We’re discovering some very interesting and little advertised new features following yesterday’s unveiling of Apple’s iOS 5 software. For instance, did you know there’s a new setting allowing you to tell your iPhone to blink its LED flash on incoming calls and alerts? We’ve also learned about brand new AssistiveTouch section in Settings where you can control your multi-touch experience and even draw custom gestures. Plus, the four-finger pinch gesture that mimics the functionality of the home button? It’s back!

It originally appeared in the first beta of iOS 4.3, but was disabled in subsequent releases unless you were a registered developer who enabled your device for development in Xcode. Needless to say, the home screen pinch has become a jailbreaker’s favorite tweak and it’s been especially popular with iPad owners because performing multi-fingered gestures felt more natural on the tablet’s larger canvas compared to the iPhone’s smallish screen. Even though Steve Jobs made no mention of them during the keynote talk, Apple has detailed new iPad multitasking gestures on its site:

iOS 5 includes a few new moves and shortcuts to help you get around even quicker on your iPad: Using four or five fingers, swipe up to reveal the multitasking bar, pinch to return to the Home screen, and swipe left or right to switch between apps.

Specifically, Apple featured the home screen pinch twice in their iOS 5 promotional video, seen below (mark 0:28 and 5:43). Now, what about those custom gestures?


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Reader Drew sent in screenshots below depicting a new section in the Settings app, dedicated to touch-related assistive technologies. For starters, you can now use iPhone with adaptive accessories and control touch responsiveness using a slider. You can also use a horizontal zig-zag motion to open the menu with touch settings and even draw your own custom gesture to replace the zig-zag motion. Even though this is just scratching the surface compared to the wealth of customizable multitouch gestures available system-wide on jailbroken devices, it’s great to see Apple continuing to perfect the iOS multitouch interface with new gestures.

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