The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max Gestures You Should Master

If you’re upgrading from an iPhone with a Home button to an iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max, then you need to break years of muscle memory and get used to all the gestures, as it lacks the Home button. But don’t worry, we’re here to help you out with some tips and tricks to speed up the process of learning all the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max gestures.

The gestures are very intuitive, so it shouldn’t take much time getting used to them. Here are all the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max gestures you should master on your new shiny iPhone.

Master iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max Gestures

1. Tap or Raise to Wake

Tap to Wake - iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max

Just tap anywhere on the screen and the iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max will wake up and the Lock screen will greet you with “Swipe to unlock”.

Since iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max lack a Home button. Apple has created a Home bar to take its place. The Home bar is the line or bar that you see at the bottom edge of the screen.

2. Lock screen Gestures

On the Lock screen, you can swipe left to quickly access iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max’s impressive camera. When you swipe right, you’ll be able to access all the widgets.

To view past notifications on the Lock screen, you now need to swipe up (swiping down from the status bar won’t do anything).

3. Unlock iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max

Just swipe up on the Home bar (the bottom edge of the screen) to unlock your iPhone. Just swipe up and while iOS animates going to the Home screen, Face ID will authenticate that it’s you. If Face ID isn’t working as it should, look at your tips and tricks here.

4. Going Back to Home Screen

iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max - Go to Home screen gesture

Swiping up from the bottom of the screen when you’re in an app will take you back to the Home screen (just like the Home button did).

5. Access App Switcher

iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max - 45 degree gesture trick to access app switcher

To get into the App Switcher, Apple advices that you swipe up on the Home bar and you pause a bit. You’ll get haptic feedback and all the available apps will animate in. But who wants to wait? Plus, this gesture isn’t always reliable. Sometimes I end up going to the Home screen.

A more reliable way to do this is to swipe up from the Home bar at a 45-degree angle. Start from the left edge of the Home bar so that by the time you get the haptic feedback, all the apps will animate in.

6. Force Quit Apps

iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max - Force close apps

When you’re in the App Switcher, simply swipe up on an app card to kill or force close the app. Tap on the empty part to go back to the Home screen.

7. Quickly Switch Between Recent Apps

iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max - Quick App Switcher Gesture

If the App Switcher is too cumbersome for you, don’t worry, Apple has added a much faster way to switch between the most recent apps. Just swipe sideways (left/right) on the Home bar to switch to the app you were using just before this one. Keep swiping and you’ll keep going back to the app you were using previously.

What’s cool is that you can swipe in the other direction to go back to the app you just came from. This is a huge time saver when you’re using multiple apps.

8. Access Control Center

iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max - Access Control Center gesture

To get to Control Center, swipe down from the top-right of the screen. This is the right ear, next to the notch. If you just want the see the battery percentage, swipe down a bit from the right ear, read the battery percentage and quickly swipe up again.

9. Access Notifications

Swipe down from the other part (left ear and the notch) to bring down Cover Sheet. Here you’ll find all your notifications and the Now Playing controls (this is basically the Lock screen now).

10. Quickly Open The Last Used App from Home Screen

iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max - Last Used App From Home Screen

When you’re on the Home screen, just swipe left on the bottom part of the screen. In the general area where the Home bar would be when you’re in an app (right below the app icons in the dock).

This will instantly take you to the app you were using before you ended up on the Home screen.

11. Reachability

iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max - Reachability

Reachability on iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max needs to be turned on from Settings -> General -> Accessibility -> Reachability.

Then, to activate Reachability, you need to swipe down on the Home bar area. There’s not a lot of space there so you’ll need to grip your iPhone just right. Once Reachability is invoked, swipe from the left part of the blank area to bring down notification. When you swipe from the right edge of the blank area, you’ll access Control Center.

12. Search Using Spotlight

When you’re on the Home screen, swipe down in the middle area to bring down Spotlight. From here you can search for apps, contacts and even do web searches, and with iOS 12, it also provides useful Siri Suggestions.

13. Go Back to the First page of the Home Screen

If you’re not on the first page of the Home screen, then all you need to do is swipe up on the Home bar to go back to the first page of the Home screen. You don’t have to swipe multiple Home screen pages to go back.

14. Exit the Jiggle mode

If you want to exit the jiggle mode after deleting an iPhone app, you can either tap on the Done button in the top right corner or simply swipe up on the Home bar to exit the jiggle mode.

Mastering the Gestures

What do you think of the gesture-based interface on the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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