Beneath your iPhone's touch screen, Apple's iOS has been programmed to do a lot more than just respond to a tap. Pinching, dragging and even three-finger taps can unlock features designed to make the information on your iPhone more accessible to you. Recent models, like the iPhone 5s and 5c, can even respond to head gestures that are activated by the iPhone's camera. Give your iPhone the right nod, and it will launch Siri any time you want.
Swipe the Screen to Get Things Fast
From the iPhone's home screen, a swipe upward with a single finger opens the iPhone's Control Center. All your media controls are here, like the Play and Fast Forward buttons for your music, AirPlay, Airplane Mode, the Camera app, Calculator and even a handy flashlight that uses your iPhone's LED to brighten up any room. Swiping downward with your finger from the top of the screen opens your Notification Center, where you can see your calendar events, recent text messages and app notifications. If your screen is locked when an alert appears, just swipe it left or right to quickly respond.
Finding Apps Quickly Is a Drag
To find a specific app, you can always swipe left or right to move from one set of icons to another. This can be time consuming if you have a lot of apps or if your favorite app has been updated with a new, completely unrecognizable icon. To find what you're looking for fast, just drag your finger downward from the center of the home screen to open Spotlight Search. The keyboard automatically opens so you can type what you need and then select from the search results. From here, you can also type a name to search your contacts, a song to search your music or a keyword to search the Web.
Zoom in With Ease
Many apps include a magnification feature to zoom in on the screen by using a reverse-pinching motion with two fingers. If your favorite apps don't offer this option, you can set the iPhone to zoom in anytime you want. To access the iPhone's zoom feature, open "Settings." Select "General," then "Accessibility" and tap the "Zoom" button. After you turn this on, a three-finger double-tap magnifies the screen by 200 percent. Drag with three fingers to move around the screen. Double-tap again with three fingers to return the screen to normal. With some practice, you might want to try the three-finger double-tap-and-upward-drag to set the zoom to whatever level you want.
Control Your iPhone With Head Gestures
Using your iPhone's camera, you can have it respond to physical gestures like tilting your head. To access this feature, launch "Settings," select "Accessibility" and then "Switch Control." Add a new camera switch by selecting "Switches" and "Add New Switch." To launch Siri when you tilt your head to the left, select "Camera" followed by "Left Head Movement" and "Siri." After you turn on "Switch Control," whenever you tilt your head to the left while watching the screen, the iPhone launches Siri -- although you may have to practice a few times.
Information in this article applies to Apple iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c with iOS 7.1. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.
- Photo Credit LDProd/iStock/Getty Images
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