Apple’s biggest innovation: The swipe?

“Years from now, will we look back and realize that Apple’s biggest innovation was not a device, but rather a physical gesture?” Scott Gillum asks for Forbes. “The right-to-left swiping motion used with Apple devices to sort through photos or to navigate certain apps is quickly altering how we seek and absorb information.”

“David Payne, chief digital officer of Gannett & Co. Inc., parent company of USA Today, delivered this point eloquently at the Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit earlier this month. In his opening speech, he pointed out that the digital world changed when Apple introduced “touch” with the iPod, and then more broadly with the iPhone,” Gillum writes. “Touch screens had been around for years, but Apple brought them into our daily lives, in particular with the iPhone. As a result, the way we engage and interact with devices has changed, as evidenced by the dramatic decline in sales of the BlackBerry. And now with the explosive growth of the iPad, it’s about to change again. This time, though, it will be even more dramatic.”

Gillum writes, “Payne referred to the “swipe” as the game-changer, or as he called to it, ‘petting the cat.’ This new right-to-left world has caused Gannett to rethink the traditional ‘top-to-bottom’ experience of its websites, in particular how it organizes content. As evidence, Gannett has incorporated this new ‘petting the cat’ thinking into its new USA Today app.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Speaking of swiping. If you’re not yet using a four-finger left and right swipes on your iPad to quickly move between your most recently used apps, you should be.


    1. You’re giving Samsung too much credit for the “swipe”; Microsoft developed and perfected the practice in the 80’s & 90’s!

      Asswipes, indeed!

  1. I use the 4-finger swipe all the time. Also the 4-finger swipe up to reveal the tray and 4- 5-finger pinch to the home screen. Very efficient.

    Is there a gesture shortcut on the Mac to quickly jump to the top of a page like tapping at the top of the screen in iOS?

  2. I use the five finger ‘pinch’ to close an app, and the four finger ‘push’ from the bottom to open running apps mostly, I forget the four finger ‘swipe’!

  3. Apple’s biggest innovation, to me, as well setting a precedence perhaps for the future of business and tech: a product can be the best in class (often known as luxury product) and still be the most popular (accessible to most people not just in terms of pricing but also usability across the board).

    Or maybe Apple’s greatest innovation is us — enlightened consumers, many of whom can no longer put up with mediocrity or less than an honest attempt at perfection.

  4. I love gestures but I’ve found that for others multi-touch gestures are difficult to discover and can be confusing when you don’t know they are there and suddenly you are in a different program. I had to turn off gestures on my mom’s iPad until I could show her how they worked. She plays Soduko on it and you couldn’t pry it from her fingers.

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