I’m finding that using an iPhone 6 with one hand is pretty much out of the question. Even though I have large hands, I can’t grip the phone well enough, and I can’t reach far enough to be able to do all I want. This is a big deal; I don’t want to always have to use two hands to do things on my phone.
Apple added a feature called Reachability to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and it’s a clever idea, but its design doesn’t make much sense. Here’s an example. Let’s say I’m in Mail, and I want to access my Unread mailbox. I can’t quite reach it with my thumb, so I double-tap the home button and the screen slides down, as you can see at the left.
But when I tap that mailbox, the screen slides up again. So if I want to tap a message, I need to, once again, double-tap the home button to slide the screen. Each time you tap something, the screen slides up, so you may find yourself going tap, double-tap, tap, double-tap, tap, double-tap. This isn’t very logical. There needs to be a “Reachability lock” mode, similar to caps lock, where the screen slides down and stays down until you perform a certain action.
And, why does the screen slide down so much (less than half-way)? This should be adjustable in the iOS Settings app. Some people may need only a bit of a slide on an iPhone 6, or more of a slide on a 6 Plus (the 6 Plus slides down a bit more).
An article on Quartz by Scott Hurff looks at how people use phones. In one study, 49% of people use their phones one-handed, 36% cradled (which I assume means with the phone resting on one hand, without gripping it), and 15% two-handed. They also include a very interesting graphical representation of which parts of our phones we can reach with our thumbs:
I have large enough hands that there are now “ow” spots on the 5s, and, on the 6, my “ow” zone is a bit smaller. But the point is clear: larger phones require that we use them differently, and a lot of people may not find that advantageous, and prefer a more compact, more usable device.
Apple tried to get around the problem of the size of these new phones, but they could improve on this feature easily. As it is, it makes using the phone one-handed too complicated. Together with the difficulty I have in holding it one-handed, I’m seriously considering returning it and sticking with my iPhone 5s.