Navigating around an android phone

getting familiar with touch screens

Posted by Craig Dsouza on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 Tags: android   4 minute read
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Prior to smartphones, interacting with a phone simply meant pressing buttons. This was easy to understand. You can interact with a smartphone however in multiple ways. In this post we’ll learn the basics of interacting with the touch screen of your android phone.

Table of Contents

  1. Interactions
  2. Click/Press
  3. Double click
  4. Long Press
  5. Swipe
  6. Drag and Drop
  7. Zoom in and out
  8. Menus
  9. Home
  10. Last Menu
  11. Recent Apps
  12. Notifications Menu
  13. Settings Menu

1. Interactions

1. Click

This is the interaction you will use most often. A click is a short tap or press on the screen. Try out a click on the button below.

When editing text messages, you use a click to change the cursor location. Try this out below, change the cursor position to complete the sentence.

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2. Double Click

You will most often double click (click twice) when you want to select text. Try double clicking, copying the text of this sentence and paste it in the box above.

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3. Long Press

A long press is a ‘press and hold (1 second)’. You can also use a long press to select text, but besides that it is most often used when you need to select apps to move them around.

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4. Drag and Drop

Drag and drop is a ‘press and hold and drag and release’ interaction. You use this to either move text from one position to another or to move the positioning of app icons on your screen. Now go ahead and try a drag and drop to move your favourite app’s position on your home screen.

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5. Zoom in and out

Zoom in and out on smart phones is most often used on maps, when you wish to look more closely at a particular location, or to look outward at the larger area surrounding a location. You must use your thumb and index finger and either bring them closer together (zoom out) or take them further apart (zoom in). Use the link below to visit Google maps, then zoom in and out to see more of the location pinned.

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2. Menus

1. Home Menu

When in doubt, return home, the home menu on most android phone will be located at the bottom center and look something like this. If it isn’t visible, you can swipe up from the bottom of your screen to see the home menu. If even that doesn’t work, use the screen off button and turn the screen off and on again.

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2. Last Menu

The Last Menu is generally placed to the right of the Home Menu button. It takes you back to the previous page you viewed in any app you were using. Alternatively, it allows you to exit from the app if you are on your app’s home page.

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3. Recent Apps

The Recent Apps menu shows you the last few apps you used and lets you quickly switch back and forth between them. You can navigate between these apps by swiping left/right.

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4. Notifications Menu

Swiping down from the top of your screen will bring up the notifications menu, where all apps that leave you notifications are shown. Swipe left/right on each notification to dismiss it, or click on it to open the app.

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5. Settings Menu

The settings menu on your phone allows you to set your phone to work the way that you like it. This menu on most phones looks similar to a wheel or gear as shown below. We will cover settings in more detail in a future post.