Secret iOS Gestures: The Claw Swipe – iPad Multitasking Made Easy [iOS Tips]


It’s probably true that you’ve learned some great iOS gestures with two or three fingers, like pinching in or out to zoom and the like. But did you know that you can use some multitasking features with just the addition of another finger or two?

Use the claw technique to activate the following swipes on your iPad and you’ll be one step closer to gestural iOS nirvana. Or is that nerd-vana. Either way, I suppose.

To do “the claw,” bunch up all your fingers into a claw shape and touch them all on the screen at once. Then flick upward from the bottom of the screen. Boom! The multitasking bar will show up at the bottom of your beloved iPad, ready to let you tap your way to a different app with a single-finger tap. Want to close it up again? Simply claw swipe down and the bar will hide itself again. This is the same thing that happens when you double click the Home button, so never you fear.

Secondly, you can claw swipe through the apps without even activating the multitasking bar. When in an app, simply make the claw shape and swipe left or right to cycle through the latest apps you were running. This is great to switch between a couple of apps back and forth, with a simple claw swipe from side to side, without having to bring up the multitasking bar and tap through. The apps seem to cycle through in the same order that they would be in the multitasking bar.

  • Vertigo Bird

    It doesn’t need to be a claw. Just four or five fingers (I use four). As long as it sees all the required fingers in the swipe gesture, it works great.

    There is an additional gesture that can be used to return to the Home screen from within an app. Three or four fingers, plus thumb, and a “zoom out pinch” will shrink the current app and replace it with the Home screen.

    It isn’t enabled by default (at least, it didn’t in the past). To enable it, go to Settings > General > Multitasking Gestures and set to “ON”.

About the author

Rob LeFebvreRob LeFebvre is an Anchorage, Alaska-based writer and editor who has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, Creative Screenwriting, Shelf-Awareness, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef, and send him a cookie once in a while; he'll really appreciate it.

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