Testing of see-through cases that cover the screen and touchscreen gloves shows most do not activate the home button.
The iPhone 7’s new solid-state home “button” does not work without skin contact, rendering the phone unaccessible when placed inside a sports armband, a waterproof case or when the user is wearing touchscreen gloves.
The new home button, which is pressure sensitive and does not move, is an essential part of the the new iPhone. A change made for iOS 10 means that you cannot move past the lockscreen without activating the home button, even if you are attempting to enter a pin code to unlock the device.
The Guardian tested capacitive gloves and a see-through case that covers screen. It was not possible to activate the iPhone 7 or 7 Plus’s Home button using either, but it was possible to fully manipulate the touchscreen.
Workarounds include using the nose, chin, elbow, knee or any other piece of skin to activate the home button to bring up the prompt for a passcode. Users attempting to activate the iPhone 7 within a see-through bag or sports armband will have to remove the smartphone to do so.
The home button also functions as an integral part of the mechanics of iOS returning users to the homescreen. Without use of the home button, users can use the 3D touch press and drag from the left-hand side of the phone to access the recently used apps and select the homescreen, which works perfectly fine with touchscreen gloves, but is difficult to perform within a see through case that covers the screen.
Some users have reported that some touchscreen-capable gloves were able to activate the home button, but the majority appear not to work.