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Apple user's dictionary of tech jargon

David Price | May 10, 2016
From Arrangement Mode to Xcode: we explain all the jargon in our plain-English dictionary of tech terms, focusing on concepts that affect Apple fans

Apple user's dictionary of tech jargon: G-I

What are gestures?

A set of finger movements that you use to interact with touch screen devices like the iPhone and iPad. Common gestures include 'flick', mentioned above; pinch or 'unpinch' (opposite gestures performed with a finger and thumb), and tap.

What is a GPS?

A sensor found inside the iPhone and iPad that helps it determine its position. Used principally in Maps to locate your position on earth. GPS stands for Global Positioning System and works by linking to a network of 24 satellites in orbit around the earth. Apple combines GPS along with triangulation of known Wi-Fi hotspots and mobile phone towers to determine your position. Collectively it refers to these as Location Services.  

What are haptics? What is haptic feedback?

Haptics are a raft of technologies based around the concept of touch-based feedback: screens that respond to the fingertip in such a way that it feels like you are touching the physical object depicted on them, or like the screen is 'tapping' you to get your attention. By adding a sense of feel, the device tells the user when certain on-screen items have been touched or activated.

Many mobile phones use haptic feedback through subtle use of the vibrating alert. It's perennially rumoured that the iPhone 7 and iPad Air 3, for instance, could have haptic-capable screens, and the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus both incorporate elements of haptic (or taptic) feedback to let you know when you've done a harder press to activate the new 3D Touch features.

Haptics are most well known to Apple fans, however, through their presence on the Apple Watch. See Taptic, haptics, and the body fantastic: The real Apple Watch revolution

Apple Watch

What is Health?

The health-related app that Apple added to iOS 8. It looks after general health information and links to various fitness and monitoring apps and devices.

What is High Definition? (What does HD stand for?)

A video format with a greater resolution than standard definition. Typically more than 720 horizontal lines, although often more than 1080 lines. The three main formats are 720p, 1080i and 1080p. The i stands for Interlaced which blends frames together, whereas the P stands for Progressive which shows one complete frame then the next. P is generally considered better for film and i for fast-moving television.

What is a Home button?

The button on the front of an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad, below the screen. Used to access the home screen. Also used to unlock an iPhone 5siPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus using Touch ID.


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