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Posted 05.12.19

Our favourite iPhone gestures and commands

No Home button? no problem! In this article we highlight our favourite iPhone gestures. Throughout the first decade of iPhone, the Home button was a reliable constant. 

Then arrived the iPhone X and just like that the Home button disappeared. Since then, the new iPhone models (iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone 11 or iPhone 11 Pro) have featured edge-to-edge displays with no home button.

How to return home

We will start off with the basics, while on an app to return to home screen – just swipe up from the bottom of the screen.

Wake it up

You can raise the phone to wake up your iPhone, or tap the side button. But did you know you can tap-to-wake: tap the display and it will wake up.

Jump between apps

With these iPhone gestures you can jump between apps quickly and easily. Swipe left or right along the bottom edge of the phone to jump back and forth between apps. You can “flick” from the bottom corners, moving your finger up and over, to “bounce” between the apps, or simply slide directly side-to-side along the bottom edge.

App switcher

Do you want to see all the apps currently running?

Swipe up from the bottom edge and pause for a second with your finger still on the display. App cards will quickly pop up – you can then lift your finger off and swipe around through them.

Close an app

Has your favourite app game crashed? Follow the same steps as App Switcher to see your app cards. It doesn’t have to be the topmost card, you can even swipe away multiple apps at once.

Rearrange and Delete apps

The tap-and-hold gesture to rearrange and delete apps has changed a little in iOS 13. Tap-and-hold on an app icon and you’ll see a list of shortcuts available. At the end of that list you’ll see two options: Share [app name] and Rearrange Apps. 

Select Rearrange Apps and all your apps will shake and have an (X) icon in the corner. Tap-and-hold apps to move the around, drag them on top of each other to make a folder. Tap the (X) icon to delete.

From the home screen, tap Done in the upper right to return your screen to normal.

You can also enter the Rearrange Apps mode by simply continuing to hold the app icon even after the shortcut list appears. Just tap-and-hold and keep holding until your apps reach the shaken state. 

Haptic Touch

3D Touch is a thing of the past on the latest iPhone models, but they do similar things as 3D Touch with a simple long press. Tap-and-hold on a web link to see a preview window with a list of options (Open in Safari, Add to Reading List, Copy Link etc) You can do the same with dates and times to rapidly make calendar events and reminders.

Most of the icons in the Control Panel have secondary or expanded functions if you long-press on them, too.


If you’re having trouble reaching stuff at the top of your iPhone screen, this feature can help. Drag down on the bottom edge of the display to shift everything down. Drag up again holding for a few seconds to return it to normal.

By default Reachability is disabled, but you can enable additional iPhone gestures through accessibility settings. You can change this in Settings > Accessibility > Touch

Latest iPhone

Looking to upgrade your iPhone experience? Check out the latest iPhone here!

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