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Ask HN: Have you noticed difficulty tapping links on HN on iOS lately?
81 points by bluehex 57 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 63 comments
In the past couple of months I have noticed much more difficulty having my taps on links in Chrome iOS register. I'll tap the same link multiple times with no response whatsoever. When this happens scrolling the page a bit and retrying does seem to help. I would estimate that about a third of my initial taps fail to register. This is on the main article links as well as the harder to hit tiny links for comment, upvote, etc. I have no idea if this is an issue with recent updates to iOS, Chrome or this site. It has been quite frustrating. Has anyone else been experiencing this?

What I noticed, either in iOS 15 or on my iPhone 13 Pro, is that swiping gestures often don’t complete. That means closing tabs in Safari, switching apps with the bottom bar, often “come back” as if I didn’t swipe fast enough. This is quite annoying because I have to repeat the gesture multiple times for it to be completed.

Safari has been behaving stupidly too: I type n, I see the autocomplete for news.ycombinator appear, I press the Go key… it searches Google for “n”. It’s maddening.

The swiping thing irritates me a lot. For me it hasn't started with iOS 15, although I'm not sure when it did - I do know it was not always like that. I have an iPhone X so also not directly tied to the hardware, I guess.

I have not had that particular issue, but I have noticed another strange behaviour that I only see on Hacker News on iOS Safari.

If I navigate to the comments, then click the article, about 50% of the time, navigating back to the comments doesn’t work. It loads for a little while, but then just displays a static view of the linked article. If I hit back again, I’m on the HN homepage, then I can hit forward to return to the comments and all is fine again. It’s really bizarre.

This happens elsewhere, too. I notice it particularly on Reddit, where viewing comments on a post then going back to the list of posts reloads the page, but doesn’t display it until I “jiggle” the scroll bar. iOS 14 here.

I’ve had this happen for at least a year now, not just the latest iOS. Very rarely and very randomly, but enough that I notice it. Never had the issue OP is talking about though. iOS Safari too.

Yes! I've been having to double tap links on iOS Chrome, as you've described. I'm a frontend engineer so this had me puzzled. It's not like there's a zindex issue with something blocking it, as a double tap seems to often work.

I’ve seen this exact thing, Chrome iOS, for a couple of months now. Not just HN but also reddit and others

I have had that problem in general with iOS 15. Sometimes a tap repeatedly won’t register in a certain portion of the screen.

Same here. Noticed it since upgrading to IOS 15. Pinch/spread to zoom out/in in safari is also sometimes infuriatingly difficult to do now too. They’ve screwed something up in the touch/gesture support.

Edit: also in case anyone from Apple is reading this, I’m also constantly accidentally switching to the tab overview screen when I attempt to scroll down, which is a new annoying gesture I never ran into before and now wish I could disable.

Edit 2: my typing is also less accurate now too. I don’t have any hard evidence here, but anecdotally I am CONSTANTLY typing “abd” now instead of “and,” which makes no sense at all, given autocorrect.

I have a long-standing problem with autocorrect where I go back and delete a word and type a new one, but the autocomplete suggestions are the erased word concatenated with the new one. It’s been this way for at least 3 years.

Another problems with iOS 15: some videos are entirely black while playing. I looked into this and turned off a GPU acceleration option, but that only fixed about 60% of videos.

Agreed, autocomplete on iOS has been trash for me from the start but seems to have gotten even worse recently.

I thought I was going crazy, I am thankful everyone is chiming in.

Same here.

I haven’t had this issue in chrome or iOS but macOS safari I have had this issue with what I believe are JavaScript heavy sites like Facebook and Reddit’s new design. As soon as I log into Reddit, the problem disappears because I have settings set to use the old layout.

Reddit’s new website is a giant troll experiment to see how humans respond to arbitrary amounts of extra latency wrapped around every single operation.

Replacing the www with old seems to help me.

Reddit does that to me on iOS pretty frequently, though they try to push the app so hard for ad revenue I don’t think they care much about improving the experience otherwise.

If you're thinking of what I'm thinking of, I haven't had it happen on HN but have on other sites. It's like the links aren't being recognized in iOS Safari as links, only text.

Happened to me on Wikipedia today. iOS 15.1 Safari

Not had any issues with Safari on iOS.

It happens on my iPad with iOS 15 on random UI elements. I notice it more in Safari since the tablet is mostly for news reading and emails. I honestly think the hit box on some stuff is just too small, like the button for creating a new tab so it's taking me a couple tries to press it correctly. The flat UI compounds the problem for me because I don't actually know the size of the zone where I can tap. I can only see the blue symbol on a white background.

Thank you all for the replies I'm glad to hear that I'm not going crazy. I did have some suspicions that this might not be HN specific but I'd mainly noticed it here since I spend a disproportionate amount of my mobile browsing time here or in YouTube. I couldn't remember if I'd seen it before my update to iOS 15 but from all the comments the WebKit views in 15 are looking pretty suspect.

