Skip to main content

iOS 7 could let users control devices using head movements

 ios-7-three-phonesApple’s forthcoming iOS 7 mobile operating system could offer users the opportunity to interact with their devices using head movements.

Discovered in the most recent build (beta 2) of iOS 7 by an anonymous tipster and tested by Apple news site 9to5Mac, the gestures can reportedly be configured to start Siri, alter the device’s volume, open the App Switcher, bring up the home screen and even act as a tap.

So, for example, moving your head to the left could take you to your home screen, while a movement to the right could act as a tap to open an app. 9to5Mac found the feature to be “quite accurate” but also “quite tedious” because of the time it takes to cycle through all the options. However, this is early days for iOS 7 so we can expect the controls to be further refined.

The feature is located in the Accessibility menu in Settings, so it’s aimed primarily at those with some form of physical impairment. Apple already offers a wide selection of accessibility options for those with disabilities, including SpeakSelection for the visually impaired which reads aloud emails and messages, and, for the hearing impaired, an LED flash for incoming alerts.

iOS 7 represents Apple’s biggest overhaul of its mobile operating system since the iPhone first came on the market in 2007. Flat, simple and really rather colorful, the software is set to roll out to iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices later this year.

The Cupertino company revealed a few of iOS 7’s features when it unveiled the software at WWDC earlier this month, including AirDrop, a new-look Control Center and refreshed Safari browser.

But there’s still plenty we don’t know about the new operating system, with Wednesday’s head-movements news the latest of several revelations from developers with access to beta versions. Of course, it’s impossible to say at this stage precisely which of the features uncovered by developers will end up in the final build of iOS 7, but with it launching in the fall, we don’t have to wait too long to find out.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
YouTube gives iOS users another reason to pay for Premium
YouTube Premium on iPhone.

Subscription fatigue is real. But YouTube today just gave more reasons to pony up a few bucks every month for YouTube Premium, especially if you're on iOS. The big selling point for Premium, which costs $12 a month, is that you'll get rid of ads on your YouTube experience. That's worth it in and of itself. But you'll also get the ability to play videos in the background, download for offline viewing, and a subscription to YouTube Music Premium.

The new stuff adds on to all that.

Read more
Your old iPhone may not get iOS 17 this year, and that’s good
Apple iPhone X Review

With Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference coming on June 5, we’re expecting a lot of cool things to be announced during the keynote. This could finally be the time that Apple unveils its mixed reality headset, and — of course — we’ll be getting our usual slate of software updates for existing products. That includes iOS 17, which will no doubt ship with the iPhone 15 later this year.

But one rumor going around recently is that iOS 17 could be dropping support for the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X. iPadOS 17 may also be leaving the first generation 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pros, as well as the fifth-generation iPad, in the dust. Though many people who are using these devices seem to be outraged at the possibility of not getting iOS 17 on their older iPhones, I think it’s the right decision. Here’s why.
You already got over 5 years of software upgrades

Read more
Control Center on the iPhone is a mess — here’s how Apple can fix it
Someone holding an iPhone 14. The display is turned on and showing the Control Center.

The clock keeps ticking down to Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 5. This is where we expect Apple to unveil its headliner mixed reality headset, as well as the usual slew of software updates for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.

Though it was originally rumored that iOS 17 would primarily focus on bug fixes and improvements, a later report said it could bring some “highly requested features from users.” And this week, there was another report that suggests iOS 17 will be bringing some big changes to the Control Center.

Read more