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How to use gestures on the iPhone

Rosemary Hattersley | Sept. 11, 2013
Discover how to interact with the iPhone with these finger gestures

Discover how to interact with the iPhone with these finger gestures

Although Apple has designed the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad to be simple to learn, sometimes you may want a primer on the basics. Here's a breakdown of the major multitouch gestures, navigation, Home screen tips and tricks and multitasking features you'll need to master your iOS device.

Gestures and techniques
If you've never before owned a multitouch device from Apple, you may be unfamiliar with crazy phrases like pinch-to-zoom and the difference between flick and swipe. Have no fear: While some of these gestures may have odd names, they're easy enough to pick up.

Tap: As clicking is to a desktop computer, so is tapping to an iOS device. Tapping is the most common and basic gesture.

Double-tap: Tap an object twice in succession to effect a double-tap. Double-taps are primarily used for zooming in or out on text.

Tap, hold, and drag: For some functions, such as highlighting text, copying and pasting or deleting and moving apps, you'll need to tap and hold down on the screen. When you do this on a piece of text, it will highlight in blue, and editing handles - vertical lines with blue dots - will appear on either side of the highlighted area. You can tap, hold and, while holding down, drag your finger to increase or decrease the selection.

Flick and swipe: Swiping is one of your primary navigational tools: You use a left or right swipe to move through app pages on your Home screen or images in the Photos app; you use an up or down swipe to read text in Safari, iBooks, Newsstand or elsewhere. It's one of the easiest gestures to learn.

Pinch: To zoom in or to open something, place your thumb and index finger, pinched together, on screen and spread them apart. To zoom out, do the reverse.

Rotate: You can even rotate some elements with two or more fingers. Just place two fingers on the screen and make a circular gesture, clockwise or counterclockwise.

 

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