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.

16 thoughts on “An iPhone Feature You May Not Know if You Use a Case

  1. I’m saddened by Apple’s lack of refinement in it’s design these days. I’ve wondered why this software feature doesn’t account for phone cases—it wouldn’t be too difficult to fix. I hate jumping to the “no financial benefit” conclusion, but this was the kind of refinement Apple was lauded for in the past, and I can’t think of any other believable reason.

  2. I’m saddened by Apple’s lack of refinement in it’s design these days. I’ve wondered why this software feature doesn’t account for phone cases—it wouldn’t be too difficult to fix. I hate jumping to the “no financial benefit” conclusion, but this was the kind of refinement Apple was lauded for in the past, and I can’t think of any other believable reason.

  3. I don’t used a case. I carry my phone around in a foofpod to protect it when it’s in my bag or in a large pocket with other items, but I just pop it out of that to actually use. Best of both worlds: protection and nothing to soil the design and function of the phone itself. Then again, I’m a woman, so I’m never in a scenario where I’m carrying my phone in a pants pocket with coins and keys. In that situation I might want a case.

  4. I don’t used a case. I carry my phone around in a foofpod to protect it when it’s in my bag or in a large pocket with other items, but I just pop it out of that to actually use. Best of both worlds: protection and nothing to soil the design and function of the phone itself. Then again, I’m a woman, so I’m never in a scenario where I’m carrying my phone in a pants pocket with coins and keys. In that situation I might want a case.

  5. Which app is Clipboard? I have the Apple silicone case which has enough lip for some screen protection but still allows edge control.

  6. Which app is Clipboard? I have the Apple silicone case which has enough lip for some screen protection but still allows edge control.

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