Friday, October 7, 2022

iOS Action Discoverability

Jean-Louis Gassée (in 2019, via Hacker News):

Because I feel self-conscious about my mental and motor skills, I compared notes with a learned friend, a persistent fellow who forced himself to learn touch typing by erasing the letters on his keyboard. He, too, finds iPadOS discoverability to be severely lacking. There are lot of new and possibly helpful features but, unlike the 1984 Mac, not enough in the way of the hints that menu bars and pull-down menus provide. It all feels unfinished, a long, long list of potentially winning features that are out of the reach of this mere mortal and that I assume will remain undiscovered by many others.

Kirk McElhearn (in 2019):

iOS has always been dependent on gestures for accomplishing certain tasks, and this is even more the case with iPadOS. But these gestures are hard to discover, and even harder to remember. Do you know how to make the proper three-finger pinch to copy text on your iPad?

Much of the power of iPadOS comes through new gestures, and while Apple offers a Tips app, this app only shows a couple of the new gestures, and none of the older ones.

Apple Support (in 2019):

Don’t move, mark, or delete emails one by one. Swipe down with two fingers over your messages to select multiple items in iOS 13 and iPadOS.

Myke Hurley (in 2019):

TIL You can long press on scroll bars on iOS and zip up and down

John Gruber (in 2020):

Until this afternoon, I had been working under the assumption that the iOS/iPadOS Files app only had one view: icon/grid view. Turns out there’s also a list view, and on iPadOS in landscape, column view. The trick is that you need to pull down on the view to expose these controls.

[Update (2022-10-08): This has since been fixed.]

Alex Ellis:

To delete the last digit from a number you entered in the iOS calculator, you can swipe the numbers to delete.


To better navigate around a text document, you can long press the spacebar, then navigate around.


To go back and forward in Safari, you can swipe the edges of the screen. To switch between tabs, you can swipe the URL bar left and right.


3 Comments RSS · Twitter

Did you know the lock screen battery widget in iOS 16 is customisable (for choosing the device you want to check the battery of)? Just need to tap it when editing lock screen.

I didn't. I was shocked. Why is this hidden? With no visual indication whatsoever.

It’s hidden because clutter!


It's hard to find a way out of this. Power user stuff tends to only be known by those that goes looking for it.

The other option is to have annoying Nintendo style "Hey, did you know you can swim faster by pressing A" that shows up every ten minutes no matter how far you've gotten inn the game.

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