Apple's next generation of iPhone - the iPhone 5 - is around the corner, and as the much-awaited device becomes more of a reality, rumors and speculations about the fabled smart bezel are losing ground over the months. Well, it still remains to be seen whether iPhone 5 will feature that, but the new beta version of iOS 5 has divulged something very interesting - a new set of gestures that could replace traditional buttons.

Ever since the rumor of the smart bezel has been surfaced, related rumors that Apple will remove all physical home buttons and bring in more gesture controls on the iPhone 5 have also been co-existed. However, even if considerable hardware modifications such as smart bezels and moved home buttons might not be brought in by Apple onto the iPhone 5, the new beta version of iOS 5 will bring in new gestures to the upcoming version of iPhone, once the OS makes its debut in its full insignia in the fall.

According to an Apple Insider report, the latest beta version of iOS 5 features Assistive Touch, a new feature that will allow for quick gestures to be replicated for those who may be at a physical disadvantage. The new feature, which gives users quick access to certain commands, was enabled in the third beta of iOS 5 and was released to developers on Monday.

The report said the feature will display an overlay menu with certain commands that generally entail certain physical actions like as rotating the screen or shaking the device. This new feature allows for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch to be more accessible to those who may not be able to accomplish these tasks, the report added.

As of now, Assistive Touch only offers basic functionalities like locking the screen, adjusting volume, rotating the screen, and pinch and swipe movements.

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Customization

What seems to be more interesting about the all new Assistive Touch is the ability to create custom gestures. According to certain patterns or movements with their fingers on the screen, users can customize gestures to accomplish some tasks that may be difficult. After creating new gestures, users can give a name to them and can access them from the Assistive Touch menu.

With Assistive Touch, the possibility of a bigger screen (edge-to-edge) on the sprawling new iPhone 5 has further been reinstated. It seems that the crux of Apple's Assistive Touch is to make the gestural interface of the iPhone 5 more immersive due the inclusion of a larger screen, according to the iPhone 5 News Blog.

When it comes to the phone specs, speculations are rife regarding the next generation iPhone. Its key (rumored) features include a faster 1.2 to 1.5 GHz dual core A5 processor chip, 8 megapixel camera, larger screen, thinner design, greater storage and obviously, iOS 5.

The current iPhone 4 was announced at WWDC 2010. Therefore, people were expecting Apple to announce, or to give some details of the upcoming iPhone 5 at WWDC 2011. However, being a software only affair, this year's WWDC didn't bring any information regarding that. Apple also strictly focused on Mac OS X Lion, iOS 5 and iCloud, without any breach of information about the iPhone 5.