An iPhone Feature You May Not Know if You Use a Case

I’ve always used cases on my iPhones; these devices are too expensive to risk not protecting. But there’s a useful feature that you may not know about if you use a case.

In many apps, you can go back (to a previous screen or web page) by swiping from the left edge of the display. Your thumb or finger has to catch the very left edge of the display, and, if you have a case, the case might get in the way of this, since the case sticks up a bit, or at least should, to protect the screen.

Here’s what it looks like. I loaded my website in Safari, tapped a link, then swiped back to the previous page. You can see the second page sliding to the right as Safari start showing the previous page.

Iphone swipe from edge

It is possible to do this with a case if the case isn’t very high, or if you can press your thumb enough at the edge of the display. I find with my iPhone case, it works maybe half the time. But I wish it would work more often; perhaps Apple should design the feature so the target – the area where you have to start your swipe – was a bit further from the edge.

You’ll find a number of apps allow this: I use it in the WordPress app, Clipboard, Twitterrific, Mail, Health, Day One, and many others. Note that it also works on the iPad and iPod touch.

I wish the iPhone were better designed; I wish it were designed in such a way that one didn’t need a case. Certainly, if it were cheaper, then a case would be less essential. (If you have a cheap Android or Windows phone, you probably don’t use a case.) Because the case bulks up the device, adds weight, and prevents using a useful feature.