Apple’s continuous endeavor to improve user interface and functionality is not something new. However, not all changes are met with enthusiasm, and sometimes a reverse course is required. That is precisely what happened with Apple’s latest decision to move the “end call” button back to the middle of the screen in iOS 17’s newest developer version.
The Shift and Reversal
The shift of the red “end call” button from its usual position in the center to the lower right-hand corner was one of the potential changes that Apple had been exploring. But as seen in the most recent developer beta, this decision has been reversed, and the button is once again centered vertically, amidst three buttons close to the bottom of the screen.
A Question of Usability
The original idea to move the button aimed to accommodate the revamped call ID function, known as “contact posters.” With these new features taking up most of the screen during a call, the buttons had to be repositioned. However, this change could have disrupted years of user muscle memory, leading to accidental presses where the button used to be.
In a world where ease of use and user familiarity are crucial, the reversal of this decision might be seen as a nod to long-time iPhone users. It follows a similar pattern to Apple’s change of heart in 2021, where after initially moving the URL bar in Safari to the bottom of the page in a beta version, Apple rolled back some changes and allowed users to revert to the traditional top-page placement.
iOS 17: A Major Revamp
Despite the reversal on the “end call” button, iOS 17 still represents one of the biggest updates to the iPhone’s phone app in recent history. Features like real-time voicemail transcriptions, contact posters, and an updated interface with bolder font emphasize Apple’s commitment to evolving its product.
The new beta still provides a glimpse of what’s to come, though it’s available only to those willing to explore and assist in ironing out the potential bugs.
Apple’s decision to move the “end call” button back to its original place reflects an understanding of the delicate balance between innovation and user comfort. By paying heed to usability and potential confusion, Apple ensures a smoother transition to its new operating system. With the fall release of iOS 17 approaching, all eyes will be on Apple to see how the final version shapes up. But one thing is clear: the “end call” button’s location remains a constant in an ever-evolving landscape.