Inside Apple's iOS 5: LED flash on calls, custom accessibility gestures & vibrations

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple is poised to add several significant advancements to accessibility in iOS 5, such as LED flash on calls, custom gestures and personalized vibration alerts.



Apple unveiled iOS 5 on Monday at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, touting a number of major improvements to the customizability of iOS for users with disabilities. The update is due out this fall.



"iOS 5 comes with innovative new features that make it easier for people with mobility, hearing, vision, and cognitive disabilities to get the most from their iOS devices," Apple notes on its website. "iOS 5 works with specialized hardware accessories.



"The LED flash and custom vibration settings let you see and feel when someone?s calling. And improvements to VoiceOver include custom element labeling. These are just a few of the ways iOS 5 continues making advances in the field of accessibility."



As the iPhone maker has steadily ramped up accessibility features in iOS, adoption among users with disabilities has increased. Apple's iPad and iPhone have been praised by members of the blind community recommending the devices.



A new Assistive Touch feature will allow customized gestures as macro shortcuts. The feature is still under development, however, as there doesn't yet appear to be a way to link new gestures to specific actions.











iOS 5 on iPhone now supports use of the LED flash as an alert. Apple has also added a Speak Selection feature with an adjustable Speaking Rate slider for vocalizing text selections.











Custom vibration alerts can also be activated in iOS 5. Personalized vibrations can be recorded for individual contacts by recording a series of taps on the screen. A viewer displays visual ripples indicating the force and frequency of the taps during recording and playback.











For more, see AppleInsider's extensive coverage of iOS 5, including the in-depth features below:



Inside Apple's iOS 5: Calendar improvements help make iPhone, iPad PC-free



Inside Apple's iOS 5: iTunes Tone Store will offer more text alert options



Inside iOS 5: Notification Center, banner alerts



Inside Apple's move to open up SMS-style messaging to not-mobile clients



Inside Apple's iOS 5: Reminders app offers location-aware to-do lists



Inside Apple's iOS 5: Safari Reader, private browsing, tabs on iPad



Inside Apple's iOS 5: PC Free setup, keyboard shortcuts
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 41
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,339member
    Very cool... Now, can you create your own sms tone?
  • Reply 2 of 41
    suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,808member
    Kudos to Apple for the enhanced accessibility features.
  • Reply 3 of 41
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,611member
    I'm not sure that I "get" the LED flash alert. 90% of the time, the phone is either in your pocket or laying flat on its back -- who would lay an iPhone face down on a table?



    Or maybe I'm just not understanding this fully...
  • Reply 4 of 41
    firefly7475firefly7475 Posts: 1,502member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post


    I'm not sure that I "get" the LED flash alert. 90% of the time, the phone is either in your pocket or laying flat on its back -- who would lay an iPhone face down on a table?



    Or maybe I'm just not understanding this fully...



    I'm sure a person with a hearing impairment would appreciate the option.
  • Reply 5 of 41
    kiweekiwee Posts: 102member
    I think the LED flash solution is the best way to fix it now with the current hardware.

    My guess is that the next version of the iPhone will have some kind of indicator light much like the Macbooks.



    I looks like they've gone through all the complaints on the phone and tried to fix them. An indicator light being one of those complaints.
  • Reply 6 of 41
    cy_starkmancy_starkman Posts: 653member
    some of those features, in particular the custom gestures are good for everyone. being able to just make a symbol and jump straight to an app or unlock the device would be excellent.



    kudos to the uniquely abled for pushing the development envelope.
  • Reply 7 of 41
    onhkaonhka Posts: 1,025member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post


    I'm not sure that I "get" the LED flash alert. 90% of the time, the phone is either in your pocket or laying flat on its back -- who would lay an iPhone face down on a table?



    Or maybe I'm just not understanding this fully...



    Unless I have a specific reason to have my iPhone 4 face up, I would say I do 50% of the time.



    Nevertheless, an LED flash would be noticeable even if my phone was face down. Certainly equally intrusive under the mass of papers on my desk and less annoying than a ring or a sound alert in the board room.
  • Reply 8 of 41
    cummjecummje Posts: 18member
    'Bout bloody time on the LED flashing to indicate a call or message. I'd prefer the LED to flash intermittently than turn my screen off and on to see if I missed a call or messages. Now they just need to put an alert one on the giant black areas on the top or bottom in the front.



    I prolly sound negative but I think a small indicator LED should have been on the phone from the very beginning.



