It IS a random annoyance that should NOT be…
The flashlight button has been on the iPhone’s lock screen for several years. It sits on the opposite side from a nearly identical button that turns on the camera and turns the light on with a bit of light pressure. Turning on the flashlight can drain a phone’s battery, flash in someone’s eyes or just be embarrassing. (To skip to our tips on how to make it happen less, scroll to the bottom.)
Apple declined to comment on the matter.
To figure out why this was happening, I asked people struggling with the problem to demonstrate how they pick up and put away their phone. People who don’t have flashlight woes were careful not to touch the glass, holding their smartphone gingerly on the edges like a CD. The iPhone owners who did turn on their lights were more likely to hold on to the phone like it wasn’t a giant slab of touch-sensitive glass, griping the front and the back of the device between their fingers.
People of all ages appear to struggle with this issue. Tori Daniels, 25, says they have been turning on the flashlight for years, most recently when they walked into a pitch-black room and realized it was illuminated by their back pocket. Daniels says it’s a button-placement issue by Apple more than a user error.
“I think it’s a comparable level to the fly-is-down thing. Not actually embarrassing. More like, ‘Oh, shoot. How long has that been happening?’ ” Daniels says….