38

I'm trying to research the issue, and don't have a name for these locations.

48

You may be referring to thumb zones.

enter image description here

From LukeW:

In his analysis of 1,333 observations of smartphones in use, Steven Hoober found about 75% of people rely on their thumb and 49% rely on a one-handed grip to get things done on their phones. On large screens (over four inches) those kinds of behaviors can stretch people’s thumbs well past their comfort zone as they try to reach controls positioned at the top of their device.

11
  • 1
    Cool. That's the phenomena I'm interested in. And that sounds like a logical name for it.
    – PhillipW
    Jun 13 '20 at 19:00
  • 11
    I believe this graphic is a bit outdated. I have Samsung S9 and not the smallest of hands but my thumb only really covers the lower 2/3 of the phone. I can shift the phone in my palm to be able to reach the top but I avoid it to the point I'd rather just not interact with the app/website that requires me to do it.
    – Maurycy
    Jun 14 '20 at 11:19
  • 3
    @Maurycy Isn't that your self-inflicted problem from buying a phone that is completely impractical?
    – pipe
    Jun 15 '20 at 12:28
  • 4
    @pipe It's a fair but one-dimensional criticism - I care less about being able to reach the whole phone with one finger and more about increasing the chances of hitting the letters I try to type; having a smooth and non-laggy experience; having access to security updates. It's an acceptable trade-off for me.I am sure I could a phone that on top of those things would also allow me to reach the whole phone with my thumb, but that's not something that bothers me.
    – Maurycy
    Jun 15 '20 at 15:17
  • 2
    @Maurycy considering the graphic was taken from an article posted in 2016, of course it's "a bit" outdated... following a similar article in 2014, it's possibly based on an iPhone 4 with a 3.5 inch screen...
    – Andrew T.
    Jun 16 '20 at 7:48
6

To complement @MikeM's answer: iOS has a function called Reachability which brings 'unreachable' areas into the 'reachable' area.

Turn on and use Reachability

When you use an iPhone that supports Reachability in Portrait orientation, you can bring items at the top of the screen down to the lower half of the screen.

2
  • For me (iPhone 11) it brings the top of the screen down to the50% mark, which is right at the limit of being reachable for me. I have to say I’ve not really noticed before just how much of my phone screen is out of reach of just one thumb
    – Tim
    Jun 14 '20 at 20:51
  • 5
    Android also has a feature called "One-Handed Mode" which puts the entire UI into a smaller rectangle on your screen. samsung.com/au/support/mobile-devices/one-hand-mode Jun 15 '20 at 13:22

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