Nearly a week after Apple believers collectively gasped at the first hint that the iPhone’s red “end-call” button might soon leave its center position and move a column to the right, it looks like it might been mostly a false alarm.
The initial shock followed last week’s release of the trial or beta version of iOS 17, the next major update to the iPhone operating system software. That’s where users first saw the end-call button, traditionally very isolated and well below function keys like Mute, Keypad, and Speaker, in the right corner of a six-button pad.
Now, however, images of the latest iOS 17 beta shared by multiple media sites show the red button smack dab in the middle of the phone’s dialpad, pretty close to where it’s long staked its territory. But it’s still not alone; Now it’s on the second row, in the middle of the six-button pad, where it seemingly challenges you to hang up without simultaneously opening the keypad or accidentally adding another participant to your call.
To be fair, it’s always difficult to draw firm conclusions from beta software releases, which are designed both to help engineers track down bugs and gauge user reaction to changes large and small. So they are somewhat experimental in nature and some experiments perform better than others.
But we have no choice but to speculate whether the odyssey of the hang up button is coming to an end. Apple doesn’t typically comment on its design process — or much else — and hasn’t responded to a request for comment from The Associated Press.