A few months ago, in an article called 3.5 Inches, I wrote that the iPhone’s 3.5-inch screen was the perfect size for human thumb reach. Now that the iPhone 5 has been released with its larger 4-inch screen, I think it’s time to re-evaluate the issue.
After using the iPhone 5 for more than a week, I stand by my original thoughts: four inches is too big for my thumb to comfortably reach to all areas of the screen while holding the phone one-handed. In my left hand, it’s just a little bit too uncomfortable to reach the far upper right corner of the screen, especially in situations where I need to touch the “cancel” or “add new item” button. This is especially obvious when entering an address in Safari or Maps while walking down the street. Or when trying to touch the “next message” down arrow in Mail. Or when adding an event to Calendar. Or when creating a Tweet in Tweetbot.
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