I just got an iPhone SE. I have a strong suspicion that parts of the screen (mainly top-right corner, but it might be top-left corner as well) are not responsive enough. On the other hand they work flawlessly in many apps. That's what confusing me even more. I'm pretty much sure it must be app-related but how can an area of the screen might be broken in so many popular apps?

Here are some screenshots:

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Mail: Edit - Works every time.

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Screenshot Editor: - Undo/Redo Arrow icons: Works every time.

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Safari: - Refresh button: Works every time.

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Spotify: - Cog Icon: This one is almost impossible to tap. Worked only 3 times out of 100 attempts.

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Endomondo: - Bell Icon: Same story with the bell icon as with Spotify. Getting to notifications screen is nearly impossible.

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Memrise: - The left edit icon works flawlessly, the right one does not. It's slightly better than with Spotify but still no more than 5% of taps work.

What's could possibly be causing this? I find it hard to believe that these apps would be that bugged. It's my first iPhone ever and I might be doing something wrong?

I just upgraded from iOS 11 to iOS 12 and it's the same. Reseting phone does not help. The screen seems to be working fine excepting these apps. I'm using glass on the screen but I think it must be a software-related issue. I'm wondering what all these broken apps have in common, do they all use WebView?

Any ideas? Is there any software that could help me test the screen (like displaying touch pressure full screen etc.)?


I realize this is an old question but in case someone else has this issue; the answer about the screen protection is definitely wrong. Yes cheap ones can sometimes do that but the author should have read the original post more clearly. If that were the case it would happen in any app, the fact that some apps do it and others (which are all native apps) don’t is a dead giveaway. Moreover I KNOW that isn’t it because I have the same problem and have never had screen protection on my SE.

The most likely culprit here is the apps in question were coded incorrectly in some way. Probably in relation to the size of the region that registers the touch input for that button. I’m just guessing on specifics here as I’ve never coded for an iOS device but the SE runs a much smaller resolution screen than newer devices. If the area were set at a given size which was adequate for a new phone then just scaled down for the SE it might become so small as to have difficulty sensing input. (You see this when people use an automated method to make their program compatible with multiple devices)

My advice is simply to send a bug report to the developer of any affected apps.

  • Sometimes it's worth responding to old questions, because you, my sir, are totally right. The apps were buggy, luckily all of them got fixed eventually (excepting Endomondo, that one just died :[). Jan 27 at 17:44

I strongly suspect that the screen guard/protector, temper proof glass is the culprit here. I have personally seen many instances where putting on one of these impacts the touch sensitivity.

Also, if you will search the Web, you can find a lot of posts discussing iOS devices having issues registering touch after installing one.

Although, it is not a given that putting a screen guard/protector or temper proof glass will impact touch sensitivity. Maybe it differs from manufacturer to manufacturer and the quality.

To diagnose, I'd advise you to remove the temper proof glass, spend some time with your iPhone and see if you can reproduce the issue. I use most of the apps you mentioned and have never experienced the issue (ruling out the possibility of a software issue). I am not advising you to get rid of one permanently, just test it for a while and switch to a different one if you are able to successfully diagnose. Repeat until you find a good one.

Since you have ruled out of the possibility of iPhone's screen itself faulty (as some apps work fine and some doesn't), the only logical explanation appears to the culprit screen guard.

The phenomenon is more noticeable when playing highly responsive games. (Speaking based on personal experience. I play a lot of AAA titles.)

  • Christ I paid like $20 for that glass, which ones can you recommend? I've been searching for one for a while and honestly it's very hard to find any reliable reviews which is strange. I will accept your accept once I replace the glass and will confirm this was it but I'm pretty much sure it was it. Maybe I should try reapplying the glass? It's this one BTW: amazon.co.uk/Xqisit-Tough-Screen-Glass-iPhone-Transparenz-Clear/… Sep 20 '18 at 17:22
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    @Wordpressor Sorry I couldn't recommend. First, I personally like my iOS devices naked and neither use any tamper proof glass nor a case. Second, as per my understanding, there's no reasonable way to judge one without trying.
    – Nimesh Neema
    Sep 20 '18 at 17:30

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