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).
9to5mac has a video of this new panel in action, and you can check out more screenshots after the break.
Unlock More with Club MacStories
Founded in 2015, Club MacStories has delivered exclusive content every week for over six years.
In that time, members have enjoyed nearly 400 weekly and monthly newsletters packed with more of your favorite MacStories writing as well as Club-only podcasts, eBooks, discounts on apps, icons, and services. Join today, and you’ll get everything new that we publish every week, plus access to our entire archive of back issues and downloadable perks.
The Club expanded in 2021 with Club MacStories+ and Club Premier. Club MacStories+ members enjoy even more exclusive stories, a vibrant Discord community, a rotating roster of app discounts, and more. And, with Club Premier, you get everything we offer at every Club level plus an extended, ad-free version of our podcast AppStories that is delivered early each week in high-bitrate audio.
Choose the Club plan that’s right for you:
- Club MacStories: Weekly and monthly newsletters via email and the web that are brimming with app collections, tips, automation workflows, longform writing, a Club-only podcast, periodic giveaways, and more;
- Club MacStories+: Everything that Club MacStories offers, plus exclusive content like Federico’s Automation Academy and John’s Macintosh Desktop Experience, a powerful web app for searching and exploring over 6 years of content and creating custom RSS feeds of Club content, an active Discord community, and a rotating collection of discounts, and more;
- Club Premier: Everything in from our other plans and AppStories+, an extended version of our flagship podcast that’s delivered early, ad-free, and in high-bitrate audio.