Andrew Durdin posted a visual state diagram showing the functionality of the iPhone’s Home Button.
Lukas Mathis linked to this and asked the following:
[...] why not just send me to the first home screen when I hit home? That way, I always know where I end up when I hit «home».
Michael Tsai added:
I would be fine with having the Home button always take you back to the first home screen. I’d rather remember the swipes to get to a particular app than have to always reorient myself after pressing Home. The folder modes especially seem to get in the way.
A couple of things related to home button navigation that bother me (in decreasing order of annoyance):
Unlocking the iPhone and starting at a screen other than the first home screen.
Opening an app from inside a folder and then hitting the home button and the folder still being open.
Opening an app from a home screen other than the first one and returning to this home screen when hitting the home button.
I typically make a point of returning to the first home screen before locking the phone1. This takes care of #1 for me, though it’s extra work each time I lock the phone.
A couple of confusing behaviors related to #2:
locking and unlocking the phone while on a home screen with an open folder will close that folder.
Opening an app from a folder, then locking and unlocking the phone while in the app, then hitting the home button results in returning to the home screen with the folder still open.
Finally, double-clicking the home button while a folder is open brings up the multi-tasking bar while simultaneously closing the folder. From this state, either clicking the home button directly, or switching to an app and then clicking the home button, brings you back to the home screen with the folder still open (even though it closed when bringing up the multi-tasking bar). Locking and unlocking the phone from this state (with the multi-tasking bar up after having a folder open) closes the folder.
The Part Where I Agree With the Other Suggestions
I would love if hitting the home button always brought you to the first home screen (without any folders open). This would directly address my second and third complaints above, and would also make my life simpler for my workaround for the first complaint.