Free AppleCare with each new iMac 5K or Mac Pro purchase: Apple Price Guides updated Nov 26th (exclusive coupons)

Apple could remove home button in next-gen iPad, iPhone - rumor

An unverified report claims that Apple is planning to remove the home button on the iPad and iPhone as early as later this year, relying instead on multitouch gestures to return to the home screen.

Boy Genius Report is reporting that, according to one of its sources, Apple is already testing iPads and iPhones without home buttons on its Cupertino, Calif., campus. However, since the report itself admits the information is "pretty wild," readers should take it with a grain of salt.

"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," the report predicted.

"It's possible we will see this new change materialize with the next-generation iPad and iPhone devices set to launch this year," wrote author Jonathan S. Geller.

The report also cites new multitouch gestures from a beta version of iOS 4.3 released Wednesday that enable a 5-finger pinch gesture for accessing the home screen. Other gestures new to the beta include a swipe up to reveal the multitasking tray and a swipe left or right to switch between open applications.

Apple's iLife and photo-taking application Photo Booth could also make their way onto the next iPad, the report speculated.

Though BGR has had a respectable track record with AT&T and iPhone announcements, its Apple-related predictions have been less accurate. In 2009, the site incorrectly claimed that Blu-Ray support was coming to iTunes 9.

More recently, the site reported that a cloud version of iTunes with wireless syncing was "definitely happening soon." Last January, BGR reported "Apple tablet-related news" involving a "solid Apple / Verizon connection."