How to salvage a phone without a home button

by Andrew Okwuosah, Digital Editor

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Our phones are in our hands for significant periods of time each day, and that’s all fine and dandy until your phone is free-falling towards a concrete floor. Your phone’s going to get damaged, and while you can make do with a cracked screen, a broken home button is a slightly bigger inconvenience. Here are some ways to fix that:

iOS

All iOS devices have Assistive Touch built in, which puts a virtual Home button on your iPhone’s display. It’s meant for those who have difficulties pressing buttons, but it also comes in handy here.

To enable it, go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Assistive Touch and toggle the feature on (you can disable it with the same process). You can customize what shows up by selecting “Customize Top Level Menu” in the menu.

When it’s enabled, you’ll see a home button appear on the side of your display. When you press it, you’ll get access to basic iPhone features like Siri, volume controls or a shortcut to take a screenshot.

Android

Android users have things a bit more difficult, since there aren’t any officially supported accessibility features baked into the operating system. However, there are apps that can help.

There are several apps that’ll do the job, but I recommend My Home Button because it avoids having the floating button obscuring your screen. Instead, there’s a permanent notification set up in your notification tray that you can use as a home button. It can also be expanded with buttons to open recent apps or expand notifications.

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