Android Tablet Touchscreen Operations

By Dan Gookin

Part of Android Tablets For Dummies Cheat Sheet

It takes a certain finesse to work a touchscreen. Here are some of the common operations you can perform using your fingers on an Android tablet’s touchscreen:

Action Description
Tap The basic touchscreen technique is to touch it. You tap an
object, an icon, a control, a menu item, a doodad, and so on. The
tap operation is similar to a mouse click on a computer. It may
also be referred to as a touch or a press.
Double-tap Tap the screen twice in the same location. Double-tapping can
be used to zoom in on an image or a map, but it can also zoom out.
Because of the double-tap’s dual nature, use the pinch or spread
operation to zoom.
Long-press Tap part of the screen and keep your finger down. Depending on
what you’re doing, a pop-up menu may appear, or the item you’re
long-pressing may get “picked up” so that you can drag (move) it
around. Long-press might also be referred to as touch and
hold
.
Swipe To swipe, you touch your finger on one spot and then drag it to
another spot. Swipes can go up, down, left, or right, which moves
the touchscreen content in the direction you swipe. A swipe can be
fast or slow. It’s also called a flick or
slide.
Drag A combination of long-press and then swipe, the drag operation
moves items on the screen.
Pinch A pinch involves two fingers, which start out separated and
then are brought together. The effect is used to zoom out,
to reduce the size of an image or see more of a map.
Spread The opposite of pinch is spread. You start out with your
fingers together and then spread them. The spread is used to
zoom in, to enlarge an image or see more detail on a
map.
Rotate A few apps let you rotate an image on the screen by touching
with two fingers and twisting them around a center point. If you
have trouble with this operation, pretend that you’re turning the
dial on a safe.