How to Use the Samsung Galaxy S 5 Touchscreen - dummies

How to Use the Samsung Galaxy S 5 Touchscreen

By Bill Hughes

To cram all the information that you need onto one screen, Samsung takes the modern approach to screen layout of the Samsung Galaxy S 5. You’ll want to become familiar with several finger-navigation motions used to work with your screen.

Before diving in, though, here’s a small list of terms you need to know:

  • Icon: This is a little image. Tapping an icon launches an application or performs some function, such as making a telephone call.

  • Button: A button on a touchscreen is meant to look like a three-dimensional button that you would push on, say, a telephone. Buttons are typically labeled to tell you what they do when you tap them. For example, you’ll see buttons labeled “Save” or “Send.”

  • Hyperlink: Sometimes called a “link” for short, a hyperlink is text that performs some function when you tap it. Usually text is lifeless. If you tap a word and it does nothing, then it’s just text. If you tap a word and it launches a website or causes a screen to pop up, it’s a hyperlink.

  • Thumbnail: This is a small, low-resolution version of a larger, high-resolution picture stored somewhere else.

With this background, it’s time discuss the motions you’ll be using on the touchscreen.

How to tap on the Samsung Galaxy S 5

Often you just tap the screen to make things happen (as when you launch an app) or select options. Think of a tap as like a single click of a mouse on a computer screen. A tap is simply a touch on the screen; much like using a touchscreen at a retail kiosk.

One difference between a mouse click on a computer and a tap on a Galaxy S 5 phone is that a single tap launches applications on the phone in the same way that a double-click of the mouse launches an application on a computer.

user tapping a Galaxy S 5 touchscreen.

How to press and hold on the Samsung Galaxy S 5

Press and hold, as the name implies, involves putting your finger on an icon on the screen and leaving it there for more than a second. What happens when you leave your finger on an icon depends upon the situation.

For example, when you press and hold on an application on the Home screen (the screen that comes up after you turn on the phone), a garbage-can icon appears onscreen. This is to remove that icon from that screen. And when you press and hold an application icon from the list of applications, the phone assumes that you want to copy that application to your Home screen.

How to move around the screen or to the next screen on the Samsung Galaxy S 5

Additional finger motions help you move around the screens and to adjust the scaling for images that you want on the screen. Mastering these motions is important to getting the most from your phone.

The first step is navigating the screen to access what’s not visible onscreen. Think of this as navigating a regular computer screen, where you use a horizontal scroll bar to access information to the right or left of what’s visible on your monitor, or a vertical scroll bar to move you up and down on a screen.

The same concept works on your phone. To overcome the practical realities of screen size on a phone that will fit into your pocket, the Galaxy S 5 phone uses a panorama screen layout, meaning that you keep scrolling left or right (or maybe up and down) to access different screens.

How to drag on the Samsung Galaxy S 5

The simplest finger motion on the phone is the drag. You place your finger on a point on the screen and then drag the image with your finger. Then you lift your finger.

Illustration of how to drag an image on the Galaxy S 5.

Dragging allows you to move slowly around the panorama. This motion is like clicking a scroll bar and moving it slowly.

How to flick on the Samsung Galaxy S 5

To move quickly around the panorama, you can flick the screen to move in the direction of your flick.

Flicking a touchscreen with a finger.

Better control of this motion comes with practice. In general, the faster the flick, the more the panorama moves. However, some screens (such as the extended Home screen) move only one screen to the right or left, no matter how fast you flick.

How to pinch and stretch on the Samsung Galaxy S 5

Some screens allow you to change the scale of images you view on your screen. When this feature is active, the Zoom options change the magnification of the area on the screen. You can zoom out to see more features at a smaller size, or zoom in to see more detail at a larger size.

To zoom out, you put two fingers (apart) on the screen and pull them together to pinch the image. Make sure you’re centered on the spot where you want to see in more detail.

Zoom out of an image by putting two fingers on the screen and pulling them together.

The opposite motion is to zoom in. This involves the stretch motion. You place two fingers (close together) and stretch them apart.

Zoom in by placing two fingers close together and stretch them apart.

How to double tap on the Samsung Galaxy S 5

The double tap just means tapping the same button area on the screen twice in rapid succession. You use the double tap to jump between a zoomed-in and a zoomed-out image to get you back to the previous resolution. This option saves you frustration in getting back to a familiar perspective.

Double tapping a screen.