It’s not unusual for mobile operating systems to come with bugs, and that’s true for both iOS and Android. But iPhone users have recently noticed that iOS 17 contains a particularly irritating glitch that has the potential to drive you to distraction.
As documented by multiple users on Reddit, in Apple’s support forums and elsewhere, the iOS App Switcher can appear when you’re typing in an app like Messages, despite not being activated by the user. That means your typing gets interrupted by a screen showing your open apps. While some users can return to the app they were typing in, for others, their iPhones actually launch a different app by themselves.
As quick scan of Reddit shows users complaining about this problem in beta versions of iOS as well as the full release. That suggests that it’s been present in iOS 17 for some time, yet still hasn’t been fixed.
Some users have said that the bug is hard to replicate, with it apparently only happening infrequently. There’s been no word as yet from Apple about the glitch, so what causes it is still unclear.
There is a fix
Fortunately, there is a workaround that multiple users have said fixed the bug for them. First, open the Settings app on your iPhone, then head to Accessibility. Under the Physical and Motor section, select Touch, then disable the toggle next to Reachability.
It’s not known why turning off Reachability fixes the bug. Reachability is a feature that makes it easier to reach the top of a large iPhone by bringing the on-screen content closer to the bottom of the device. On a phone with Face ID, it’s activated by swiping down on the bottom edge of your iPhone. For Touch ID iPhones, you need to lightly double-tap the Home button.
The connection between Reachability and the App Switcher bug remains a mystery, but hopefully Apple is on the case and working on a more permanent fix. For many people, Reachability is a useful feature (especially for those with large devices like the iPhone 15 Pro Max), so disabling it isn’t exactly an ideal situation.
Apple has released a bunch of updates to iOS 17 in recent days, including fixing a major security flaw and bringing Qi2 charging support to older iPhones. Hopefully, the company will continue the update pace with a fix for the App Switcher bug before too long.
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Alex Blake has been fooling around with computers since the early 1990s, and since that time he's learned a thing or two about tech. No more than two things, though. That's all his brain can hold. As well as TechRadar, Alex writes for iMore, Digital Trends and Creative Bloq, among others. He was previously commissioning editor at MacFormat magazine. That means he mostly covers the world of Apple and its latest products, but also Windows, computer peripherals, mobile apps, and much more beyond. When not writing, you can find him hiking the English countryside and gaming on his PC.