Today I learned an iPhone trick to quickly select multiple items

I almost feel silly writing this out but… did anyone else know there’s a built-in gesture to bulk select messages, emails, notes, and more across Apple’s stock apps? Rather than using a sub-menu to put the items in “Select” mode and then ticking the circles that appear in each row, you can just swipe two fingers down the list to select every item in the list that your fingers touch.

If you already knew about this feature then feel free to stop reading here, but I, and several of my Verge colleagues, only learned about it when developer Jordan Morgan tweeted to complain that more third-party apps should make use of it. So although it’s a feature that’s available to all apps on iOS and iPadOS, you’ll mainly find it in Apple’s stock apps. From poking around, it seems to be available in Messages, Mail, Notes, and Reminders, but there are almost certainly lots more.

One Apple app that I really wish made use of the feature is Clock, where it has the potential to be a super handy way of selecting all those old alarms you no longer need and deleting them in one fell swoop. And obviously it would be great to see it used across more third-party apps like Gmail and WhatsApp (but it’s not).

Hidden features like this are interesting to me because they reveal how Apple’s software can struggle to reveal its more advanced features to users over time, despite the company’s attempt to make it as intuitive as possible. That’s particularly apparent with iPadOS. My ex-colleague Dieter Bohn has written at length about all the extra bits of laptop-like functionality that can easily be overlooked by most users.

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