July 19th – iOS 5 To Feature Gestures To Replace Buttons

iPhone 5 Coming Soon

iPhone 5 Coming Soon

Apple has released the newest beta of their upcoming iOS 5 mobile operating system, and one of the quickly discovered new features is a gesture interface that provides the same functionality as the iPhone and iPad’s hardware buttons.

Listed under the Accessibility settings in the device’s setup area, the new “Assistive Touch” option places a floating button on the screen which allows users to use touch gestures to complete a variety of commands, including returning to the home screen, multitasking, changing the device’s volume and more. While it appears that Assistive Touch is targeted at those who have difficulty with hardware buttons, the feature appearing in this way has signaled to many that Apple is considering dropping hardware buttons in future devices.

Report: iPhone 5 Will Likely Feature Gestures To Replace Buttons

The “Home” option does exactly what it sounds like, returning the user to the iPhone or iPad’s home screen – similar in function to the hardware button. “Device” offers a multitude of different controls, including those to lock the screen, to change the volume, a button that performs a “shake” of the device, and another to rotate the screen’s orientation.

Customers of Apple’s devices who may struggle with some or all of the hardware gestures – think elderly users and the “shake” function on an iPad – are likely to be very happy with the company’s implementation of these resources in iOS 5. It’s tough to imagine a button-less iPod or iPhone, but this could be relatively feasible for the iPad which is screen-centric and virtually everything is done via the display. Only time will tell if Apple decides to eliminate hardware buttons entirely.

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