PadGadget’s iPad Tips: How To Use Multi Touch Gestures

MT Gesture

It is time again for PadGadget’s iPad Tips. In this series, we offer tips and tricks for getting the best use out of your iPad. Last week, we told you about things you can do when your iPad is synced with iTunes. This week, we are going to go over the basics of multi touch gesturing.

When Apple released iOS 5.0, there were so many new and awesome features that some of them were overlooked. Multi touch gesturing was one of those features. If you had forgotten about that ability, or maybe never knew about it in the first place, we’ve got an iPad tip for how to enable multi touch gesturing and what to do once you have it.

The first and most obvious thing you’ll need to do is make sure multi touch gesturing is turned on. To do this, open the Settings app, go to General and scroll down until you see the Multitasking Gestures tab. Toggle the switch to on.

Now that you have it enabled, you’ll be able to go directly to the home screen, call up the multitasking bar, switch between open apps, and close multiple apps at once.

Pinch to Home Screen

If you are in an app and want to quickly go to the home page, touch your screen with four or five fingers. No matter where you are in your iPad, you’ll be back at the home screen. Honestly, it is no different than touching the home button. However, it feels more futuristic and makes better use of your iPad’s touch screen.

Swipe Vertically For Multitasking Bar

To access open apps in your multitasking bar, you can either double tap the home button (hoping you did it right and don’t accidently call up the search screen), or you can swipe the screen upward with four fingers. The benefit of using multi touch gesturing to call up the multi tasking bar is that you don’t accidentally only hit the home button once or even three times.

Swipe Horizontally For Switching Between Apps

To scroll between open apps, swipe from left to right or right to left while in an app. If you need to set your alarm in Alarm Clock HD, and want to turn on some relaxing white noise in Nature Sounds For iPad, and then go back to Alarm Clock HD, simply swipe from one app to the other for quick access. You don’t have to hit the home button, open the other app, hit the home button again, and open the first app again.  Swipe, then swipe. It’s that simple. In the scenario I just mentioned, the best way to get the quickest performance out of swiping between apps is to have the ones you regularly switch between next to each other in the multitasking bar.

Close Multiple Apps At Once

When you have multi touch gestures enabled, you can also close multiple apps in the multitasking bar at once. I’m not particularly good at this because you have to be able to touch the little red minus icon on each app with a different finger and I don’t have very good aim. If you want to try it, just touch the red icon with each finger. With enough practice, you’ll eventually get it.

There are some apps that require multi touch gesturing to be on in order for them to work properly. There are also some apps that require the feature to be disabled. Be sure to check for that when downloading an app so you can take full advantage of all your apps and iPad features.

About Lory: Writer of all things app related, traveler of the space-time continuum, baker of really great cookies. Follow me @appaholik