Gestures

6 iPad trackpad gestures you need to know

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iPad trackpad gestures
Trackpad gestures transform the iPad into something entirely new.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The trackpad and mouse support Apple added in iOS 13.4 is just amazing. It’s like getting a whole new computer, just by updating your iPad. I’ve been using it for a week for so now, and I want to share my favorite trackpad gestures.

If you use a trackpad with your iPad, these gestures will change the way you use your tablet.

Transform your Mac’s trackpad with the 3-finger drag

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Magic Trackpad foot
Clicking can be a drag.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

I prefer the Mac’s trackpad to a mouse in every way but one. It’s more comfortable, it relieves RSI, it can be used equally easily by the left or right hand, and it does scrolling and multitouch. But the one thing it’s terrible at is actually clicking. Specifically, clicking and dragging to move a window, or to make a selection. And I’m still using the original Magic Trackpad, the one that runs on AA batteries. It has physical switches in its feet, so clicking is a lot harder at its top edge.

Enter the three-finger drag. This Mac accessibility setting lets you tap with three fingers to simulate a click and drag. And it does a lot more than just making it easier to move windows around the screen.

How to use scroll-bar scrubbing on iPadOS and iOS 13

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scroll-bar scrubbing
Get ready for scroll-bar scrubbing.
Photo: Cult of Mac

We all know how to scroll through long documents or lists on iOS, right? You swipe on the screen, and then keep doing it, over and over, as fast as possible, like some kind of maniac. And, at some point in the future, you will probably arrive at the other end of the list. Scrolling to the very top is easy — just touch the top of the screen. But in iOS 13, you can grab the scroll bar that appears on the right side of the screen, and use it to navigate.

This is a really, really useful feature. Here’s how it works.

How to use the new copy, paste and undo gestures in iPadOS 13

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iPadOS productivity gestures
This is how text editing used to feel on iOS.
Photo: Jason Leung/Unsplash

It wasn’t until I installed iPadOS on my regular iPad that I realized how great iOS 13 is. It’s one thing to run it on an old, battered test unit, but a whole other thing to use it day to day. And, surprisingly, it’s the small features that make the biggest difference. The per-page view setting in Safari, for example. Or the new multi-app Slide Over panel. And, more than anything else, the new text-editing gestures, which are finally good enough to replace a mouse and a Mac.

Let’s take a look at how to use iPadOS 13’s new copy, paste, undo and redo gestures, plus text selection in general.

All the new gestures coming to iPad in iPadOS

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Haptic feedback could make iPhone displays feel like rocks or fur
New gestures in iPadOS give you something to do with your hands.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

After an action packed WWDC, we’ve finally had a few days to see what Apple has in the works for iOS in 2019. One of the big surprises for us was the introduction of iPadOS – an iPad specific fork of iOS 13.

With the addition of iPadOS, Apple has started to formalized the differences between iPhone and iPad as it comes to interacting with the OS. One of the big differences is in gestures and multitasking. Many of the gestures on iPad are remaining mostly the same, but there are a few news ones to take note of.

How to use the new iPad gestures in iOS 12

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Is this Apple's secret iOS gesture-making machine?
Is this Apple's secret iOS gesture-making machine?
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

iOS 12 was clearly designed for an iPad where Face ID replaces the Home button. Apple has revamped the tablet’s gestures for iOS 12, bringing us an easy way to return to the Home screen, and an iPhone X-style gesture to access the Control Center.

If you’re a long-time iPad users, these changes will seem a little jarring at first. You’ll soon get used to them, though, and even learn to love them. The new Control Center gesture, in fact, is a lot better than the old one.

All the iOS 12 features Apple didn’t mention

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iOS 12
iOS 12 rolls out to all this fall.
Photo: Apple

WWDC 2018 bug Cult of Mac iOS 12 is shaping up to be one biggest software updates Apple’s ever released and it’s so stuffed with major and minor new additions there wasn’t time to go over a lot of them at the WWDC 2018 keynote.

