Tap, swipe, and pinch to zoom—these are the iPhone gestures that you’re probably very familiar with. But do you know all the uses for them? Because there are probably more ways to use iPhone gestures than you realized.
Let’s look at the coolest ways that these common iPhone gestures can make your iPhone experience smoother, faster, and more fun.
1. Access the Camera From the Lock Screen
Did you spot your cat bathing in sunlight, ready for the most photo-worthy yawn? Or is it the moment of a butterfly taking flight that you want to quickly capture? For the perfect shot, every second counts.
The fastest way to launch your iPhone’s camera is to simply swipe right on the Lock Screen. You don’t even need to unlock your device to use your camera with this gesture.
2. Select Multiple Photos
When you want to select multiple pictures in your iPhone’s photo library, you don’t need to tap on each and every one of them. Just press Select and tap on the first photo, then slide your finger across the screen to select all the other images you want.
Using this quick gesture speeds up the process when you’re cleaning up your iPhone’s photos. You can also use it to select multiple files or folders in the Files app.
3. Change How Your Photo Library Displays Pictures
If you have thousands of photos on your iPhone, the experience of furiously scrolling in search of the picture you want is probably familiar to you. When you do so, the images on your screen become a confusing, blurry haze…
But you can actually pinch to zoom in and out of your photo library. This way, you can scale the library to see your photos grouped by day, month, or year. This gives a better overview of all the pictures you have, making it easy to zero in on exactly what you’re looking for.
4. Zoom In on Video Details
Besides photos, did you know that you can zoom in on videos? When you record a video, you may have a friend or pet unintentionally photobombing in the background. During the video’s playback, you can pinch to zoom in, which will crop the video and remove them—or focus solely on the photobomber if you prefer.
5. Undo and Redo Text
If you typed the wrong word or applied the wrong font style in your iPhone’s Notes app, you usually need to access the Markup tool for the undo and redo buttons. However, there are two quick gestures you can use instead. These two gestures are applicable in other apps that involve text, such as Messages and Safari.
Using three fingers, swipe to the left to undo, or to the right to redo. Another method is to use three fingers to tap once on the screen to show a formatting popup that includes the undo and redo buttons.
6. Shake to Undo
To use this gesture, you’ll need to first enable Shake to Undo on your iPhone. It’s an alternative to the tapping gestures we introduced above. With this gesture, just shake your iPhone a couple of times and you’ll see a prompt to undo typing.
7. Hide Your iPhone Keyboard
Does your iPhone keyboard block you from reading conversations and text on screen? Once you’re done typing, you can easily minimize and hide the keyboard by tapping once anywhere above the keyboard. If tapping once doesn’t work, you can swipe down from above your keyboard instead.
8. Delete Single Digits in the Calculator
Unlike physical calculators, your iPhone’s digital one doesn’t have a backspace button. Still, even if you typed the wrong digit, you don’t need to clear all the numbers and start over again. To backspace in your iPhone’s Calculator app, just use a single finger to swipe left or right on the number.
However, take note that while you can backspace, there’s currently no option to delete a specific digit that’s sandwiched in the middle of a number.
9. Switch Between Tabs in Safari
When you’re comparing websites like product information and reviews, you probably have multiple tabs open in the Safari app. To switch to one of your open tabs, simply swipe to the left or right of your current tab to switch in that direction. You can also use this method to open a new tab by swiping left past the last tab.
10. Preview a Safari Webpage
If you’re not sure whether a website is what you’re looking for, you can long tap on a link in Safari to preview it first. A small window will then pop up, showing parts of the site and its content to you.
11. View Opened Tabs in Safari
To view all opened tabs on your iPhone’s Safari app, you can use the pinch to zoom out gesture. Your thumb and index finger each need to be on the opposite, diagonal ends of the webpage. Then, move your fingers together to zoom out and view your opened Safari tabs.
12. Lower the Upper Half of Your iPhone Screen
Even if you’re using your iPhone with one hand, you can still reach the upper half of your screen easily by lowering it. To do so, swipe down from the bottom edge of your screen. For iPhones with a Home button, tap on that button twice (don’t click). If it’s not working for you, check out this detailed guide on using the Reachability feature.
13. Create a Customizable Back Tap
All the gestures we discussed above involve tapping on your iPhone screen. But did you know you can also tap on the back of your device to initiate a custom action? There are two Back Taps you can customize: double tap and triple tap. By enabling this feature, you can then launch the Camera app, mute your iPhone, take a screenshot, or much more.
Unfortunately, not all iPhones have this feature. You can check out our full guide on the iPhone’s Back Tap and how to enable it to learn more.
Cool Tricks to Do With iPhone Gestures
We hope our tips have helped you learn to do more on your iPhone. To ensure that your iPhone is always responsive to gestures, remember to keep the screen clean and protected, as well as updating your device to the latest iOS. Once you master these gestures, you can utilize your iPhone even more efficiently.
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