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iPhone 5 Feature Hinted at in iOS 5 WWDC Presentation? (Update)

iOS 5 Features List

During Apple’s presentation this week at the WWDC (World Wide Developers Conference), it was noted that iOS 5 had over 200 enhancements for users, but only a handful were given out in any detail.  One of the slides shown listed some of the other improvements to the mobile operating system, and while several were interesting, one of our eagle-eyed readers spotted one in particular that made us sit up and take notice.

If you click on the above image you’ll get a larger version of it, and towards the bottom right, under the “Accessible input for mobility”, there is something very intriguing in smaller print: “LED flash on incoming calls and alerts.”  While the iPhone 4 does indeed have an LED flash on the back for the camera, and early rumors indicate it remains on the iPhone 5, would a flashing LED on the rear of the handset do much good to notify you that you have a call or an alert?  That would mean you’d always have to lay your phone face down for it to do you any good, and that is also a quick way to scratch your screen up.

The question is, could Apple possibly be planning to add an LED flash for the front-facing camera?  It makes some sense for there to be a flash there, and then they could potentially have it do double duty by also letting you know when you have messages.  Numerous other phones on the market do this already, so it isn’t exactly something new, but it’s interesting none the less.  Of course you would also suspect the same to follow suit in the iPad 3 and the iPod Touch 5 (if it ever materializes), but it all hinges on this odd little statement hiding in plain sight.

There are a few other interesting tidbits on the slide such as setting custom vibration patterns, but it’s the LED flash for alerts that captured our imagination.  Our money is on the idea that Apple just gave us a really solid clue to a new feature of the iPhone 5.

What do you think this cryptic feature could mean?  Let us know in the comments.

Update: Thanks to our awesome readers it’s been brought to our attention that LED notifications are enabled in iOS 5 on the iPhone 4 under general-> accessibility.

[Thanks to Julian for the tip]


Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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