Apple is planning a major overhaul of the Phone app in the upcoming iOS 17 release. While the new operating system will introduce enhancements across all apps, the changes to the Phone app will likely be the most disruptive to users’ habits.
One of the most notable changes involves the relocation of the hang-up button during calls.
Currently, the iPhone screen displays seven buttons when a call is in progress: “Mute,” “Keypad,” and “Speaker” on the top row, “Add Call,” “FaceTime,” and “Contacts” on the second row, and the red “End Call” button at the bottom.
With iOS 17, Apple has redesigned this layout to just two rows of three buttons each. According to leaked screenshots, the new layout places “Add,” “Keypad,” and the red hang-up button on the second row, with “Speaker,” “FaceTime,” and “Mute” on the first row.
This new position for the hang-up button at the top right could easily lead to users accidentally ending calls.
After years of having this crucial button at the bottom, the muscle memory to reach for that spot will persist. It may take time for users to adjust to this change.
While the hang-up button shift may cause the most frustration, it is one of many updates coming to the Phone app in iOS 17.
Apple is adding personalized contact “posters” that will display when calling someone, similar to the new lock screen widgets. FaceTime will also allow leaving video messages for unavailable friends.
The upcoming iOS 17 release promises sweeping changes that aim to improve the user experience, but shifting such an essential on-screen button is risky.
Apple has made bold interface changes before, like moving the app update tab in iOS 13, so they are clearly not afraid to shake things up. For better or worse, the new Phone app will require retraining our fingers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Apple moving the hang-up button in iOS 17?
Apple is redesigning the in-call screen in the Phone app to reduce it from 7 buttons down to 6. This required changing the position of the hang-up button from the bottom of the screen to the top right.
Where will the hang-up button be in iOS 17?
In iOS 17, the red hang-up button will be located in the top right corner of the screen, instead of its current position at the bottom center.
What other changes are coming to the Phone app in iOS 17?
Other Phone app changes include new personalized contact “posters,” video voicemail messages via FaceTime, and reorganized call buttons like “Add Call” and “Keypad.”
How long will it take users to adjust to the new hang-up button location?
It may take users time to break the habit of reaching for the bottom of the screen to end calls. This muscle memory has developed over many years of iPhones, so adjusting to the right side will feel unnatural at first.
Could you accidentally hang up more with the new button position?
Yes, it will likely be easier to accidentally tap the hang-up button in the new right corner location, especially until users retrain themselves to the new position. Tapping the top right is more common than the bottom center.
What other bold interface changes has Apple made before?
Apple has a history of major UI changes, like moving the app update tab in iOS 13. While jarring at first, these big updates aim to improve usability over time.