When iOS 8 was released, the iPhone models accompanying its release were the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. These two sets were the largest ones in terms of screen size that Apple had released to date. It was because of the large screen size that iOS had to make it easy for people with smaller hands to use their phones without dropping them. Apple did this by adding ‘Reachability’ to iOS. Reachability is activated by double tapping the Home button. This brings the screen down to one-half of the display so that it is easier for smaller hands with smaller thumbs to reach. The feature only works on devices with Touch ID and can easily be activated by accident. In fact, it often is. If you don’t need Reachability to comfortably use your device and find it more of a nuisance than anything, here’s how you can disable it.
To disable Reachability, open the Settings app and go to General>Accessibility and switch Reachability Off. That’s really all you need to do.
Reachability is Apple’s way of ensuring users who have smaller hands can still comfortably use their large screen devices. The feature shows foresight on Apple’s part given the iPhone 6/6 Plus were its first large screen handset. In stark contrast, the Nexus 5 which is the exact same size as the iPhone 6 doesn’t have anything similar so users who struggle with reaching the top of the screen but like having a larger screen don’t have much of an option.
Reachability helps but it obviously isn’t the perfect solution seeing as how Apple did eventually have to manufacture the iPhone SE for people who still struggled despite Reachability. Of course, it’s entirely possible the iPhone SE was launched simply because people didn’t want a large screen but still wanted an iPhone.