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These two big iOS 13 changes are still driving iPhone users nuts – here’s how to fix them

Published Feb 7th, 2020 11:16AM EST
iOS 13 Issues
Image: Zach Epstein for BGR

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Apple released its first iOS 13.4 beta earlier this week for the iPhone, and it got much more attention than betas normally do these days. Why? Because iOS 13 has been so buggy that the past few updates have focused solely on fixing bugs and ironing out all the wrinkles that have been driving people crazy. iOS 13.3 is much smoother than iOS 13 was when it was first released this past September, of that there is no doubt. Sure there are still some bugs here and there, but Apple can now finally start to focus on adding some nifty new features to its mobile operating system ahead of this summer’s iOS 14 debut.

If you want to check out all the best new features Apple added to the first iOS 13.4 developer beta, you’ll find them listed in our earlier coverage. The new “CarKey” feature is of particular interest — car keys and a driver’s license are the last two things keeping a lot of people from emptying their pockets and going all-digital. There are also some other nifty new features to check out, but unfortunately it’s not all good news. Apple made two big changes when it first released iOS 13 that have been driving iPhone users insane, and many people have been hoping they would be fixed in an upcoming iOS update. iOS 13.1, 13.2, and 13.3 came and went without any fixes though, and now it looks like iOS 13.4 will leave things as-is yet again.

We covered both problems at length in a post last October, but we’ve been seeing a ton of complaints pop up again recently on Reddit and social media. We’re talking about rearranging app icons on your iPhone home screens and moving your cursor around within text. So many people were grateful back when we first shared fixes to these issues, so we decided we should help out more of our readers who might have missed it the first time around. Here’s what we told you back in October:

Rearranging app icons

Everyone knows that tapping and holding on an app icon for a moment will trigger what iPhone users lovingly refer to as “jiggle mode.” This special mode allows you to drag icons around to rearrange them or uninstall apps by tapping the “X” on any icon. You can also create folders or move apps into folders this way. (While we’re on the subject of folders, did you know you can tap a folder with one finger while holding a jiggling app with the other to open the folder?) On iPhones with 3D Touch, tapping on an app icon and pressing firmly instead opens a Quick Action menu as well as a widget if the developer created a widget for the app.

Since long-pressing on an app icon already has a function on the iPhone, how is Apple going to offer both features without 3D Touch?

The solution Apple came up with on phones like the iPhone 11 series is pretty straight-forward. When you tap and hold on an app icon, “Rearrange Apps” is now one of the options that will appear in the Quick Actions menu. Alternatively, you can also just keep holding after the Quick Actions menu opens and eventually, the icons will start jiggling.

Users don’t seem to like this solution at all, and a few quick searches will find tons of complaints on Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, and elsewhere. It’s certainly not the end of the world, but it is pretty annoying. Luckily, there’s an easy workaround so that you can quickly and easily rearrange your apps just like you could before.

When you tap and hold on an app icon in iOS 13, you’ll feel a tiny vibration just before the Quick Actions menu pops up. The key is to tap and hold on the icon, but then start dragging it as soon as you feel the haptic feedback. That will skip the Quick Action menu and allow you to begin rearranging your apps right away.

In the video below, you’ll see how it works. First I long-pressed until the Quick Actions menu popped open so you can see what that looks like. After that, I long-pressed until I felt the haptic feedback, then I began dragging the icon around.

It might take you one or two tries to get the timing right, but it’s very simple once you get the hang of it.

Moving the cursor without the magnifying glass

The other big problem that people are having in iOS 13 pertains to moving the cursor around in text that you’ve typed. In earlier versions of iOS, tapping within the text would pop up a magnifier above your finger so that you could see the precise location of the cursor. That magnifier has been completely eliminated in iOS 13, and iPhone users are not happy at all.

Don’t worry, there’s also an easy fix for this issue. Just tap and hold on the space bar for a moment, and the iOS keyboard will turn into a big trackpad. Then you can slide your finger around and the cursor will follow your movement. The video below shows you how it works.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.