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One of the most important skills you need to really use the iPhone and iPod Touch like a Pro is to understand finger gestures. As you know, there are no buttons on the front of the phone other than the Home button. So, the majority of the things you'll do are accomplished by tapping, sliding, rotating or pinching your fingers on the screen. In this video, I am going to go over the basic moves. There are only a few of them, but they are part of the DNA of using the iPhone and iPod Touch, and it's essential to really learn them well. Probably the most basic gesture is the tap, and it's just what it sounds like.
You tap some part of the screen to perform some action. For example, I tap on any of these applications to run them, like photos. So, here I am looking at my Photo Library. We'll cover how to get pictures into your iPhone or iPod Touch in the later chapter. Here, I'll select the photo album I want to look at, again, by tapping. Now, I am looking at the thumbnails of all the photos in this album. The next gesture is the drag, and again, it's just what it sounds like. To browse through these photos, I keep my finger in contact with the screen and I drag thumbnails up and down.
If I run out of room, I just lift my finger and start dragging near the top or bottom of the screen again. Now, closely associated with the drag gesture is the flick. Dragging over and over again like this can get really tedious, especially if you have a lot of content to scroll through. In those cases just lift your finger off the screen as you reach the end of the drag. Notice the content on the screen continues to move. The greatest thing about flicking is that it's speed-sensitive.
So, I can flick slowly to browse at a leisurely pace. Here is a little secret about scrolling in most iPhone applications. If you tap the top of the screen, you'll instantly scroll to the very top of the page. This doesn't work in every single iPhone app, but many of them do work in this way. Now, let's select the photo by tapping it. The next gesture is the pinch. This is when you touch two fingers, usually your thumb and index finger, to the screen, and either separate them, which is you can see, zooms in on the photo or bring them back together, which zooms back out.
We refer to this as pinching in and pinching out. It doesn't matter which two fingers you use. I can use my two pinkie fingers to zoom in and out if I wanted to. While zoomed in on a photo, notice I can use the drag gesture, as well as the flick. If I'm not zoomed in, dragging and flicking takes me from photo to photo. So, now we understand the tap, the drag, the flick and pinching in and out, which are really the most basic and commonly used gestures on the iPhone and iPod Touch.
Now, there are additional variations on these moves; for example, a quick double tap on an item often zooms in on it. Here, in photos it zooms in on the picture. If you're browsing a Web site in Safari, double tapping a column of text zooms in that column to the width of your screen. There is also multifinger tapping, which appears in apps like Maps. Here, double-tapping zooms in like we'd expect, but to zoom back out you single tap with two fingers.
Pinching in and out is available here, as well. Some apps require you not to tap, but to touch and hold an onscreen button to make it work. For example, if I touch and hold any of the icons on my Home screen, that puts them into Organization mode where I can drag the icons from location to location to rearrange them as I like - more about that later. For now, I'll just press the Home button to turn that off. You might come across other options that iPhone app developers have programmed into their apps, like two-finger dragging, two-finger rotating and so on.
Generally, you'll be taught which gestures to use by the instructions that come with the app. So, there you have the basic finger gestures you need to know to really use the iPhone and iPod Touch efficiently. We'll touch more on various gestures as we look at specific applications.
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