Q: My boyfriend gave me a new iPhone 6 Plus for Christmas, and having the bigger screen is really super. But there’s this one thing annoying me that I can’t figure out how to fix. Sometimes — I think when I touch the home button a certain way — the screen sort of slides halfway down. One of my boyfriend’s friends told me that it’s supposed to do that to help you reach the top of the screen or something, but I’m actually finding it really distracting. Is there a way to make it stop doing this?
A: The feature in question is called ‘Reachability’ and your friend is correct that it’s there by design. When Apple made a 5.5” iPhone, they realized that most people wouldn’t be able to get to the top of the screen while holding it in one hand, so this feature was added as a compromise. It’s triggered by double-tapping the home button — not pushing it, but merely tapping on it, similar to how you authenticate your fingerprint for Touch ID. You can return to the normal view either by double-tapping the home button again, swiping upward, or touching the blank area at the top half of the screen.
The setting for this feature is found in the iOS ‘Accessibility’ section, since it’s technically a feature that makes the iPhone more accessible for people with special needs — in this case, those with smaller hands would qualify. You can turn the feature off if you don’t want to use it by going into the iOS Settings app, and choosing General, Accessibility and scrolling to the bottom, where a toggle for ‘Reachability’ can be found.