New iPad Gestures in iPhone SDK 3.2


9to5Mac continues its tradition of tearing through new iPhone 3.2 SDK for iPad betas, this time digging into beta 4 and finding:

In the gestures folder, you'll see two new types of commands (3Tap.plist and LongPress.plist) that are certainly not implemented in the current 3.1 iPhone SDK.

No idea what these mean yet, but if you were Apple, what would you use the triple tap and long press for? (Aside from morse code!)

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 30 comments. Add yours.

Lady Kaede says:

I would use one of them to bring up something like Dashboard under OSX.

Jason says:

I know from a hands-on video demo of the iPad that I recently saw on youtube that if you do a "long-press" in Keynote it brings up a simulated laser pointer. Maybe this is what the "long-press" is. I am interested in the "rotate" commands. Is that for rotating photos? I did not see this feature in any hands-on videos as of yet.

GrandmaBetty says:

You don't want to know what I'd use a triple tap and a long press for.

TumnusMr says:

Multiple taps and long presses aren't exactly user friendly IMHO because of having to get the timing just right.
If I were an Apple I would implement multi-finger swipes as system wide gestures. For example a 3 finger swipe from the top of the iPhone screen down could 'pull down' the previous application you used, making it much easier to switch back and forth between apps without needing to implement full multitasking. A 3 finger swipe up the screen could bring up some kind of quick access dashboard with recent notifications, common settings like wifi & Bluetooth and a side scrolling/swipable list of recently used apps.

sjaaaak says:

As you could see in the keynote in the powerpoint part, when you press long on a slide, you can change the order. Wouldn't be surprised if the new gestures are especially designed for iworks on the ipad.

JoBlow says:

I agree with MrC about the trippple tap, but a long press would not be an issue.
Love the app switching 3finger swipe though!!!

stuffradio says:

MrC I think there already is a 3 finger tap or something for the accessibility menu on the iPhone 3GS.

garylapointe says:

Isn't a "long press" what I do before I rearrange my icons on the iPhone?

Drake says:

Triple tap is way too much. And I think we already have the long press with icon rearrangement and copying/pasting.

TumnusMr says:

@Carl: yes 3 home button taps brings up voice command on the 3GS, but personally I don't think that is very accessible!
Being about the only geek in the family I end up being family tech support (I'm sure many can relate) and watching some of the older generations struggle with just double clicks on a mouse I can see they would have a hard time with triple clicks/taps.
Even with long presses, how long should it be? With a shorter trigger time someone holding on to a tap might accidentally trigger the long press and not realize what is going on. Conversely a longer trigger time might lead people to give up holding down and think it is not working. It may seem trivial but for a company like Apple that sells to millions of consumers, one small wrong judgement could lead to a lot of support calls.

icebike says:

Do you suppose these uses of the human fingers are also patented?
@Drake: You think triple tap is much? Isn't that what everybody does when the iPhone slows down? Start tapping the snot out of it only to have several things fire at once?

fastlane says:

The "some older people don't know" excuses have to go. Either one adapts, or one doesn't. It's true with vehicles, TV remotes, computers, touch keyboards, triple-taps, or whatever else.
Since when has technology ever waited for older generations to die off?

TumnusMr says:

1) Wait until you're old(er) and your fine motor control isn't what it used to be...
2) What do you propose? If people can't adapt then what? Put them out of their misery????
Computers are supposed to make our lives easier. Apple, for all their other faults, are one of the few big companies actively trying to make computer devices easier and simpler to use.

Impaler says:

I was using an Android device for a while, and when I went back to my iPhone, I had to stop myself from using the long press. It's effective and natural to me. I hope we get that for menus in the iPhone.

fastlane says:

How old am I waiting to be? I'm 48 now... and I'm also the tech go-to person for all my friends and family. In addition, I provide materials and places they can go to ask questions and solve their own problems. if they don't want to learn, they'll be left behind. Tapping three times quickly isn't exclusive to any age group. Why do I keep reading over and over in these threads that grandma and grandpa are stupid?
If grandpa flew fighter jets in WWII, why can't he be expected to triple-tap on an iPad, for godssake?
My 78 year-old mom refuses to stop using VHS and learn new remotes. Should you and I be stuck with VHS because DVDs are too confusing for her, and remotes having 40 buttons for programming three different machines plugged into the TV is too complicated? She's not stupid... she just chooses not to adapt. So she simply won't be using any DVDs. period.

TK says:

How many of these is Apple going to patent?

fastlane says:

Sorry, I meant Vietnam, not WWII :|

TumnusMr says:

A few straw man arguments.... War tends to necessitate changes in personal priorities (can everyone here fly fighter jets? If not, why not???), whereas video format changes do not. Maybe some people refuse to re-purchase their entire video collection when they see the current format they have works just fine and can pick up videos they like for a bargain in the old format. But that doesn't stop anyone else using newer formats.
The article poses the question of what these gestures could be used for and I gave an argument and example for the use of alternatives, that is all....

Jose says:

I think we can all agree. The bottom line is if you're old the only way you're going to learn a triple tap is to be shot twice in the chest and once in the face. Sarcasm.
Old, young, fat fingers, whatever... If you don't like a phone don't buy it. It's a free market baby, it's not like they're designing something that people are forced to use or can't live without.

fastlane says:

The article poses the question of what these gestures could be used for and I gave an argument and example for the use of alternatives, that is all.

It certainly was not all. You suggested technology pamper a minority of elderly people.

L says:

Would iPhone get similar gestures in future updates?


I want to triple tap all you guys alright.


Ya your mom is defenitly beyond stupid!!

Lady Kaede says:

So hilarious, these three lobotomized bozos, who are of course one lonely, pitiable boneheaded . . .

Andrew M. says:


water jet says:

It’s effective and natural to me.

Aiko Legros says:

I presume you are using CS5 then as I cannot find the star tool or the ribbon brushes on CS2.