This article is dedicated to Herb Halbrecht. Herb was always a strong proponent of Assistive Technology, the Apple devices and Accessibilty features. Sadly, Herb passed away Oct 2 from a heart attack. He will be missed… Gail Johnson and John Logan.
Apple users have long known about the company’s commitment to accessibility in most (if not all) of its devices.
In iOS 5–the latest version of the operating system used by the iPhone, the iPad, and the iPod Touch–Apple has provided even more accessibility features for their mobile platform. Apple’s attention to built-in accessibility features allows people with disabilities to use these products right out of the box instead of needing to purchase costly accessibility software.
With the current release of iOS 5, Apple has added the following features:
Text Size Changes
Hearing Aid Mode
LED Flash for Alerts
Incoming Call Route
The last of these new features is really amazing, so let’s take a look at Assistive Touch in a little more detail. These accessibility features really can help anyone, not just those with certain abilities. Assistive Touch is a way for users with physical or motor impairments to better control their iOS devices. Turn on this feature by tapping Settings > General > Accessibility > Assistive Touch > ON.
When you turn this feature on, you will get a small bubble in the lower, left-hand corner of the screen. This bubble will appear on every iOS 5 screen, and in any application. Tapping on the button will present you with 4 different options: Gestures, Device, Home, and Favorites. This menu is different actions that can be performed with Assistive Touch. Let’s explore the Gestures.
After tapping on the Gestures link, you will see additional buttons for 2, 3, 4, and 5-finger gestures. So, if you need to perform a 2-finger gesture, but can only use 1-finger to perform the gesture, simply tap on the 2-finger button, and then perform the gesture. The iPhone will recognize your 1-figner on the screen as 2-fingers.
Aside from Gestures, you can also tap on Device to get access to the following device settings that would normally require extra button presses:
For more accessibility features in iOS 5 and the new iPhone 4S, check out Apple’s Accessibility Guide for iPhone or iPad.
How about you? Do you take advantage of any of the iOS accessibility features? Tell us about it in the comments.