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How the Home 'button' works on iPhone X

With the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple has given us the iPhone X, which has done away with the iconic Home button that has been around since the first iteration of the iPhone.

You're probably thinking that you use your iPhone's Home button a lot and you would be right. However, Apple did reveal some indication of how life without a Home button will look.

How to unlock the iPhone X

Obviously, without a Home button the iPhone X won't be able to use Touch ID. Instead, the iPhone X will use facial recognition technology known as Face ID to unlock.

By using the front-facing camera, an infrared camera, a flood illuminator, and a dot projector, the iPhone X scans your facial features and creates a profile for Face ID to recognize. When you want to unlock your phone, you simply need to look into the front-facing camera for the iPhone X to recognize you and the phone will open.

How to get to the home screen on iPhone X

Probably one of the most common uses of the Home button is to return to the Home screen, but with the iPhone X there's a different way.

The iPhone X will be able to return to the Home screen at any time by swiping up from the bottom of the screen — much like you would swipe up on your current iPhone to access Control Center.

I know what you're thinking …

How to access Control Center on iPhone X

Surprise! Control Center isn't located at the bottom of your screen on the iPhone X.

To activate Control Center on the iPhone X, you'll need to swipe down from the top-right corner of the screen where your Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and battery life icons live.

How to use multitasking with the iPhone X

If you're running multiple apps at once on your iPhone X and need to switch between them, you'll need to swipe up from the bottom of the screen and hold for a split second in the middle of the screen. Then, all the apps that are currently open will display in multitasking mode like normal.

Alternatively, Apple showed us that you can also swipe side-to-side at the bottom of the screen to glide between any apps you have open at the time.

What do you think of the iPhone X?

Are you prepared to part ways with the Home button? Let us know in the comments below!

Luke Filipowicz
Staff Writer

Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way. 


Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.

15 Comments
  • So, the cops or security services can unlock the phone by pointing it at your face?
    (yeah, I realize that they can break a finger and force it on the home buttons to force a touch id unlock...but just pointing the phone from afar seems way easier...)
  • Super easy solution....don't be a criminal.
  • Or a dissident.
  • That's not a solution, considering it is possible to be wrongly accused for something (I have actually been in this situation)
  • Not unless they grab you and force your head towards the phone, which over here in the UK wouldn't be allowed, the cops would get done for it
  • So close your eyes. It shouldnt work with your eyes closed. Actually from the reveal yesterday, it doesnt even work with them open either. :)
  • Face ID worked fine in the demo, it didn't work the first time because the device had been restarted/met the 8 hour limit so a passcode was required
  • This seems very familiar to how it works on the blackberry z10. Swipe navigation was ahead of its time
  • And Nokia and Palm. Nothing new. People will get used to it but its clunky. Especially on iPad mini
  • Maybe on an iPad mini but on the iPhone it doesn't seem clunky. It'll take some getting used to but I imagine it's pretty natural when you're used to it
  • Always like swiping from bottom for control center. Now gone. Ugh. Wish they would of try S8/Note 8 approach. Probably keep my 6s Plus one more year. Also watching the video they didn't black out the sensors at the top.
  • Saw that too. Ridiculous design decision to leave the ears and unibrow to chew into something me video and games. I guess symmetry is a thing of the past.
  • I think it looks fine, but each to their own. I imagine you can shrink videos so that they're not covered by it if you choose to
  • Any word on how to force quit an app? I'm sure the swipe up from home doesn't quit. Would you have to swap halfway up to get into multi-tasking and then swipe up?
  • I have a question. In games whether they are played in portrait view or landscape view. Some games involve swiping up from the bottom edge of the screen. How will we be able to play games like this, without been put out of the game and back to the Home Screen?