BGR: Apple to Remove Home Button, Include Parts of iLife, Photo Booth on Future Devices

We may have just ended a long-running rumor with the announcement of the CDMA iPhone, but that doesn’t mean that they are stopping now: BGR is reporting that Apple will eschew the Home button from next generation iPhone and iPad models.

This rumor came after the release of iOS 4.3 beta 1, which had some interesting features for the iPad: chief amongst those are some new gestures which allow users to, among other things, go back to the springboard with a simple 4- or 5- finger pinch.

Yes, we are told that Apple, at some point in time, will remove the home button from the iPad’s design. Instead of button taps, you will use new multitouch gestures to navigate to the home screen and also to launch the app switcher.

That’s not all, however. In addition to the home button disappearing from the iPad, we’re told that this change will make its way over to the iPhone as well. Our source said Apple employees are already testing iPads and iPhones with no home buttons on the Apple campus…

While it seems crazy at first, it has already been done once before. The Motorola Xoom — the first Android 3.0 ‘Honeycomb’ tablet — has no physical buttons on the front, and instead relies entirely on virtual software buttons. So, while it has been done before, will Apple want to ‘reteach’ existing users how to use their device? And is the iPhone’s 3.5 inch screen too small for such a gesture-based feature?

But that’s not all: BGR says that Photo Booth, a fairly popular and interesting webcam manipulation program that ships with every Mac, will make it’s way to future camera-enabled devices:

Additionally, we’re told Apple’s popular photo-taking application, Photo Booth, will be appearing on the next iPad. It’s also very possible that we’ll see iLife apps for iOS unveiled around the iPad 2 release as well.

I’m excited to see more iLife apps join iMovie on the App Store as time progresses. A GarageBand version of the iPad would be interesting, and potentially great, as would an iPhoto port.


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