We’ve been combing through the first iOS 12 beta looking for all the new goodies and have found some underrated new features that will totally change how you use your iPhone and iPad this fall.

These are the little iOS 12 features you need to know:

Instantly open Mobile Safari links in new tabs with this special tap gesture

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open in new tab shortcut
Dust off Safari's tabs with this great time-saving gesture.
Photo: Quinn Dombrowski/Flickr

To open a link in a new tab in Safari for iPhone or iPad, you have to tap and hold the link, then wait for a pop-up menu to arrive. That’s a long wait, and it got even longer in iOS 11, thanks to the addition of drag-and-drop. Your iPhone or iPad waits a little longer just to check you’re not planning to drag that link somewhere.

But what if there were a one-tap way to open links in a new tab? You could power through a list of links, tap tap tap, and they’d all open up in new background tabs, loaded and ready to read. It would be like command-clicking on the Mac. Well, there is such a trick, and it’s super-super easy to use.

Pro Tip: Quickly delete numbers in iPhone Calculator app

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calculator
They don't make them like this any more. Thank God.
Photo: Seth Morabito/Flickr CC

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bug Doing a bit of quick adding-up in the iPhone calculator app? Or are you in the middle of a complex series of calculations better suited to a spreadsheet, but you used the Calculator anyway? A mis-hit key can spell anything from annoyance to disaster, forcing you to bang on the C key a few times to reset the the whole calculation, and start over.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. With this quick pro tip, you can easily delete just one digit at a time.

How to customize Mail swipe gestures on iPhone

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A mail box
Mail used to be such a pain to use.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Apple’s Mail app has gotten pretty good. And one of its best features is mail swipe gestures: being able to swipe an email in your message list and quickly delete, archive, move, or flag that message, and lots more besides.

With gestures, you can speed through your inbox, deleting the cruft, archiving boss mails, and filing messages, all with single swipes. It makes dealing with mail easy, if not actually fun.

The default swipes gestures are fine, but you can customize them to do exactly what you want. Let’s see how.

These are the touch gestures you can use with HomePod

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homepod
HomePod likes to be touched.
Photo: Apple/Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The HomePod’s fancy gimmick is that you can use Siri to control it. Even when the music is loud enough to get your neighbors banging on the walls, Siri can hear you thanks to the six microphones’ ability to ignore the sound from the speakers. But touch is always faster than talk, so a quick tap on the top of the HomePod will often be better than trying to get Siri to understand you.

Activate iPhone X Reachability with a flick of the thumb

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gestures iPhone x
Your thumb will get a workout now that the home button is no longer around to do all the work.
Photo: Apple

Here’s a great Reachability tip for iPhone X users. It’s so neat that even if you find Reachability pointless, you’ll love it. Or at least, you’ll love how absurd the gestures are to activate it.

What am I talking about? Let’s just say that if you’re a close-up conjurer who specializes in card tricks, then you will have no problem with this iPhone X tip. If you’re a normal human, it might take a bit of practice.

Master your iPhone X with these tips, tricks and how-tos

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iPhone x unboxing
Fresh out of the box.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

The iPhone X is Apple’s most exciting iPhone in years. It packs an incredible portrait camera, ditches the home button so it can squeeze and iPhone Plus-sized screen into a regular-sized body, and adds Face ID.

If you want to read all about your new iPhone X, or to see what the fuss is before you purchase one, check out this roundup of all Cult of Mac’s iPhone X coverage.

Learn all the new gestures for iPhone X

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gestures iPhone x
Your thumb will get a workout now that the home button is no longer around to do all the work.
Photo: Apple

The iPhone X has no home button. We already know that, but what does it mean when you’re actually using the phone? The home button is the most important button on the iPhone. It wakes it up, gets you to the home screen, activates Apple Pay, invokes Siri, takes a screenshot, and helps you force the phone to reset if everything goes wrong. And that’s just the beginning. The iPhone X replaces the home button with a combination of gestures, and by using other buttons. Some of them you may already use. Others take existing gestures and move them. Let’s take a look at all the new gestures on the iPhone X.

