Martyn Brown: Why Donald Trump wants his iPhone Home button back

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      It was the week-ending tweet that shook the world: “To Tim: The Button on the IPhone was FAR better than the Swipe!”

      Take that, Apple CEO Tim Cook!

      The Donald has spoken and he wants his Home button back. 

      ¡Viva la Devolución! Make America great again with an iPhone properly fit for primates!

      It would appear that the president has acquired an iPhone 11 series.

      Stay tuned. Trump’s tweets are his wish and his wish is Apple’s command. We should have no delusions about his delusive power.

      He may yet issue an executive order forcing Apple to restore the Home button that it abandoned over two years ago in adopting Face ID and the Swipe.

      After all, it was only a couple of months ago that he tweeted “Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China.”

      He was speaking to Apple, which had just confirmed it was moving the assembly shift for the Mac Pro from the U.S. to China. True fake news: I read that on Breitbart.

      Only weeks earlier that far-right website had also reported that Apple was “considering moving between 15 and 30 percent of its iPhone production away from China in an attempt to insulate itself from the effects of the trade war between the U.S. and China.”

      No Home button? No mercy for Apple. Trump might hit it with even higher tariffs, new excise taxes, or an ongoing tweet-war that bends Apple to his will.

      What God wants, God gets. As evidenced by his 2013 twitter demands for a larger iPhone screen.

      He won that war and, by God, he’ll win this one, too.

      You might say, Trump has a thing for pushing buttons, as New York Times columnist Thomas Edsall so aptly observed.

      He’s “a master at pushing Democrats’ buttons,” the New York Post’s Michael Goodwin has also mused.

      And key to that success has always been Trump’s Home button.

      It’s how he wakes up the world, as he wakes up his one-man weapon of mass destruction: click, ready, fire, aim, repeat.

      If we’ve learned anything over these last few years, it’s that there is no button Trump won’t push in blasting out his vile ordure and proving himself a royal asshole.

      I suspect it goes back to when he had his first gold bidet installed, which I imagine came with this handwritten note from Ivana: “To Donald: The Button on this commode is FAR better than the Wipe!”

      He pushed it, and damned if it wasn’t true. The Button, that’s the thing.

      So, imagine his surprise and disappointment when he discovered that his presidency didn’t actually come with a nuclear “button”, as such.

      But he was outraged when he got his mitts on his new iPhone and his beloved Home button was nowhere to be found. 

      Damn you, Tim Cook. Steve Jobs would have never been so foolish.

      Never mind that the odds of an unathorized user unlocking Trump’s iPhone have been reduced from a 1 in 50,000 chance with Touch ID to one in a million with Apple’s Face ID. 

      National security is hardly the president’s concern when losing his phone at one of his rallies. And that new Face ID thing is such a pain in the ass.

      For one thing, it’s a poor substitute for a Home button when you are tweeting in the middle of a G20 Summit and you would rather not have to even look at your device in letting your fingers do the talking.

      For another, it doesn’t work so well when the formerly human “you” becomes unrecognizable in its purple, contorted, alien form—spitting out its bile at all and sundry.

      That dumb Face ID also doesn’t read orange well—a particular annoyance for president L’Orange.

      Plus, asking Siri for help is no answer.

      One, because she has a mind of her own—a giant no-no in his books.

      Two, because she’s impossible to touch—a frustrating tease of dubious value, hardly fit for Trumpian hand-jobs.

      And three, because she’s not always turned on by his “Hey, Siri” command. Stupid bitch.

      Touch ID. So much better.

      Sure, it may be true that your mobile phone is the filthiest object in your household, which probably also makes the Home button your single worst source of bacteria.

      But not for Trump. Again, the gold bidet.

      And don’t get him started on multitasking. Seriously, don’t.

      It used to be so simple, only a matter of double-clicking the Home button to enable multitasking. Now it’s a hassle, learning how to pause for a split second halfway through his swipes. He doesn’t like to hesitate, our Donald, in committing himself to action.

      And what of all those good American jobs that stand to be lost in repairing broken mechanical Home buttons?

      They all started going the way of the Dodo bird with the iPhone 7, under Obama’s watch, when capacitive sensors first started making them redundant.

      Apple workers of the world unite! Trump has got your back.

      Away with those never-break American innovations that put his people out of work by building out obsolescence and negating job-creating mechanical failure.

      The new iPhone design is also too progressive for Trump’s America.

      Away with Apple’s top-to-bottom, bezel-to-bezel iPhone screen, where the whole phone is a screen!

      America likes it borders and button-pushing spaces, always better separated by colour. It wants back its Home button, in all its noisy, perfect glory.

      The click is that happy sound of the Great America that used to be. The one that Trump intends to restore with his own gesture-based reinventions of the presidency and mastery of the power he holds in his hands.

      An upward thumb-swipe from the bottom may be Tim Cook’s idea of a more upwardly mobile America. But in Trump’s America, all progress starts with the act of depressing.

      Even shutting down one’s iPhone’s open apps is so much harder without a Home button, relying on only the dexterity of our opposable thumbs.

      Are you listening, Apple? Better get to work.

      And when you get through fixing that design flaw, maybe you should also ask Trump if you should also bring back the original iPod click wheel. Now that was a button for the ages.

      In the meantime, if you agree with the president and are hankering to get your Home button back, wikiHow offers a helpful work around. Follow its steps to “use your iPhone's AssistiveTouch function to create a virtual Home button on your iPhone's screen”.

      Martyn Brown was former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell’s long-serving chief of staff, the top strategic adviser to three provincial party leaders, and a former deputy minister of tourism, trade, and investment. He also served as the B.C. Liberals' public campaign director in 2001, 2005, and 2009, and in addition to his other extensive campaign experience, he was the principal author of four election platforms. Contact him via email at