iPad Tips: iOS 7 Gesture Guide

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Let’s be honest, sometimes it can look a bit weird to the uninitiated outsider when they see you magically waving your fingers in different ways all over your shiny iPad (things look even weirder if you start talking to it via Siri too). However, from a user’s point of view, gestures on the iPad can really speed things up on a productivity level. Here is a guide to all of the major gestures in iOS 7. Practice makes perfect here and the more you use these gestures, the more you will find yourself flying through your iPad.


The five fingered grab

5 finger grab If you are in an app and you want to get back to the home screen quickly, put all five fingers on the screen and ‘grab’ your fingers together to a point. Graphically, you will see the app shrink and then disappear into the home screen.

The four fingered claw

fourfingerswpie If you are using more than one app at a time, for example, emailing someone, and checking information in a web browser at the same time, the four fingered claw will switch between apps quickly. Simply, when you are in an app, put four fingers on the screen and swipe your four fingers from right to left. You can also swipe left to right to get back to the app you were just in. Swiping further to the left will get you into all of the other apps you have used recently. This is a really quick way to switch between apps on the iPad.

The four fingered uppercut

IMG_0581 Placing four fingers on the screen and swiping up will open thumbnails of all of the apps that you have recently used. You can then scroll through them by swiping your finger either way. On a retina display, this is very useful for checking information in multiple apps as the display is sharp enough to allow you to read the text in the thumbnail of each app, without having to go into each of the apps, thus saving even more time. Swiping upwards with one finger on the thumbnail will ‘close’ the app, using two fingers, you can close two at a time.


The one fingered down swipe

IMG_0584 Swiping one finger downwards on any point on the screen will open up the iPad search. The search is a super quick way to open apps, or find contacts or emails. Press anywhere on the home screen to hide the search bar.

One fingered swipe from the bottom

IMG_0582 copy Placing your finger on the iPad’s bezel at the bottom of the screen and swiping upwards onto the screen will open the control centre. Swipe downwards on the control centre arrow to dismiss it.

One fingered swipe from the top

IMG_0583 As with the control centre, place your finger on the bezel at the top of the iPad and swipe downwards onto the screen. This will open up the notifications centre. Swipe upwards on the arrow at the bottom of the notification centre to dismiss it.

There are tons more gestures in the iPad keyboard, Safari and in other apps, but if you know of any other gestures which turbo charge your productivity on the iPad, please share them in the comments below.

James Potter

My day job is Director of Technology at one of the UK's leading independent schools. I'm on a daily mission to use, and learn to use technology in the most creative, innovative and transformational ways. The iPad ticks all of these boxes. I'm also an Apple Distinguished Educator, so at least Apple think I know what I'm blathering on about. My geekery also extends to a passion for cricket, amateur astronomy, video gaming and bad guitar playing. You can contact me on Twitter with the link below.

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