Geeze, I use an iPad every day and still I’m learning new things to show you in these tips. Today, I found out about Multitasking Gestures–a feature that’s been around since iOS 5, but really hasn’t been well-publicized, in my opinion. Multitasking Gestures allow you to manage your new iPad mini (or other flavor of choice, from the iPad 2 to the iPad 4) without resorting to the Home button to manage multitasking.
Here’s how to enable, and to use, Multitasking Gestures on your iPad.
First, you need to tap the Settings app and then tap the General tab there in the left-hand column. Scroll down a bit to find the Multitasking Gestures toggle switch, and set it to ON with a tap. Just below that toggle, you’ll see the three things you can now do with four or five fingers at once.
To get back to the Home screen from any other app, simply pinch inward with five fingers. You’ll be taken out of the currently running app and end up on the Home Screen. Note that you’ll go back to the specific page you left Home on, just like when you tap the Home button.
To reveal the multitasking bar at the bottom of your iPad screen, swipe up with four (or five) fingers at once, from the bottom of the iPad screen to the top. This is the equivalent to double clicking the Home button.
Finally, to move between recently running apps, swipe left or right with your four or five fingers. This is like switching Desktop Spaces on the Mac, only it’s really switching from the current app to the latest save state of the previously running app. It’s like enabling the multitaasking bar and tapping on the next app in the list, without actually having to do the middle part.
This last bit alone is worth learning a new gesture, and makes the whole faux-multitasking system in iOS feel that much more real.