How To Get Those Cool New Multitasking Gestures on Your iPad with iOS 4.3

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If you ever tried out one of the iOS 4.3 developer betas, prior to the public release of the 4.3 update, you got a chance to see the ultra-cool new Multitasking Gestures that were included in the betas. These were only included in the betas so that Apple could gather developers’ input on how the new gestures work with their apps, and were removed on the final public release of iOS 4.3.

The thing is though, these gestures are great to use. When you have any app open you can make a simple 4 or 5 finger pinch-inwards gesture to return to the home screen. You can also use a 4 or 5 finger swipe upwards to invoke the Multitasking Bar or a swipe left or right to move between running apps.

And now there’s a way to get these gestures back in the final 4.3 release. You need to run Xcode – if you’re a registered iOS developer you’ve got free access to download this; if not you can buy it in the Mac App Store for $4.99. Be aware though, it’s a whopping 4.24GB download.


Once you have Xcode installed, just connect your iPad or iPad 2 to your Mac and wait until Xcode shows you your iPad name in the Devices section of its left pane. In the main right pane you’ll see a button that says ‘Use for Development.

Click that and you’ll be prompted for a developer account login. If you have one you can use it, if you don’t you can just hit Cancel. You can also Cancel the next popup error saying something to do with inability to do data collection (unless you actually want to be collecting debug information for a developer).

That’s it. Once you’ve done the above, you can disconnect your iPad and go to the Settings app and you’ll see the new Multitasking gestures enabled by default. You can toggle them off and on via Settings.

As far as I’m aware there should be no harm in running your iPad in development mode, especially with the debugging collection turned off. If any of you know any downsides to this please share them in the comments.

I love being able to use these slick multitasking gestures again on my new iPad 2.

Huge thanks to Phil Synowiec at iPadForums for sharing this tip.

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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13 thoughts on “How To Get Those Cool New Multitasking Gestures on Your iPad with iOS 4.3”

  1. sweet! tks!
    but any idea how to do this with a pc? I don’t own a mac, but could I use a friend’s mac to do this?

    great blog by the way!
    cheers mate…

    1. Sorry, I don’t know a way to do this on a Windows PC. Thanks for the kind words – it’s also good to see someone use the phrase cheers mate. :)

  2. As long as your friend has Xcode installed on their Mac it will work. I’ve done it for two of my mates and they work just great.

  3. I have had the “secret” gestures on my iPad activated for a few months now and it has taken a great user experience and made it a transcendent wizard-like experience.  I don’t know how I ever suffered through using the iPad without them. You said that it costs 5 dollars to download Xcode 4 in order to enable the gestures.  This is not true.  When you go to it is easy to miss the little link down at the bottom right of the screen that says, “Looking for Xcode 3? Download Now.”

    Xcode 3 will enable gestures just like version 4, but is a free download.  One word of warning, though:  some apps – especially kids drawing apps such as doodle buddy – allow multiple input points simultaneously, and my 2 and 4 year olds frequently accidentally activate the gestures while trying to draw together.  This is resolved
    by temporarily turning the gestures off in the settings app.

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