The Apple iPhone has a large number of gestures. Some are well known, others not at all. And among these, there are some very practical ones.
Do you remember when you were amazed to discover that it was possible to move the cursor over the iPhone by holding down the spacebar? There are plenty of other hidden shortcuts like this, some more useful than others, obviously, but all of them are worth trying out as they might become your favorite shortcuts.
Touch the back of the device
Since iOS 14, it is possible to double or triple tap the back of the iPhone to perform an action. And this action is totally customizable. For example, you can launch Control Center with a double tap and take a capture with a triple tap on the back of your device.
To set up the feature, head to Settings > Accessibility > Touch, then tap Touch Device Back.
Easy access to bring down apps
If you have trouble reaching the top half of your iPhone screen, you can make your life easier with the Easy Access feature. This allows you to swipe down to fit the upper half of the screen into the lower half, and therefore make it accessible to your fingers. To activate it, go to Settings > Accessibility > Touch > Easy Access.
If your iPhone has a Home button, Easy Access is already enabled. Just double tap on it (without pressing) to enjoy it.
Three fingers to cut, copy and paste
You may already know how to select a word (double tap) or an entire block of text (triple tap). But once done, if you have trouble displaying the copy/cut/paste menu, try this:
- Copy : Use three fingers to pinch inward. This will copy the text automatically and if the operation is successful, you will see the “Copied” notification at the top of the screen.
- Cut : Use three fingers to pinch inward twice.
- Caller : Use three fingers to pinch outward.
The fastest way to “undo”
If you accidentally typed something or performed an action that you want to undo, you can hold your iPhone firmly and shake it a few times to undo the text or action. If you are afraid of dropping the phone, you can also use three fingers to swipe left. Same operation.
Similarly, to repeat the action, you can use three fingers to swipe right.
Two-finger swipe to select messages
If you want to select multiple conversations in the Messages app, just hold two fingers on the screen and then swipe up or down to select multiple messages. It also works in other Apple apps, like Notes or Reminders. This may work in other apps like Telegram, but you’ll need to choose Message Selection before you start swiping.
Drag and drop multiple items
If you have iOS 15 on your iPhone, you can select multiple text messages to quickly drag and drop them into a new note.
Swipe to go back or to search
Another useful hidden gesture, being able to go back to the previous page quickly. You can swipe right from the left of the screen to return. It works in Safari, Settings, and many apps.
You can also swipe down from an empty area on your iPhone’s Home or Lock screen to bring up Spotlight, which lets you search for an app, in-app content, and more. If your iPhone has a lot of apps, for example, Spotlight search makes it easier to find your way around.
Rachel Maga is a technology journalist currently working at Globe Live Media agency. She has been in the Technology Journalism field for over 5 years now. Her life’s biggest milestone is the inside tour of Tesla Industries, which was gifted to her by the legend Elon Musk himself.