How To: The Hidden Gesture for Switching Between Apps on Home Button iPhones

The Hidden Gesture for Switching Between Apps on Home Button iPhones

I love my iPhone 8 Plus, but the allure of modern iPhone gestures is sometimes more tempting than I care to admit. I imagine many of you with a home button iPhone feel the same. What if I told you, however, that your iPhone is capable of iPhone X-like gestures? In fact, you can use a gesture to switch between apps. Welcome to the future.

The gesture itself actually requires a bit of force. Why? It's a 3D Touch gesture. If you press hard on the left edge of your display, you'll see the window "pop" slightly. Push down again to fully open the app switcher (GIF #1), or pull the switcher open yourself (GIF #2). You can also switch to the last open app by making a full swipe after the initial pop (GIF #3).

From left to right: pop into app switcher; swipe into app switcher; swipe into previous app.

It's not quite as fluid as switching apps on an iPhone X, but it works well. Surprisingly, Apple removed this feature with the release of iOS 11. While iPhone X users had nothing to worry about when they got their new phones, we home button users were so frustrated with the omission that Apple brought the gesture back in iOS 11.1.

Just updated your iPhone? You'll find new emoji, enhanced security, podcast transcripts, Apple Cash virtual numbers, and other useful features. There are even new additions hidden within Safari. Find out what's new and changed on your iPhone with the iOS 17.4 update.

Cover image and GIFs by Jake Peterson/Gadget Hacks

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