5 ways to quickly switch apps on iPad with iOS 11

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iOS 11 iPad Pro
The iPad is insanely flexible in iOS 11.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

In iOS 11, there are four ways to switch apps on the iPad. Five, if you count the old-school way: hitting the home button to return to the home screen, and tapping an icon to launch a different app. Some of these methods have been around a while, and have changed drastically in iOS 11. Others are brand new, and exclusive to the iPad. Today, we’re going to look at them all.

How to use one-handed Maps mode in iOS 11

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one-handed-maps
This is all happening with one finger.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Using one-handed maps is currently suboptimal, because you need two fingers to zoom the map. But in iOS 11, the familiar pinch-to-zoom gesture is joined by a new tap-to-zoom, which lets you navigate the entire interface with a single thumb. This means that you can easily check the map while walking, or even — if you are an irresponsible psychopath — while riding a bike.

Windows 10 is going to steal OS X’s trackpad gestures

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Photo: Apple
Photo: Apple

One of the many, many things that Apple does right is trackpads. Not only is the trackpad hardware that Apple uses in the MacBook lineup the best in the world (seriously, I’ve never used a non-Apple trackpad that even came close), but the software backing it up is world-class.

A lot of that has to do with the library of consistent trackpad gestures Apple has built into OS X over the years. Compared to OS X, Windows feels downright schizophrenic when you’re using gestures. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. But it now appears that Microsoft is putting an end to the trackpad schizophrenia by borrowing Apple’s approach to gestures.

New Macbook? Here Are Some Non-Obvious Trackpad Gestures You May Not Know About [OS X Tips]

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These are just the obvious ones.
These are just the obvious ones.

I’ve let friends borrow my Macbook when they come over to my place from time to time, and I’m still surprised by the way they don’t “get” the trackpad. Some of them look for the button to click, some want to know how to right click, and still others move the mouse cursor way over to the scroll bar area on the web browser, looking to move the page up or down.

So, I figured it might be time for a quick tip with some easy yet non-obvious Trackpad gestures that you can use if you’re new to the Macbook trackpad system, or if you just want to send to friends that continue to be baffled by the trackpad when they borrow your laptop.

Sneak A Peek At Your Mail Or Messages List [iOS Tips]

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cult_logo_featured_image_missing_default1920x1080

iOS 7 has brought some great new gestural support, like being able to swipe from the left side of the screen to go back a page in apps like Settings, Mail, and Safari.

Did you know, though, that you can use the same gesture to peek at your list of email or iMessages from within those specific apps? I didn’t either, so figured I’d pass it along to you.

Five Secret iOS Gestures You Need To Know About [Feature]

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Swipe, tap, repeat.
Swipe, tap, repeat.

The iPhone and iPad are magical devices because of one thing: the well-designed hardware and software works in conjunction to make everything just work. The iOS operating system is a thing of beauty, not least of which because there is so much to explore and learn about.

As a touch-based platform, iOS uses gestures like swipes and taps to let you control things with intuitive ease. However, there are bound to be less well-known gestural commands in such a complex set of software. Here are five of the better ones.

Secret iOS Gestures: The Claw Swipe – iPad Multitasking Made Easy [iOS Tips]

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Four-finger-swipe-to-side-iPad-gesture

It’s probably true that you’ve learned some great iOS gestures with two or three fingers, like pinching in or out to zoom and the like. But did you know that you can use some multitasking features with just the addition of another finger or two?

Use the claw technique to activate the following swipes on your iPad and you’ll be one step closer to gestural iOS nirvana. Or is that nerd-vana. Either way, I suppose.