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While I'm usually in line for the latest and greatest from Apple, I'm content to stay with my original iPad. It does everything I want it to do. I'm not unhappy with the weight. (Hey, it's a whole lot lighter than a laptop.) Camera? Nope, don't need it or want it. I'm usually behind a camera because I don't like being in front of the lens. Childhood hang-up. What I do love with the iPad 2 is multi-touch gestures. Moving between apps is a breeze. Pinch to go to the home screen. Swipe up to show the multitasking bar. Swipe left or right to switch between open apps. Love it!

While the latest iOS update did give the option to use the side switch on the iPad 1 for either screen orientation lock or system sound mute, it didn't give us multi-touch gestures like the iPad 2. Not nice, Apple. I have a feeling that the next update will probably give us this feature, but if you don't want to wait, (who, me, impatient?) there is a simple way to enable multi-touch gestures on the original iPad. For $4.99 from the App Store, the developer tool Xcode will enable the code that is already there in the current iOS. Warning — Xcode is a huge download. The installer is 4.58GB to be precise. The actual installed Developer folder with all of the goodies is another 10 GB. Yep, huge. 

Once you get past all of that, enabling gestures is just a matter of launching Xcode, connect the iPad, click on the "Use for development" button, click "cancel" when it asks for your iOS credentials. You'll get and error message that you can ignore. That's it. Check the General preferences in Settings on the iPad and Multitasking Gestures should be ON by default. We have 2 iPads in the house, and I've done this with both. I'm a happy camper. And for our local MacGroup Detroit friends, if you need help, see me at the next meeting. 

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8 Responses to Multi-touch Gestures

  1. Tim says:

    I’m using an iPad 2 right now and I can’t find any multitasking gestures. I don’t have that option in settings nor do any of those gestures do anything. It was my understanding that that feature was dropped from the final version.

  2. Phyllis Evans says:

    Sorry, Tim. Havenโ€™t had my mitts on an iPad 2 yet. You should be able to activate the multi-touch gestures the same way.

  3. Jack Beckman says:


    Did you follow all the instructions above for turning your iPad into a development iPad in Xcode? You have to follow all the instructions to get that new option to appear.

  4. Billy says:

    is there a way to enable it if you have a PC and not a Mac?

  5. Quincy says:

    I have an iPad 2 and they did not come as a standard feature of the final 4.3

    However here is a link with simple instructions on how to enable them using a windows OS


  6. Quincy says:

    Typically I would agree, but in this case it’s the same amount of steps…not to mention free, not to mention it’s at least an option for windows users.

    I know adding code might seem intimidating to some, but again in this case it is quite simple.

    You just back up your device, download the back up alter program, alter the back up, and restore from that back up…..done.

  7. Quincy says:

    ….not to mention you don’t download 10 gigs worth of program to enable one feature….but yes generally speaking…a lot of tasks are easier with a Mac.

    A lot of private alterations are easier with a windows OS (maybe that’s why they are so vulnerable) ๐Ÿ™‚