iOS is packed with tons of useful gestures, but some of the best are the ones that are useful when you need them, but you don’t use every day. Here are a few of our favorite under-the-radar gestures and shortcuts that are just what you need, when you need them.
Tap and Hold the “+” In Safari to Reopen Recently Closed Tabs
Accidentally close a tab in Safari? You can pull up a list of all your recently closed tabs by tapping and holding the “+” icon in the new tab view. This pops up a menu with a list, so you can select one to open in a new tab.
Tap the Bottom of the Screen to Bring Up Safari’s Toolbar
When you scroll down on a page in Safari, the toolbars disappear to give you an unobstructed view. It’s pretty common knowledge that you can pull up the URL bar again by simply tapping the top of the page, but you can also get the bottom menu back by just tapping at the bottom of the screen.
Tap and Hold the Refresh Button to Reload a Site without Ad Blockers
If you’re using an ad blocker on iOS, you know that sometimes they can screw with how a page loads. Thankfully, you don’t have to disable your ad blocker just to fix a single web page. Just tap and hold the refresh button in the URL bar and you’ll get a pop-up asking you to reload the site without the blocker.
Touch and Hold Tabs to Reorder Them
If you like to keep your tabs organized, you can easily rearrange them. Open up the tab view (on the iPad, the tabs are across the top of your screen,) tap and hold on the top of a tab, then slide your finger to move it where you want it to go. You need to hold your finger down for a solid second or so before you can move the tab around, so be patient.
Swipe Down on a Photo to Return to the Album View
When you view pictures in Photos, you can swipe left or right to go through them, and usually tap the back button to get back to the album view. However, it’s usually a lot faster to just swipe down on the photo to return to the album view.
Swipe to Select Multiple Pictures in Photos Select Multiple Photos
If you want to select a bunch of photos at once in the Photos app, you don’t have to individually tap each photo. Just tap the Select button, tap and hold on any photo, then drag your finger to select a bunch of photos in one go. Now you can move them into folders, delete them, or do whatever else you need to do.
Tap the Top or Bottom of the Screen in Photos to Scroll Instantly
If you have a lot of pictures in the Photos app, don’t swipe forever to navigate through them all. You can instantly scroll to the top or bottom of your collection by tapping either the top or the bottom of your screen, respectively.
Pinch to Zoom In or Out in Videos
Most people don’t assume they can zoom in on videos, but you can. Just use the old pinch-and-zoom gesture we’re all accustomed to using for photos.
Swipe Vertically on Songs and Videos to Change the Scrubbing Speed
Fast forwarding through a podcast or big audio track is a bit of a pain with the default scrubbing speed, but when you tap and hold on the scrubber, you can move your finger up or down to to scrub through the song at fine, quarter, or half speed. This makes it much easier to get exactly where you want to in an audio track.
Tap and Hold the “123" Keyboard Button to Type a Symbol
Everyone knows that you can switch to the number and symbols keyboard by tapping the 123 button. But if you just need to pick one number or symbol (like an @-sign in an email address, or an ampersand in a sentence), it’s faster to tap and hold the 123 icon, then swipe over to the symbol you need. After you select it, the keyboard automatically switches back to the alphabet.
Swipe Left or Right to Delete Digits in the Calculator
Make a typo on the calculator? You don’t have to start all over like on a regular calculator, just swipe left or right on the numbers to delete them.
Force-Refresh the App Store by Tapping the Tab Bar 10 Times
If the App Store gets stuck, freezes, or never loads, you could go and force close it, but it’s faster to force a refresh. Just tap any of the icons on the bottom of the screen 10 times and it’ll reload the App Store.
Swipe Down in Mail to Minimize the Compose Window
When you’re composing an email in Mail, you might need to back out and double-check something in your inbox. You could save what you’ve done as a draft, or you can just swipe down on the email to minimize it so you can tool around in the rest of Mail. When you’re done, just tap your draft at the bottom of the screen to load it back up.
Tap with Two Fingers to Zoom Out in Maps
You probably know you can zoom in on Maps in set increments by double-tapping on the screen. To zoom back out, just tap with two fingers. It’s much easier than pinching and pulling.
Tap-Tap-Swipe in Google Maps for One-Handed Zooming
While this one’s not an Apple app, it’s still worth a mention since Google Maps is so popular. If you want to zoom in when you’re using Google Maps one-handed, just tap twice and hold your finger down, then swipe your finger up and down to adjust the zoom.
Music by MC Cullah.
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