iPhone, iPad May Lose Buttons with New Multitouch Casing

In the period leading up to the unveiling of the iPhone, there were whispers that Steve Jobs was dissatisfied with the initial designs, frustrated by the engineering team’s inability to integrate all necessary functions into a purely touch-based interface, leaving no room for traditional physical buttons.

Despite these challenges, Apple has continued to explore innovative solutions.

A recently-filed patent by Apple demonstrates the company’s commitment to creating streamlined, button-free interfaces.

This patent proposes utilizing various parts of a device’s exterior—specifically, the iPad casing as depicted—to perform functions traditionally managed by physical buttons.

Previous discussions about an interactive casing have surfaced, but this new patent underscores Apple’s ongoing quest to eliminate physical buttons and enhance portability.


Barbara is a dedicated writer for TUAW, bringing readers the latest insights and updates on all things Apple. With a keen eye for detail and a love for technology, Barbara covers everything from the newest iPhone releases to the latest macOS updates. Her articles are known for their clarity and depth, making complex topics accessible to all. When she’s not writing, Barbara enjoys exploring new features on her Apple Watch and testing out the latest iPad apps.