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iPhone 7 Home Button to See Major Change

Apparently the screen on the iPhone 7 won't be the only thing that responds to pressure. Building on the 3D Touch display in the iPhone 6s, a new report says the Home button on the iPhone 7 will be pressure sensitive.

According to Bloomberg, Apple is planning to update the Home button on both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus by going away from a mechanism that you physically press down. Instead, the button will respond to pressure and provide feedback to users via haptic feedback.

This isn't a new development for Apple, as the company's MacBook and MacBook Pro have both switched from trackpads that click down to ones that provide vibrating feedback through a taptic engine. The effect is quite convincing. When the laptops are powered down, pressing the touchpads doesn't provide any feedback at all, but when powered on they do provide a click-like feel.

MORE: Video of Working iPhone 7 Makes Us Want the Plus

Apple could be making this move to prevent hardware failures on the iPhone's home button, which can stop clicking down if lint or other particles somehow get wedged behind the button. If it's pressure sensitive, the iPhone 7 could also know the difference between a tap and a hard press, which would open up new interaction possibilities.

For instance, pressing lightly on the iPhone Home button could allow you to just light up the display and see if you have any notifications, while pressing down could activate Touch ID and log you into the phone. (With iOS 10, you have to physically press the Home button down on existing iPhones to unlock your device with your fingerprint.)

9to5Mac reported on a Force Touch Home Button in June, saying that it would sit flush with the rest of the phone and that it would likely cut down on Genius Bar visits.

The Bloomberg report has some other tidbits, too, including that the removal of the headphone jack makes way for a second speaker on the iPhone 7 (which would you rather have?) and that the larger iPhone 7 Plus will indeed sport a dual-lens camera (as reported previously).

According to someone who has used a prototype, the two sensors on the iPhone 7 Plus will produce brighter photos with more details. That's because the sensors apparently capture color differently and then combine the images into one.

The iPhone 7 is expected to unveiled in early September and go on sale Sept. 16. Will you be getting one or skipping this upgrade? Sound off in the comments.

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for nearly 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.