Here is a video that demonstrates how the player controls work in LoM.
There are two ways to control the player ship. You can choose to “push” the ship with your finger, or you can use a virtual joystick which (I find to be much more natural on larger devices.) When using the “push” method, the ship just sails away from your finger leaving the view in front of the ship and to the sides clear of fingers. When the joystick is enabled, anywhere you tap will create a joystick control under your finger.
The player can also pinch to zoom the camera in and out. Larger ships allow the player to zoom out further so they can see more (just one of the many perks to upgrading your ship.)
Here's the video: