I’ve been fiddling around obsessively with iPhone 13 gestures for several months now, and along the way, I’ve stumbled onto some pretty helpful tricks for tapping into their many layers and hidden possibilities. So warm up those tentacles o’ yours and do some gentle thumb stretching: Here are 8 iPhone 13 gesture tips that’ll let you move around your phone like a pro.
There are many different gestures you can perform on an iPhone 13. Some are definitely basic and would only be new for novice iPhone users; others are pretty specialized and not necessarily useful to every user. There are, however, a few iPhone 13 gestures that not everyone knows but that are really quite useful. Even though I have owned various iPhone models over the years, I was unaware of a couple of these gestures until recently.
Note: Instructions in this article apply to iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max.
1. The Back Tap
You can double- or triple-tap the back of your iPhone 13 to execute certain tasks. This action is totally customizable, so you can set up something like launching Control Center with a double-tap and taking a screenshot if you triple-tap the back of your iPhone 13.
To configure a double or triple-tap on the back of your iPhone 13 to perform a system-wide action on your device, open Settings > Accessibility > Touch > back tap, and choose either a double or triple-tap. You will then be presented with a list of actions that you can assign to that gesture, placed into categories such as accessibility features, access to common areas of iOS, such as the Home Screen, app switcher or Control Center, and your own Siri shortcuts, among other things.
2. Use Reachability to pull down apps
If you find it hard to reach the upper half of your iPhone’s screen, you can make it easier with a feature called Reachability. This lets you swipe downwards from the bottom edge of the screen to bring the upper half of the page within reach. You can enable this by going to Settings > Accessibility > Touch > Reachability.
3. Quickly switch between apps on the iPhone 13
Fast app switching is a very convenient way to quickly switch back and forth between your recent apps.
- Touch your finger to the gesture area at the bottom of the screen, either while on your Home screen or in an app.
- Swipe right or left to switch back and forth between apps.
4.Three-finger pinch gestures for cut, copy, and paste
You already know how to easily select a single word (double-tap) or an entire block of text (triple-tap). But once you’ve done that, if you ever have trouble getting the copy/cut/paste menu to come up, try this:
Copy: Use three fingers to pinch inwards once. This will automatically copy the text and if this is successful, you’ll see a small Copy notification at the top of the screen.
Cut: Use three fingers to pinch inwards twice.
Paste: Use three fingers to pinch outwards.
5. The quicker way to “undo”
If you accidentally typed something or executed any action you want to undo, you can grasp your iPhone firmly and shake it a few times to undo the text or action. If you’re afraid you’ll drop the phone while vigorously shaking it, though, you can try using three fingers to swipe left to undo instead.
Similarly, if you want to redo, you can use three fingers to swipe right.
6. Two-finger drag to select messages
If you are trying to select multiple message threads in the Messages app, simply press two fingers down and then drag up or down to select multiple messages at once. This also works in other Apple apps, such as Notes and Reminders. It can work in apps like Telegram, but you may have to choose Select Messages before you can start dragging.
7. Drag-and-drop multiple items
You can select multiple text messages to drag and drop them quickly in a new note.
8. Swiping to go back or to search
Another useful hidden gesture lets you return to the previous page quickly. You can swipe towards the right from the left edge of the screen to go back. This works in Safari, Settings, and most other apps.
You can also swipe down from any empty area on your iPhone’s home screen or lock screen to reveal Spotlight, which lets you search for apps, content within apps, contacts, word meanings, and more. If your iPhone is crowded with apps, for example, Spotlight search makes it easy to find what you need without having to hunt for it.
And with that, my friend, congratulations are in order: You’re officially now an iPhone 13 gesture master. Well-done, you nimble little mammal. You deserve a swipe on the back.