Crucial Gestures to Navigate Your iPad

With phone screens getting bigger and laptop screens getting smaller, tablets ended up more often as a parenting device to keep kids busy. But the compact size, easy of portability and sharp screen of an iPad has a lot more potential that keeping children entertained. And if you have been using your iPad judiciously, you would already know how much work it can get done even when you are on the go. Here are some crucial gestures to navigate your iPad for smooth navigation.

List of crucial gestures to navigate your iPad

Getting started:

  1. Wake

The lock screen of your iPad can be woken up so that you can check the time and notifications without unlocking it. To wake the iPad, you simply need to tap it once.

  1. Unlock

Once awake, you can unlock the iPad by swiping up from the bottom of the screen with one finger. If you are using Face ID then it is even easier, you just need to look at your iPad to unlock it.

Using the apps:

  1. Bring up the app dock

You can easily access your apps from the app dock, which is located at the bottom of the screen. Using one finger, swipe up from the bottom of the screen. Swipe only about an inch and you will see the dock. You can tap on any app to open it or rearrange the apps on the dock by long-pressing an app icon and dragging it to the desired position.

  1. Use the task switcher

If you are multitasking and have more than one apps open in the background, you can switch between these apps using the task switcher. You can also use it to close an app that you don’t need running in the background any longer. There are multiple ways to bring up the task switcher.

  • Use four or five fingers to pinch the screen just enough to shrink the app you are using. You will automatically find yourself looking at minimized apps on the screen. This is one of the crucial gestures to navigate your iPad, which needs you to be careful how far you pinch the screen. If you pinch it right till all your finger meet on the screen then you will end up on the home screen instead.
  • Use four fingers to swipe up from the bottom of the screen. When the app shrinks, add a delay of a fraction of a second and swipe up again with all four fingers. Make sure the fingers remain on the screen all the time.
  • iOS 12 users can use a single finger to swipe up from the bottom of the screen. Pause when you see the task switcher and remove your finger when the task switcher screen shows up. If you swipe up too far and without a pause then you will reach the home screen.

Once you are on the task switcher, you can close an open app by flicking it upwards with a single finger swipe. If you tap once on any app from the task switcher, you will be able to pull up that app.

Crucial Gestures to Navigate Your iPad

  1. Open two apps at the same time on the screen

For those who are working on two apps at the same time, you can either have both the apps open on a single screen with one app overlapping the other, or you can split the screen to give adequate screen real estate to both apps.

  • Slide Over window

If you have one app open in the background, you can open a second one in a slide over window. This solves the problem of switching between two apps. Simply access the app icon from the dock and drag it over to any side of the screen. The second app will open in a smaller window on top of your primary app.

You can slide this app window to either side of the screen with the help of the handle on top of the slide over window. Use one finger to drag the slide over window to any side of the screen.

While iPad OS is still in beta version, those who are using it will find it easy to open multiple slide over apps and switch between them by swiping across the handle at the bottom of the slide over window. You can slide left or right to bring up the other apps open in the slide over window.

If you are done with using your slide over window, then close it by placing one finger towards the left edge of the window and then swiping it towards the right as if you are pushing it out of your iPad screen.

  • Split view

If you want to use two apps simultaneously, then split view is the best way to do it. With one app already open on your screen, grab the second app icon from the dock with one finger and drag it to the right side of the screen. You will notice that the app which is currently open automatically shrinks to take up part of the screen space and the second app will open on the rest of the screen.

The amount of screen an app takes in the split view can be changed. You will notice a small handle between the two windows. Drag the handle to left or right to give more space to either of your apps.

Additional navigation:

  1. Go to Home screen

There are three ways in which you can bring up the home screen while you are viewing an app. Each of these is pretty easy, and the last one works only with iOS 12.

  • The easiest and most common of all ways to bring up the home screen is to use four or five fingers of one hand and pinch in. The app will disappear to show the task switcher first and if you keep pinching the screen, you will find yourself on the home screen.
  • Another way to go to the home screen is by using four fingers to swipe up from the bottom of the screen. Make sure you keep the four fingers close together and start swiping from the bottom half of the screen and flick the screen upwards to bring the home screen.
  • Lastly, iOS 12 users can use a single finger to swipe up, starting from the bottom of the screen and going upwards. This will first bring up the dock but keep swiping up and you will be on the home screen.
  1. Check notifications

Check your notifications easily by swiping down from the top of the iPad screen with one finger. A very small part of the top right screen is dedicated to pulling up the control center, but if you swipe down the screen from anywhere else, then you will be looking at your notifications.

  1. Check your widgets

The widgets live on the left of the screen.

Swipe rightwards when you are on the notification screen to pull up the widgets. You will also be able to find your widget screen on the lock screen by tapping on the iPad to wake it and then swiping right from the left side of the screen.

iOS 12 users can swipe right from the home screen and the widgets will show up in a small transparent window instead of taking up the whole page.

  1. Open the camera

Quickly bring up your camera from the lock screen by swiping left. The same gesture on the notification screen will also open the camera. It is very easy for users who want to click something quickly without having to reach for the camera app through the home screen.

  1. Bring up the control center

Early iPad users would remember bringing up the control center by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. This is one of the crucial gestures to navigate your iPad, which has changed in iOS 12. You simply need to swipe down with a single finger from the top right corner of your screen. Make sure you start this gesture offscreen and continue it on to the screen.

On the control center, you can change the controls like volume or brightness by long-pressing on the icon. This will either pull up a new menu with additional options, or it would supersize the icon so that you can easily change the controls.

  1. Use the trackpad mode

If you are writing a message, a note or a memo and you want to move the cursor to insert text somewhere in the middle of what you have written then you can use the trackpad mode. If you find it difficult to use your fingers to place the cursor at the exact point, then the trackpad mode is very helpful.

Use a single finger to hold down the spacebar or hold down two fingers anywhere on the keyboard. You will notice that all the letters on the keyboard will fade away and the keyboard can now be used as a trackpad. Once you lift your finger(s), the keyboard will go back to showing you the letters for regular use.

These are some of the crucial gestures to navigate your iPad that can help you quickly access your apps, switch between multiple apps and even multitask with more than one app running on your screen at the same time.


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