Apple just overhauled its Accessibility website, emphasizing all the ways these built-in features can make using your iPhone and other gear easier to use. The updated Accessibility page is now headed up by a banner advertising “built‑in features that work the way you do. Make them yours, and make something wonderful.”
It goes on to describe the various tools — broken into Vision, Mobility, Hearing and Cognitive categories — that Apple offers users as built-in features within its software.
For example, under Vision, Apple features neat animations showing how users can increase the size of text or zoom in on information they want to magnify. Clicking the + sign next to each feature description brings up a submenu revealing more about the tool and how it can help.
Another illustration of Apple’s Accessibility features concerns the use of gestures. For instance, users can swap out standard gestures like pinch, rotate or swipe to make using a touchscreen easier. They can also turn actions like changing volume into simple, touch-based actions using the AssistiveTouch menu.
The Accessibility mini site also discusses things like audio descriptions for Apple TV+ and much more.
Apple’s focus on Accessibility
Apple continues to work very hard to nurture and expand its Accessibility features. Over the years, the company earned plaudits for its efforts, including the award-winning VoiceOver. And Apple just keeps adding new features. With iOS 14, it introduced a new smart sound-recognition feature that lets your device listen for crying babies, smoke alarms and other noises that require attention.
In an early address given as CEO of Apple, Tim Cook talked about his approach to accessibility tech during a speech at Auburn University.
“People with disabilities often find themselves in a struggle to have their human dignity acknowledged,” Cook said. “They frequently are left in the shadows of technological advancements that are a source of empowerment and attainment for others. But Apple’s engineers push back against this unacceptable reality. They go to extraordinary lengths to make our products accessible to people with various disabilities from blindness and deafness to various muscular disorders.”
Do you rely on the built-in Accessibility features Apple offers? What do you think the company does well? What could it improve on? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.