Apple has launched its new iPhone X: at time of writing only a handful of lucky reviewers have got their hands on the devices, but the first preorders should arrive with consumers on Friday. But unlike other iPhone launches of recent years, this one doesn't just add things, such as a bigger screen and Face ID; it also takes some things away. Such as the Home button.
Yep, the iPhone X has a far higher screen-to-body ratio than its predecessors, and all that screen leaves insufficient bezel room for the Home button. Its functions have been dispersed among other parts of the device - you accomplish the same things with gestures, or the power button, or with your face.
These are all exciting changes, to be sure, but we feel certain that at least some new iPhone X owners will find that they miss the old Home button. So in this article we explain how you can bring it back, in software form. And don't worry: we won't be using any dongles.
Software Home button
iOS includes an accessibility option that displays a software Home button on the screen. This comes in very handy on older phones (particularly those around the iPhone 4/4s/5 vintage) whose Home buttons malfunctioned and stopped working. But it's equally suited to iPhone X handsets which haven't got a Home button at all.
To activate the software home button, open the Settings app and go to General > Accessibility > AssistiveTouch, then tap the slider at the top so it turns green. A little rounded square with a circle in it should appear somewhere on the screen - by default it appears in the middle of the righthand edge.
You can drag the software Home button around and leave it wherever is least distracting. On that score, note that it will become slightly transparent when left alone for a while, and you can adjust how much it does this: in the Accessibility > AssistiveTouch menu, tap Idle Opacity and adjust the slider. The lower the number, the more transparent it will become.
Using the Home button
To use the AssistiveTouch button, you just need to tap it. This will make it open out into a larger menu with six options, including the bog-standard Home function at the bottom. Tap this to be taken back to the Home screen, or double-tap it to open the recently opened apps picker, just like on a hardware Home button.
The other options in the menu are mostly self-explanatory: Siri activates Siri, Control Centre and Notifications bring up those menus. Custom is more involved, however: by default it offers Pinch, hard-press and double-tap gestures, but you can add more in Settings > Accessibility > AssistiveTouch > Create New Gesture.
Tap Device to open up other hardware functions, such as volume up and down, mute, rotate orientation and so on.
Customising the Home button
Let's return to the AssistiveTouch menu in Settings. This time tap Customise Top Level Menu.
In this page you can tap one of those six icons and replace it with a different function entirely, such as Speak Screen or SOS. Or you can increase (or decrease) the number of icons in the menu: the maximum is eight. Tap Reset if you want to undo all your changes and return to the default.
We have the low down problems with the iPhone X here.