One of the key features of the iPhone has been that while every year there have been new handsets released, owners have been able to pick up where they left off after upgrading without having to change the way they worked much.
That’s all set to change with the iPhone 8.
According to a Bloomberg report, the design changes present in the iPhone 8 which essentially turn most of the front into a display and do away with the Touch ID and Home button means that users will have to relearn new ways to interact with the iPhone 8.
“With a crisper screen that takes up nearly the entire front, Apple has tested the complete removal of the home button–even a digital one–in favor of new gesture controls for tasks like going to the main app grid and opening multitasking, according to the people and the images.”
The report goes on to describe some of these gestures:
“Across the bottom of the screen there’s a thin, software bar in lieu of the home button. A user can drag it up to the middle of the screen to open the phone. When inside an app, a similar gesture starts multitasking. From here, users can continue to flick upwards to close the app and go back to the home screen. An animation in testing sucks the app back into its icon. The multitasking interface has been 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.”
Abandoning of the Touch ID sensor in favor of facial recognition – which is something brand new for Apple – will mean that users will also have to come to terms with new (and potentially less secure – I mean, if all it takes is someone pointing it at your face, that’s not as secure as a fingerprint) way of unlocking their iPhone.
Change is not bad. Change is necessary. And over the decade that we’ve had the iPhone, users have had to adapt and change quite a bit. And on the whole, there’s not been much backlash to changes that Apple has introduced in either the iPhone hardware or iOS software over the years. Probably the biggest iPhone-related backlashes have been when Apple replaced the 30-pin connector with Lightning, and binned the 3.5mm headphone jack in favour of Bluetooth.
But neither “backlash” seemed to put much of a dent in sales.
Apple is also protecting itself from any serious decline in sales from a backlash to certain changes by limiting the big changes to the iPhone 8. This way, if people aren’t “inspired” to spend what will likely be over $1,000 for the iPhone 8, or feel that the changes aren’t for them (yet – these changes are likely to filter down to the other iPhones in the next few years) then buyers can opt for the more traditional iPhone.
Let’s be honest, if you’re the type of person who’s convinced themselves to drop upwards of a grand on a smartphone, it’s likely that you’ve already convinced yourself that the phone is worth the money and that you’ll do what it takes to adjust to the changes.
It will be interesting to see just how many people are willing to pay the big bucks to for the big changes that the iPhone 8 will represent?
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