Apple's new operating system, the iOS7 enables users to access their iPhone, iTouch, and iPad without having to use their hands to touch the screen. The new operating system allows switch access to Apple's line of tablets. If you have questions about switch access to the iPad, I am happy to help--email me at email@example.com
Switching it up in iOS 7
You can find it in the Settings app under General, Accessibility and then Switch Control.
My first big tip if you wish to demonstrate switch control is that you need to be able to exit quickly if you need to. You can set this up in Accessibility settings. Scroll to the very bottom and select Accessibility Shortcut (which used to be Triple Click Home). Choose Switch Control so that it has a little check mark next to it. This means that you can triple click the home button and escape from switch control at any time. Now you’re ready to explore!
You have 3 options for the access method in switch control. You can choose from using the screen as a switch, using your head movement or using an external switch. We’ll be focussing on using an external switch but I’d encourage you to play with the other settings. Using left and right head movement is definitely pretty cool to try out!
It’s possible to use 1 switch with Auto Scanning or set up 2 switches for step scanning but make sure that your iPad is paired to a Bluetooth switch interface first. If you’re wondering which interfaces are compatible with iOS7, I’ve tested the Applicator with the new iOS 7 switch control and have also seen several videos with other switch interfaces such as the new Blue2 Bluetooth Switch and the Tecla DOS .
Ablenet has put together a couple of great videos that explain switch set up in iOS 7 switch control. This one shows configuration for single switch auto scanning with the new Blue2 interface.
This video shows the new Blue2 interface and setting up iOS 7 Switch Control with Dual Switches with Step Scanning.
Christopher Hills (who, by the way, will be presenting “One Switch, One Head, the World” at our Spectronics Inclusive Learning Technologies conference in May 2014) has created a quick video where he is using the Tecla DOS with iOS7 switch control
And finally, you can see a range of videos on the Accessibility features by Luis Perez, including this
one on the new switch control.
I think that the switch control in iOS 7 has radically changed the access to the iPad home screen and apps. You can now use a switch to navigate and turn pages within iBooks or take a picture/video with the Camera app. The iOS 7 switch control will work across all of the apps that come with the iPad. I also love that there is a menu that pops up that you can scan and select gestures to zoom, pinch and swipe along with access to some other system features.
Some people have already been asking about the apps that will work with iOS 7 switch control. This will be ever changing. Some app developers have been on the ball and already made their apps compatible with iOS 7 switch control. We will need to wait for some others to catch up! I just checked out Facebook and was able to use the switch to scroll through my news feed and post a status.
The apps that were already made switch accessible by their developers, within the switch settings of the app itself, will still work with a switch interface. See Jane Farrall and Alex Dunn’s list of switch accessible apps here . They do not all necessarily work with iOS 7 switch control. However, you can use your Bluetooth interface to work across both if you have one that is flexible enough.
You can always contact us if you have further questions about switch control with the iPad. And let us know about your success stories with using iOS 7 switch control too!