One of the iconic design features of Apple’s iPhone series would be its home button. The home button has persisted with each and every iPhone design for the past decade, but it turns out things could have been a bit different had Steve Jobs gotten his way. Brian Merchant’s new book, The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone revealed that Apple’s late co-founder had initially wanted a permanent back button on the iPhone.
The back button might be more of an Android-associated feature, but during the design of the iPhone, that was actually a feature that Jobs wanted to include. However according to Imran Chaudhri, an Apple designer who spent 19 years working on Apple’s Human Interface Team, he argued against the addition.
An excerpt from the book reads, “‘Again, that came down to a trust issue,’ Chaudhri says, ‘that people could trust the device to do what they wanted it to do. Part of the problem with other phones was the features were buried in menus, they were too complex.’ A back button could complicate matters too, he told Jobs. ‘I won that argument,’ Chaudhri says.”
It would have been interesting to see how the iPhone might be used differently today had it featured a back button, but that being said, things are expected to change dramatically this year as Apple is rumored to finally ditch the home button for 2017’s iPhone.
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