iOS 7 Tips & Tricks: Swipe Gestures and Switches

Our iPhones and iPads are capable of amazing things, but most of us only use a small percentage of their abilities. In this weekly column I share tips and tricks for beginners, or anyone who wants to harness the full power of their iDevice. This week, I'm going to give you some tips for swipe gestures and switches.

1. Go Back or Delete Web Pages in Safari

To see previous pages in your browser history swipe from the left edge towards the right, or from right to left to go forward to the next page. You can also easily delete your browser history by tapping on the two overlapping squares on the right bottom of your screen, then swipe the page to the left.

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2. Delete Last Digit in Calculator App

I hate it when I'm balancing my checkbook and I hit the wrong number on the calculator app. Now I've found a way to correct the mistake without starting over. Just swipe your finger to the left or right to clear the last digit. Each swipe will remove a digit until the number reaches zero.

 

3. Peek at Messages or Mail

If you'd like to go back to your list of Mail or Messages without leaving the email or text you are looking at, swipe back slightly from the left and you'll get a peek of your Mail or Message list. Swipe from left to right completely and you'll go back to the full list.

 

4. Control Gestures

A cool new trick in iOS 7 is the ability to create custom gestures that activate specific features, such as launching Siri or adjusting your volume up or down.

To do this, go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Switch Control. Turn Switch Control On. Here you will get a warning that enabling this changes the built in gestures used to control your iPhone. Give it a try, if you don't like it you can always turn Switch Control off and it will go back to normal.

I decided to create a switch to launch Siri by tilting my head to the right. I did this by tapping Switches from the Switch Control window. Then Add New Switch > Camera > Right Head Movement > Siri.

Then, I held my face about 12 inches from the screen and tilted my head to the right. Siri opened and I gave her my command.

It is a pretty neat trick, but I eventually turned Switch Control off. I think it's much easier just to hold down my Home button to access Siri.

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Paula Bostrom's picture

Paula is a freelance media broadcaster and journalist. She enjoys life at home with her husband, two kids, two dogs, two cats and a parrot. Her iPhone is never more than two feet away from her and she can't imagine life without it.