How iOS 7 Gestures Help You Be More Productive On The iPhone & iPad

iOS 7 adds a few gesture-based navigation within apps and that can add to productivity when you are using your iPhone (or iPad/iPod Touch). Most of it is swipe-based and is actually pretty smart (although definitely not claiming to be first or unique).

May be when you get used to these gestures whenever you use Safari, Mail, Messages etc., you might find yourself doing things faster on the iPhone/iPad. Gestures always beat having to tap on the different links on a page/app. Read on:

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1. Going Back in Messages, Notes, Reminders, Settings etc.
So far, you were tapping on the back button every time you had to see all the messages, or go back one step in the Settings app. So on and so forth. But a simple swipe (left-to-right) actually replaces that action. It’s a small intuitive change and on the surface it doesn’t look like it’s going to save you time. But think about how many times you tap that button on top to go back. Get it?

The swipe gesture to go back one step is available in most stock apps.

2. In Safari
Safari has the perfect application of the swipe gesture for the websites/webpages you visit. With a simple swipe, you can go back or forward in the tab’s history. Swipe left-to-right to go back. Swipe right-to-left to go forward. Of course, if there are no more pages backward/forward, the gesture doesn’t do anything.

3. Flip Them Out
Flipping cards/tiles out to close them is a cool thing. Obviously Android got there first (or may be someone else did) but it’s an essential feature. In iOS 7, you find this gesture incorporated in two important places. The first is Safari tabs where you can flip a tab to the left to close it. Next is the multi-task switcher where you can flip tiles up to close/quit apps.

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For Safari tabs, you have a tiny close button on every tab that can be tapped to close the particular tab. For closing apps, though, the swipe-up gesture is the only way.

4. Mail
In Mail, a swipe left (over a conversation) brought up either “Archive” or “Delete” in iOS 6. In iOS 7, though, you have “More” and “Trash” coming up. The “More” features actions like Reply, Forward, Flag etc. All this with a swipe to the left/right.

5. Notification Center
The Notification Center has been heavily redesigned. You have three tabs right up there(Today, Missed, All). Tapping on the tabs opens that part of the Notification Center screen but you can also swipe right/left  to open each of the tabs. If you keep jumping to the missed tab a lot – like I do – the swipe gesture saves time.

6. Control Center and Spotlight
This one’s obvious but talking about gestures, we’ve got to cover this too.

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Swiping from the bottom opens the Control Center. By default, you can trigger the Control Center from anywhere. But you can disable this feature (and make it happen only when you are on the Home Screen). That’s useful because you don’t want the Control Center pop up when you are swiping from bottom in a game.

The Spotlight page is gone but you can get to it by swiping downwards from the middle of any home screen.

Jignesh Padhiyar
Jignesh Padhiyar is the founder of who has a keen eye for news, rumors and all the unusual stuff that happens around iPhone and iPad.


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