Apple's iPhone SE doesn't let you expand lock screen notifications and it's frustrating

Haptic Touch on the iPhone SE seems to work everywhere it should, except on lock screen notifications.
Written by Jason Cipriani, Contributing Writer

Last week, a friend messaged me asking if I could long-press on a lock screen notification to expand and view its contents on the iPhone SE review unit I have. I tried and couldn't. My friend was frustrated. He upgraded from the iPhone 8 and used this feature multiple times a day to view and manage his alerts. But now, on the newest iPhone in Apple's lineup, a core feature is absent. 

After realizing the feature was missing, I replied that it's likely a bug, and surely Apple would fix it in a software update. 

Also: Apple iPhone SE (2020) review: An affordable, capable business phone fit for uncertain times 

It turns out, I was wrong. According to TechCrunch editor-in-chief Matthew Panzarino, the iPhone SE's lock screen is "working as intended."

As a refresher, 3D Touch made its debut with the iPhone 6S line. The feature measured the amount of pressure on the device's screen and would do things like expanding notification previews to reveal more information or open hidden menus in areas like app icons or message threads. 

Haptic Touch replaced 3D Touch, starting with the iPhone XR, and more recently the iPhone 11 lineup. Instead of measuring pressure, Haptic Touch is essentially a long-press action. For instance, on my iPhone 11 Pro Max, I can long-press a lock screen alert to expand it. Or I can long-press the Outlook app icon to open a menu that gives me shortcuts to different tasks. 

The iPhone SE has Haptic Touch, and it works in all the same places as my 11 Pro Max, except the lock screen. And it just doesn't make sense. Adding to the confusion, you can Haptic Touch the "X" on the lock screen to clear all pending notifications. You just can't use it on a notification. 

Instead of long-pressing on an alert, you'll have to swipe to the left on an alert and select View from the options that show up. It's a workaround, but not an ideal one. 

Hopefully, Apple adds the ability to expand notifications to the iPhone SE in a future update. It's too handy of a feature for Apple's latest hardware not to have it. 

Have an iPhone SE? Do you miss the ability to read more information in your lock screen alerts? Let me know in the comments. 

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