Fast Company reported that Apple is planning to bring a change to its Apple Watch. It seems that a future version of the gadget might come with a replacement for its physical button – a solid state button.
This would provide haptic feedback similar to the updated home button that was introduced in the iPhone 7 a few years ago.
Apple keeps the same button configuration
Fast Company’s sources claimed that the company would keep the same configuration of buttons, but it won’t physically move.
Instead, it will rely on Apple’s Tactic Engine to react to a user’s touch. The same reports also hinted at the fact that the digital crown will still physically move in order to scroll.
Apple switched things up back in 2015 with its MacBook Pro’s Force Touch Trackpad and with its iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus back in 2016.
Both devices have removed the physical moving parts, and it replaced them with surfaces that replicated the exact feel of a click when they’re pressed using the Taptic Engine.
The MacBook Pro’s trackpad and the iPhone’s buttons needed a bit of getting used to, but without a physical button, they had one thing less to potentially break.
Availability and further details
This also helped Apple to make the iPhone water-resistant. The removal of this button also helped to free up some space for a larger battery, and this obviously resulted in more operating time.
It’s not very clear when the change will come, but Fast Company’s sources said that this could be a part of the fall’s new lineup. If this doesn’t happen, it might come in 2019.
“Apple has also been working on using the top of the buttons as sensors to gather health-related data such as heart rhythms. The heart-rate sensor on the back side of the watch does this through direct contact with the skin, but some types of measurements require more than one point of contact with the user’s skin. The top of either of the new solid-state buttons could provide that,” the Fast Company also reported.