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Enable multitasking gestures on your iPad for free

This guide will walk you through activating multitasking gestures on an iPad running iOS 4.3, without requiring you to have a paid developer account or pay for Xcode in the Mac App Store.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

When Apple first released iOS 4.3 to developers, they were let in on a secret feature hidden in the OS, specifically designed for the iPad. Developers now had the capability to enable multitasking gestures, which all but eliminate the need for the home button on the iPad. Apple eventually released iOS 4.3 with the hidden feature still available to developers. The good news is you don't have to be a developer to enable this secret feature, we are going to show you how to enable this feature for yourself, for free!

In order to enable multitasking gestures you will need an iPad (original or iPad 2) running iOS 4.3+, a Mac running OS X 10.6.6+, the latest version of Xcode 3 or Xcode 4.

Xcode 4 is currently available in the Mac App Store for $5, or you can get it after registering for the paid iOS developer program. (which carries a $100 registration fee)

If you prefer to use the latest version of Xcode, feel free to grab it from one of those two locations. If you don't want to spend any cash, you will need to download Xcode 3.2.6 from Apple's developer site.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

Visit this page; you will see "Looking for Xcode 3?" in the bottom right-hand corner. Click on Download Now to be taken to the iOS developer login screen.

If you aren't currently registered with a free iOS developer account, use your Apple ID to sign up. The process takes less than 5 minutes. If you are already registered, simply use your Apple ID credentials to log in and proceed.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

Once you have finished signing up for the free developer account, you will be presented with the download page for Xcode 3.2.6. It is a pretty big download--you may want to go watch a movie, mow the lawn, or let it download overnight while you sleep.

After you have downloaded and installed Xcode, run it and plug in your iPad. (You can find Xcode on your Mac's main hard drive at Developer/Applications/Xcode.)

You will be prompted with a screen like the one below. Select your iPad from the side bar. (If this screen doesn't present itself automatically, with Xcode active, select Window >Organizer in the menu bar.)

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

Press the "Use for Development" button in the window; you will then be prompted to enter your developer login information. You don't have to enter anything, just hit cancel and unplug your iPad. You may also see a prompt regarding gathering information about the operating system on the iPad, you can press cancel for this window as well.

Lastly, go into the Settings app on your iPad and you will now see the option to turn multitasking gestures on, as seen in the first screen at the top of this post.

Turn the gestures on, study the small guide underneath the button, and experiment with the gestures until you get the hang of them. Once you do, you will wonder how you ever used an iPad without them. Enjoy!