5.5-inch iPhone 6 will get ‘one-handed mode’ for easier use

iPhone-6-06-cd

A concept design of bigger iPhones.

When Apple pitched the iPhone 5 to the world, it was adamant that its 4-inch display was designed to still fit easily in one hand. And indeed it was, because the screen was only elongated. The width stayed the same.

It sounds like a small detail, but one-handed use is something Apple has always stressed in its design choices for the iPhone.

And that makes the prospect of a 5.5-inch Apple phablet puzzling. How will you be able to use such a big phone with one hand?

New details about the bigger of the two rumored iPhone 6 sizes have surfaced, and Apple has reportedly solved the problem with software.

In a big story today that also reveals new info about the iWatch, The New York Times mentions a special feature that will be in the 5.5-inch iPhone 6.

“To deal with concerns that a bigger phone will make typing with one hand difficult (the current iPhone has a 4-inch screen), some changes to the design of the iPhones’ software interface will allow people to type or use apps with just one hand — there will be a one-handed mode that can be switched on and off, two employees said.”

It looks like Apple will bake a feature into iOS 8 that lets the user manually switch the 5.5-inch device into ‘one-handed’ mode. Keep in mind that split-screen multitasking was originally reported to be coming to iOS 8, and we haven’t seen it yet. There’s always a chance Apple could choose to delay software features at the last minute.

The 5.5-inch iPhone 6 is widely expected to ship later this year.

  • T_Will

    Sounds weird, but I guess we’ll know soon enough.

  • TeeJay1100

    A taller iphone is ugly!!

  • mhikl

    One-hand acrobatics is not important to everyone. If its phone convenience that is ones major purpose, then the small, hand agility iPhone stands the test. If the internet is as important as, or more important than phone use, the largest iPhone makes sense. The taller iPhone might fit the pocket better, but I am sure Apple will get the proper angle on that one.
    Namaste and care,
    mhikl

  • Jason

    Samsung has a similar feature on the Galaxy S5 – it shrinks the screen down to four inches using the lower, righthand side of the screen so all the keys can be reached by your right thumb.

  • Blair Benjamin Carmichael

    It would be nice if they did less fancy, and made a ruggedized version. Drop it, dunk it, you name it.

    • clyde

      Are you nutz?

      • Epic Tea

        considering 90% of people put big ugly plastic cases on their iphones (which makes me scratch my head why they brag about build quality) Why not? I could care less though I only come here for mac related news not ios.

      • darkrage000

        brag about build quality? Thats a GLASS screen! i put the biggest case i can find on it! thats a $600+ investment!

      • http://www.eazycomputers.com/ PhoneTechJay

        I think they mean as a more rugged model to the line up. To give folks more options.

  • Tallest Skil

    Why not just NOT build a phone that is too large to be used as a phone?

  • Matt Sokolinski

    Never seen an iPhone user typing just with one hand. Apple are bunch of hypocrites

    • Lawman

      The article wasn’t addressing typing with one hand… They are addressing scrolling, choosing and tapping.

  • Lawrence Howard

    I am not a massive fan of the larger 5.5″ iPhone. One handed texting is useful and I’m not sure software will fix the issue. I hate the term “phablet” the smart phone and tablet are distinctly different products for different purposes, attempting to combine the two makes something unwieldy and ugly. I really hope the larger phone becomes a non seller. Apple are trying so desperately to cover every market, rather than create something new and innovative. We need a new product with that “WOW” factor.

    • darkrage000

      they are trying to outdo Android. they will make an iphone the size of an Ipad soon….

  • M S i N Lund

    DOOOOOOO….

    • Lawman

      Huh?

      • M S i N Lund

        …OOOOOMED!

  • Clinton

    it’s a 5.5 inch screen…how is that a phablet?

    • Clinton

      besides that, people have been using 5.5 inch screens already…not a new thing, i can’t wait to see what they came up with though.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a senior writer at Cult of Mac and co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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