iPhoneForums.Net News Team
- Jun 18, 2010
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Called a “Multi-Function Input Device,” the patent was originally filed by Apple back in July 2013. According to the patent, the joystick mode in an iPhone that had been fitted with the device would be activated when the user pushed down on the home button, which would have a spring mechanism underneath the home button that would enable the button to pop out when pressed. After using the joystick you would then simply press the home button back down again.
As you can see from the patent drawing, the joystick is small enough to fit inside the home button, and other hand-held devices such as Sony’s PlayStation Vita have shown that a small joystick/thumbstick can actually work very well if designed properly.
Here’s a quote from the patent application that explains why Apple thought it necessary to work on developing a physical joystick for the iPhone.
“Some gamers hold the opinion that realistic game play cannot be fully experienced without joysticks and/or tactile buttons. Users may desire to use a first kind of input device for various applications and a second kind of input device for various other applications. However, providing multiple different kinds of input devices may be complicated, expensive, and may not be possible within space constraints (such as in the cases of portable devices such as tablet computers or smart phones). Further, providing some input devices, such as joysticks, may expose components of the input devices that project outward to damage and/or otherwise compromising the aesthetics of electronic devices in which the input devices are incorporated. Additionally, providing multiple different kinds of input devices may frustrate other users who never utilize applications that are suited to one or more of the input devices and have to work around those input devices when utilizing one or more of the other input devices.”
Source: Apple Patent Reveals Future iPhones May Have A Joystick Built Into The Home Button - Forbes