How to enable Assistive Touch and customize it on iOS devices

July 18, 2020

Designers who also focus on the user experience of people with disabilities invariably end up improving the product. This approach not only increases overall productivity but also inclusion through participation at large. Apple’s accessibility solutions have played a major role in increasing access to the technology tools which persons with disabilities use to access information. Assistive Touch is one such defining feature. It lets any user create their own set of control gestures. So, let’s see how to enable AssistiveTouch and customize it on iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad.

Enable Assistive Touch and customize it on iPhone and iPad

Accessibility is a misnomer, often confused with term usability. Both are regarded as vital parts of user experience (UX) design but differ from each other in some respect. For instance, usability is concerned with whether designs are acceptable, efficient, and satisfying to use. Accessibility, on the other hand is the concept of whether a product or service can be used by everyone. There are a few ways via which you can turn on AssistiveTouch.

  1. On your iPhone, navigate to ‘Settings’.
  2. Scroll down to the ‘Accessibility’ option.
  3. Under ‘Accessibility’ screen, select ‘Touch
  4. Tap ‘Touch’ to go to ‘AssistiveTouch
  5. Toggle the switch for ‘AssistiveTouch’ to ‘On’ position. to turn it on.
  6. Alternatively, you can use ‘Hey Siri’ to say, ‘Turn on AssistiveTouch.’ or
  7. Go to Settings > Accessibility > Accessibility Shortcut and enable ‘AssistiveTouch’.

When enabled, the AssistiveTouch will appear as a button onscreen. You can drag it to any edge of the screen and it will stay there until moved to a different location again. 

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Now, you can use AssistiveTouch to adjust volume, lock your screen, use multi-finger gestures, or replace pressing buttons with just a tap. If you would like to customize the AssistiveTouch menu, do the following!

  1. Go to Settings, select ‘Accessibility’ > ‘Touch’, then choose ‘AssistiveTouch’.
  2. Next, tap ‘Customize Top Level Menu’. Then, choose an icon to reassign a different function to its position.

You can use the + and - buttons to change the number of buttons that appear in the menu. The Reset button erases all the changes and restores the default menu settings.

Also see, How to send messages with effects on iPhone.

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Hemant Saxena
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