New in OS X: Get MacRumors Push Notifications on your Mac

Resubscribe Now Close

'iPhone 8' May Include Option to Activate Siri By Holding the Sleep/Wake Button

In the absence of a physical Home button, Apple's so-called "iPhone 8" may allow users to activate Siri by holding down the Sleep/Wake button if they prefer not to do so using the voice command "Hey Siri". That's according to iOS developer Guilherme Rambo, based on a discovery he has made in source code that points to the possibility.

In a tweet posted on Saturday, Rambo said he wondered if Apple had moved any of the original Home button's functionality to the "lock" button (or Sleep/Wake, as Apple calls it) located on the upper right side of the handset. When asked by a follower if he had found something in Apple's code to suggest this, Rambo revealed that he had indeed discovered a gesture to invoke Siri by holding the lock button.

It's unclear what type of code Rambo refers to, but the Brazilian developer has previously unearthed details of upcoming Apple products in the company's beta software, including references to a 4K Apple TV in tvOS 11 as well as references in early HomePod firmware to some features widely expected in the company's upcoming OLED iPhone.

Apple's radically redesigned iPhone does away with the Home button entirely, relying instead on a new gestural interface that includes a "software bar" along the bottom of the screen and an app dock similar to the one found in iOS 11 on iPad.

While next-generation facial recognition technology is said to replace Touch ID fingerprint authentication, details are murky as to how Apple plans to remap other functions that traditionally involve pressing the Home button. For instance, any method of invoking Siri using the Sleep/Wake button would need to be sufficiently distinct from the current long press that activates the slide-to-power-off screen, unless Apple has also relocated the latter function. Another possibility is that the power button on the OLED iPhone houses two separate contact switches, which could explain why it appears elongated in some alleged design leaks.

All should be revealed at the company's September 12 media event, where Apple is expected to unveil its "premium" OLED iPhone alongside new upgraded versions of iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, a fifth-generation Apple TV, and an Apple Watch Series 3 range with LTE capability. Apple will stream the event live on its website and on the Apple TV, but for those who are unable to watch, MacRumors will be providing full event coverage, both on and through our MacRumorsLive Twitter account.

Update: A reader has pointed out that last month Brazilian blog iHelp BR discovered a line of code in the HomePod firmware that suggests the Sleep/Wake button could in fact change functions on the OLED iPhone depending on the app currently in use. The line of code "lockButtonAppropriateForShutter" likely relates to the native camera app and may indicate the presence of dual switches.

Related Roundup: iPhone X

Top Rated Comments

(View all)

23 months ago
Sorry, I could not find any information about "iPhone 8 may have option to activate Siri by holding Sleep/Wake button".

Would you like me to do a web search for you?
Rating: 24 Votes
23 months ago
Can't innovate anymore, my ass!
Rating: 11 Votes
23 months ago
Go Rambo!
Rating: 10 Votes
23 months ago
I wonder where they got this idea from. What I think is ironic is that Samsung were panned for having a button for bixby. However this is the same thing but will be lapped up by the journalists.
Rating: 7 Votes
23 months ago

Also as soon as you have all the evidence you need, please stop referring to it as the ‘iPhone 8’. If that evidence gets released, I hope everyone does that but realistically it probably won’t happen, iPhone 8 gets more clicks.

Why change what they call it now when no name has been confirmed but we'll know for sure in a little over a week? Might as well keep calling it what most people know it by rather than confusing people by switching to a different name now and still possibly being wrong.

You won't need to if the iPhone 8 is around the same size as the current 4.7" iPhone which it's rumoured to be I believe.

Even the 4.7" iPhones have reachability. For average to small sized hands the very top corners of the 6/6s/7 can be hard to reach depending on your grip, and the "iPhone 8" will still be slightly larger.

Why not just enhance facial recognition so that iPhone automatically launch Siri when detecting user speaking “Hey Siri” to the phone? That is, make Siri completely independent from relying hardware buttons to invoke.

What does this have to do with facial recognition? It can already launch when you say "Hey Siri" due to voice recognition, unless you mean you want it to read your lips so that you can just mouth it?

But the point is, they're addressing the fact that some people want to be able to activate Siri without having to speak out loud.

That's a good point, and something I hadn't thought of yet. In a related situation, far too often I still have to glance at my phone when approaching an intersection to see which direction I'll have to turn as Maps/Siri doesn't tell you when to turn until the last possible moment. I still miss turns quite often because of this. I guess I'm getting off topic, but it's amazing that Siri still doesn't adjust to the speed at which you are driving. I haven't used Google Maps in a long while, does that app adjust to your driving speed?

Use Google Maps. It will tell you when you're approaching a turn. eg. "In 600m turn left onto Main Street North... Turn left onto Main Street North".

I've been using iPhones for years and I've never used Apple Maps. I heard too many horror stories when it first launched, and although I have no doubt that it's MUCH better now, I've never had any reason to not use Google.
Rating: 6 Votes
23 months ago

That could be the case then, but that leaves the two points of contact unexplained.

It's probably just for keeping the button stable, just like many keyboards use multiple contact points in the space bar in order to preserve the stability, even when you hit it on one of the ends. If they would assign 2 different functions, they would definetly made 2 seperate buttons, just like the Volume Up/Down buttons on the left-hand side.
Rating: 6 Votes
23 months ago

Explains why the button has two pressure points.

Probably not, on the latest beta builds of iOS 11, a quintiple Sleep/Wake button-press triggers this screen. No need for a long press to power off your device.

Rating: 6 Votes
23 months ago
What if the lock button becomes the new home button?
Rating: 6 Votes
23 months ago
Siri with the lock button would be SO annoying!
Rating: 5 Votes
23 months ago

Her response so Twins will be able to get into each others phones. True Dat!

We won’t know until the phone comes out and is tested, but it people seem to say that good facial recognition can tell the difference between twins.

Humans are better at identifying whether someone looks happy or sad. But computers beats humans on the quantitative side of things such as measuring the relative dimensions of the features on a face and are better able to tell twins apart.

Even humans can tell twins apart if they know them well enough.
Rating: 5 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]