Pinch and swipe for speed on the iPad


Pinch and swipe for speed on the iPad
Mac Tip #530, 04 April 2012

Old habits die hard, so maybe like me you keep pressing the Home button on your iPad to reach the Home screen and switch apps. Try the 5-fingered pinch and the 4-fingered swipes instead, like this.

Not working? If you have iOS 5 check Settings > General > Multitasking Gestures and make sure it’s turned On.

Multitasking Gestures.

Multitasking Gestures.

Pinch to go Home

  1. Open an app — any app will do.
  2. Spread out the 4 fingers and thumb on one hand and lightly touch the screen.
  3. Now pinch all the fingers together to a point, as though you were picking up a piece of silk. The app shrinks down to nothing and instead you see the Home screen.

Show the Multitasking Bar with an up swipe

So now you’ve visited the Home screen and want to quickly go back the app you were just using, or to another one you used recently, or perhaps to the controls at the extreme left end of the Multitasking Bar. Here’s a quick swipe to do that, whether you’re in an app or viewing the Home screen.

  1. Touch the tips of at least 4 fingers on the screen. This could actually be fingers from both hands. In my experiments it worked with 4, 5 and 6 fingers.
  2. Swipe upwards. The Multitasking Bar appears at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Tap an icon on the Multitasking Bar to open that app.
  4. Or swipe downwards with 4 fingers to hide the Multitasking Bar again.

Change apps with a side swipe

If all you want to do is to go between recently used apps skip showing the Multitasking Bar. Swipe sideways with multiple fingers instead.

  1. Open an app and then open one or more other apps. Have one app open on screen before you swipe.
  2. Touch the tips of at least 4 fingers on the screen. This could actually be fingers from both hands. In my experiments it worked with up to 8 fingers.
  3. Swipe to left or right. One of the open apps will slide in. Swipe again to bring in another open app.

Note: I tried the gestures on my iPhone, but they don’t work there.

Let us know how you get on with these gestures. To leave a comment if you’re reading this by email or RSS feed please visit the Tip at the MacTips website. There should be a link from the title.

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2 Comments

  1. Anna Tait-jamieson said:

    love the pinching and swiping – I had no idea you could do all that. It’s like learning a sign language.
    Thanks

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