Macotakara, which has a good accuracy record when it comes to iPhone rumors, is reporting that the home button on the next iPhone will be flat to the screen and rely on haptic feedback to let you know when it’s been pressed.
Further, that means that Touch ID may also be buried under the glass, though it could very well just sit as a raised ring on the phone’s surface, much as it is now. Really, it sounds as though Apple is planning to use a haptic engine rather than mechanical movement for the Home button on the iPhone 7.
The report also says that Apple’s new hardware is capable of 3D Touch. If true, it’s possible Apple will simply make the Home button more like Force Touch, which we find on newer MacBooks and the new Force Touch Trackpad from Apple.
If you’re not familiar with that feature, it gauges how deeply you’re pressing to return different information — much like 3D Touch on the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. The difference between the two technologies is that 3D Touch can be used anywhere on a screen, and to select or move items. Touch ID simply offers up deep-linked info like the definition of a word or cards in Apple Maps.
Force Touch is a desktop feature, though — and I’m not sure just how Apple would work it into the iPhone. Really, it seems counterintuitive to 3D Touch in mobile applications; would you use your finger to place a cursor on-screen, then use the Home button to find a definition or get more info when you could do the same using 3D Touch?