There's a hidden feature in iPhones that few users in the U.S. know about. But on the other side of the world, the feature is hugely popular and part of nearly everyone's iPhone habits. What is this secret feature and why is it so wildly popular in China? Follow along and I'll explain.
The feature is called Assistive Touch. It's a "hidden screen" that offers shortcuts to several common iPhone functions. Never heard of Assistive Touch? Don't worry, you're not the only one!
So what's the big deal with Assistive Touch in China? Apparently, Chinese users are loath to use iPhone's home button. The shortcuts offered through this Apple feature allow them to avoid iPhone's big round button. Business Insider did some research and found this posting on question-an-answer site Quora:
It's because of the fear that the home button may be broken. iPhones are not cheap in China so people take care of them while using. Several years ago people began to complain about their home button being easily broken and it has somehow been a widely recognized truth, so even the home buttons are not that easy to be broken, they tend to use AssistiveTouch instead. When you buy an iPhone in China the salesman would automatically turn on this function while helping you to do the settings. I myself have not experienced a broken home button during 4 years with my iPhone 4; however, I did have a broken sleep button from my 3rd year, which proved that the rumours are, in some way, true. So I turned on AssistiveTouch...
So how does Assistive Touch work? It's essentially another menu screen that you can access without hitting the home button. You can turn it on by going into Settings>>General>>Accessibility>>Assistive Touch. Here, you will see a new icon on your screen, that you can place anywhere you like. By pressing the Assistive Touch button on the screen instead of the home button, you can take a screen shot, dial up Siri and more.
Watch the video below for a quick demonstration of how Assistive Touch works to get a better idea.