Discover how to interact with the iPhone with these finger gestures

Although Apple has designed the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad to be simple to learn, sometimes you may want a primer on the basics. Here’s a breakdown of the major multitouch gestures, navigation, Home screen tips and tricks and multitasking features you’ll need to master your iOS device.

Gestures and techniques

If you’ve never before owned a multitouch device from Apple, you may be unfamiliar with crazy phrases like pinch-to-zoom and the difference between flick and swipe. Have no fear: While some of these gestures may have odd names, they’re easy enough to pick up.

Tap: As clicking is to a desktop computer, so is tapping to an iOS device. Tapping is the most common and basic gesture.

Double-tap: Tap an object twice in succession to effect a double-tap. Double-taps are primarily used for zooming in or out on text.

Tap, hold, and drag: For some functions, such as highlighting text, copying and pasting or deleting and moving apps, you’ll need to tap and hold down on the screen. When you do this on a piece of text, it will highlight in blue, and editing handles – vertical lines with blue dots – will appear on either side of the highlighted area. You can tap, hold and, while holding down, drag your finger to increase or decrease the selection.

Flick and swipe: Swiping is one of your primary navigational tools: You use a left or right swipe to move through app pages on your Home screen or images in the Photos app; you use an up or down swipe to read text in Safari, iBooks, Newsstand or elsewhere. It’s one of the easiest gestures to learn.

Pinch: To zoom in or to open something, place your thumb and index finger, pinched together, on screen and spread them apart. To zoom out, do the reverse.

Rotate: You can even rotate some elements with two or more fingers. Just place two fingers on the screen and make a circular gesture, clockwise or counterclockwise.