Apple fans were in for a surprise when the tech giant released the iPhone 15 Pro without its much-anticipated haptic volume and power buttons. The omission came as a disappointment to many, considering Apple’s history of improving vibration technology in its iPhones.
The journey started in 2011 when Apple introduced linear resonant actuators, followed by the Taptic Engine in 2015. These advancements aimed to enhance the user experience by providing realistic haptic feedback. So when Project Bongo, the internal name for the redesigned volume and power buttons, was announced for the iPhone 15, anticipation grew.
The concept behind haptic buttons is intriguing. Instead of physically moving when pressed, they detect pressure and create vibrations to emulate the sensation of pressing a button. To accomplish this, Apple developed the Bongo Haptic Engine, utilizing an electromagnetically driven reluctance motor for faster vibration speeds and better haptic feedback.
However, the Bongo project hit some roadblocks. It was canceled during the Engineering Validation Test stage due to unsatisfactory test results and high hardware failure rates. As a result, the volume button design underwent changes in subsequent development stages, ultimately resulting in the final mass production units of the iPhone 15 Pro featuring standard mechanical buttons.
The Bongo project had more in store, as it also included a unified volume button, departing from previous iPhone designs. Nevertheless, Apple seems determined to make up for this setback. There are hints that the company is working on a replacement for the Bongo project in time for the iPhone 16 lineup. Speculation points towards capacitive buttons as a potential alternative.
For those eager to learn more about the iPhone 15 Pro and its features, a dedicated roundup page is available for in-depth information. Apple enthusiasts can keep an eye out for further developments as the tech giant seeks to deliver an even more immersive and engaging user experience in the future.
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