iOS 7 includes ability to control iPhone or iPad with head movements

By , Jun 26, 2013

is 7 head nove

This is kind of interesting. Hot on the heels of yesterday’s report that iOS 7 includes the ability to detect smiling and blinking faces, comes word of another odd new feature onboard: the ability to control your iPhone or iPad with head movements.

That’s right, tucked away in the Accessibility section of the Settings app in the latest beta of Apple’s new OS is a toggle that activates a new head tracking feature. Once enabled, users can control their iOS devices with simple left to right head nods…

9to5Mac was first to spot the discovery, reporting that an anonymous tipster sent in the gem. It’s not hidden, like other stuff we’ve covered, so anyone on the latest iOS 7 beta can find it. Just tap Settings > General > Accessibility > Switches > Switch Source.

The way it works is that a blue box will slowly bounce around to different buttons, toggles and other UI elements on your screen. When it lands on the object, or group of objects you’re interested in, a quick nod of your head will initiate an onscreen tap.

Though it seems to be fairly accurate, it’s extremely tough to get the hang of. In fact, my iPhone 4S is kind of stuck right now because my screen won’t scroll down far enough for me to turn off the tracking. I know, it’s a beta. I’m just giving you a heads up.

It doesn’t look like Apple has anything planned for the feature outside of accessibility, so don’t expect to see Galaxy S 4-type gesture actions. But nevertheless, it’s cool to see Apple finally start tinkering with all of those sensors it stashes in its iOS devices.

Thoughts?

  • Share:
  • Follow:
  • Johnathan Jennings

    Have Jeff do a video! I want to see this in action on an iPhone 5!

    • Bobby McBobson

      yeah that would be groovy

    • Burge

      It might take awhile before you see a video of this ..Jeff will have to learn to use it first

      • Johnathan Jennings

        It’s an accessibility feature not rocket science..

      • Burge

        And this beta 2 is more buggy than beta 1 and he needs to use look gestures to control it..
        That’s a piss then

      • Raul Henriquez

        bs

    • Bob

      Jeff obviously isn’t going to a video on this, as he doesn’t show his face.

      I’ve seen his face though, he once did a live stream on Youtube when the iPhone 5 was being announced.

      Someone also uploaded a video of him as well, which he probably had removed.

      • Bobby McBobson

        we’re only going to see the back of his head though.

      • Matt Dowdy

        I think Jeff’s true identity is M.A.D from inspector gadget

      • Hi

        He actually has uploaded a vid showing his face before onto his personal channel. I don’t remember what it was about tho.

    • Mohammad Ridwan

      youtu. be / cdw4O4DM3wI

      • Grande PHD

        As we can see on this video, this feature is not for everyone. It’s for special people.

  • Bobby McBobson

    Wow that’s cool!

  • Burge

    I see a restore coming..

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪

      Set an accessibility shortcut before trying it that way to disable it all one has to do is triple tap the home button…

      • Burge

        You don’t understand humor do you

  • bw00ds

    So you all will think this is cool, right? What happened to that news story thread where all the fanboys were making fun of the Galaxy 4’s features? I think I would rather wave a hand than look silly nodding my head at my phone like a rooster or something. Some things in technology are getting quite out of hand. (Now THAT’s a funny play on words on this story! :P ) Just because it can be done doesn’t mean it should. Now please, Apple, focus on iOS’s real features…

    • Marvin

      I stand by my original opinion (either on iOS or android). I might use it sometimes but overall I would forget about it and it would be an annoyance most of the time.

    • felixtaf

      I jus checked in my phone… I think its mostly for disabled people… Not a regular feature (As far as I understood)

      • Rowan09

        The accessibility features is for people with some kind of disability.

      • felixtaf

        Yes.. There are so many controls inside for tweaking this feature…. Not for us… But those people will be benefited…

      • Diego Gastón Milano

        Finally one comment worth reading and with some logic among the rest. Apparently people don’t truly grasp the concept of what “Accesibility” truly is for. :)

      • bw00ds

        Thank you.

    • klouud

      I think the GS4’s new feature set is awesome! Its not something you need until you need it – if you get what I’m saying. Apple sees the value in adding such features and followed suit – great news for injured or handicapped people! Progress people – progress!

      Now to play devil’s advocate: I don’t think that Samsung created an iPhone killer when they included hand gestures with their phones. Is such a feature going to appeal to 80-90% of people? Nope! But its a nice feature to have tucked in your back pocket.

      word

      • Markus Hudobnik

        The only I hate about the motion and gimmicky features on the s4 is the “hover” feature. That is just plain stupid.

