iPad Touch Basics

Touch Basics

You will control your iPad by touching it, so why not get more familiar with how to make the most of it with different techniques?

Single Finger Touch Techniques

The Tap – Tapping an App with one finger launches it. This is the basic principle of the one-fingertip tap, and if you want an app to do something (play a video, make text bold, send an email), you’re going to tap the appropriate button with one finger. Make sure you don’t tap too hard, however, as the iPad’s surface is not pressure-sensitive and won’t respond faster if you’re hitting it harder. In the long run, you risk damaging the screen, so keep your temper when tapping.

The Swipe – On the home screen (where all your apps are shown), you can “swipe” your finger by placing it on one end of the screen and sliding it over, as if you were sliding a coin around on a smooth tabletop. You can swipe left-to-right or right-to-left, and you should probably think of the gesture like turning a page of a book. If you have all your apps organized on one screen like I do, then the only other screen you can swipe to is the search bar, handy for finding apps.

Multi-Touch Techniques

For these, you’re going to be putting more than one finger on the screen and may even move them around. Also, these are generally only used in-app and have no effect on the homescreen. These are pretty standard, but please check with your app’s documentation before attempting them because there are always a few outliers.

The Pincer – Place two fingers close together on the screen and spread them out. This will have a zooming effect if you are viewing a picture or a webpage, and is very handy for small print. To zoom back out, place your two fingers on the screen far apart and bring them together. Make sure both fingers are touching at the same time or else you may accidentally click a link or make some other command you don’t mean to. Also, I recommend using the old thumb-and-pointer if you’re doing this one-handed because it’s more natural and less likely to cramp than say, using the middle- and ring-finger.

The Claw Swipe – Place all five fingers on the screen. Swipe them to the left to switch back to your previous app, or to the right. Also try swiping up instead to reveal the “Multitasking Menu” at the bottom of the screen. Make sure you give each app a few seconds before trying to use it when you switch to it, though, or you might crash it.

The Squid – Once again, place all five fingers on the screen (just like they naturally do- give plenty of space in between fingers). Bring all your fingers together to close whatever App you’re working in. Though it takes longer than pressing the Home Button, I have to admit it’s a lot more fun and officially my favorite way to close an app.

In-App Swipes – These vary from App to App, so make sure you look through the tutorials if you’re not sure. For example, a three-finger tap in Procreate will cause the tool bar to hide, which freaked me out the first time I did it by accident. In Blogsy, a three-finger swipe on your copy will switch the post to the html mode.

Utilize better touch and swipe techniques to improve your workflow, productivity, and take advantage of the increased interactivity available on an iPad.

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  1. Pingback: Utilizing Your iPad for Productivity in 5 Steps | iPad For Life

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