Update: iOS 4.3 is now officially available.

iOS 4.3 beta has been out for a few days now, and with it support for multi-touch, or as Apple is now calling it, “multi-tasking” gestures. These gesture controls, as you can see through the video above, enable use of four and five finger gestures to do three things: close applications (through pinching with four or five fingers), switch between open applications (sliding 4/5 fingers right or left), and show the list of open applications (slide 4/5 fingers up).

Having actually used these gestures since the official gold release of iOS 4.3, available to developers (or anyone swift enough to not pay $99 a year for the service), I’m positive sliding between apps is useless while the other two functions essentially eliminate the need for the home button. Which is a good thing, because unlike the iPhone or iPod Touch, to press the home button means ruining whatever position you were in to press it a physical button. With the pinch to close and slide up to view apps, the only thing the home button does now is exit the app move/delete system. This of course could theoretically be accomplished with a pinch to close.

For anyone with iOS 4.3 enabled on their iPad but who doesn’t know how to enable the multitouch gestures, Redmond Pie has a quick walkthrough that helped me and will help you.

Correction~ Touch gestures will not be available in iOS 4.3, according to the Apple developer website’s release notes. Instead, it is for developers to test to see how it affects applications, if at all.

James Pikover

Spawned in the horrendous heat of a Los Angeles winter, James was born with an incessant need to press buttons. Whether it was the car radio, doorbells on Halloween or lights, James pushed, pressed and prodded every button. No elevator was left unscathed, no building intercom was left un-rung, and no person he’s known has been left un-annoyed.