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How To Use Gestures on the Blackberry Playbook

RIM has added a neat little feature to the new Blackberry Playbook that could help you become more efficient at navigating the device. This feature, which allows you to swipe from certain areas of the device's screen to call commonly used functions, is called Gestures. Here's a quick run-through on how to use them.

First, a quick overview of the different gestures:

Basic Gestures - These are ones you already know if you have used a touchscreen in the last 5 years or so.

  • Tap - A basic one that I guarantee you already know how to do (and your three year old child is a master at as well). This is the normal way to select anything on the screen. Simply tap it.
  • Swipe - Another common gesture. You use it on pretty much all of your touchscreen devices, just like the tap gesture. This is for swiping up and down or left and right within an application or menu to select things.
  • Pinch to Zoom - Not as common, but I'm pretty sure you've got this one covered as well, especially if you've ever seen an iPhone, Android, or iPad ever in your life. This is used to zoom in and out on any image, webpage, etc.

Advanced Gestures (Swipe from Bezel Gestures) - There are basically 6 points on the bezel that you can start your finger from and bring into the screen that each do a different function.

  • Swipe from Top - This brings up the settings or options for the current application. If on the Home screen, this brings up the device's general settings.
  • Swipe from Bottom - This brings up a view of all the open apps and also brings up the app drawer.
  • Swipe from Top Left Corner - Brings up the notification bar when in an app.
  • Swipe from Top Right Corner - Also, brings up the notification bar when in an app.
  • Swipe from Bottom Left Corner - Brings up the keyboard.
  • Swipe from Bottom Right Corner - Might be utilized in certain apps.

See these gestures in action:

What do you think? Will these gestures make life easier for you?

David Cogen is a Founder/CEO of, the popular site for wireless how tos, reviews, and news. David loves technology and the only thing he loves more than technology is teaching it to others. Check out for all your Android, iPhone, MeeGo, and Windows Phone how tos.