Not long after the invitations for next week’s iPad 3 event were sent out yesterday, many people noticed something that was conspicuously missing from the shot of the tablet: a home button.For most companies, this could easily be chalked up to a lazy Photoshop job, but since this is Apple, we have to wonder. The company is known for its excruciating attention to detail, so you can bet that if something made its way into an image, the company was aware of it. The question, then, is: would Apple lose the home button on its next iPad?The obvious counter to the missing home button is that the image must simply show the side of an iPad, which is in landscape mode. At first, this appears to be the case, but the spacing between the icons is wrong. Even if the iPad had six apps crammed into its dock, the spacing is still a bit too far apart.Another strike against the landscape mode argument is that the water droplets in the stock iOS wallpaper are out of place. They’re placed perfectly, however, for portrait mode. So — questions about Photoshopping aside — we can conclude that the image does, in fact, show an iPad in portrait mode.Could the iPad simply be turned upside down? Remember, iPads can rotate their displays in all four directions, so — bizarre as it would be for a teaser image — it could be showing the top of the iPad 3 with the screen flipped. But there’s something missing there too: the front-facing camera. The camera is small enough that it might be cropped out of the lower left part of the image, but probably not.So let’s say that Apple did release a teaser image of an iPad that has no home button — as appears to be the case. Is this something we can expect to see, or was the button just Photoshopped out to draw focus to the iPad’s icons? We’re leaning towards the latter, but, again, Apple’s attention to detail gives us pause. The iPad has allowed for multitasking gestures since iOS 5, so the home button could be removed without losing any functionality (and without adding virtual onscreen buttons, a la Ice Cream Sandwich). Apple also likes simplicity, and subscribes to the “only use what’s necessary” mentality. You could argue that a home button is no longer necessary (Google would agree).For now, though, we’d recommend that you file this one under “probably looking way too much into nothing.” But when you’re dealing with the most detail-oriented company in the world, nothing is to be ruled out.
Would Apple really release an iPad 3 without a home button