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I rarely install apps because I don't want to navigate the uncertain security implications. On the few occasions that I do, however, a significant portion of those apps seem to be designed only for phone with larger screens. Essential parts of the display reside below the bottom edge of the iPhone SE screen. Some pages of some apps allow scrolling/panning, but not always. Sometimes, it seems that they assumed that no one would have a phone so small as to be unable to access the bottom portions of the content, so the content doesn't scroll, and I can't access the bottom parts.

For example, some parts of the Tim Hortons app for reward points allows you to redeem points for food/beverages, but some parts of the menu becomes inaccessible. Another example is an app to access a certain vendor's security camera; it requires that you create an account with the company, but I can only access the login fields -- not the links to create an account, which are below the bottom edge of the display. I don't know if I can use a friend's bigger phone to create an account, but even if I could, the controls for accessing the video are also way down, and would be inaccessible using my iPhone SE.

I tried using a pinch gesture to shrink the size of the content so that the content lower down on the page would fit on the screen. Resizing of the content doesn't seem to be possible.

The iPhone SE is not a rare phone. I can't be the only one butting against this problem. How do others deal with this?

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  • "The iPhone SE is not a rare phone." - I tried to verify this by looking at statistics of iPhone shares by model, but the iPhone SE is too old to even get included at all. A year ago this might've been different, but even then it would've been the oldest of 23 iPhone models supported at the time, and the only one with such a small screen.
    – Siguza
    Commented Dec 22, 2022 at 3:13
  • I haven't looked all that hard, but I do recall reading only positive accounts of the iPhone SE and people favour its small size. A quick Google reveals this not-too-old article and this more recent article. All I did was this search. Commented Dec 22, 2022 at 6:49
  • I think we may be talking about different phones then. Are you aware that Apple released three different iPhones over the years that are all just called the "iPhone SE"?
    – Siguza
    Commented Dec 22, 2022 at 7:00
  • Like most smartphones, there are successive generations. A quick search indicates that they are the same size and resolution. I would expect the same problem to afflict them all, since it is an app design problem, but the only way to be sure is to buy all three generations. Commented Dec 22, 2022 at 7:09
  • "A quick search indicates that they are the same size and resolution." - No they're not. The A9 one has a 4.0-inch display (same as the iPhone 5s), and the A13 and A15 ones have a 4.7-inch display (same as the iPhones 6, 6s, 7 and 8).
    – Siguza
    Commented Dec 22, 2022 at 19:46

1 Answer 1

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Unfortunately this is all too common with unsuitable app development and quality assurance practices. I would consider this issue to be a bug with the app that should be reported to the developer. Apps should be able to be used with any text size, but this may help in the short term:

Adjust the text size when you’re using an app

  1. Open Control Center, then tap the Text Size button.

    (If you don’t see the Text Size button, add it to Control Center—go to Settings > Control Center, then choose Text Size).

  2. Drag the slider up or down to increase or decrease the text size.

To change the text size for all apps, tap All Apps at the bottom of the screen.

https://support.apple.com/guide/iphone/iph3e2e1fb0/ios

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  • I added Text Size to the control centre. When using the app, I swiped up and saw the Text Size control. I could drag the slider down. Unfortunately, it seems to have no effect on the app screen content. I tried banishing the app by double-pressing the iPhone's Home button and swiping the app upward. I restarted the app, but the screen content remained unchanged. I also re-resized the text, with no effect. I assume that this is not normal? Commented Dec 21, 2022 at 15:27
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    @user There is appropriate code every app should use to read the text size desired set by the user. It sounds like the app developer has not done so — very bad practice — so the text size slider has no effect. You should report this issue to the app developer.
    – grg
    Commented Dec 21, 2022 at 15:54
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    @user The text size slider is mainly an accessibility feature to increase the size in apps with text too small. This is a very important feature for those with vision issues so I hope they are responsive.
    – grg
    Commented Dec 21, 2022 at 16:24
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    @user The source code is not uploaded as part of app distribution, so no one but the app developer has access to it. Apple do test apps like a user would as part of reviewing it per the App Store review guidelines, but there are no guidelines for bad design or accessibility functionality.
    – grg
    Commented Dec 21, 2022 at 17:25
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    @user Human app review is one step of the process. The primary defence against apps ‘stealing’ information from other apps is iOS itself — it does not provide the ability for apps to do this. Feel free to open a chat or look for a question on this topic specifically if you want more details.
    – grg
    Commented Dec 21, 2022 at 18:37

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