I’m almost positive that all iPhone, iPod touch or iPad users at some stage or another battle with an unresponsive home button. The home button either becomes very slow to respond to key presses or stops working completely.
What to do if the only button on your phone (other than the on/off, volume or mute toggle) stops responding? No getting to the home screen, no multitasking or worse still no exiting applications. There’s only so long that you can get stuck in the calculator app before the world starts spinning and you implode.
There are however three ways of getting around this issue.
- If the phone is still under warranty, take it in for a checkup or replacement
- recalibrate the home button
- activate assistive touch
My first iPhone 3G actually had a problem with the mute toggle. It got stuck on mute and I just couldn’t get the sound back on. Luckily it was under warranty and the Core group replaced the phone. This applies to the entire phone, including the home button, so better have them check it out and replace the phone or be stuck with it for months.
The second option is to recalibrate the home button. Unlike the old Compaq iPaq or the HTC windows mobile phones that required on-screen touch calibration, the iPhone does not have this as a documented settings option or functionality. However a quick Google search will bring up largely the same answer:
- open any default installed iOS application, such as Notes or Calculator
- press and hold down the power button until the “Slide to power off” dialog appears, then release
- press and hold the Home button until the “Slide to power off” screen disappears, force quitting the application
All you did was in fact force quitting the application, but for some reason it does the trick of recalibrating the home button to be more responsive. I had to repeat this procedure about 3-4 times before it worked for me. There was a noticeable quicker response from the home button than before.
Unfortunately this used to work for me. Is is always the case, 20-months into my cellphone contract, my phones tend to start lagging, buttons get unresponsive, old technology can’t keep pace with the new resource hungry apps and generally the excitement of a new upgrade starts kicking in.
In this case my home button is totally an ornamental design feature, with no discernible function. As mentioned earlier, I now have no way of getting to the home screen, no multitasking or worse still no exiting of applications without some huge frustrations. At this stage I’m contemplating donating the phone to become a drop-testing dummy.
Of course I knew about the multi-gesture setting on the iPad that gave you the ability to switch between applications, close to the home screen etc. but I couldn’t find the same option on the iPhone.
Turns out this feature is actually called AssistiveTouch.
AssistiveTouch, is actually meant for those who have trouble using the touchscreen. You can enable it through Settings –> General –> Accessibility –> AssistiveTouch.
Once activated, a new, semi-transparent button will appear on your screen, and is active within all apps. The button can be moved around to any place on your screen, and is generally unobtrusive.
This button gives you access to the Home screen, device settings such as volume, lock screen, rotation, shake and multi-tasking, while you can also record your own gestures as favorites. You can even tap to take a screenshot.
While this takes a bit of getting used to, it will probably lessen my overall frustration with the phone while I wait it out to get my next upgrade.
On that note, will it be the iPhone 5 (with its bugs), Samsung Galaxy S III, HTC windows mobile? Obviously I don’t want a phone that will likely be old-tech in 6 months, but such is the speed of technological development.
Give me back my Nokia 6110.
Visitors who stumbled upon this site in the past may have noticed a design change. Responsive design is all the rage at the moment.
Responsive Web Design (RWD) is an approach to web design in which a site is crafted to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones). via
While I could waffle on for ages about the technicalities, the good and the bad of responsive design, you better see it for yourself. One sterling example of this is the Milwaukee Police News site.
Yes, you heard right, a police department’s news page. It has bucket loads of features including a response design (view the site on a PC, mobile and tablet for comparisons), vertical parallax, clean layouts, subtle animations, helpful news and an experience you want to keep engaging with. As one person quipped, the only problem with the site – even the most wanted list looks like a bunch of models.
The guys from WooThemes have also been churning out quality themes for a while now and I must admit I’ve always been a fan. For the past 3 years I have been using the Irresistible theme, which has served me very well, par for a minor hiccup back in 2011.
There are already no less than 21 responsive themes available from WooThemes. Mark Forrester and the team continue to impress and Mark’s personal site – a cool responsive design – got me thinking of a reboot of my own site.
I wanted to do away with the need for multiple plugins to cater for the various ways one could access my site. As for me, my main method of access is via the iPad, occasional mobile blogging via my iPhone and serious tinkering via laptop, it made sense to opt for a theme that subscribes to responsive layout principals.
