the iPhone X, including slim bezels and a Face ID camera system that will replace the fingerprint sensor and home button.

That tablet could be available for purchase next year.

This isn’t exactly surprising news. But it does mean that Apple’s 10th-anniversary iPhone is a sort of glimpse into the future of Apple’s mobile device lineup.

Every iPhone and iPad released in the past decade has had a physical home button, until now. And even this year, Apple launched three new phones: the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X. Only the latter phone has a face ID system. The other two have home buttons with embedded fingerprint sensors. It’s likely that in another year or two, Apple won’t be releasing phones or tablets with either of those things anymore.

What remains to be seen is whether the upcoming iPad with Face ID will have a notch in the display like the iPhoone X, or if the company will either shrink the camera setup or increase the bezel size enough to make it unnecessary.

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11 replies on “Leaving home (buttons) behind: Apple may bring Face ID to iPads”

  1. A tablet without a home button is nothing new. Blackberry made a tablet many years ago without a home button. I worked quite well. The lack of apps was the only thing that killed it.

  2. I wonder if the new “iPad X” will also have that unergonomic notch.
    Its certainly a large enough device to engineer the problem away easily.

    Thoughts?

    1. I certainly hope they don’t have the notch on the iPad. I don’t know why anyone would want an ultra thin bezel tablet anyway. Ultra thin bezels aren’t something I care about, but I understand that you can make the phone smaller while keeping the screen large and that appeals to some people. It makes the phone easier to fit into your pocket and easier to hold in your palm. The strange aspect ratio of the iPhone X negates some of the extra screen for watching videos. I think the notch just looks weird. I would never own a device with a notch on the screen.
      On a tablet, are you really gaining anything by making the bezels ultra thin? Even an ultra thin bezel tablet isn’t going to fit into your pocket or your palm. Is shaving a quarter to a half of an inch off the edge going to make the table more usable? I don’t think so. In fact, I would say it would make it less usable. Without a blank area to rest your hand on, you’re going to have to rest it on the screen which would obstruct part of the screen.

      1. I agree.
        But this isn’t the Job’s Apple that people admired… its now the bad iPhone X and dongle-life MacBook Pro era. If they make the iPad worse, it wouldn’t surprise me the slightest.

  3. This sounds great, perhaps they should focus on fixing iOS 11 first tho – this piece of crap ruined my phone, and I’m certainly not buying anything that runs that OS until it improves.

    1. Agreed. Two of my colleagues who have iPhones have seen their boot time increase from less than a minute to a couple of hours after updating to ios 11.1. Another had his phone crash and had to fresh-install the os and lost his data in the process.

  4. Of course, the home button can go away and I have said so for years. It is nothing but a wearing part causing unnecessary repair costs. Therefore, with iOS 11, I avoid using the home button as often as possible to extend the iPad’s longeivity.

    A notch is nothing but a design mistake in every respect. Like built-in cracks. Never will I buy a display with notch.

    Even much more importantly, will Apple fix the countless bugs of the Files app ever? Currently it is so buggy that using it is simply impossible on my iPad. It is still the buggiest software I have ever seen.

    1. I agree about the home button being a part that will eventually wear out, but it is useful when you want to wake up the iPad without having to fumble for the power button. If Apple would adopt LG’s double tap to wake, then I wouldn’t mind them getting rid of the home button.
      I use the assistive touch button and gestures most of the time to reduce wear on the home button. The only time I use the home button is to wake up the iPad.
      I fully agree about the notch being a terrible design choice and that Apple should focus on getting their software in order rather than focusing on new products.

  5. I think this design makes a lot of sense on the iPad. Honestly, once you learn the multi-touch gestures, you don’t end up using the home button much anyway apart from to use Touch ID.

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