The Assistive Touch "Soft" On-Screen Home Button for iPhone 5, 4S, 4, iPads & iPods

Perhaps, the biggest hardware irritant in Apple iPhones, iPads and iPods is the home button, when it stops working and the biggest help comes in iOS 5 -  to the latest iOS 10 with the AssistiveTouch "soft" on-screen home button app for all devices (explained in this post) and gestures for iPads. After a few months/years of use, most Apple iDevice owners will experience an unresponsive home button and will try pressing it frantically to make it work but it will only register a click from ten. If your device is new, you will come across it too with time, depending upon how you handle it.

Apple recommends that you reset your idevice by switching it off and back on. If that does not solve the problem, you would need to hand it over to them for a costly hardware fix if your phone is not covered by warranty. Here's what they say:

  1. Put the iPhone to sleep.
  2. Wait a couple of seconds.
  3. Press the Home button.
  4. iPhone should wake up.
  5. If iPhone does not wake up, then iPhone should be serviced.

The Apple On-screen AssistiveTouch Option

The best alternative (read fix) is an accessibility option called AssistiveTouch, available from Apple within the IOS settings. It's the same for IOS 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10. Just follow the directions below and you can easily activate a soft home button always available on your Apple touch-screen. This works for all iPhones (iPhone 3GS, iPhone4, 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5 C, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone SE), iPod Touch, and all iPad versions as long as your device is running iOS 5+. Please spread the love and share this post with your friends who could use it. Here's how to activate AssistiveTouch:

Open Settings >> General >> Accessibility >> AssistiveTouch >> "On"

See the screenshot below and slide AssistiveTouch to the "ON" position on your device. This activates a "soft" AssistiveTouch option that includes a touch-screen home button on your iPhone, iPod or iPad; On activation, a round black and white touch-screen button appears on your screen - see where the green arrow is pointing:

The button offers further options when touched, as you can see in the screenshot below:

The AssistiveTouch button can be dragged and placed in one of the available 8 positions on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch in the left or right side of the screen. This repositioning feature is quite handy when the button gets in the way of options or apps that you need to access.

The button is also available in a locked screen like this:

Though this fix will not bring back your "hard" home button to life, it will offer an alternative that will come in very handy when you need it most for that urgent call when you are stuck in an application and need to activate your dialer. There's another way to reach your dialer but more on that in another post.

We understand that there's nothing that feels as good or is as usable as the "hard" home button, but we hope this alternative "soft" home button helped you that little bit to make your iPhone 7, 6, 5, 4, 4S, 3, iPod or iPad more accessible. We invite you to leave a comment with your opinion or further ideas on how to make idevices more accessible even if it means no hard home button in iPhone 8 :-).