There are, in fact, three (relatively new) iPad “multitouch” gestures that require at least four fingers, and they’re entirely optional. You can activate them by opening the iPad’s Settings app, tapping General, and switching the Multitasking Gestures setting to “On.”
So, what can these four-finger-plus iPad gestures do for you? Let’s start with…
1. Swipe up for multitasking
Want quick access to the iPad’s multitasking bar at the bottom of the screen, but without having to double-tap the Home button?
Just make a claw with your fingers, flick up on the screen with four (or five) fingertips and voilà—the multitasking bar should appear.
Tap an icon to switch to a different application, or flick down again to hide the multitasking bar.
2. Swipe left or right to switch from one app to another
Next, try this: try cycling through all your open apps with a simple swipe, no multitasking bar required.
Do the claw thing again with your fingers, then swipe from left to right (or right to left, your choice) with four or five fingertips.
The current app will slide off the screen, to be smoothly replaced by the next one in line.
3. “Pinch” your way home
You’re never more than a tap away from the iPad’s home screen thanks to the ever-present Home button.
But if you’ve been longing for a new way Home, here’s a new gesture to try.
Place four or five ingertips on the iPad display, and then “pinch” them together.
Zip! You’re back on the home screen.
Looking for more iPad tips? Click here!
Note: This revised and updated article was first published in October 2011.