13 Secret Gestures Hidden Inside Your Favorite Android Apps

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Android is a super cool mobile ecosystem packed with useful little tricks. I've attempted in the past to highlight the features that come with each new sugary incarnation. But these endeavors, however noble, usually prove fruitless. You see, Android is—for lack of a better term—a friggin' mess.

Android is less of a leading global platform (nearly 88 percent of mobile devices are powered by it) than it is a giant stew being prepared by thousands of chefs, each of whom is working on a totally different dish (for clientele in completely different restaurants). The end result is a user experience that varies greatly between device manufacturers, carriers, and even software generations.

This disorder muddies an otherwise dynamite mobile OS. Try as Google might to bring its unwieldy mobile monster under control, the platform is destined to remain frustratingly fragmented for the foreseeable future. Except in one very important regard.

While the look and functionality of the OS varies, the user experience within apps can be reassuringly coherent. Someone using the official YouTube app on a four-year-old Samsung device still running Lollipop will more or less have a same experience they would on a new Nougat-powered LG device. Certainly the experience will be far similar than it would be YouTubing on an iOS device.

This cohesion gives app developers a unique ability to provide popular Android experiences that take full advantage of what these machines can do. Until the advent of the smartphone, most people interacted with their machines using a keyboard and mouse. But NOW, we can move around the digital world with just our fingertips. That's pretty amazing if you take a moment to think about it. (Like seriously, imagine being back in elementary school with an amazing touch-controlled super-machine in your pocket.)

Here we present some cool little gestures in common apps that you may not know about. We confirmed these tricks using a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and a Nexus 6 tablet, both running Marshmallow. These gestures should work the same on your Android device as well, no matter the configuration (let us know if the comments if they don't for some reason). For any iOS users out there, some of these may work on your devices, but we can confirm that many do not. (Interestingly enough, while Android seemed to translate across phones and tablets, some experimentation found that many gestures that work on an iPhone don't necessarily work on an iPad and vice versa.)

You may already know some of these, but chances are there will be some you do not. Have any favorites on other popular apps? Let us know in the comments.

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