Know your gestures: Swipe Down | webOS Nation

Know your gestures: Swipe Down 11

by Adam Marks Tue, 04 Jan 2011 11:02 pm EST

Knowing how to use the various gestures within webOS is your key to getting the most out of your device. While most gesture originate from the Gesture Area (such as the back-swipe, forward-swipe, and swipe up) there is also a swipe down from the top of the screen that will give you access to couple of extremely powerful drop-down menus. From almost anywhere within webOS, you can perform a downward swipe from either the top-right or top-left corner of your screen to bring up the Connections Menu or Applications Menu, respectively. Continue reading after the break to learn about these two menus


he Connections Menu on the top-right of your screen is your gateway to quickly accessing the various "connections" that your phone can make, along with some additional data around the current date and battery level. As you can see in the screenshot, you have quick-access to your Wi-Fi, VPN (in webOS 2.0 and above) and Bluetooth settings, as well as the ability to toggle Airplane Mode on/off, all without leaving the application that you are currently in.

The Applications Menu on the top-left of your screen is a drop-down menu that is unique to the specific application you are in. For most applications, this may only provide you with an "Edit" submenu (for Copy, Paste, etc), a "Preferences" option, and a Help link. However, as you can see in the screenshot for the "web" application, there are also a lot of additional functionality that is opened up to you just by swiping this menu down.


  • You do not actually need to swipe-down, as a simple "tap" on the corners of the screen will bring down these menus. However, you may find it easier to use the downward swipe, as you do not need to hit a specific spot on the screen that is easily missed
  • These menus will not be available to you if you are within a PDK app. You can typically tell an app is a PDK app if you do not see the "top bar" on the screen that shows the name of the app, the time, your Wi-Fi/network signal strength and battery icon
  • There are a number of Homebrew patches that will allow you to customize the Connections menu, including removing the Date & Battery info, adding a screen brightness slider, adding a GPS toggle and even turning on the LED on the back of your phone for an instant flashlight
  • There are also some Homebrew patches that will modify or add additional dropdown menu's to your device, such as the Top Bar System Menus by Sconix.
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I suspect many users don't know the existence of the applications menu!

I wish it were a swipe down to activate.
There are many times I am accidentally pulling up these menus when I don't want them.

hah I have used the Pre since release and never realised ability to Swipe Down! Always found it tricky to try tap that little top corner. Thanks

the enemy's gate is down

it really bugs me that there are no option to turn mobile connection on/off on this menu. I know about the homebrew addon, but that messed up my phone's ability to receive calls.

It appears there is another recognised, but unassigned "swipe down" gesture. We're all familiar that if you swipe up from the gesture area into the screen, it lights the button and then the gesture area LEDs to each side. Conversely, if you swipe down into the gesture area from the screen, my Pre- recognises that as a gesture too: both side LEDs light, then the button. It appears that gesture is just hasn't been given a function yet.

Excellent observation alanh. When you swipe "up" from the gesture area the center button lights up first and then the two side gesture lights light up. Conversely, when you swipe "down" the two side gesture lights light up followed by the center button... I wonder what this is for - it is obviously recognized by WebOS as something unique.

Actually if you swipe up from the gesture area when a card is in full screen it takes you to card mode. If you are already in card mode it will bring up the app launcher. I have also found that if you are in card mode, if you swipe down into the gesture area from the screen it maximizes the card you had selected.

that's awesome. I would always just tap the tiny area to get the menu. I didn't know i can swipe down.

The patch "System Menu Today Menu" adds another area for drag down in the top middle part...holy crap.

This is an insanely useful tool. You don't have to wait for your calendar to open to quickly see what you have lined up for today, tomorrow or the next. If you need more details on that appointment click on it, awesome.

I also was slightly frustrated with the too tiny tappable area for the menus when I first got my phone. Then I realized you could swipe down, I was then the opposite of frustrated : ) Swiping in from edges is really mind blowing when you think about it...