I don’t usually share our traffic numbers, but in this case it’s too telling a stat to ignore. Since the iPhone X launched last November, more than 1.1 million people have read my tutorial on how to close apps on the iPhone X.
I repeat: 1.1 million.
If you don’t own an iPhone X, you might be asking yourself why anyone would need instructions to do something so simple. I’ll tell you why.
Because Apple ditched the Home Button on the iPhone X in favor of a gesture-based interface, you need to swipe up to see your open apps. From there, you don’t just swipe up again as you do on the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus — and every other iPhone for the last several years. If you do keep swiping up, you’ll just return to the home screen. Doh.
The trick is, you need to swipe up, then long press on the app you want to close. From there, you can finally swipe up on the app you want to dismiss or you can tap on the little minus icon that appears on the top left corner of the app’s thumbnail.
As I complained way back in November, the initial rationale for this frustrating design move could have been that Apple didn’t want users to keep swiping up and inadvertently close an app. I didn’t agree with the decision then, and I definitely don’t now that millions of people now have the iPhone X in their hands.
If the latest iPhone rumors hold true, Apple will be launching two new iPhone X models this year, as well as a big-screen LCD iPhone, all of which will likely use Apple’s gesture interface. I say it’s time to take the training wheels off, starting with iOS 12.
Because Apple will assuredly release a public beta, early adopters will have plenty of time to get used to closing apps the right way. And everyone else will intuitively know what to do, anyway.
While I’m asking for changes, I also want Apple to figure out a way to display the battery percentage you have left without having to swipe down from the top right of the screen.
Sure, the battery meter can give you a general idea of how much juice you have left, but I’d rather lose the signal strength meter to the left of it if it meant I could have the info I want. Or at least give users the option.
Hopefully this will be the last time I have to complain about these quirks on the iPhone X and iOS 12 will address them.