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Circuit Breaker

iPhone 7 home button doesn't work with most gloves

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James Bareham

Here's something that could be a little frustrating come winter: the iPhone 7's home button doesn't seem to work with most gloves. It turns out, Apple's new home button works more like a touchscreen than a button, requiring direct skin contact in order to know that it's being pressed.

Relay FM co-founder Myke Hurley first drew attention to the issue. He suspects it's the Touch ID ring that's responsible for detecting if the button is actually being touched. "No sensor connection, no click," he writes.

While this could be a bit frustrating, it might not be quite as annoying as it sounds. The iPhone's touchscreen (any modern phone's touchscreen, really) has always required skin contact to work; so being out of luck with normal gloves on is something we should all be pretty used to by now.

There does appear to be one hiccup, however: there are some reports that touchscreen-friendly gloves, which have conductive material on their fingertips, aren't working on the new button, even when they do work on the screen. MacRumors says its pair failed to work, as did Relay FM host David Smith. iMore, on the other hand, shows a pair working, and others on Twitter said their conductive gloves worked as well.

Should your existing pair of gloves not work, then you might be in worse shape than usual. While previous iPhones let you turn the screen on with the power button and then type in your passcode, iOS 10 requires a home button press in order to reach the phone's main screen.

If you never had touchscreen-friendly gloves, this isn't going to change anything. But if you do have a pair or are planning to buy one, it seems like it'll be worth testing whether they work on the home button.