While you might not be able to replace Siri’s voice with GLaDOS (yet), you do have control over how your iPhone notifies you of incoming calls and messages. New to iOS 5, the iTunes Store includes a special tones store where you can purchase new tones starting at $0.99 for alerts, and $1.29 for popular ringtones. The tones available feature everything from Star Wars sound effects to your favorite music from the 90s.
Keyboard Maestro 6.0 Adds Syncing, Browser Actions, Device Triggers, And More
TextExpander Touch 2.0 Brings Fill-In Snippets, Formatted Text To iOS
#MacStoriesDeals – Monday
Google Launches “Hangouts” Messaging Service for iOS, Android, and Web
Pixelmator 2.2 Blueberry
A new option in the Accessibility settings of iOS 5 beta 3 allows users to set up a floating panel to access a variety of hardware controls and gesture-based commands without using an iPad or iPhone’s physical buttons. Once enabled in Settings->General->Accessibility->AssistiveTouch, the new menu will let you interact with four different sections: Home, Device, Gestures and Favorites. Whilst the usage of Favorites and Gestures is still unclear, users can set up custom gestures in the Settings and play with built-in gesture such as swipe and pinch. The Home tab in the floating panel (which can be repositioned on screen via drag & drop) will perform the same function of the Home button, and Device will open a sub-menu with other controls to increase / decrease volume, lock or rotate the screen, unlock rotation and virtually shake the device (to enable features such as “shake to undo” without actually shaking a device).
The new accessibility options aren’t of course meant for everyday usage (they need to be manually enabled deep down in the Settings, and they’re aimed at people having trouble using iOS’ traditional gestures and hardware buttons), but they’re rather interesting in the way they could replace hardware controls and switches on damaged devices, or provide shortcuts to areas and commands of iOS that would require a physical movement otherwise (such as the aforementioned shake gesture).
iOS devices come with great accessibility support. It is fairly easy for developers to implement in their apps, and iOS is packed with accessibility functionalities out of the box. The Thimble is “a concept multimedia finger glove” designed by Erik Hedberg and Zack Bennet that has an optical scanner right above the finger tip which is capable of on-the-fly conversion of text to Braille messages.
We know the iPhone 4 can be controlled with Braillant-32 bluetooth Braille Displays, but this concept is different: the Thimble also acts as a location-aware device that can connect to the internet to pull news and other data and pass them along as Braille messages. From the video below, it also looks like there’s some kind of speech recognition technology in there.