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Apple Set To Remove Home Button In iPhone 5, iPad 2

The introduction of multitouch gestures in the new iOS 4.3 beta will coincide with the removal of the only physical button present on the front of the iPad and the iPhone, sources close to the matter have told BGR.

The site adds (opens in new tab) that the iPad will be the first to lose the button and that the iPhone will be the next on the list; it is likely that the iPod Touch will follow suit.

Instead, multitouch gestures will be used to access the home screen and to launch the app switcher. It is likely that the multitouch gestures settings will be customisable as well.

Button-less devices are apparently already being tested on Apple's Campus in Cupertino and the changes may happen as early as this year.

No front button has apparently been one of the wishes of Steve Jobs when the original iPhone was launched and it looks as if this will happen very soon.

Google has also said that Honeycomb, the next version of Android destined to be used on tablet devices, will not require any physical buttons.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.