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12 hidden iOS gestures worth knowing

Be a more efficient iPhone user with these secret taps and swipes.

With the amount of time you likely spend tapping and swiping on your iPhone, I have a dozen gestures that can amount to tremendous time savings. You may know some of these, but others could be hiding in plain sight.

Keep reading for gestures you can use with Mail, Photos, Messages and other iOS apps.

1. Save draft in Mail

Sometimes when you are composing an email message, you need to refer back to a message in your inbox. To move the draft you are currently writing out of the way, just swipe down it and it will sit at the bottom edge of your screen while you dig through your inbox, waiting to be tapped again so you can continue writing.

2. See all drafts in Mail

You can save multiple drafts in the Mail app. To see all of your drafts, tap-and-hold the compose button in the lower-right corner.

3. Return to thumbnails in Photos

When you are viewing a photo in the Photos app, you can hit the button in the upper-left corner to return to the thumbnail view of the photo's album or collection. On a larger-screen iPhone, however, reaching for that button can be difficult when operating in one-hand mode. A easier way to return to the thumbnail view is simply to swipe down on the photo.

4. Select photos

You don't need to tap-tap-tap on individual photos to select them to share or delete. A better way to select multiple photos is to tap the Select button in the upper-right corner, then drag your finger across rows of photos.

5. Move to top or bottom of an album

As with many apps, you can tap the top edge of the screen in the Photos app to return to the top of the album or collection you are viewing, which will take you to the oldest photos in the album or collection. Instead of scrolling and scrolling your way to the bottom and the newest photos, just tap the bottom edge of the screen. It's best to aim for the button of the current view so you don't switch to another view by mistake. That is, hit the Photos button, for example, to return to the bottom of that view.

6. Zoom in on videos

You probably know that you can pinch-to-zoom in on photos, but you can also pinch-to-zoom in on videos if you want to take a closer look at one area of the frame.

7. Choose your scrubbing speed

With the Music or Podcasts app, you can drag the small vertical line on the timeline to move to a new spot in the podcast or song that's playing. This movement is called scrubbing. To gain finer control over scrubbing, tap the vertical line and then move your finger up to go from hi-speed scrubbing to half-speed. A little further up gets you to quarter-speed and further still and you arrive at fine scrubbing. Choose a speed and without lifting your finger, you can now move to the left or right to scrub your video at precisely the speed you wish.

8. Move a calendar event

Plans change, and when they do, you need not bother with all the tapping and swiping with opening up a calendar event and adjusting its date and time. Instead, you can drag an event to a new time or day from the day view of the Calendar app. To move an event, tap and hold it (but not with so much pressure that you use 3D Touch to peek-and-pop the event) and drag it up or down to a new time on the current day or drag it to the left or right to move it to another day.

9. Solution for the missing Calculator backspace button

Hi the "C" button on the Calculator app and you lose all of the digits of the number currently entered. If you entered just the last number incorrectly, you can delete it by swiping left or right on the number currently entered. Each swipe deletes the right-most digit.

10. Return to text conversation

If you tap to open an image that someone texted you, you can swipe down on it to return to the conversation in the Messages app. It's quicker than tapping on the image and then tapping Done.

11. See Safari's toolbar

As you begin scrolling down a web page in Safari, the address bar at the top and toolbar at the bottom disappear to give you more reading room. You can swipe up to bring them back, but you can also just tap the bottom edge of the screen if you don't want to move from your current position on the page you are viewing.

12. See Safari's recently closed tabs

If you want to return to a tab you recently closed in Safari, tap the button in the lower-right corner to view all of your open tabs and then tap-and-hold on the "+" button in the middle of the toolbar. This gesture calls up a list of your recently closed tabs.