Daily Tip: How to get around a buggy iPhone Home Button using Activator [Jailbreak]
Have a broken or buggy iPhone Home Button and curious how to work around it? When Apple released iOS 4.1 several of our readers reported a bug with their iPhone Home Button, and for some of us, performing a restore or waiting for Apple to fix it in a software update hasn't paid off.
If you aren't near an Apple Store to swap out your iPhone, or you're out of warranty, here's something you can do to help circumvent the problem using Activator gestures to simulate a Home Button click -- hit the jump to find out how it's done!
Activator is a well-known jailbreak extension that integrates gestures into your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch using a system-wide mobilesubstrate hook in iOS. You can designate a number of gestures to do things like launch apps, perform tasks, toggle WiFi on-the-fly and a lot more -- you can even map a gesture to the Home Button!
My personal iPhone 4 has had this issue for a while. Right now I just swipe up from the bottom of the screen in order to 'press' the Home Button, and swipe up from the bottom-right to call up the app switcher. It was a little awkward at first, but after a day or two my muscle-memory kicked in and I haven't been annoyed by the Home Button problem ever since -- simply because I never actually have to press it anymore.
If you haven't already jailbroken your iPhone then check out our jailbreak starters guide first. Now just follow these quick steps to get Activator set up to allow a custom Home Button gesture:
- After installing Activator in Cydia (free) open the Settings app and select Activator from the settings menu.
- Tap 'Anywhere'.
- Now you'll have to select your desired gesture here. I chose the Slide In gesture but you can choose whatever you prefer.
- Now swipe up to reveal the search bar and run a quick search for the Home Button.
You'll need to kill the Settings app for the gesture to kick in, and you can go through the same steps for setting up a gesture for the iOS app switcher as well.
That's it! Using a gesture to simulate the Home Button has taken away those random frustrating moments when my Home Button wouldn't respond, and we hope it helps you get around the problem too! Let us know what other suggestions and work-arounds you've come up with in the comments below!
Bonus Tip: @JBaby_9783 on Twitter suggested using rubbing alcohol to help clean dust and grit from areas around the Home Button. You'll need to wet a QTip with 91% rubbing alcohol and apply it on and around the Home Button after you've powered off your iPhone. Get the button area slightly wet (having a small puddle in the concave of the button is fine) and then press the Home Button multiple times while it's still wet, then let dry. You can quicken the drying process by applying a blow dryer to your iPhone for about a minute, but make sure it's fully dry before powering the iPhone back on. This should help address response issues with the Home Button but you won't see a change if your problem is bug-related.
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Andrew Wray is a Salt Lake City, Utah based writer who focuses on news, how-tos, and jailbreak. Andrew also enjoys running, spending time with his daughter, and jamming out on his guitar. He works in a management position for Unisys Technical Services, a subsidiary of Unisys Corporation.