Touch screen

On BlackBerry devices with a touch screen, users can navigate and type text using the capacitive touch screen.

In most cases, an action occurs when users lift their finger off the touch screen, not when they touch the screen. However, when users touch an item or touch and hold a finger on an item, the action occurs before users lift their finger.

Users can perform the following actions on a touch screen:

User action


Tap the screen.

This action initiates an action. For example, when users tap an email message in the message list, the message opens. In most cases, this action is equivalent to clicking the trackpad.

Tap the screen twice quickly in the same location.

This action fits the content in a picture, HTML email message, webpage, or attachment into the dimensions of the screen.

Touch an item.

This action highlights an item.

On a toolbar or the virtual keyboard, this action displays a tooltip.

Touch and hold a finger on an item.

If a pop-up menu is available, this action opens the pop-up menu.

Drag a finger vertically.

This action scrolls and moves the content on the screen. For example, on the Home screen, users can move the rows of applications up or down to display the preferred number of applications on the screen.

Drag a finger in any direction.

This action pans a picture, map, or web page.

Touch the screen in two locations at the same time.

This action highlights text or a list of items, such as messages, between the two locations.

Swipe across the screen.

This action moves the content on the screen quickly in the direction of the swipe.

Pinch out or pinch in.

These actions zoom in to and out from an item.

Best practice: Implementing touch screen actions

  • Where possible, create a target area for UI elements that is 7 mm high. At a minimum, the target area should be at least 5.5 mm high.
  • Provide enough space around components so that users can easily touch the screen with their fingertips to initiate a specific action.
  • If you design a UI for BlackBerry devices with a touch screen and you want your application to work on BlackBerry devices with a trackpad only, make sure that each touch screen action has an associated trackpad action. Test the interactions in your application on BlackBerry devices using a touch screen and a trackpad. The following information matches touch screen actions and trackpad actions:

User goal

Touch screen action

Trackpad action

Initiate an action.

Tap the screen.

Click the trackpad.


Drag a finger vertically on the screen.

Move a finger on the trackpad to move the highlight.

Move to the next or previous item.

Swipe across the screen.

Swipe across the trackpad in the opposite direction.


Pinch out or pinch in.

Click the trackpad.

Zoom to fit.

Tap the screen twice quickly.

Pan a zoomed image.

Drag a finger on the screen.

Move a finger on the trackpad in the opposite direction.

Display a pop-up menu.

Touch and hold a finger on the screen.

Click and hold the trackpad.

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