iPadTips & How-to

Back to Basic: Top 6 iPad Shortcuts Gestures

May 25, 2012 — by Simon Ng1

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iPadTips & How-to

Back to Basic: Top 6 iPad Shortcuts Gestures

May 25, 2012 — by Simon Ng1

This is a guest post from Greg Buckskin an avid iPad enthusiast.

The iPad is a landmark device for several reasons, and chief among them is the sheer joy of interacting with a computer in such an intuitive and natural way. Virtually anyone from hardcore geeks to orangutans (no, really) can simply pick up an iPad and start using it immediately. But apparently that’s not good enough for Apple, because iOS (and especially the new version, iOS 5) offers a number of shortcuts to make any iPad user into a power user.

1. Shake to Undo

If you don’t love it or hate it, you probably don’t know it’s there. Simply shaking the iPad will undo your last action. Made a horrible mistake? Shake it again for Redo.

iPad Shake and Undo

2. Home Screen Pinch

When the Home button isn’t good enough, use four or more fingers to pinch for the same result. But make sure you enable “Multitasking Gestures” option in Settings (under General).

3. Multitasking Bar

When double-clicking the Home button isn’t good enough, use those same four or more fingers to swipe. Do it once to get the multitasking bar to appear, and then more times to switch between open apps (or in Windows lingo, to Alt+Tab).

iPad Multitasking

4. Thumb Typing

If you’re used to texting, you’ll love this trick: use your thumbs to split your iPad keyboard so that each half docks on either side of the screen. This makes it ideal (i.e., possible) to hold your iPad and type on it at the same time. You can also un-split the keyboard with your thumbs when you’re done.

iPad Split Keyboard

5. Gesture Assistance

Whether you have a disability or are simply not getting the hang of a certain gesture, you can always access many gestures via Settings -> General -> Accessibility -> Assistive Touch. Tap the white circle at the lower right to get menus for all the gestures, now accessible to you by a single tap. This trick is one of the great workarounds for a faulty home button.

iPad Assisted Features

6. Custom Gestures

Perhaps the single best gesture (no jokes, please) is the one that you create yourself. That same Settings -> General -> Accessibility -> AssistiveTouch will give you the Create New Gesture option, where you can record any finger movement you wish and save it (under any name you wish). This feature was designed for those who have difficulty with any of the existing gestures, but anyone can assign it for any user-definable task on the iPad.

iPad Assistive Custom Gesture

Not having any luck with these gestures? Perhaps you don’t have them enabled. Try going into Settings -> General to double-check. Or maybe you have an original iPad and upgraded to iOS 5? Unfortunately, this will actually remove the gesture support that you had in iOS 4.3. Sorry!

This is a guest post from Greg Buckskin an avid iPad enthusiast who writes for CableTV.com about TV, and internet tech trends and pop culture.

Simon Ng

Founder, developer and chief blogger of simonblog.com