iOS 5 for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad has a great set of accessibility features that can be useful for just about anyone. You can zoom in on the screen, change the font size for some apps, have your iPhone speak text on web pages and in documents, use multi-touch gestures with just one finger, and even set custom vibration sequences.
Hi, this is Gary with MacMostNow. Let’s look at the accessibility options in iOS 5, many of which can be useful to anyone.
Accessibility settings are in the Settings path. Scroll down to general, then you go down to Accessibility. Many of these settings can be useful even if you don’t need them. Take a look at one as an example. For zoom, let’s turn that off. Now you can see here I double-tap with three fingers to turn it on. Now I can put three fingers on the screen and drag around and I can see a different part of the screen magnified. If I double-tap and drag up and down, I can change the magnification. Then I can just go in here and turn it off.
Now, you can use large text to change the font size in some apps like Calendar, Contacts, Mail, Messages and Notes. You can choose the font size here or leave it off for the standard size.
Now Speak Selection allows you to listen with a computer voice for text you have selected. Let’s say I get the Speak there, press that, and it will speak that text: “previous iPhone launches with long lines, sell-out of broken sales records at AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. A reported 4 million units have sold over the weekend. The downside”
Now here’s one I love. Turn on Custom Vibrations. Then you can go back to the Ring Settings, go into Sounds, and in addition to all the sounds you can set, you can also set vibration patterns. So you’ve got some standard ones, where you can see, just change to Alert, they also have Heartbeat, you also have SOS, Symphony, and you can assign these then to specific contacts. So one contact might have a Heartbeat vibration while another has an SOS vibration. In addition, you can create a new vibration by simply tapping out a series with your finger and then it will save it and then you can use that for a contact.
Now the way you assign it to a contact is just go into Contacts and select the contact you want, tap Edit, and under Vibration, now, you can change it to one of those standards there or you can create a new vibration right there in the Contacts.
Now if you go down to the bottom here, you’ve got something called Assistive Touch which is really interesting. Turn it on here, you see this dot that appears in the lower right hand corner. You tap this dot and this menu comes up and now you can tap on say, Gestures, and select the number of fingers that you want to use and now you’re scrolling with two fingers even though I’m only touching the screen with just one.
In addition, I can click on Device and there are certain things I can do and perform right here and I can also do an on screen Home button by doing that.
In addition, we have a set of favorites here that you can add to so I can tap there and then create a new gesture. For instance,I can do, say, three fingers like that,three finger tap and I can name it.
And, last but not least, under Accessibility,at the very bottom, I’ve got triple click on the Home button and you can determine what happens when you triple click. For instance, I can have a triple click turn on VoiceOver or turn on or off Assistive Touch or turn on or off the Asking function, which then will let me pick which one of those I want to choose.
Now, the most powerful Accessibility option is VoiceOver. But unless you need to use it, it would probably get more in the way than anything else, as it makes it harder to select items on the screen, but if you can’t see the screen, then it’s a fantastic tool for being able to use you iPhone.
This is all new is iOS 5, but it works on the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 4 probably with a 3GS as well and most of the functions are available also on the iPad.
Hope you found this useful. Until next time, this is Gary with MacMostNow.