Many people never use Reachability on iPhones, yet it takes up a critical shortcut (poll results)


Apple has a long history with small phones: up until late 2014, its biggest phone was a 4" device, a size that seems too small for most people these days. There was a seemingly sound argument behind keeping screen sizes small and that was the fact that you could easily use a small phone with just one hand.

In order to retain that one-hand functionality in its newer iPhones, Apple introduced a feature called 'Reachability': double tap on the Home key on your iPhone, and the app you're using slides down so that you could easily reach the top part.


More than two years after the introduction of Reachability, we live in a world, where big phones are not a rare sight, but the overwhelming majority. And we wondered: do people even use this shortcut on their iPhones these days?

Just as we suspected, the majority of users never or very rarely use this shortcut: more than 40% of our readers don't use it, while some 31% still do use it on a regular basis.

So having such a key shortcut occupied by something that is not used by many people just seems like a waste. After all, imagine if you could fire up the camera by double tapping the home button, a shortcut that we're sure many iPhone users would appreciate. Or maybe have the option to set your own shortcut for the double tap action, Apple?

Do you ever use the Reachability feature on your iPhone?

Yes, I use it regularly
31.46%
Nope, never or very rarely
40.4%
I have an Android phone, but let me see the results!
28.15%

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26 Comments

1. DavMor0069

Posts: 266; Member since: Dec 09, 2015

I have used an iPad a couple of times,for work reasons, and have actually found this somewhat use full,since there are no navigation keys.

2. DavMor0069

Posts: 266; Member since: Dec 09, 2015

useful**

8. whatev

Posts: 2193; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

That's funny because the iPad doesn't have this functionality

9. Harambe unregistered

I want your mythical iPad. Do you also claim you have all the devices any manufacturer made in past 100 years?

16. whatev

Posts: 2193; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

Must be a limited edition iPad since iPads don't have that functionality

20. AlikMalix unregistered

"No navigation keys" spoken like a clueless android user. It's been a long long time since navigation buttons have been primary way to navigate in iOS. Try gestures. Swiping from edge of screen in browser - go back and forward. Force swipe will open all recent apps, but foceswiping all the way across the screen goes back to previous app (like the back button on android). Since you mentioned iPad - try taking your fingers and pinch on the screen - that will take you out of the app. Multi-finger swipes will help you navigate between apps on a bigger screen instead of swiping from edge on a smaller screen like iPhone. You can customize some gestures using accessibility options, there's also triple click, double tap, etc. If you want to learn more - ask! Don't just blabber your lack of experience - that only paints you as ignorant or simply a liar. You don't want to be any of those, do you?

25. Punchy506

Posts: 129; Member since: Jan 10, 2016

I never use the 1.5 square inch quick connect banner on my s7 edge. Even though it's disabled it's still there when I expand my quick toggles.

3. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

I just don't understand this article. Why are we talking about a feature that came out two years ago? Who cares? Heck, let's do a poll on all the Android features no one uses!

4. CreeDiddy

Posts: 2144; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

They should have created a split view rather than reachability. It would not be that hard to show another pane of the home screen as you can click on any app to create another viewing pane.

10. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

I have split view on my Android phone. I use it about as much a reachability on my iPhone. I'm dead serious!

14. CreeDiddy

Posts: 2144; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

I know what you mean. Saying that I have it and using it are two different meanings...Some people like to say that have every feature, but in reality, haven't and aren't used by most users. Thanks for sharing that info.

5. truthwins unregistered

Off topic - after new itune update im unable to set custom ringtones , day by day apple is becoming more crooked . Crookedapple#

6. wando77

Posts: 1168; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

Maybe cut down those massive ass bezels and reachability won't be such an issue

12. darkkjedii

Posts: 30959; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

That made no sense at all. People generally hold their phones around the side, not underneath.

19. Konsento

Posts: 139; Member since: Apr 10, 2015

the funny thing is it does, because there are a lot of people that grip the phone at the bottom or in a way that's affected by the vertical bezels plus the massize side bezels could use an improvement too

7. der_damo

Posts: 213; Member since: Sep 16, 2014

I use it every day - don't speak badly of it.

11. darkkjedii

Posts: 30959; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I use it a lot, and the swipe up gets me to the camera just fine.

13. frustyak

Posts: 248; Member since: Mar 08, 2010

My guess is that many, many people aren't even aware the feature exists.

15. Rock_Hardwood

Posts: 117; Member since: May 11, 2015

I dont even know what it is. never use force touch either

18. AlikMalix unregistered

Try it when typing text or comment: press harder on keyboard an move your cursor. That's only one of hundreds of forcetouch implementations on iOS

17. PrYmCHGOan

Posts: 335; Member since: Sep 28, 2016

The feature is a good idea, poorly implemented compared to Samsung's own One-Handed mode. On the Galaxy, you still retain 100% of the content on the display, even when you shrink it down, while on iOS; you lose 40% of the screen original content an have to scroll. All because either Samsung patented their concept, and there is no way to do it with licensing or getting sued or Apple was too lazy to just come up with a better way.

21. whatev

Posts: 2193; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

What is poor is your comment, why should you see the whole content when you only need to access the content at the top of the screen? god these trolls never learn smh

22. jeroome86

Posts: 2314; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

Just got in a habit of using 2 hands. Never really think to use this feature.

23. iLovesarcasm

Posts: 589; Member since: Oct 20, 2014

This is an ancient feature on TouchWiz UI, it is called One-Hand operation.

24. lnhrts

Posts: 28; Member since: Apr 27, 2015

Essential for me on my iPhone Plus...a must have for me on the Plus!!!!! Not so much with my iPhone 4.7

26. lakki369

Posts: 114; Member since: Apr 10, 2015

"So having such a key shortcut occupied by something that is not used by many people just seems like a waste." Dear author... It is not yours or anybody's personal opinion that should matter in removing a feature. People like you may not use. But there are people who use it. You can't just publicly say that "we should remove that damn option". It all boils down to consumer preference. Atleast mention that Apple should give you option to assign multiple tasks to double press of the home key. Don't be a pessimist.

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