This year’s iPhone is expected to be very similar to the 6s and 6s Plus models in terms of looks, but as far as features are concerned, Apple is planning several important upgrades, including a new home button.

This isn’t the first time we’re hearing about a home button upgrade on the 2016 iPhone – we’ll call it this way because there’s information that Apple won’t name it “iPhone 7,” choosing instead to save this name for next year’s model. Now, analysts at Cowen and Company indicate that there’s indeed a change planned in this regard.

According to their information, Apple intends to introduce a Force Touch home button that will “sit flush” with the front side of the phone, so you won’t have to press it. Instead, you simply need to touch it in order to unlock the device, and a haptic engine under the hood will generate a short vibration when the process is triggered. This is the best way to let you know that fingerprint is successfully scanned and simulate the physical sensation of pressing a button.

Bigger overhaul planned for 2017

This new home button will also lead to a bunch of other changes too. As 9to5mac notes, modifying the behavior of the home button will require Apple to find a different way to push the device into recovery mode, as the existing method implies pressing the home and power buttons at the same time while rebooting the phone.

On the other hand, replacing the physical home button with a Force Touch version also hints at a bigger overhaul planned for the 2017 iPhone.

Previous reports in this regard indicated that Apple might plan to completely overhaul the iPhone next year with an all-screen front design that would incorporate all front-facing parts, including the FaceTime camera and the home button. As a result, a physical home button would no longer be compatible with Apple’s new approach, as it would have to be directly incorporated into the screen.

At the same time, switching to a solution that relies more on software than on hardware makes more room under the hood, and Apple could introduce new parts or a bigger battery. This is believed to also be the reason for ditching the headphone jack on this year’s model.

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