iOS 4.3 Beta – Our thoughts so far on the new features

/* Posted January 25th, 2011 at 7:33am    */
/* Filed under iPad    */

We’ve had a chance to play around with the iOS 4.3 Developer Beta, specifically focusing on the new features. There is some interesting multitasking functionality and some pretty cool new multi-touch gestures. Find out all about them, after the jump.

image thumb51 iOS 4.3 Beta – Our thoughts so far on the new features

In these betas for 4.3 you can turn the new multitasking gestures off or on via the Settings app, as shown above. The new gestures are as follows:

  • The swiping left and right to move between running apps is another fairly easy and natural gesture to use. Right now it works very erratically though, at least on my iPad. It’s not smooth feeling at all – but more jerky in its response as you make the gesture. It also just fails quite frequently – especially when swiping left, it will often show the ‘next’ app that I want to move to, but will snap back to the previous one when it should have stuck.
  • Use four or five fingers to: Pinch to the Home screen, Swipe up to reveal the multitasking bar, and Swipe left or right to move between running apps.
  • When I first heard these new gestures described, I thought they sounded awkward to use – mostly because  I just think of two-finger gestures as being much easier to do. In actually using them, here’s what I’ve found so far:
  • Four or five finger pinch to return to the home screen is incredibly easy and comfortable to do. Far more of  natural gesture than I had imagined it would be.

The Swipe up to bring up the multitasking bar works fairly well for me, once I got used to how to do it correctly. This one really needs to be made mostly in the bottom bezel area, below the dock, with your fingers only reaching the screen area at the very end of the gesture. It still feels a little awkward to me, feels like one that would be much easier to do with just two fingers.

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