    It's awesome that they are working on making the phone more accessible. More companies should do that.
  • Reply 9 of 41
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,366member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post


    I'm not sure that I "get" the LED flash alert. 90% of the time, the phone is either in your pocket or laying flat on its back -- who would lay an iPhone face down on a table?



    Or maybe I'm just not understanding this fully...



    You are not. If someone knows it will flash, they will take advantage of it. If you don't need it, you can disable it.
  • Reply 10 of 41
    michael scripmichael scrip Posts: 1,916member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post




    I'm not sure that I "get" the LED flash alert. 90% of the time, the phone is either in your pocket or laying flat on its back -- who would lay an iPhone face down on a table?



    Or maybe I'm just not understanding this fully...



    It might be cool if you use a wraparound case made of clear plastic.



    It should make the whole case glow...
  • Reply 11 of 41
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


    Kudos to Apple for the enhanced accessibility features.



    These options are pretty cool.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post


    I'm not sure that I "get" the LED flash alert. 90% of the time, the phone is either in your pocket or laying flat on its back -- who would lay an iPhone face down on a table?



    Or maybe I'm just not understanding this fully...



    I'm sure a person with a hearing impairment would appreciate the option.



    I think he has a point. If you're hearing impaired why wouldn't you just place the iPhone face up to get the info?





    PS: iOS 5.0 is amazingly stable for a first beta. Apple has had GMs that weren't this stable. I wonder if the devs were are all focusing on a April timeframe for the first dev beta so the extra time afforded is just gravy with a few extra features thrown in.
  • Reply 12 of 41
    curmudgeoncurmudgeon Posts: 483member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cummje View Post


    'Bout bloody time on the LED flashing to indicate a call or message. I'd prefer the LED to flash intermittently than turn my screen off and on to see if I missed a call or messages. Now they just need to put an alert one on the giant black areas on the top or bottom in the front.



    I prolly sound negative but I think a small indicator LED should have been on the phone from the very beginning.



    It's awesome that they are working on making the phone more accessible. More companies should do that.



    I still don't understand why they can't even provide an audible alert. I'd like my phone to produce a tone every minute or so if I miss a call. Seems pretty dang simple, but still a missing feature.
  • Reply 13 of 41
    boogabooga Posts: 1,081member
    The custom vibration is a really nice feature. You can tell if it's an emergency call without taking the phone out of your pocket. I'm not sure why Apple hides this feature in Accessibility... it should just be a first-class feature. Being able to tap out the custom vibration on the screen is just brilliant.
  • Reply 14 of 41
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    I suspect if you have the iPhone face up on a table in front of you or off to the side you aren't going to notice an incoming call (unless you can sense the vibration). If you have it face down, and the LED is flashing rapidly you are probably going to notice that (Unless the room is super bright).



    I think it a great accessibility feature. Others might like it as well as just another option.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    These options are pretty cool.







    I think he has a point. If you're hearing impaired why wouldn't you just place the iPhone face up to get the info?





    PS: iOS 5.0 is amazingly stable for a first beta. Apple has had GMs that weren't this stable. I wonder if the devs were are all focusing on a April timeframe for the first dev beta so the extra time afforded is just gravy with a few extra features thrown in.



  • Reply 15 of 41
    hotboyzzhotboyzz Posts: 6member
    Aren?t there already Jailbreaks for these ?new features?
  • Reply 16 of 41
    onhkaonhka Posts: 1,025member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hotboyzz View Post


    Aren?t there already Jailbreaks for these ?new features?



    Your point being?
  • Reply 17 of 41
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,740member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hotboyzz View Post


    Aren?t there already Jailbreaks for these ?new features?



    Yeah, this is for people who aren't interested in going the JB route.
  • Reply 18 of 41
    hotboyzzhotboyzz Posts: 6member
    It just interesting how these ?new features? aren?t really all that new as Apple is hyping them to be. I guess that explain why Steve is hiring Jailbreak developers. Like they say if you can?t beat em? buy em??..
  • Reply 19 of 41
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member
    I just want to know if there will be an option to have the phone use it's text to speech to tell ms who is calling when I have my headphones in. Same voice that confirms who I ask to call when I do voice activated calling.
  • Reply 20 of 41
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cameronj View Post


    I just want to know if there will be an option to have the phone use it's text to speech to tell ms who is calling when I have my headphones in. Same voice that confirms who I ask to call when I do voice activated calling.



    Uh yeah I'd also like to know why my autocorrect corrects me to mr or ms about 1 time out of 4. I've tried typing me me me me me me and correcting it when it tries to change it, but no avail. Bah!
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