Most iPhone X owners have had barely 48 hours to get to grips with Apple’s new home bar-based user interface which does away with traditional home button functions, but the general consensus is that it becomes extremely intuitive to use after just a few hours. In this article, we’ve gathered some neat tips and gestural tricks for using iOS 11 on iPhone X that you may not have come across.
Some of the tips listed below offer an alternative one-handed approach to gestures that typically require two hands, while others simply demonstrate a quicker way of interfacing with your iPhone X that Apple hasn’t made explicit in its support literature. Hopefully at least one of them will be new to you and will help you get more out of your new smartphone.
Faster App Switcher Access
Apple’s Guided Tour of the new iPhone X interface would have you believe that to access the App Switcher you must swipe upwards from the middle of the home bar and then pause for a moment, before swiping along to see your open apps.
Actually there’s another, faster method you can try: simply swipe up from the home bar at a 45-degree angle towards the right of the screen and then let go, and the app switcher should move straight into view almost immediately. Granted, it’s a tiny adjustment to the official way of doing things, but you’ll probably find it a little speedier and more intuitive.
Quit Apps Quicker
At first sight, quitting apps from within the App Switcher seems to require two fingers: one to tap-hold the app, and another to tap the app card’s minus button that the first action elicits. Thankfully though, the whole process can be performed with one hand by tap-holding and swiping up on the app as soon as the minus button appears.
Reach for Control Center
Accessing the Control Center on iPhone X is completely different to how it’s done on older iPhones running iOS 11. Instead of swiping up from the bottom of the screen, users must swipe down from the top-right “ear”, which requires another hand. The change is a curious one, given that Apple considered locating the Control Center at the right of the App Switcher, which looks more intuitive during one-handed use. Apple could always introduce this implementation as an option in a later version of iOS 11, but until then, Reachability is your friend.
To enable the setting in iOS 11.1, go to Settings -> General -> Accessibility, and turn on Reachability. Now simply swipe down from the gestural home bar to bring the top of the interface halfway down the screen, and you should be able to swipe from the top-right with your thumb to bring down Control Center.
This method can also be used as a quick way to check your battery percentage, or to see if your VPN is connected – just a small drag from the top-right reveals the information, without you having to invoke the Control Center wholesale.
Return to Last App
Swiping the home bar to switch between apps is a smart gesture that most iPhone X owners will have already grasped. But did you know that you can perform the same swipe action from the home screen to return to the last-used app? Simply drag your thumb right across the bottom of the dock, where the home bar usually appears.
Exit App Wiggle Mode
Holding an app on the home screen makes all apps wiggle, indicating that you can now re-locate or delete them individually. With no home button to turn “wiggle mode” off, Apple added a “Done” button to the top-right on the screen. But you don’t have to raise your other hand to tap it and exit wiggle mode – just swipe up from the bottom of the dock instead.
Instant Siri Search
This last one is less a new gesture, and more a combination of two, the latter of which has existed since iOS 9. Whenever you’re in an app and want to do a quick search, swipe up, release for a split second, then immediately swipe down again. (Note: this action won’t work if the app you’re using is located in a folder.)
This is a particularly useful swipe combo given that in iOS 11 you can now search both your iPhone and the web, with Siri offering autocomplete options similar to how it does when you perform a search in Safari. Finally, to exit the Siri Search window and return to the app you were just using, simply swipe right across the bottom of the screen.
Know of any more neat UI tricks for iPhone X? Let us know in the comments below.