Apple released the next beta version of iOS 5 yesterday. And as usual, everyone has been digging through to find new changes.There are two big ones:
First, the ability to assign different tones to text messages. (Minor, yes, but we’ve been waiting four years for this.)
Next, a new set of gesture controls under accessibility that don’t require the iPhone’s physical buttons to perform tasks like volume control and returning to the home screen.
It’s the latter we’re really excited about.
After playing around with the new controls for a bit, it’s clear that the new gestures are only for those who are physically unable to use the iPhone’s buttons.
When activated, a tiny, opaque square shows up in the corner of your screen. Tapping it brings up all the options you need to perform tasks. (See pictures below.)
The new gestures hint at a future where iPhone’s are completely buttonless and everything is controlled with gestures. Apple already taught us how to pinch, swipe, and tap as if it was second nature. It’s not a stretch to think it’ll do the same for all other controls.
rumours already suggest that Google’s next Android-powered Nexus phone will be completely buttonless. Apple could easily do the same.
For now, it’s a good start.
Check out the screenshots: