Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Gestures on the iPad

I liked this video by Matthew Cassinelli walking through several gestures on the iPad, but one thing I noticed is how — much like 3D Touch and clipboard gestures — they are difficult to discover. The multitasking ones, in particular, are hard to use from the home screen and Spotlight, and the ability to keep an app in a slide-over view feels awkward.1

I use a Windows PC at work and recently discovered a gesture where, if you select an app’s title bar and wiggle it, it will cause all other apps to minimize. I didn’t know this, so the first time it happened, I thought something had gone wrong. Luckily, I can’t see a way any of the gestures on iOS would necessarily feel destructive by accident, but they are hard to find. Unlike the mouse, there is nothing in the hardware that indicates that this new interaction paradigm is available. They arguably build upon the direct manipulation of iOS — you are literally dragging apps around the screen — but I’m not sure that they are obvious or clear enough. Imagine if multitasking in MacOS were as undiscoverable.


  1. Also, did you know that you can have the same app in slide-over and split view? ↩︎