New Year, new iPhone?! Every year Apple releases a new iPhone along with a new iOS update with new and improved accessibility features that can help with multiple disabilities. The Where It’s AT Team is here to show you some awesome existing and new accessibility features on your new iOS device.
First, let’s go over some great existing accessibility features prior to the new iOS 16 update. Three Apple fan favorite accessibility features include VoiceOver, Sound Recognition, and Assistive Touch.
VoiceOver gives all iOS users the ability to hear what is happening on their screen. With VoiceOver, your phone will tell you exactly what is on your screen the same way that a screen reader would. This feature can describe pictures, objects, graphs, and so much more. Currently, VoiceOver offers 60 different languages to choose from. Visit this Apple support page to learn more about VoiceOver and how to enable this feature in settings.
Another great existing accessibility feature is Sound Recognition. Sound Recognition “listens for certain sounds and uses on-device intelligence to notify you when they are detected.” An example of sound recognition being used would be if you set a timer on your oven while baking. When the timer goes off, your device will alert you reminding you to check the oven. If you are an iOS user, you can benefit from sound recognition because your device will alert you when it recognizes pre-determined sounds around you. Visit this Apple support page to learn more about sound recognition and how to enable this feature in settings.
Assistive touch is another great existing iOS feature. With assistive touch you can create unique gestures and touches to fit your physical needs. You can create gestures such as double tap or pinch to access different functions of your device. Additionally, “Head-Tracking” is available which uses the camera to follow the movement of your head to perform several functions such as controlling a pointer on your screen. Visit this Apple support page to learn more about assistive touch and how to enable this feature in settings.
Now, let’s go over a few new accessibility features in the new iOS 16 update that can help you with your vision, hearing, and/or mobility needs.
Apple previously released a magnifier tool that allowed you to use your camera to make the size of different objects bigger just like a real magnifier would. With the new iOS 16 update, the magnifier tool now comes with door detection mode. Door detection mode is great because it can detect doors and buildings to make you aware of your surroundings. Door Detection mode scans your surroundings using the camera and provides detailed image description for everything in your proximity and will read anything on the door for you. For example, door detection mode will help you identify how far you are away from a door and if there is any writing on the door such as a “sorry, we are closed” sign or hours of operations sign on a door. This is an excellent feature because it can help perform everyday tasks independently. Visit this Apple support page to learn more about door detection mode and how to enable this feature in settings.
A new accessibility feature that Apple released with the new iOS update is the ability to enable live captions. With iOS 16, transcriptions are generated automatically in real time so that anyone can follow along more easily with conversations, audio, and video. This feature is also available for FaceTime video calls, making it easy for users to follow along easily. Visit this Apple support page to learn more about live captioning features and how to enable this feature in settings.
Siri is Apple’s virtual assistant that is available 24/7 to help you navigate your phone. Every time there is a new iOS update Apple expands Siri’s skills to help enhance your iPhone experience. With the new iOS update Siri is now able to hang up a phone or FaceTime call completely hands free. All you need to say is “Siri hang up”. This feature can support many needs, regardless of disability, or would be great if you simply have your hands full. Some great existing features include Siri’s ability to read incoming notifications on all “made for iPhone” hearing devices, Siri pause time, and assistance auto-answer for calls on or off with Siri. Visit this Apple support page to learn more about existing and new Siri skills and how to enable Siri in settings.
Apple is constantly updating and making new and improved accessibility features for all their devices. If you haven’t already, make sure to check out our previous blogs Accessibility Already Close AT Hand: Top Built-in Accessibility Features for Apple Smart Phones – Part 1 and Accessibility Already Close AT Hand: Top Built-in Accessibility Features for Apple Smart Phones – Part 2 for other accessibility features available on your new iOS device.