Broken iPod Touch Home Button Work Around Using SBSettings Close Button Widget
Once you jailbreak your iPhone or iPod Touch there are tons of benefits available to you in the form of innovative applications that are not locked down by Apple. One of my iPod Touch’s is pretty beat up and no longer under warranty so I use it to test all sorts of things including being the first device I ever installed Cydia and Icy on. Anyhow the Touch device actually has a semi busted LCD screen, a broken power button, and a broken home button. On a iPhone running default firmware you would be pretty much out of luck if the home button or power button was not working but once the device is jailbroken then you can get around all of these issues easily.
One very popular application to install on an iPhone or Touch after they have had Cydia installed is SBSettings. The SBSettings application allows you to move control into springboard and is launched by swiping the top of the iDevice screen instead of clicking on an application icon from the home screen. The major benefit here is it allows you to launch the SBSettings application while other applications are still open and thus if your home button is broken you can still launch SBSettings while other applications are open. Below is a screenshot of SBSettings after being launched by swiping from right to left at the top of the iPod Touch screen.
iPod Touch SBSettings Springboard Example:
As you can see SBSettings launches in a springboard over the top of an already running application. If you are not familiar with SBSettings it can be installed via Cydia on a jailbroken iDevice. Once SBSettings is installed there are a bunch of add-ons available including one called the Clsoe Button Widget which helps out with a broken home button. The Close Button Widget will allow you to launch SBSettings and then click the “Close App” icon (displayed on the second line of icons in the above image) to close out the currently running application on your iPhone or iPod Touch.
A lot of people are running Icy now because the interface is a little cleaner than Cydia though they both do basically the same things. If you have Icy installed then SBSettings can be installed by launching Icy, clicking on Categories in the bottom navigation, clicking on the System category, scrolling down to SBSettings, clicking SBSettings, clicking the Install button in the top right corner, and then clicking the confirm buttono also in the top right corner. Once SBSettings is installed and you have rebooted the iDevice then you can install the Close Button Widget by launching Icy again, clicking on Categories in the bottom navigation menu, clicking on SBSettings Addons, clicking the Close Button Widget (currently version 1.1), clicking the Install button in the top right corner, and then clicking the Confirm button also in the top right corner. Below are numerous images showing Icy, Icy Categories, SBSettings install, and Close Button Widget install.
iPod Touch Icy Category Listing and Package Install Screenshots:
When you are viewing the screenshots above keep in mind that SBSettings is highly customizable so yours will probably not look exactly the same. The above look is a combination of two different themes including Chromium iPhone (managed via WinterBoard) and statusbar additions (managed via SBSettings). By default though the categories listed in the ICY Categories section should be very similar. Also both SBSettings and Close Button Widget show a Reinstall button in the top right corner instead of the Install button because I already have them installed. If you click on either and the Reinstall button shows in Icy that means that the application is already installed.
SBSettings can also be used to get by with an unstable power button. The issue with the power button is the fact that you need a way to turn the iPod Touch or iPhone on without having to plug it into your computer every time. So while you can live without a power button at all it is nice if it at least functions sometimes so you can turn the device on when you are away from your USB cable or a computer. Below is screenshot of the power options available by default within SBSettings which include Reboot, Power Off, Lock, and Safe Mode after clicking the smaller Power icon in the bottom right of the SBSettings springboard.
iPod Touch SBSettings Power Functions:
So as you can see it is very possible to control an iPod Touch or an iPhone even without the default buttons. Remember if you lock or power off the device without a functional power button you will have to plug it into your computer to power it on again. So if your iPod Touch buttons start falling apart like mine did (specifically the power button as the home button was my fault…) don’t worry about it as the device is still very valuable and useful!