How to Use a ‘Glitch’ to Speed Up Your iPhone

March 10, 2016, 4:39 PM UTC
A new ad-blocking feature is set to come to iOS 9, setting up a confrontation between Apple and Google.
Photograph by Justin Sullivan—Getty Images

A so-called “glitch” in Apple’s iOS 9 could speed up your iPhone.

The folks over at Apple (AAPL)-tracking site 9to5Mac have published a video showing how iPhone owners can use what the site calls a “glitch” to increase the speed with which apps load on the handset. And unlike many of the “hacks” that users employ to improve certain iPhone features, this doesn’t require advanced skills. In fact, it takes just a few seconds to exploit the glitch, and the result is a noticeable improvement in the iPhone’s performance.

So, let’s start with the basics. Apple’s iOS has a feature that’s designed to elegantly load apps. If you click on an app, the program will fade in to fill the screen. While it may be aesthetically pleasing, for those who want to quickly get to the app, it causes a bit of a slowdown. To address that, Apple has a setting, called “Reduce Motion,” that will eliminate some of that movement and reduce the program’s loading time. Still, the app won’t immediately pop up, since the “Reduce Motion” function doesn’t eliminate a fade-in sequence.

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However, after a person on Reddit found the aforementioned bug, 9to5Mac tested it and discovered that there’s a simple way to get apps to immediately load without any of the transitions. And in its own test of the hack, Fortune can confirm it works, and that it only takes a few seconds to exploit.

To get your apps loading more quickly, perform the following steps:

  1. Turn on Assistive Touch by opening Settings>General>Accessibility.
  2. Ensure that the Assistive Touch button is at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.
  3. Within the home screen, open up Spotlight search by swiping your finger down from the top of the display. As soon as the Assistive Touch button moves above the keyboard, type anywhere between the search bar and the keyboard to return to the home screen.
  4. Open another app to see if the transitions are gone. If so, you’ve turned off all transitions and now your apps should be loading far more quickly.
  5. Turn off Assistive Touch (though leaving it on doesn’t appear to affect app performance).

It’s unknown whether the bug can be exploited on other devices or iOS versions, but 9to5Mac says it tested it on iPads running iOS 9, and was able to get the same result.

For more on Apple, watch:

Every operating system has a slew of bugs that go unnoticed by bug testers. The major issues are caught nearly immediately, and subsequent problems are only discovered when a large number of users start playing around with a platform. Then there are the hidden bugs that are often stumbled upon and caused by a series of seemingly disconnected actions. It’s likely this “glitch” falls into that category.

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The question now is whether Apple will try to fix the glitch or embrace it. The feature actually creates a better iPhone experience and makes loading apps much zippier. Perhaps a better option would be to add a feature that eliminates those transitions entirely, so users can choose to open apps without waiting for a transition. But ultimately, that’s Apple’s call.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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