How To Use Finger Gestures To Control Your Device
Learning finger gestures
One of the most important skills you'll 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 want to go over the basic moves. There are only a few of them, but they're part of the DNA of using the iPhone and iPod touch and it's essential to really learn them well. The most basic gesture is the tap, and it's just what it sounds like. You tap a part of the screen to perform some action.
For example, I can 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 a later chapter. Here I select the album I want to look at, by again tapping it. Now I'm looking at the thumbnails of all the photos in this album. The next gesture is the drag. Again, this is just what it sounds like. To browse through these photos I keep my finger in contact with the screen and drag the thumbnails up and down. When I run out of room I just lift my finger and place it near the top of the screen and continue dragging.
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 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 or if I know the photo I want to look at is somewhere the bottom here, I can flick quickly and the thumbnails go speeding by. Here's 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 most of them do work this way. Now let's select a 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 as you can see zooms in on the photo or bring them together which zooms back out. We will refer to this as pinching in and pinching out. It doesn't matter which two fingers you use. I could use my two pinky 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 flicking gesture.
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 and out on it. Here in photos it zooms in on the picture. If you're browsing a website in Safari, double-tapping a column of text zooms that column to the width of your screen.
There's also multi-finger tapping, which can be used in apps like Maps. Here, double tapping-zooms in like we'd expect, but to zoom out you single tap with two fingers. Pinching in and out here is available as well. Some apps require you not to tap, but to touch and hold an on-screen button to make it work. For example, if I touch and hold on 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. We saw how to do this earlier in a movie on how to rearrange the apps on your Home screen.
For now I'll just press the Home button to turn that off. You might come across other options that iPhone app developers have programed into their apps like two-finger gestures, 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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