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Apple announces new accessibility features for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch

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Apple has announced a set of accessibility features designed for people with motor, visual, hearing and cognitive disabilities. These features will be available through software updates later this year. One of the most interesting features is the Apple Watch, which allows people with limb differences to navigate its interface using AssistiveTouch. IPhone and iPad users will also be part of the new accessibility-focused treatment. Apple has also announced a new interpreter service called SignTime, which will be available for communication with AppleCare and retail customer service.

Tap watchOS will allow Apple Watch users to navigate the cursor on the display through a series of hand gestures, such as a pinch or squeeze. Apple he says on Apple Watch will use built-in motion sensors such as a gyroscope and accelerometer, along with the device’s optical heart rate sensor and machine training, to detect subtle differences in muscle movement and tendon activity.

The new support for gesture control via AssistiveTouch will allow people with limb differences to more easily answer incoming calls, control the pointer on the screen and have access to the Notification Center and Control Center – all on the Apple Watch – without having to touch the display or move the Digital Crown. However, the company has not provided any details on which Apple Watch models will be compatible with the new features.

In addition to the Apple Watch gesture controls, iPadOS will bring support for third-party eye tracking devices to allow users to control iPad using their eyes. Apple says compatible MFi (Made for iPad) devices will track where a person looks on the screen to move the pointer accordingly to track a person’s gaze. This will work to perform various actions on the iPad, including touching, without requiring users to touch the screen.

Apple has also updated its preloaded screen reader – VoiceOver – with the ability to allow people to explore more details in images. These details will include text, table data, and other objects. People will also be able to add their own descriptions to tagged images to bring a personalized feel.

Apple has updated VoiceOver with the ability to detail more images
Photo: Apple

For a variety of people or anyone who is distracted by everyday sounds, Apple brings background sounds such as balanced, bright and dark noise, as well as ocean, rain and streaming sounds that will continue to sound in the background to mask unwanted or external environments. sound. “They will help consumers focus, stay calm or rest,” Apple said.

Apple also offers mouthpieces such as clicking, popping, or “ee” to replace the physical buttons and switches for non-speaking users with limited mobility. Users will also be able to customize display settings and text size for each application individually. In addition, there will be new ones memoirs customizations to present users with oxygen tubes, cochlear implants and a soft hat helmet.

accessibility image

Apple’s memo customizations will receive cochlear implants, oxygen tubes and a soft hat for hats
Photo: Apple

Along with its major software changes, Apple is adding support for new two-way hearing aids to its MFi (Made for iPhone) hearing aid program. Next-generation models from MFi’s partners will be available later this year, the company said.

Apple is also introducing support for recognizing audiograms – diagrams that show hearing test results – in Headphone Accommodations. This will allow users to upload their hearing test results to Headphone Accommodation to amplify soft sounds more easily and adjust certain frequencies to suit their hearing capabilities.

Consumers have not been given specific deadlines for when they can expect the new features to reach their Apple devices. However, it is safe to expect that some details should be announced on Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) next month.

Apple will also launch SignTime to communicate with AppleCare and retail customers using American Sign Language (ASL) in the United States, British Sign Language (BSL) in the United Kingdom and French Sign Language (LSF) in France directly from a web browser. It will also be available in Apple’s physical stores for remote access to a sign language interpreter without requiring prior reservations.

image service for the sign language interpreter of the service image

Apple is introducing SignTime’s interpreter service for easy communication with service personnel
Photo: Apple

The SignTime service will initially be available in the United States, the United Kingdom and France from May 20, and Apple plans to expand the service to other countries in the future, although details may be revealed at a later stage.


Immerse yourself in everything Apple – iPad Pro, iMac, Apple TV 4K and AirTag – this week on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available at Apple Podcasts,, Google Podcasts,, Spotifyand wherever you get your podcasts.

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