David Pierce, writing for Wired:
Ask any Android user what it’s like when the screen freezes, and you’re either stuck waiting for something to happen or pressing the power button to reboot your phone and be done with it. Or when you’re in a full-screen app and can’t figure out how to leave it. These are the little things that critics like to say separate iOS from Android in the first place, the “you already know how to use it” believers. The reason you already know how to use it? There’s a button, right there in front of your face.
OK, sure, so the iPhone 7’s home “button” wasn’t really a button at all. It was just a dedicated spot on the bottom of the device where Apple’s haptic feedback engines made you think you were clicking a button when you pressed it. And when the phone froze, it did too. There was still something soothing to pressing the button underneath a frozen GarageBand, hoping it would eventually take you home. Maybe it was just a placebo, like pressing the Close Door button in an elevator even when you know full well it won’t actually Close Door any faster. It still helped you feel in control, rather than existing at the mercy of software.
I disagree with most of this piece, but this one part was interesting. With a physical button, you could override a frozen screen; with a virtual button, you can’t. Here’s the thing though: I own an iPhone 7 and I cannot recall when the last time my iPhone froze. This drawback of not having an ability to “parachute” out of the frozen app isn’t an issue for me, because I never need it. I daresay that’s true of most users on most iOS apps. The parachute was nice in the early days when the software wasn’t as mature and the hardware limits were much easier to reach, but nowadays, how many people actually get a frozen iPhone screen?