Safari has been a bit unresponsive at times on HN for me, yeah. But only when trying to upvote/downvote things. Sometimes I can't do the action unless I scroll a bit back and forth. It's weird. (Using iPhone 12 Pro Max.)

But as another poster said, some of the gestures in Safari can also lag a bit. It's not nice. :(

I haven’t noticed anything in Safari

I did find a similar question posted on Apple's discussion forums. Seems the issue might be iOS specific and not HN related?


Also, other browsers like Brave, Chrome etc on iOS all use the same WKWebView so I am doubtful there would be difference.

I am the developer of iOS, macOS and Android client called HACK which you can try out if you like.

Replying to you via HACK on iPadOS; I just want to say thank you for making such a fantastic, affordable HN client. I love it, and I tell everyone I know that it is the best way to use HN on mobile. To anyone who happens upon this comment: give it a shot!

Yes. I have to paw at certain things two or three times. The worst is the flashlight icon on the lock screen.

I have to press it like a physical button as opposed to "tap".

The flashlight button has intentionally been setup that way for years so it's not accidentally triggered.

In devices with 3D touch, it was a hard press and with devices without 3D touch, it's a long press.

This is very interesting thank you.

The flashlight icon is designed to behave like a physical button, so you don’t accidentally trigger the flashlight in your pocket. It even gives you a little haptic “click” so it feels like a physical button.

Admittedly it’s not a very intuitive/discoverable design.

Yeah, before moving to iPhone I had been using samsung devices for a long time, and the older samsung android skin had a flashight button on the lock screen which could be activated with just a tap.

Imagine my frustration when I tried doing the same on my iPhone, thankfully a google search saved me much future hassle.

Good grief, thank you for explaining this to me. I've wondered why I can't get the thing to work.

TY for the insight.

I've found that my taps to upvote register as a downvote so I've taken to tapping a lot higher than the arrows appear.

Unrelated, but any Reddit thread with more than a handful of comments will reliably crash/reload/crash Safari/iOS for me. It's been quite effective as I usually leave the site and save myself time. Haven't been able to work out if it's common to others or something unique about my phone/setup.

I’m having issues tapping on resized YouTube videos on my new iPhone 13 Pro.

Perhaps it’s related or perhaps I’m losing my mind.

Me too! Glad to know it’s not just me, I suppose.

I’ve been running betas and yes, links are sometimes troublesome.

Responsiveness on pinch zooming feels very different also.

Maybe problem with safe area insets? Have been experimenting with SwiftUI DragGesture to replace UIKit's UITouch gestures. Have been getting false negatives and SpringBoard false positives on everything from iPod touch through iPhone Pro Max.

Chrome on iOS 15 is super busted. Surprised they still haven't fixed it.

You weren't asking about this—but the most frustrating thing on the new Mac platform is that I don't know where the text-fields are! They blend in to the white background.

So lost :/

I use Brave on iOS and have no problems so far. However, sometimes screentime bugs out for some reason and says that I've been using a certain website for 24 hours.

I have noticed this on multiple sites and Reddit locks up constantly on the latest iOS (so does the browser when performing certain actions.)

Never had this before today. Now the only way to click a link on HN on my iPhone 13 Pro is to press and hold and then open a new tab.

I've had this issue! I made a mental note today when having to tap a link three times to open. I have a Google Pixel 3, though.

Yes, left (hand) finger taps are rarely registered the first time. Glad someone else also noticed this… (Chrome, iPhone SX)

100% yes for Chrome in iPadOS. It seems like it wants to register some type of selection event rather than a tap.

Octal is a good client for HN on iOS

Full disclosure: I am the developer of another client called HACK.

My client is available on iOS, MacOS and Android:



My app is the only app as far as I know which supports push notifications for HN comments on your post/replies. It is also highly customizable with themes, fonts, colors etc, supports voting, favoriting, commenting with your HN account, reader mode for browser, android supports article to speech.

The iOS one has been out for few years now and regularly updated. The Android one is about 3 months old so feedback is welcome.

Just downloaded it, it looks pretty great.

Just one small feedback (for Android client): currently it for some reason makes the virtual button bar at the bottom (assuming the user enables it, like me) transparent, which makes it very hard to see: https://imgur.com/a/a8KTw5f (the second screenshot shows what it looks like in a typical app).

Just added a new setting called "Opaque bottom navigation bar background" which if enabled makes the bottom nav bar opaque for better visibility of the nav buttons:



The update should most likely be available tomorrow after Google approves it.

Exactly what I want, thanks!

The update with the new setting is now available. Let me know if you have issues.

Thanks for the feedback. I will add a setting which disables the bottom nav controls being transparent.

I love Hack! Thank you for all your work on this app. I bought it a couple years ago now.

Thanks for the disclosure!

It’s my go to for sure, excellent recommendation.

Highlighting text is also busted.

You can try a client like Octal or Hack. I prefer Octal but Hack has notifications.

Had noticed this more with upvoting here and less with normal text links

No issues in Safari or Chrome. I’m on an iPhone 13 with the latest iOS.

I noticed this when I updated to iOS 15.

I don’t have problems but i am using ios 14.


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