John Gruber, in a footnote about the iPhone X gestures and navigation coming to iPads:
As for how the iPhone X-style Face ID/no-home-button experience will work on iPad, it’s unclear to me whether Apple has already thought this all the way through. Why, for example, did Apple just this year introduce a new small-swipe-up-from-the-bottom gesture for the iPad to show the new Dock, when the iPhone X suggests that a small swipe up from the bottom is the future of getting back to the home screen?
That swipe up in the iPad would be a disaster to lose. It’s so convenient and fast, it would be, hard to go back. I can see two scenarios here:
- iOS further splits with the iPad lineup retaining some sort of multi-swipe cruft to maintain the productivity values of what we currently have, while also allowing for swipe to go home.
- The home screen as we know it dies.
The first option seems too obvious and is a cop out. But the second, seems to line up with rumors of widgets/live tiles coming to the home screen. What if the home screen isn’t where you start, but rather is merged with the Today and the Lock Screen?
Swiping up to multi-tasking on an iPad could then show a home screen to switch to, as if it is another app. The more I use iOS 11 on my iPads, the less I need the home screen at all, it is almost a waste of, I don’t know, but a waste nonetheless. So too is the today screen which goes unused by me on my iPads.
And this would work nicely too with Face ID on iPads. Tap to wake up, while looking at the screen your lock screen morphs into a hybrid today-notification center. Then when you unlock, if you haven’t tapped something there, you pick up where you last left off, or worse case, in the multi-tasking chooser which is far more powerful and useful than the home screen has ever been. The only thing missing then is a dedicated spotlight button.
Personally, I can’t wait to see where Apple iterates in the iPhone X.