We're at a point in our mobile device history where little things like how our finger moves across the display become important, this becoming rather clear here in an application for a couple of swipe of the finger gestures at the US patent office written up by Apple for iOS. What the patent application is titled is "systems and methods for displaying visual information on a device," and its two proposed gesture types are "hold then swipe" and "swipe then hold," both of them made to move in and out of images with ease and grace.
What these gestures will alleviate, if they make it to devices, are the many multiple times one has to pinch to zoom on an image or a map, such as it is, when they want to get very very close or very very far away. What you'd do is one or the other, swipe then hold your finger, or hold your finger then swipe, these gestures speaking with, for example, your accelerometer, telling it how fast it will be moving when it speeds in or out of an image. You could also be holding your finger to begin zooming in, then moving your finger to adjust the speed of the zoom.
One of the most interesting pieces of this application is the usage on the iPod nano, this indicating that all the way back in 2010 (when the application was written up,) Apple had plans to stick with the device through the future. Note also that it's not necessarily just zooming in and out of items that this patent covers, it's scrolling up, down, left, and right, and everything in between. With gestures similar to these working now on most Apple devices including laptops and desktops, we can guess that this particular gesture may well be heading out way in some update of Mac OS X and/or iOS in the near future.
[via Patently Apple]