Tuesday, November 7, 2017

iPhone X Buttons and Gestures

Joanna Stern:

The Internet may not need another iPhone X review but it absolutely does need the @JoannaStern iPhone X user manual[…]

Jordan Merrick:

Apple has changed the button combinations for both Emergency SOS and a force restart on the iPhone 8 and iPhone X. This gave me quite a fright when I needed to restart my iPhone X, only to trigger Emergency SOS by mistake.

Chan Karunamuni:

The project i’ve been working on the past 1.5 years is finally here. Try out the all new fluid gestural interface on the iPhone X.

Dan Masters:

I can attest to this too – no lag at all.

In fact, I would say iPhone X has the best iOS multitasking UX to date.

Update (2017-11-07): Adrian Weckler:

When downloading an app on iPhone X, instead of home button Touch ID it’s a double click of power button and then Face ID does the rest.

Joe Rossignol:

Once enabled, Reachability can be invoked by swiping down on the bar that serves as a visual indicator for returning to the Home screen.

Update (2017-11-08): Craig Grannell:

The Home indicator, though, feels like a really weird decision. By all means, have it there to begin with. And for those users who need the reminder, let them keep it. But for everyone else, there needs to be a setting to banish the thing for good. Having it sit there permanently is a distraction that feels decidedly un-Apple.

Update (2017-11-20): Stephen Hackett:

I understand conceptually why Control Center is where it is. Pulling down on the cell signal, Wi-Fi and battery indicators open the controls for those things. I actually like that linking of those two bits of UI.

The problem is that Control Center is too far away. I use my iPhone in my right hand, and even as someone who carried a Plus-sized phone for three years, I struggle to activate Control Center. Because Spotlight can be triggered with the same gesture — a downward swipe — from about anywhere on the screen, I often am greeted with a search field when all I wanted was to turn down my screen brightness or enter Airplane mode.

For people who use their iPhones with their left thumbs, it’s all but unreachable.

Update (2017-11-21): See also: Gabe Weatherhead.

Update (2017-12-05): Joe Cieplinski:

The first stage of admitting you made a poor UI choice: “We just need to hang a sign on it, so people will SEE it.”

Update (2017-12-15): Raluca Budiu:

The table below provides an inventory of the meanings of swipe on iPhone X compared with the previous iPhones.


Is swipe ambiguity likely to be a deal breaker on the iPhone X? Although it will cause annoyance, the new types of swipe ambiguity are unlikely to be as problematic as the already existent Safari ambiguity mentioned above.


Apple is in a unique position to push this kind of gesture-based innovation and could even go beyond that to create a standard vocabulary of gestures that can be used by other apps or phone manufacturers, because the Apple brand is so strong that people will put up with the hurdles of learning a new system and unlearning what they know for the sake of using its products.

Update (2017-12-28): John Gruber:

If we’re going to talk about good ideas from Palm devices in the iPhone X, the mute switch is the least of them. The gesture-based navigation on iPhone X is a lot like that of WebOS on the 2008 Palm Pre — swipe left and right at the bottom to quickly switch between recent apps, swipe up from the bottom to access the card-based multitasking UI (replete with roundrect corners), pull down from the top right to access controls like Wi-Fi and airplane mode.

4 Comments RSS · Twitter

I've just filed a bug (35651381) on the issue Stephen Hackett describes. It is certainly a usability regression, especially considering that the “reachability” gesture no longer affects the status bar.

The change to use a double-click of the side button to invoke Apple Pay introduces a new regression: touch input is still accepted (and processed) for the better part of a second after trying to lock the phone. That can be disastrous (e.g., leading to in-app actions, dialed phone calls, etc.) Filed 35648414.

Update: both of these bugs were closed on Tuesday as duplicates (of 33482981 and 34411566, respectively).

[…] Previously: iPhone X Buttons and Gestures. […]

Leave a Comment