3 Gestures to Use on your iPad (and save your home button)

As part of my month-long anniversary series, some posts will include information covered previously. Hopefully this way new readers get to see things they missed and older readers might be reminded of things they have forgotten. (This “forgetting” thing happens to me, too!)

tumblr_ldl5vjLN5s1qdd7bwo1_500If you know anyone who has used an iPad (or an iPhone) for an extended period of time, you might have heard complaints that the home button can get sticky or less responsive. Using gestures in place of the home button can make the iPad an even better experience. The gestures are easy and intuitive.

First make sure that your iPad has its gesturing ability turned ON. Go to your Settings > General > Multitasking Gestures. Make sure this is switched to “on”.

Photo Skitch Document-7

Screen shot 2013-03-06 at 7.27.02 PM

Here is how to close an app on your iPad without using the home button:

Screen shot 2013-05-09 at 7.28.28 PMOpen an app.

Spread your fingers wide and gently place them all on the screen.

Now, pull your fingers together, dragging them across the screen.

Poof! Your app is closed, with no home-button-usage. 🙂

Screen shot 2013-03-06 at 7.27.02 PM

Screen shot 2013-05-09 at 7.40.18 PMHere is another gesture for your handful of fingers. This works with four or five fingers, and on the iPad only, not the iPhone (the iPhone’s screen is too small for so many fingers.)

The purpose of this gesture is to move from an open app to another open app without having to tap your way through the “close > navigate to the next app > open” sequence. This is awesomely helpful if you are working with two or three open apps and want to go back and forth between the them.

Here is how you can move between apps:

Let’s practice with two apps that came with your iPad (but it will work with any two apps).

Tap to open the Clock app. Now close it.

Tap to open the Photos app. Now close it.

Go back and open the Clock app again. Now place four or five fingers on the screen and swipe to the left.

Here comes the open app, Photos, from the right. (If you swipe to the left again, you’ll see the last app you had open before you tried this trick).

Now swipe back in the other direction, and you have returned to Clock. Spend a moment flipping back and forth. You can see how easy it is to move between your open apps. Try again with two apps of your choice.

This may not be a gesture you’ll need often, but when the day comes that you need to work with two or more apps, this gesture will be golden.

Screen shot 2013-03-06 at 7.27.02 PM

Screen shot 2013-05-09 at 7.33.10 PMAnd last but not least … the “Swipe UP”.
Simply place four fingers on your iPad screen and push UP. This exposes the task bar and makes visible all of the running apps. (More on “running apps”, soon).

Screen shot 2013-03-06 at 7.27.02 PM

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4 thoughts on “3 Gestures to Use on your iPad (and save your home button)

    • I’m so glad. I worry about there being “wrong” info on my blog, as I’ve been doing it for years, and some of the old “hints” are no longer applicable. I’m so happy you were able to find something useful. 🙂

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