Apple is introducing new accessibility features for a variety of products and services. The company says that the new features are designed for people with vision, mobility, hearing, and cognitive disabilities. Apple believes that accessibility is a fundamental human right, and the organization’s efforts prove its claims.
Apple has announced exclusive accessibility features for the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, and most of them will arrive later this year. Apple is introducing new features that revolve around communication with support staff. iPad activity, Apple Watch navigation, and many more. If you’re interested to know more details about the new accessibility features, you can check it out on Apple’s official website. It’s great to see that the company’s ongoing efforts provide users with disabilities with a way through which they can communicate with the latest technology products and take advantage of utilities.
“At Apple, we’ve long felt that the world’s best technology should respond to everyone’s needs, and our teams work relentlessly to build accessibility into everything we make,” said Sarah Herrlinger, Apple’s senior director of Global Accessibility Policy and Initiatives. “With these new features, we’re pushing the boundaries of innovation with next-generation technologies that bring the fun and function of Apple technology to even more people — and we can’t wait to share them with our users.”
Now we are discussing some of the new accessibility features that Apple is bringing to the table below.
Background Sounds– In support of nerve diversity, Apple is adding a background sound feature designed to reduce distractions to keep users focused, calm, or at rest. Balanced, bright, or dark sounds are heard as well as sea, rain, or stream sounds are available. All words can be set to play in the background to mask unwanted environmental or external sounds. Apple says the words can be mixed with other audio and system sounds or with ducks.
iPad Eye-Tracking– Later this year, the iPadOS will support third-party eye-tracking devices so people can control the e-pad with their eyes.
AssistiveTouch – For users with limited mobility, AssistiveTouch will allow the Apple Watch to be used without touching the display or controls. The built-in motion sensor, optical heart rate sensor, and on-device machine learning allow the Apple Watch to detect subtle differences in muscle speed and tender activity that will control a cursor across the screen through hand gestures such as a pinch or clincher. AssistiveTouch launches later this year.
New Memoji Customizations – The new emojis are coming to better present users with oxygen tubes, cochlear implants, and a soft helmet for headwear.
SignTime – SignTime will allow customers to communicate with Apple Care and retail customer care using American Sign Language in the United States, British Sign Language (BSL) in the UK, or French Sign Language (LSF) in France using a web browser. SignTime launched May 20.
Sound Actions for Switch Control – It switches to physical buttons instead and with mouth sounds – such as a click, pop, or “ee” sound – for users who aren’t talking and don’t have limited mobility.
VoiceOver Improvements – Recent voiceOver updates allow users to explore more detail about the text, table data, and other objects contained in images. VoiceOver can describe a person’s location along with other objects in the images, and markup allows users to add image descriptions to personalize their photos.
MFi Hearing Aid Improvements – Apple is introducing new support for two-way hearing aids, enabling hands-free phones and FaceTime conversations. The next-generation models of MFi partners are coming later this year.
Audiograms for Headphone Accommodations – Headphone accommodations will support audiograms, allowing users to customize their audio by importing their latest hearing test results.
Display and Text Size Settings – Will be customizable on a per-app basis for users with colorblindness or other vision challenges to make the screen easier to see.
Apple is announcing new features as part of its May 20 Global Accessibility Awareness Day celebrations. Many of the features listed above are expected to arrive later this year, possibly with the release of iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and other platforms. I4n addition to these, Apple will host a WWDC event next month, so we will have more information on the scene at the time.