Official Name for The Horizental “Bar” for Multitasking?

I was trying to describe to my mom how to switch between apps on the iPad by swiping the “bar” at the bottom of the screen when I realized I didn’t know the official name of it. So I looked it up on the Apple Support website.

Surprisingly, it seemed that Apple has never given it a name — all knowledgebase articles, including the iPad User Manual, refer to the “bar” invariably as “the bottom edge of the screen,” as in:

Return to the Home screen: While using an app, swipe up from the bottom edge of the screen.


To quickly switch between open apps on an iPhone with Face ID, swipe left or right along the bottom edge of the screen.

I haven’t digged deeper to research on other Apple materials, such as WWDC sessions or the Apple Support YouTube channel, to find if there is a less mouthy name for the multitasking bar, but I suspect there isn’t.

Does anyone happen to know more? Thanks

I believe it’s called the home indicator (or home… something?).


Yes, a quick reverse search reveals Apple does use the term in their Human Interface Guidelines:

Use matching insets when placing controls at the top and bottom of the screen, and leave ample space around the Home indicator so people don’t accidentally target it when trying to interact with a control.

Also, certain UIViewController properties have the pair of words in their names, e.g., prefersHomeIndicatorAutoHidden and childViewControllerForHomeIndicatorAutoHidden.

Seems that “indicator” was first used to refer to the horizental bar during a WWDC 2018 session, Designing for iPhone X:

On iPhone X, people access the app switcher and the Home screen by swiping up anywhere along the bottom edge of the display. An indicator at the bottom of the screen offers a hint about this interaction.

However, that the word “indicator” is never captalized suggests “Home indicator” isn’t a formal and defined term. Also, if Apple avoids use the term in user-facing materials, e.g., user manuals, I’m with them since I doubt my mom can understand better what an “indicator” is than “the bottem edge,” although the former is absolutely more succinct.

Still, thanks anyway for the hint!


With pleasure, glad you found the official answer! :+1:

There goes my hope of making “app skateboard” happen.