The 3D Touch App Switcher gesture has been removed in iOS 11, much to the chagrin of newer iPhone users. But according to Apple, the feature could return in a future update.
The popular gesture allowed users with a 3D Touch-equipped handset (iPhone 6s or later) to quickly open the App Switcher by pressing down on the left side of the screen, swiping right and releasing. While the feature has been around since iOS 9, it stopped working in the first iOS 11 beta. Apple engineers later confirmed that its removal was an intentional decision rather than a bug. Its absence might be temporary, however.
Reportedly, Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Engineering, said that the company had to drop support for the feature due to an unidentified “technical constraint,” according to an email apparently sent by Federighi to MacRumors reader Adam Zahn.
“We regretfully had to temporarily drop support for this gesture due to a technical constraint,” the full email reads. “We will be bringing it back in an upcoming iOS 11.x update.” Federighi did not elaborate on what the technical constraint was.
As far as its authenticity, MacRumors wrote that it independently verified the email exchange and cross-checked it with an IP address known to be linked to Apple HQ in Cupertino. Federighi has also been personally responding to various emails since Apple’s fall announcement event. Still, it’s smart to take any rumor with a grain of salt.
On a side note, the App Switcher is activated on the iPhone X by a similar swipe-up-and-pause gesture. In the meantime, however, if you’re on an iPhone 8 or older device, you’ll need to rely on double-clicking the Home button.