While I would have liked to go the route of Mark and buy a WooTheme, times are a bit tough, so I had to fortunately/unfortunately (depending on your perspective) opt for one of the free versions. Free is not necessarily bad, the WordPress Responsive theme has been downloaded close to a quarter of a million times already.
Responsive Theme is a flexible foundation with fluid grid system that adapts your website to mobile devices and the desktop or any other viewing environment. Theme features 9 Page Templates, 11 Widget Areas, 6 Template Layouts, 4 Menu Positions and more. Powerful but simple Theme Options for full CMS control with easy Logo Upload, Social Networking and Webmaster Tools etc. Responsive is WooCommerce Compatible, Multilingual Ready (WPML), Retina-Ready and currently translated into 28 languages. Cross-Browser compatible.
I’m currently tinkering with this theme, so you may see a few things changing over the next while. Let me know what you think of responsive design, this site and anything else you can think of. Would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.
While you’re at it, drop me a line to let me know on what type of device you’re reading this.
I experienced a challenge posting via the WordPress for iOS app this morning.
Seems every time I tried to post, it gave me a “Failed” message. This happened with images and without images. Both the tags and categories were also ticked and unticked to get to the bottom of the problem.
What was strange though, was that this problem only affected one of the five blogs that I am able to edit on my device. So I uninstalled this blog listing from the app, reinstalled it and low and behold, the same problem popped up.
Seems I wasn’t the only one with this issue over at the iOS for WordPress Forum.
One suggested fix was that a faulty plugin on my site could be the cause of the problem. Plausible, but not something I wanted to troubleshoot from my phone.
Then my 1.5year old son walked in and as per normal, wanted to tap and swipe my screen. I wasn’t quick enough to pull the phone away from him, but in the process he managed to do a “pull down to refresh” action on the posts screen.
Amazingly, the posts refreshed and all 7 of the published versions of the same post popped up. So actually none of them failed, they all published.
A test of the same action resulted in this post being published too, although it initially received a “failed” message.
So although I’m getting a “failed” message, things otherwise seem to be working fine. Maybe the iOS app has a false positive bug?
I’ll keep you posted if a fix comes up.
I’ve been a big fan of Garmin ever since I got my Nuvi back in 2006. That being said, I’d always hoped that Garmin would bring out a software suite that could run on mobile phones, without the need for any GPS attachments. Last week, I was notified that Garmap has done just that.
The official word:
Garmap, the official map data provider for Garmin navigation products in Africa, announced at the AfricaCom event in Cape Town recently that Garmap for Mobile Online, Garmap’s newest navigation software suite for mobile devices, will be available to purchase in retail blister packs at outlets and mobile phone stores around South Africa from mid-November.
Powered by Appello’s award-winning navigation platform, Garmap for Mobile Online delivers full-feature navigation throughout South Africa on nearly any GPS-enabled mobile phone, while only utilising a minimal amount of the phone memory.
“With this software, GPS-enabled mobile phones can be equipped with the same navigation capability utilising the latest mapping data that is available on bigger and more expensive GPS devices,” says Andrew McHenry, head of mobile for Garmap.
“When people purchase the new retail blister pack, they can enjoy the full version of Garmap for Mobile, which gives them access to voice turn-by-turn navigation, a full list of points of interest (POIs), weather updates and – for a small monthly fee – real time traffic, just to name a few of the features,” he adds.
Garmap for Mobile is designed to keep as small a presence as possible on a mobile phone and, as such, relies on a data connection (either GPRS, Edge or 3G/HSDPA) to download maps, POIs and other data that gives users the full GPS experience.
Because maps and POIs are downloaded in real-time via the phone’s data connection, users can be assured that they are always accessing the most up-to-date maps of Southern Africa that Garmap has to offer.
Garmap for Mobile is available for Symbian-based phones as well as BlackBerry, Android and Windows Mobile phones.
Garmap for Mobile Online retails for a recommended R990.00, which includes a 24-month usage license and a live traffic subscription.
I’m delighted that this is out, but I have a few reservations. It’s still only available for Symbian,
CrackBlackBerry, Android and Windows Mobile, which unfortunately doesn’t help me with my iPhone. Secondly, the pricing model seems a bit steep, considering that Google Maps is free (and it works on practically any mobile device).
I’d like to think that Garmin offers a completely different experience with its extensive POI (Points of interest) database and Southern African coverage – the area that the Google maps lags behind in many ways. We’ll wait and see.