Ahead of WWDC, which starts on June 6, Apple on Tuesday announced a set of accessibility features for the iPhone, iPad and Mac that will arrive “later this year.” The software features “Disable users to navigate, connect and get the most out of Apple products”.
Apple has not announced how the new accessibility features will be released, although they may be part of the next crop of operating systems. Apple is expected to release iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS 13 at WWDC, but Apple’s press release did not say whether the new features are part of the new operating system, which will be released in the autumn, or whether they will be released as an update. Before that in the current slate of the operating system. Here are the new features coming to Apple devices:
The iPhone and iPad’s Magnifier app will feature a new detection mode that will support door detection, allowing users to detect doors and provide information about when the door is open or closed (such as numbers, symbols or signs). And how the door can be operated. Door detection can work with people detection and image description of the magnifier to help navigate an area. Apple Maps will also have sound and haptic feedback to help you find the starting point for walking directions.
Apple Watch Mirroring, Fast Action
This feature reflects the Apple Watch user interface on a pair of iPhones, giving users access to Apple Watch controls on the iPhone instead of using the watch. The iPhone’s voice control and switch controls can be used to interact with the Apple Watch, as well as voice commands, sound action, head tracking and an external made for iPhone switch.
The new Quick Action is a double-pinch gesture that can be used for Apple Watch functions, including answering or ending a phone call, dismissing a notification, taking a picture, playing or pausing in a non-playing app and starting, pausing or Restart workout
Live captions will be available on “any audio content” on the iPhone, iPad and Mac – Apple says live captions will serve as examples of facetime calls, video conferencing, streaming media content and private conversations. Live captions will have adjustable font sizes, a group video call will be displayed to all participants, and typed responses can be said aloud. Live captions are created on the device, which means user privacy is protected.
Voiceover, Siri Pause Time and more
Other new features include:
- Voiceover There will be support for more than 20 new languages and a new text checker tool to look for text formatting issues in Mac’s voiceover.
- Buddy controller Combines two game controllers that can be used for single player input.
- Siri break timeWhich allows Siri to manually adjust the response time.
- Voice control spell mode Allows the melody of custom spellings using letter by letter input.
- Word recognition Adjustments can be made to learn specific words for an environment.
- Apple Books Books will be easy to read, as well as have new themes
Global Accessibility Awareness Day
Global Accessibility Awareness Day is May 19, and Apple has made several announcements to commemorate the day:
- Syntime is expanding in Canada. It allows Apple Store and App Support customers to become on-demand American Sign Language interpreters.
- There will be live sessions on iPhone accessibility in Apple stores
- How Apple-supported social channels will feature content.
- Mac and Apple Watch shortcut apps will have support for Accessibility Assistant.
- Apple Fitness + instructor Bakari Williams will use American Sign Language to demonstrate accessibility features.
- New Guide to Apple Maps. The National Park Foundation, Park Access for All and Gallaudet University have a set of guides focusing on sites that prioritize services to the deaf community.
- App Store accessibility will highlight apps.
- Apple Books and Apple Podcasts will show stories about people with disabilities and about them
- Apple Music Salist will offer playlists, a collection of playlists that focus on a different sound to practice each vocal sound or speech therapy.
- Apple TV + will show movies and shows of “Authentic Representation of Persons with Disabilities”.