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iOS virtual Home button

Article by The Final Step on Mar 6, 2015

When our iOS devices get older we may find that the home button may start to wear and not work as it should anymore. This can be especially annoying when trying to double click to bring up the app switcher. Luckily Apple provides a very helpful feature as part of their accessibility options that can extend the life of your iOS device: a virtual home button.

To activate the feature go to the Settings app and tap on General, then Accessibility

Near the bottom of this menu you will find the AssistiveTouch option, this will be turned off by default. Tap on the option and tap the toggle to turn it on.

You will now see a new translucent button at the top of your screen. You can change the position of the button by dragging it around the screen, however it will always snap to the nearest side of the screen.

Tap this button and a black and white pop up will appear. One of the options here is the home button. You can use this button just like the physical home button. Tap once to go back to the springboard or double tap to bring up the app switcher. To dismiss the pop up, tap the centre of the pop up.

The other options on this pop up are Siri, Favourites and Device. Siri brings you directly to Siri and Device lets you access shortcuts to other hardware functions such as screen rotation, volume up and down and screenshot.

The final option on this pop up is Favourites, this was designed for people with mobility needs. Here you can record gestures you use often by tapping one of the empty squares. For example, if you need to zoom a page you can record that gesture, as quickly or as slowly as you wish, and then use it again with a single tap.

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