Apple gestures…quietly revolutionary

Do you use Apple gestures, have you even heard of them?

I was first introduced to them in January of 2008, when I became hipster #1 and bought the first MacBook Air. Now, three years and eight months later I am still barely using them.

Of the available fourteen there are only three I regularly use but those three are absolutely time-saving-revolutionary.

  • Scroll with two fingers – just move two fingers up/down, instead of turning a mouse wheel or dragging the sidebar.
  • Forward/Back with two fingers – browse the web by “swiping” left or right with two fingers, no more back button.
  • Double-tap with two fingers – instead of the right mouse click (called a “secondary click”), tap two fingers to engage a secondary click.

When Apple says they are “fluid, natural, and intuitive,” I wholeheartedly agree. I don’t think about using them anymore and it hurts to use a computer without them. Which is when you know it’s a true innovation, “when you can’t live without it.”

Of the other fourteen, I have three more just barely in my memory. Six out of fourteen?

It does take a while to break the old habits, especially for former Windows users. No more mouse and an almost entirely new language with my fingers. Yeah, it’s tough but I can’t complain about clicking less buttons and gaining agility.

It’s part of the reason why I like Apple products. Their agressive forward pace, while offensive to some, keeps me on my toes and ever-improving. I can only imagine the day when I am able to handle all fourteen:


  • Single click
  • Dictionary look-up
  • Directional scroll
  • Smart zoom
  • Rotate
  • Scroll between screens
  • Open Expose
  • Secondary click
  • Window drag
  • Zoom in/out
  • Scroll forward/back
  • Open Mission Control
  • Open Launchpad
  • Show desktop


Watch out too because these gestures are growing exponentially. On my last computer there were only 6-7 and now fourteen. It won’t be long before there are 72 gestures encompassing every feature on a computer.

We may even begin to skip the keyboard…have you seen the Swype text-input on Android?

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  1. Steve,
    if you use Spaces (now Mission Control) for multiple virtual desktops, then the 3 finger swipe (left-right) is the best thing ever invented. And the 3 finger swipe (up-down) for expose is a very close second.

    you use Mission Control right?

    1. No, and I feel completely stupid about it. It really is hard to remember all these!

      I’m just getting started with full screen apps and using the 4-finger swipe between them.

      What do you use it for?

      1. hey, i just got this same laptop and i was wornneidg how to get the windows 7 fujitsu touch launcher because it looks great but i cant find it, also, that seriosly cool screensaver withe the water, if you could help me that would be also, could you please answer my question in a pm, if so, that would be great.

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