How to Fix Your iPhone Home Button… With a Vacuum Cleaner

iPhone Home Button Vacuum Cleaner

Last year, I complained about my iPhone 3GS home button losing sensitivity and becoming increasingly difficult to press. A year later, my iPhone 4 home button has the same issue, and worse.

A faulty home button could be the result of several things. It could have water damage, it could have dust clogged beneath it, or it could be intentionally planned by Apple to become obsolete.

If your home button is hard to press, your best bet is to take it to the Apple Store and see if they can replace your phone at the Genius Bar under warranty.

But if, like me, you live far away from the nearest Apple Store, or if your warranty is void for whatever reason, then I advise you to try this unconventional, but somewhat-effective fix for a faulty iPhone home button: suck the dust out of your iPhone charging port with a vacuum cleaner.

I read about vacuuming your iPhone in an Apple Support forum and was skeptical, but I tried it and, although it did not solve the problem completely, it worked to an extent. Pressing my home button no longer stresses my finger as much as it used to after trying the vacuum fix.

Just connect the hose attachment to your vacuum cleaner, turn on the vacuum and put the hose up to the charging port at the bottom of your iPhone.

You may want to use a pair of tweezers or a needle to take out dust particles as they are pulled into the charging port.

Do this a few times, and if you are lucky like me, then your home button will be at least slightly easier to press.

Will the Next iPhone Home Button Have Gesture Recognition?

If you’ve ever used a Macbook Pro, you know that nothing beats the gesture recognition feature on the Macbook Pro trackpad. Swipe three fingers left on the trackpad to go back in the browser, swipe four fingers up to reveal the desktop, and swipe four fingers down to see thumbnails of all your open windows (the Mac OS X Exposé feature).

iPhone Home Button Gestures

Well, rumor has it that the next iPhone home button may feature a gesture area with similar functionality. If the rumors are to be trusted, this home button gesture feature could signal the next revolution in smartphone technology.

With all the competition in the smartphone market, a gesture area on the iPhone home button would help the next iPhone stand apart from Android smartphones and other competitors. The iPhone screen already has decent gesture recognition — pinch to zoom, swipe left and right to move from one home screen to the other, etc. — but expanded gesture recognition would open up a new world of possibilities for the iPhone 5, or whatever the next iPhone is called.

Imagine swiping left on the iPhone home button to go back to the last app you had open, or swiping down on the home button to bring up a list of your recent notifications. The possibilities would be abundant.

What do you think? Would you consider home button gesture recognition a good capability to add to the list of potential iPhone 5 features?

iPhone Issue: Home Button Hard to Press, Losing Sensitivity Over Time

iPhone Home Button Not Working

I have noticed in the last couple months that my iPhone 3GS home button is growing gradually unresponsive. Whereas a light click used to activate my home button without fail, the same amount of pressure now goes unnoticed by the iPhone. I now have to press harder for the home button to respond to my touch, and the constant double-tapping required to bring up iOS4’s app switcher places noticeable stress on my thumbs.

The home button issue was raised by a user in the MacRumors forum in November 2007, and the thread contains 4 pages of related complaints from iPhone customers with faulty home buttons. The complaints range from first-gen iPhone to 3G to 3GS users, though I have found no reports about an iPhone 4 home button issue as of this writing. It may be too early to tell.

Although the weaker home button on my iPhone 3GS has been apparent for a couple of months, it was never a huge inconvenience since I normally only tapped the home button once at any given time. Now that the iOS4 update has brought multitasking to the iPhone, the double-clicking required to activate the feature makes the home button problem that much more aggravating.

Pushing towards the bottom of the home button seems to work better, though not reliably.

These days, using my iPhone for a long period of time reminds me of the sore thumbs I had as a kid after playing too many video games. This is not a good sign, given the hand health risks associated with video gaming. No one deserves to get carpal tunnel syndrome from their iPhone, yet the possibility is a real one if Apple has not improved this issue with the iPhone 4.

I have not yet attempted to take my iPhone to the Apple Store, since there is no store in my town and my expired warranty has discouraged me from driving to a distant Apple Store only to be turned away. Although I will soon switch to an iPhone 4 (still awaiting delivery), I would like to sort this issue out if possible so that I can get a good price for my iPhone 3GS when I sell it on eBay.

Is Your iPhone Home Button Faulty, Too?

Is your iPhone home button less responsive than when you originally got the phone? If you were able to solve the home button issue, I would love to know your advice for fixing it.