Use Your iPad or iPhone Without Hardware Buttons Via Assisted Touch [iOS Tips]

Assisted Touch

Assisted Touch is an accessibility feature for iOS, usable on any iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, that recreates the hardware buttons and other gestures that someone with a motor disability might need to use. It also lets other folks use the Home, volume, screen lock, wake/sleep, and multitasking bar without using any of the hardware buttons themselves.

This can be pretty handy if you have the device in a case or holder of some type where accessing the buttons is tricky or impossible, like a home-made picture frame, for example.

Here’s how to activate this useful feature.

Tap into the Settings app, and then open the General area, then tap on the Accessibility button. Scroll down to the Physical & Motor section, and tap on Assistive Touch. Toggle the feature ON with a tap.

Notice that a little semi-transparent rounded rectangle with a white circle in the middle will appear. You can tap and drag this circle to anywhere along the right or left edge of the screen. Now, tap the new Assistive Touch icon, and you’re able to tap to activate Siri, the Home button, or access your own, custom Favorite gestures, as well as more Device-centric options, like volume, lock screen, and screenshot options with a tap on the Device icon.

Tap on Device, then More, then Gestures. You can tap on two, three, four, or five finger gestures here, and the specific number of circles will appear on the screen. Now, your single finger tap or drag will emulate that many fingers. This way, you can swipe with three or four fingers with a stylus, for example.

You can see how this would be helpful for those with or without a motor difference, letting us all use the hardware buttons and activate multitouch gestures when we otherwise can’t.

About the author

Rob LeFebvreRob LeFebvre is an Anchorage, Alaska-based writer and editor who has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, Creative Screenwriting, Shelf-Awareness, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef, and send him a cookie once in a while; he'll really appreciate it.

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