    • Rowan09

      Even though I won’t ever use this, the S4 features are promoted as a main selling point. I don’t have a S4 but I heard the eye gesture thing only works with the Samsung browser it’s not included in the whole phone.

      • Franck Kamayou

        Reminds me of when Siri was the main selling point of the iPhone 4S.

    • Yunsar

      This is an accessibility feature for those who are disabled.

    • Raul Henriquez

      This is for disabled people you idiot an is nothing like what samsung has done.

      • bw00ds

        Thank you. You can point that out without making personal insults, however. I’m sure you are a good guy, though.

      • Raul Henriquez

        Im sorry you idiot

      • John

        You’re calling people idiots when your name is Raul. Pretty funny.

      • Raul Henriquez

        Gosh you’re such a jerk : (

      • John

        You’re the jerk!

      • Raul Henriquez

        Gosh you’re such a big bully you hurt my feelings you big jerk : )

      • John

        You’re are making me laugh bro. Have you seen any good movies recently?

    • Franck Kamayou

      The point is not to have a cool gimmicky feature. If you notice, this feature is available in the accessibility settings and allows navigation with head gestures. Think of people who have limited control of their hands or no hands at all… I think it’s a good think for apple to focus on things like this.

      • bw00ds

        Thank you.

    • Bobby McBobson

      it’s betaaaaaa

    • http://www.idownloadblog.com Sebastien

      You’re missing the point. Apple doesn’t advertise this as the next big feature. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t even talk about it. It’s an accessibility feature for people with disabilities. It’s not intended to be used by most people.

      • bw00ds

        Thank you. And please read my reply to my post, esp. about the context. But, thank you.

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        So, ’cause Samsung shows off an accessibility feature it makes it a gimmick? Or you think accessibility features (like Assistive Touch) are only for disabled people?

    • bw00ds

      Thanks to those who politely pointed out that this is for the disabled. Now THAT makes sense. The article was not that clear on this, especially when read in context of the opening paragraph (which, as an exposition, is supposed to be clear as to one’s thesis or premise).

      Amazes me how the internet gives people permission to be freely condescending and insulting.

  • MyFlammingSkull

    JEFF DO A VIDEO!

  • Liam Mulcahy

    Samsung does stand a chance anymore. BTW can Jeff do a video bout this?

    • Dominik Odobašić

      Just for your information, Samsung has had this, as well as many other features like this, already implemented for a while.

      • Liam Mulcahy

        Go to androiddownloadblog apple hater and take your terrible phones with you

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        Go to iTardsonlyblog ignoramus apple fantard and take your iDiocracy with you…

      • Dominik Odobašić

        I’m an iPhone user and I’m typing this on a Mac. Take your worthless little prejudices somewhere else.

      • bw00ds

        Yikes! Can’t take the truth? :) He was just stating a fact.

      • sl0wCydia

        trtttt

      • Guest

        Go to iTardsonlyblog ignoramus apple fantard and take your iDiocracy with you…

      • sl0wCydia

        t….

    • Terry174

      You mean to say that adding gestures, which are aimed to improve ease-of-use for people with certain accessibility limitations was the secret that Apple had been looking for to eliminate their largest competition? Gestures are not a strong enough selling point to alter the competition in a clearly visible way.

  • Burge

    For the love of god don’t try this

  • Jamie Tilden

    Just give you a … “heads up”. YEAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!

  • Diamond

    Triple tap home button to cancel

    • felixtaf

      Thanks… Stuck in lockscreen for 5 mins now.. lol…

  • Kenny Woodard

    Do NOT try this on iPad.

  • felixtaf

    I think its mostly for disabled people… Not a regular feature (As far as I understood)

  • Dominik Odobašić

    It’s cool and awesome when Apple does it, but it’s useless and frustrating when Samsung does the exact same thing? Brainwashed hypocrites.

    • felixtaf

      Its under Accessibility (which mainly focuses on tweaks for disabled people). This feature is also for disabled people. The title by Cody Lee is misleading…

      • Dominik Odobašić

        Misleading, as usual.

      • bw00ds

        Yes, it was misleading and so was his opening paragraph. Thanks for pointing this out.

  • seyss

    no thank you.

  • Andyxyoona

    Yep. Just tried this new feature, and my neck is killing me….

