How to enable and use Reachability on iPhone in iOS 14

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How to enable Reachability
Reachability makes even the largest iPhone models easy to use one-handed.
Image: Apple/Cult of Mac

Reachability remains alive and well in iOS 14 — even if you have an iPhone without a Home button. The feature, which makes even the largest iPhone models easier to operate with one hand, is super-simple to use with just a quick flick of the thumb.

However, Reachability is disabled by default, so you’ll need to turn it on. Here’s how to enable and use Reachability in the latest iPhone firmware.

AssistiveTouch lets users control Apple Watch by clenching a fist

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AssistiveTouch lets users control Apple Watch by clenching their fists.
AssistiveTouch lets users control Apple Watch by clenching their fists.
Photo: Apple

Apple plans to release software updates this year that will make its devices far easier to use for people with mobility, vision, hearing and cognitive disabilities.

The features include AssistiveTouch for Apple Watch, which offers astonishing new ways for people with limited mobility to control the smartwatch without tapping its screen. The new feature uses Apple Watch’s array of sensors to interpret the wearer’s movement into interactions.

Cupertino showcased AssistiveTouch for Apple Watch — which lets users maneuver a cursor on the wearable’s screen simply by clenching their fist and pinching their fingers together, among other things — in a remarkable video. (We embedded the video below — definitely watch it.)

But AssistiveTouch for Apple Watch is just the beginning of Apple’s latest big push into accessibility.

Apple showcases what Accessibility features can do for you

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Accessibility webpage
Apple's updated webpage shows off all the features it offers to Accessibility easier.
Photo: Apple

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.

Apple will give iPads and scholarships to students at leading deaf university

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Gallaudet University Sign
The Gallaudet University sign in Washington, D.C.
Photo: Mr.TinDC/Flickr CC

Apple has partnered with Washington D.C.’s Gallaudet University — the world’s leading university for deaf, hard of hearing, and deafblind students — to offer all students and faculty Apple devices. Learners and teachers alike will receive an iPad Pro, Apple Pencil, and SmartFolio for iPad Pro.

The offer is also available to students and teachers at the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center, Gallaudet’s partner program for students in grades K-12.

Co-creator of Apple VoiceOver talks importance of accessibility tech

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Dean Hudson depends on VoiceOver, and helped develop it.
Dean Hudson, accessibility technical evangelist at Apple, was part of the original team behind VoiceOver.
Photo: Apple

Dean Hudson helped develop VoiceOver. With the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act approaching, he looks back on the creation of this Apple tech to describe what’s happening on iPhone and Mac displays to those who are blind or low vision.

Now accessibility technical evangelist at Apple, Hudson promises that Apple remains committed to enabling everyone to use its products. Because they’re life changing to those who need them.

Tap the back of your iPhone to activate handy shortcuts in iOS 14

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Back Tap settings in iOS 14
A quicker, easier way to get things done.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

WWDC 2020One of many hidden new features in iOS 14 is an option to set new shortcuts that are activated by tapping the back of your iPhone. It’s a new accessibility option that can be used for things like returning to the Home screen, snapping a screenshot, muting your device, and more. Here’s how it works.

iOS 14 accessibility feature listens out for crying babies, smoke alarms, and more

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Baby crying
iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 will listen out for the important sounds taking place in the background.
Photo: Tim Bish/Unsplash CC

iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 has an impressive accessibility feature that can listen out for sounds like running water, a person knocking on the door, smoke alarms, babies crying, and more — and then warn users about it with an on-screen notification.

It’s an incredibly smart feature, based on machine learning technology, that could range from useful to life-saving. Who says that always-listening tech has to be limited to “Hey, Siri”?