Apple announced its iOS7 beta a couple of months ago and has had it in the hands of developers for most of that time so there has been time for much of it to leak.
To the probable delight of some is Switch Control. This can be found under Settings, General, Accessibility and allows control of the phone by sequential highlighting using a switch system.
At the moment some of the details of the system are not clear and I’ve been unable to find any developers who have actually hooked up a switch system to check it. Despite this we can draw some conclusions from the screenshots.
- It should support a number of switches higher than one.
- There is built in support for head tracking, using the iPhone’s camera
- There are multiple settable actions available for particular switches or combinations of presses. This includes so far Step to next, step previous, select, home, notifications, Siri, volume and media controls
- The choice between auto-scan or 2 switch step scanning
- Switch stabilization options allowing setting of the amount of time a switch needs to be held down.
Thus far however there is not information as to what qualifies as an ‘adaptive accessory’. Based on past Apple experience with audio and gaming accessories it is likely that Apple will have a set of tightly controlled specifications for large manufacturers to build to then to be individually certified. There will probably not be much space in the market or support for DIY systems.
The feature was added in the second version of the iOS beta and is expected to go to public release in the autumn.