  • felixtaf

    Misleading article by Cody lee. This feature is for disabled people. Not a regular feature/gesture to control ur device…

    • Burge

      It’s for anyone who can master it ..lol

      • felixtaf

        U will need a cervical collar by the time u master it… lol

      • Burge

        Lol

    • Josh Kortleve

      ignorant comments are ignorant

  • Josh Kortleve

    As a quadriplegic… this is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Andyxyoona

    For those saying S4 have better features…
    These features aren’t exclusive, these are available to ALL iOS7 devices.
    The S4 hands-free is ONLY for itself, not for ALL (or any other Samsung Device)

    If you want to compare anything, wait until Apple launches it’s next flagship device which will have exclusive features that will get carried on the next generations.
    IPhone 3G – 3G Connectivity
    IPhone 3GS – ARMv7 Chip and Voice Control
    iPhone 4 – Retina Display
    iPhone 4S – Siri
    iPhone 5 – 4 inch Display and 4G LTE Connectivity.
    Please get your facts straight before complaining.

  • Joseph A. Ahmad

    You can turn off Parallax. Just go to accessibility as well. My apologies if someone has already picked up on this.

  • David Gitman

    My iPhone 4 don’t have it :/

  • http://bane-tech.com/ Josh Bane

    I am a Galaxy S4 user now, coming from the iPhone 5. I love both devices. The gesture features are VERY cool on the S4, however once I got done trying them out, I have them all disabled. To me they are not useful or a shortcut. Not too mention they contribute to the device thinking more which leads to battery drain,etc. Not worth it. I plan to root it and get the full “nexus” experience. Stock Android rocks.

  • Jon Kiewel

    found that within hours and got stuck myself, triple click home to turn off, lol

  • Connor MacLean

    “Though it seems to be fairly accurate, it’s extremely tough to get the hang of. In fact, my iPhone 4S is kind of stuck right now because my screen won’t scroll down far enough for me to turn off the tracking.”

    I had the same issue! Very frustrating to say the least, the fix for this is once you actually enter into the accessibility with in general and the high lighter is on the lowest box quickly double tap the screen. That brings up a new control box which you can then go to scroll, scroll down the same way you’ve been navigating before. Presto you can turn off this “unique” feature.

  • Claudio Meza

    Has anyone tried it on an iPhone 5? Everyone is complaining but they’ve tried it on iPhone 4S or iPad. Just asking…

  • Aaron

    Siri *might* be able to switch it off if you haven’t turned it off already.

  • Sandeep Roy

    jeff…JEFF…where is Jeff ?…..ah there he is …. …. :))

    • Sandeep Roy

      someone with a zero sense of humor just voted me down !

  • Cesar D

    This is UGLY as hell. You can’t disable the other thing which is automatically moving everytime. And you can’t do NOTHING. Hope an update better than this. If you guys really want this, wait for the jailbreak tweak for iOS 6.

    • Jarryd Richards

      I don’t think you understand that this feature is designed for use by disabled people (limited use of hands, etc.) not for the general user base.

  • fl0manel

    I just love seeing 9to5Mac taking all the credit. Liars…

  • Mete Arslanoğlu

    How to turn this off? I even cannot enter my PIN

  • Charles Highley

    My iPhone is stuck on switch control and I cannot restore because find my iPhone is on, and i can’t turn that off because switch control is activated. Yay

  • Kyle Zakkar

    In order to scroll down you gotta double tap, that way you bring up a screen that will allow you to scroll down or up or to the top.

  • Falk M.

    “I know, it’s a beta. I’m just giving you a heads up.”

    ba-dum-tssh :D

  • Razick Rilshad

    Please do a video

  • sl0wCydia

    y

  • Mark Seah

    sounds like samsung feature ?

  • Betty2

    I updated to Beta 2 without any registrations.:

    If someone want to try it also, look at ios7beta2. tk =)

  • 3aloo1

    cool i will shake my head like a drunk man lol

  • iPhone4SGuy

    I cant disable it!!! Might have to restore which I realllly don’t want to do! :( :( :(
    Does anyone know how to disable it? The 3 home button click doesn’t work for me :'(

  • Kira Beltran

    i need help asap please! i turned on switch control but the auto scanning is off, so nothing gets highlighted and my phone is just stuck where it is. i havent gotten any further than being able to somehow click general while in settings.

  • Keith Fine

    Don’t enable this feature it’s not that useful for everyone and it took me forever to take it off

  • boungie007

    can someone tell me how to get the thing off? my son put it on his iPad, it just keeps scrolling along, I can’t seem to get into settings at all to fix it. It’s doing my head in.