Mark Gurman, writing for Bloomberg:
[…] Apple has tested the complete removal of the home button—even a digital one—in favor of new gesture controls for tasks like going to the main app grid and opening multitasking, according to the people and the images.
The paragraph above doesn’t seem to indicate that this is how Apple solved (or will solve) the problem. Mark just says that this is something that has been tested.
Across the bottom of the screen there’s a thin, software bar in lieu of the home button. A user can drag it up to the middle of the screen to open the phone. When inside an app, a similar gesture starts multitasking. From here, users can continue to flick upwards to close the app and go back to the home screen. An animation in testing sucks the app back into its icon. The multitasking interface has been redesigned to appear like a series of standalone cards that can be swiped through, versus the stack of cards on current iPhones, the images show.
This solution, heavily relying on gestures, could potentially be much more time-consuming than just hitting the home button. Again, this could or could not make it to iOS 11 on the ‘iPhone 8’.
There seems to be no other new information from Mark in his latest piece and the original headline is a bit misleading, so I rewrote it.