iPhone X: Create useful shortcuts with a virtual Home button for a super efficient UI

You’ve likely quickly adapted to the new Home button-less iPhone X and its gesture based user interface. But while there are a lot of improvements, some aspects have become less user-friendly, like pulling up Control Center, Notification Center, and Apple Pay. Luckily, you can use a (mostly invisible) virtual Home button to create shortcuts to make a custom, efficient UI.

Author Ad Placeholder
Will only appear on redesign env.

Notification Center and Control Center being accessed from the top left and right ears of the iPhone X display make the features difficult to get to with one hand. You can use Reachability to more quickly access them, but there’s an even faster way to do it.

Like Jeff mentioned in 15+ iPhone X tips and tricks, the AssistiveTouch accessibility feature in iOS provides a slick way to create a slick and useful set of shortcuts. And you can also change the Idle Opacity so it’s almost invisible on your Home screen.

How to create useful shortcuts with AssistiveTouch on iPhone X

  1. Open Settings → General
  2. Tap Accessibility
  3. Scroll down and tap AssistiveTouch
  4. Turn on AssitiveTouch
  5. Set Custom Actions for the Single-Tap, Double-Tap, Long Press, and 3D Touch
  6. Adjust the Idle Opacity if you’d like it to be out of sight most of the time

In the images above the opacity is set to 38%, all the images below I chose a lower opacity of 20%, 15% is the lowest iOS will allow.

Control Center, Notifications, and  Pay are the three shortcuts I settled on. But the great thing is you can go beyond selecting custom actions for the taps, long press, and 3D Touch and even make custom gestures and make the iPhone X/iOS UI super efficient for you.

For now I left the Single-Tap as the standard top level menu, with the Double-Tap pulling up Control Center. You can also see in the image below that at 20% opacity, the virtual Home button is really subtle, especially against a dark background. The middle image shows the virtual Home button (just below the Notes app) in the idle state, and the image on the right shows it highlighted in the active state.

Of course you can also move the virtual Home button around and place it wherever you prefer. How about you? Do you think a custom virtual Home button is valuable? Or are you fine without them? Share your thoughts and custom setups in the comments!

For more help getting the most out of your Apple devices, check out our how to guides and also these articles:

Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel