How to use multitasking gesture navigation shortcuts on the new iPad

Multitasking gestures are quick, multitouch shortcuts for navigating around your iPad. You can enable or disable them in Settings (to avoid, for example, swiping in Fruit Ninja and suddenly ending up in Mail). When they're on, however, and you're used to using them, you can really fly between your iPad apps.

How to use multitasking gesture shortcuts to navigate the iPad homescreen

Some things are just easier to show rather than tell. Here's a quick video highlighting what the gestures are and what they look like when you do them.

Here's the full list of available gestures.

  • Swipe up with four fingers to open the Fast App Switcher
  • Swipe down with four fingers to close the Fast App Switcher

  • Swipe left with four fingers to move from the current app to the previous app (according to the order presented in the Fast App Switcher)
  • Swipe right with four fingers to switch move from the current app to the next app (according to the order presented in the Fast App Switcher)

  • 5 Pinch with four fingers to exit an app and return to the Home screen (like clicking the Home button)

Now get navigating!

Think of gesture navigation as the keyboard shortcuts of the Home screen, or as the alt+tab or cmd+tab of app switching. A way to get around quickly when you need to.

Additional resources:

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 5 comments. Add yours.

John says:

Now only if there was a gesture to switch tabs in Safari.

macharborguy says:

I have become so spoiled with the Magic Trackpad and Safari on my iMac, as well as the trackpad on my MacBook Air, that I tend to attempt to do the two-finger Page Back and Page Forward on my iPad then let out the inevitable "awe.... darn"

Luis says:

Spoil harder, try Magic Prefs, will blow your mind. Specially for the middle click trackpad/magic mouse.
PD: Orion, your cat dont have 4 separated fingers to do it, probably.

Steve says:

Luis - Try BetterTouchTool

OrionAntares#CB says:

Does this mean my cat can switch between apps now???