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On iOS, I can single-tap the top of the screen to scroll any list all the way to the top. This doesn't seem to work on my Nexus 4 (4.2.1 / CM10.1) and for instance in the list of phone contacts this is particularly tedious.

Is there a similar gesture on Android?

I'm surprised that I couldn't find this as an existing question, but I did search for it.

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Apple probably has a patent on that... But I do not know of a gesture that does something like that in android. –  Ryan Conrad Feb 8 '13 at 12:57
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Yeah, annoying stuff: always before you touch anything you need to ask yourself: "May I touch this -- or is it patented by Apple?" :-( –  Izzy Feb 8 '13 at 13:24
    
This isn't a question about Jelly Bean per se, but I don't know what an appropriate tag would be. "Touch"? "Gestures"? –  Al E. Feb 8 '13 at 13:30

4 Answers 4

As far as I know, there's nothing built into the OS for that.

I guess it depends completely on the developers of the app you're using. I've seen some apps where, once you start scrolling, a "handle" appears on the side of the screen that you can tap-and-drag to scroll faster. I've even seen an app or two where you could touch the top of the screen to immediately scroll to the top of whatever multi-screen thing you're looking at. But it's certainly not universal.

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Apple's ridiculous patenting spree is one reason I left that camp. What a pain in the #¤%& if every app developer needs to hand-code this into his app (and thereby violating a patent)! –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Feb 8 '13 at 20:00

There is a way to do this, based on the Xposed module installer. This requires rooted device!

As per this thread, tapping on the status bar will bring the scroll to the top.

It started out originally based on a thread in Reddit where this user blogged about her experience after ditching Apple for Android, and one of the things the user found troublesome was there was no way for Android to scroll to top, one of the devs that is a regular on the Xposed scene, developed the module to circumvent it.

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As user267 said, it depends on the app.

On the phone contact list in Android 4.2 you have a little blue handle on the right.

In the stock Android browser, you just swipe up fast enough and it will scroll to the top quickly enough.

In Chrome for Android, It didn't find a way, and it is very annoying, because going back to top of a long page is often necessary.

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If you're willing to root your device, there's an app called OneClick Scroll that will jump to the top or bottom of the page when you tap the notification bar at the top of the screen. It will work for all apps (which is why it requires root).

Lifehacker has a review (and a video demonstration).

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