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iPhone 6’s Reachability Option in iOS 8: Here’s Everything You Need To Know

Last updated: March 1, 2015 at 21:24 pm

All the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices have iOS 8 pre-installed, and with that these smartphones also have another unique feature that will probably leave you impressed. We are talking about Reachability, and if you haven’t heard of this before, then we ask you to give it a try.

Why? What’s the benefit of using Reachability, you ask? In this article, we will explain you all about Apple’s Reachability option and how you can use it to your advantage.

First, let me quickly ask you a question: Have you ever tapped on the home button (Touch ID sensor) and noticed the top half of the iPhone’s screen turning black? Or the app shrinking to half? This is not a bug. This is, in fact, Reachability.

See this image:

iphone-reachability-example
Reachability option in iOS 8

Want to learn more? Let’s start with the basics:

iOS 8 Reachability: What is it?

Background: Apple announced iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus with bigger screen size in 2014. This screen created large space – meaning you can fit in more icons and also enjoy higher resolution display. However, this also created a problem.

Problem: Apple knew large screens are not always accepted. Users with smaller hands, or anyone who prefers using one hand to navigate through a smartphone, will find large screens difficult to use. So how does one solve such a problem?

With Reachability, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users can enjoy using the device with a single hand. How? When this option is activated, the iPhone’s screen reduces to half – so you can swipe left, right, and use any gesture with your thumb (while other four fingers are holding the phone).

ios-8-reachability

In short, Reachability is for you if you don’t like the large iPhone screen.

iOS 8 Reachability: How to Activate It

Note that Reachability is available for both iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus running iOS 8 firmware. To activate this option, you have to go to Settings -> General.

From here, go to Accessibility and look for Reachability. Toggle this switch (if it’s green, the switch is ON) to enable Reachability. You can turn it OFF by toggling the switch again.

reachability-option
Enabling Reachability option in iPhone 6

Using Reachability on Your iPhone 6 / 6 Plus

Now that you have successfully activated Reachability on your device, it’s time to put it to action. So many users I know fail to use Reachability the right way.

So, as an example, open your Safari browser. Now type any URL in the address bar. From your iPhone, “tap” the Touch ID sensor twice to use Reachability.

Note: It is important to “tap” the sensor button, not “press” it. So double-tap as you would normally do and you will notice the Safari window shrinks to half, leaving the top part with black (empty) color. If you press the sensor button for long, it will open all the background apps.

Thoughts

Reachability for iPhones is a great feature to have. It is useful when you are standing in a bus, walking, or just want to use iPhone either with your left or right hand.

Note that Apple has introduced Reachability in every native app – this includes Safari, Message, Music, Maps, and other apps. If Reachability doesn’t work with third-party apps (say like Facebook, Snapchat and WhatsApp), then you know that developers haven’t added it.

However, with iOS 8 gaining popularity, many popular iOS apps have Reachability baked right in. So make use of this feature, see if it solves any of your problems, and if that’s the case – use Reachability regularly!

Note: Articles written at iOS8release.com are valid for every Apple device running iOS 8.0, iOS 8.1, iOS 8.2, iOS 8.3, iOS 8.4 / 8.4.1 firmware