Apple announced a number of accessibility features coming to the iPhone, iPad, and Mac later this year. Last year also Apple shared some of the accessibility features to be added in iOS 16. And just like last year, Apple recently shared features that will be a part of iOS 17. So let’s see what new accessibility features coming in iOS 17.
iOS 17 is said to come with major changes and we already know the first set of upcoming features. The big tech player previewed new software features for cognitive, speech, and vision accessibility. In a blog post, Apple shared how the team worked with groups of people to bring innovative features to users with disabilities.
Assistive Access brings customized experience for Phone and FaceTime combined into a single Calls app as well as Messages, Camera, Photos, and Music. It makes the user interface simple which makes interaction easy. Customized apps include high-contrast buttons and large text labels for an improved experience.
Users can choose between a more visual, grid-based layout for their Home Screen and apps or a row-based layout for users who prefer text.
Live Speech let users type in text what they want to say which will be spoken out loud during Phone, FaceTime calls, and in-person conversations. It also lets users save common phrases to use them quickly in conversation. It is designed to support users who are unable to speak.
Personal Voice Advance Speech
Personal Voice is a simple and secure way to create a voice with a similar sound as users. Users who are at risk of losing their voice can create a voice that sounds like them. Users can create personal voice by reading randomized text prompt to record 15 minutes of audio on an iPhone or iPad. The features use on-device machine learning to keep the data secure. It also integrates seamlessly with Live Speech.
Detection Mode in Magnifier
Magnifier gets Point and Speak which makes it easier for users with vision disabilities to interact with physical objects with several text labels. For example while using Microwave, Point and Speak announces the text written on the appliance. It uses input from the camera, the LiDAR Scanner, and on-device machine learning. The feature can also be used in People Detection, Door Detection, and Image Descriptions.
Along with these main features Apple also announced a bunch of other accessibility features that are listed below.
- Deaf or hard-of-hearing users can pair Made for iPhone hearing devices directly to Mac and customize them for their hearing comfort.3
- Voice Control adds phonetic suggestions for text editing so users who type with their voice can choose the right word out of several that might sound alike, like “do,” “due,” and “dew.”4 Additionally, with Voice Control Guide, users can learn tips and tricks about using voice commands as an alternative to touch and typing across iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
- Users with physical and motor disabilities who use Switch Control can turn any switch into a virtual game controller to play their favorite games on iPhone and iPad.
- For users with low vision, Text Size is now easier to adjust across Mac apps such as Finder, Messages, Mail, Calendar, and Notes.
- Users who are sensitive to rapid animations can automatically pause images with moving elements, such as GIFs, in Messages and Safari.
- For VoiceOver users, Siri voices sound natural and expressive even at high rates of speech feedback; users can also customize the rate at which Siri speaks to them, with options ranging from 0.8x to 2x.
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