Today I learned an iPhone trick to quickly select multiple items

I feel almost silly writing this down, but… did anyone else know there’s a built-in gesture to bulk select messages, emails, notes, and more in Apple’s stock apps? Instead of using a submenu to put items in “Select” mode and then ticking the circles that appear in each row, you can simply swipe down the list with two fingers to select each item in the list, that your fingers touch.

If you already knew about this feature, feel free to stop reading here, but I and some of my Verge colleagues only found out about it as developers Jordan Morgan tweeted to complain that more third-party apps should make use of it. Although it’s a feature available across all apps on iOS and iPadOS, you’ll mostly find it in Apple’s stock apps. If you poke around, it appears to be available in Messages, Mail, Notes, and Reminders, but there’s almost certainly a lot more.

One Apple app I really would have loved to use is Clock, where it has the potential to select all those old alarms that you no longer need and delete them in one fell swoop. And of course it would be great if it was used in more third party apps like Gmail and WhatsApp (but it isn’t).

Hidden features like these are interesting to me because they show how Apple’s software can have trouble revealing its advanced capabilities to users over time, despite the company’s attempt to make it as intuitive as possible. This is particularly evident with iPadOS. My ex-colleague Dieter Bohn has written extensively about all the extra bits of laptop-like functionality that can easily be overlooked by most users. Today I learned an iPhone trick to quickly select multiple items

Fry Electronics Team

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