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The One Thing Apple Should Fix in iOS 12 (Okay, Two)

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.

Credit: Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

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.

MORE: WWDC: What to Expect from iOS 12, macOS and More

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.

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for nearly 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.