These days, iPhones are huge. Aside from the minis (which Apple no longer makes), most iPhones are difficult to properly use with one hand—and some even with two. If you’ve recently switched to a larger iPhone and are struggling to adapt to its size, there are some steps you can take to make your new phone easier to use.
Change how you hold your iPhone
Smaller iPhones are far better suited to one-handed use than their larger counterparts. If you’re used to gripping your iPhone with one hand, the sad fact is you’ll likely enjoy your phone more if you switch to a two-handed grip for more tasks. If you can’t kick the one-handed habit, though, here’s what to try next.
Take advantage of Siri more often
Rather than attempt to stretch your fingers for every task on your iPhone, delegate some of them to Siri. Siri can be frustrating to use, but it’s quite good for basic tasks like setting reminders, playing music, or creating alarms. You can even hang up calls with the assistant, or share whatever’s currently on your screen. Going hands-free whenever possible is an easy way to adapt to a bigger iPhone.
Make typing easier
Your iPhone’s keyboard has two features that make typing easier. For longer messages, try using Dictation to speak what you want to type. Hit the microphone icon in the bottom-right corner below the keyboard. With iOS 16, you can quickly jump between speaking and typing while keeping Dictation turned on, so you can make edits if your phone misunderstood you.
If you want to type with one hand, use the one-handed keyboard on your iPhone. When the keyboard is open, press and hold the globe icon in the bottom-left corner and select the keyboard on the left or right, which will shift the keyboard to the corresponding side of the screen.
Rearrange the apps on your Home Screen
When I moved to a bigger iPhone, I quickly realized the app layout on my Home Screen was almost unusable on the larger display. If you’re in a similar situation, you should rearrange the apps on your iPhone, too. On larger iPhones, your most-used apps should either be in the dock or toward the bottom of the screen, making for easy-access even when using your iPhone with one hand. If you want to maximize your Home Screen’s efficiency, place large widgets at the top of the display to push your apps toward the bottom.
Make it easier to reach the top of the screen
Reachability is one of the best features for large iPhones. With it, you can lower the top half of the screen with a swipe, giving you quick access to Control Center, Notification Center, and the apps and elements at the top of the screen.
You can enable it by going to Settings > Accessibility > Touch, and toggling on Reachability. Now, swipe down on the bottom edge of the display to pull down the screen.
Try shortcuts for certain actions
Larger iPhones make it difficult to execute common actions like taking screenshots, powering off the phone, or changing the volume. The hardware buttons are harder to hit, especially for people with small hands. You can make this easier by using a couple of shortcuts built into iOS. One is AssistiveTouch, a virtual Home button that lives on your screen, giving you access to a multitude of different actions like opening Control Center, activating Siri, taking a screenshot, among many others. You can enable AssistiveTouch by going to Settings > Accessibility > Touch > AssistiveTouch. On the same settings page, you can select Customize Top-Level Menu and tap the various icons to change the shortcuts accessible via the virtual Home button.
Alternatively, you can use the iPhone’s Back Tap feature to set up similar shortcuts. Go to Settings > Accessibility > Touch > Back Tap and set up actions for both double and triple-taps. Now, you can tap the back of the iPhone twice or three times to execute the actions you’ve set up.
Use Display Zoom
Finally, consider using Display Zoom to make icons larger on your iPhone’s Home Screen, which will make them easier to reach. To set that up, go to Settings > Display & Brightness > Display Zoom and select Larger Text.
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