Apple has previewed software features that introduce new ways for users with disabilities to navigate, connect, and get the most out of Apple products.
These powerful updates combine the company’s latest technologies to deliver unique and customizable tools for users, and build on Apple’s long-standing commitment to making products that work for everyone, according to Sarah Herrlinger, Apple’s senior director of Accessibility Policy and Initiatives.
Using advancements across hardware, software, and machine learning, people who are blind or low vision can use their iPhone and iPad to navigate the last few feet to their destination with Door Detection.
Users with physical and motor disabilities who may rely on assistive features like Voice Control and Switch Control can fully control Apple Watch from their iPhone with Apple Watch Mirroring.
The Deaf and hard of hearing community can follow Live Captions on iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
Apple is also expanding support for its screen reader VoiceOver with over 20 new languages and locales.
With Buddy Controller, users can ask a care provider or friend to help them play a game; Buddy Controller combines any two game controllers into one, so multiple controllers can drive the input for a single player.
With Siri Pause Time, users with speech disabilities can adjust how long Siri waits before responding to a request.
Voice Control Spelling Mode gives users the option to dictate custom spellings using letter-by-letter input.
Sound Recognition can be customized to recognize sounds that are specific to a person’s environment, like their home’s unique alarm, doorbell, or appliances.
The Apple Books app will offer new themes, and introduce customization options such as bolding text and adjusting line, character, and word spacing for an even more accessible reading experience.
These features will be available later this year with software updates across Apple platforms.