Ergonomic issue... perhaps you'll agree

Ted Witcher

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 3, 2003
I don't own an iPhone, but I played with one extensively on two separate occasions. It occurred to me that the device is not ideally operated with one hand, as an iPod is and most other cellphones are. The location of the home button, so far down at the bottom, makes it awkward to access with a thumb while holding (and typing is definitely better holding with one hand/using the index finger of the other), and scrolling the iPod part with a sweep of the thumb is, again, less than ideal. The way multiouch controls everything, you are limited to your thumb if you are holding it in one hand or using two hands (well, one hand and an index finger). I think a better arrangement would have been to include a side-wheel -- similar to a Blackberry -- that could not only scroll but also be pushed for home (or pushed for select?). This in addition to the standard multitouch for people who get along with that with no problems. It would make the thing easier to operate singlehandedly.

Any owner/operators agree?


macrumors 603
Oct 29, 2006
~119W 34N
Just unlocking (home button, then slide) is just fine with thumb. Not sure how you would do anything else with one hand, using other than your thumb. Much faster to navigate direct, than with menus - which would be required if it used something like the scroll wheel. Everyone's different, but next time you check it out, try holding it a bit higher in your hand. It should "free up" your thumb a bit.

Ted Witcher

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 3, 2003
Well, one might want to use the iPod function with one hand. Or make a phone call which might require going to the home screen -- awkward to reach that button on the bottom. Some little side button or wheel makes this much easier. But I'll try your suggestion.


macrumors 6502
Apr 24, 2007
Thumb typing

I am a thumb typer and I find it do-able with one hand (or thumb) but yes much faster with two. I have never even typed on a blackberry or Treo or any of the others but I think I could type just as fast for faster than an experienced Treo user.
I must add that I do not have fat thumbs so that could be my advantage in using the Iphone keyboard with thumbs.

I just checked it out I do navigate, make calls (broswse contacts etc.), Ipod, calc, take photos and pretty much everything with one hand except for typing and zooming pictures and web pages.

Typing with two hands is just for faster speed.


macrumors member
Jul 5, 2007
I carry mine around without a case and have no issues with the physical design of the phone. Most of the time I use it one-handed, and the only time i use both hands (one to hold, and one to touch) is when I'm more relaxed and sitting down. One-handed though I can reach the home button and all of the icons pretty comfortably. Also, I think the last thing Apple wanted to do was copy design features from something like a blackberry.

One thing I like to do now is when I pull it out of my pocket and its upside down, rest my thumb over the home button since its recessed, and use it as a pivot to whip it around right-side-up. Not fast enough to create a flying iphone though.