Common Gestures For Your Android Device

Usually Android devices offer a range of gestures and actions you can use. Most of these devices can even fathom multiple touches (the feature is called multi touch) which is a considerable improvement from the times when Android’s first devices did not have such nuance. We have compiled a list of common gestures we all use on our Android devices. Not all the devices have all these actions, but these can be quite useful if you are confused which gesture to go ahead with –

Android gesture, common gestures on android


This gesture is known as click by programmers as it is called “onClick()” while writing code. But this is the most basic gesture you can use on your Android. Whenever you are pressing buttons, or selecting stuff or tapping on keyboard, you are lightly touching your screen with your finger – this is what a tap or touch or click is.


Double Touch/Double Tap/Double Click

You must have used double clicking with your mouse on your PC. To do this gesture, you have to click on the screen, remove the finger and then touch again. It will be a rapid movement and is called Double Touch or Double Tap or Double Click. It can be used to zoom in or select items while using Android.


Long Click/Long Press/Long Touch

You can use Long Click to slide an item or move them. You would have to simply touch the item and keep pressing for a few seconds without letting go. It is not as simple or common as the Tap (click) discussed above, but it is quite a useful gesture. You can use this gesture to move your application icons from drawer to home screen. You can also long click on your widgets to move or alter the size. Mainly using a long press will enable you launch the contextual menu supported by the app. You can even use long press to drag and leave the object at your desired place. By using it you can rearrange icons from your home screen.



You can type or drag icons/items on your screen by sliding your fingers. You can use swipe to switch between screens. You may note that drags are more controlled and decided while swipes or flings include simply switching to different screens. In fact swipes are more like turning the page of a book. On the other hand, drags are used for more controlled actions to a certain point in the screen. If you look closely, you will find scrolls are actually swipes only with up-down movement involved instead of the usual side wise. Drag usually opens new menus when you use the gesture starting the top or bottom of the screen to the middle area. On the other hand, in your web browser, or apps like Mail, you can use drag (starting from the top to the middle) to refresh the page or contents.


Pinch Open/Close

On an Android, you can either move your two fingers close in a pinching motion or move them away again reverse of a pinching motion. We have referred to these two as pinch close and pinch open respectively. You can use these gestures to zoom in or zoom out or adjust the size (of text usually) of the content.


pinch close gesture, zoom in and out gesture on android

Twirl and Tilt

You can again use your two fingers and twirl them to move the select object in a spinning fashion. On the other hand, dragging with two fingers will cause tilting in three dimensional objects in apps like Google Maps.


Hard Buttons

You will find almost all Android devices have hard buttons. Usually the centre of the Menu will have a hard button called Home and it will have Back button on either side. Mostly these buttons do not show while surfing your phone, which means until you touch them you would not know where these are. It is an easy thing to do as you just have to become accustomed to your device to remember which does what.

hard button gesture, android hard button gesture

Let us know in the comments below if there is something else you would like to know about gestures.

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