The iPhone has been around for quite a while now, suffice it to say. And while it’s arguably one of the most hotly anticipated product releases of the fall season, year after year, some iPhone users have recently expressed their dissatisfaction with the way the latest 6s and 6s Plus models are oriented — more specifically, users who are dominantly left-handed.
iPhones are unintentionally designed for right-handed people
According to common statistics, one of out every ten individuals are left handed today. And so, if we apply the rules of common math — factoring in the approximately 13 million units of Apple’s newest iteration of technological goodness sold over the launch weekend — we can determine that, roughly 1.3 million units, give or take, are currently in the hands of a lefty.
With the recent release of Apple’s newest mobile software, iOS 9, and even in some cases documented long before, several left-handed users have been claiming that the iPhone simply isn’t designed with them in mind.
As noted by 23-year-old Kaitlyn Jakola, a copy editor over at Tech.Mic, “The iPhone has never really been designed for lefties.” She thought differently, however, prior to the advent of iOS 9, which, in her opinion, renders the phone “expressly meant for use by right handed people.”
Specifically mentioned in her list of observations is the new card-style app switcher. In iOS 8, to close an application required no more than a simple swipe upward. Now, however, users have to swipe their thumbs to the right in order to clear out the “rolodex” of active applications. There are plenty of other basic tasks that Jakola finds difficult to accomplish left-handed, even “things I tend to do most often.”
What about before the release of iOS 9?
Some users even report having issues prior to the release of the latest software. For example, simple tasks like closing out of pop-up advertisements in the mobile browser, aren’t so easy for people who dominantly rely on their left hand.
Danielle Landau, another left-handed iPhone user, noted that, “it’s not a conscious choice,” referring to the arbitrary use of her right-hand when clicking the “X” that is generally located in the upper right-hand corner of these ads or applications.
Tweet and search, the most essential functions of Twitter, are located on the top-right corner of the iOS app.
As Brian Liles, a 39-year-old software developer notes, however, “it’s not necessarily the iPhone, itself, but rather, the application developers” who have more control over creating apps that are lefty-friendly.
On the other side of the coin
Even despite the gripe about how difficult it is, as a lefty, to use an iPhone, it’s important to note that not everyone feels the same way. Landau added, for example, “it’s hard to gauge whether or not the device is harder to use, because I don’t know what it’s like to not be left-handed.”
Indeed, the user experience — and more specifically, the way a user can adapt to this experience — is relatively different from person to person. There exists a broad spectrum of mixed feelings about the iPhone, as well. Some have no problem using it at all; some find it irritatingly inconvenient.
At the end of the day, however, it’s still an issue that needs be addressed, perhaps in a future iOS update, especially considering how technology is supposed to make our lives easier, not more difficult.