Wait. What? A new way to navigate iPhones? No, Apple isn’t bringing in a new Maps app, and it’s definitely not changing the time honored touch method, but there’s more to navigating an iPhone than touching app icons or buttons on the screen.
Word on the streets says the next generation iPhone 8 won’t have a Home button. No Home button means we need something new to do what the Home button did. For example, Home button kills apps. Home button is home to Touch ID’s fingerprint sensor. Home button lets us talk to Siri. Home button displays all the recent apps we’ve opened and used.
Learn The Dock
Mac, iPhone, and iPad users know about the Dock app launcher. It’s the little or long row of app icons. Tap or click and an app opens. In iOS 11, the Dock gets a facelift and new functionality to replace the static row of Dock app icons and that means we need to learn a few new steps to navigate properly.
Behold. The Dock.
Wait. What’s different? It looks the same. Kinda. Sorta. Mostly. But not quite. Notice the Dock looks and functions a bit more like the Mac’s Dock, and resizes as more applications are dragged onto the Dock.
iPhone 8 with iOS 11 works a bit differently because there is not a physical Home button, so new gestures were included for similar functions, and without a large learning curve. To move from the Lock screen, and instead of using a dedicated Home button, simply drag the Dock upwards in a lift motion– similar to what iOS 10 allowed with the Control Center.
What you get looks different but performs similarly. Here’s the old way on the left, and the new way with Control Center on the right.
I’ve been playing with iOS 11 on an older iPhone and I admit this will take some getting used to. It’s a new way to navigate previously used applications, pop up the Control Center, and, in the new iPhone, avoid the missing Home button.
Apple is expected to introduce three new iPhones on September 12. The so-called iPhone 8 or iPhone Pro, plus an iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, both of which will have a traditional Home button which functions the same way as we’re already used to. But get ready. The premium iPhone will show the future of all iPhones and that means a learning curve that uses different gestures to do what we’ve learned to do on iPhone since the beginning.