Working in an office or in the city, you’re probably inundated with noise from people chattering, cars running and nearby music. Your iPhone has a built-in feature called Background Sounds for playing rain noises or white noise to tune it all out.
You don’t need to download any apps or pay a cent; it comes for free on your Mac and iPhone. Let me show you how it works.
Live Captions, in iOS 16, generate subtitles of any audio playing in any app on your iPhone. Powered by the Neural Engine in Apple’s custom silicon, the capability to turn words from music and/or videos into real-time text is a boon to many users, in many different situations.
If you’re hard of hearing, for instance, the ability to see instant captions on the screen is a game changer. Or, if you don’t have headphones when you’re sitting in bed late at night and your partner is asleep – or you’re in any situation where you don’t want to make noise, like on the bus or in an office – you can turn on Live Captions to get subtitles.
The applications are endless and exciting. Here’s how to use Live Captions in iOS 16.
Apple’s next big thing might not be a car or an AR headset. Thanks to a rule change announced this week by the Food and Drug Administration, Cupertino could soon add hearing aids to its product lineup. The potential market is huge, and Apple stands uniquely positioned to disrupt the status quo.
The new rules allow companies like Apple to sell hearing aids over the counter and online, so buyers can set them up in the comfort of their own homes. Previously, if you wanted to buy hearing aids, your only option was to make an appointment for a hearing test and fitting at a specialist store.
Apple’s Door Detection uses advancements in hardware, software, and machine learning to help people who are blind or low vision use their iPhone and iPad to navigate the last few feet to their destination.
This is one of several innovative software features unveiled Tuesday with new ways for users with disabilities. These include Live Captions, Apple Watch Mirroring and more.
The other day I was walking with music blasting through my AirPods when I almost stepped in front of a speeding ambulance.
Luckily, the magical Sound Recognition feature on my iPhone was turned on and my AirPods recognized the wailing sirens. They silenced the music and piped the sirens into my ears instead, saving my bacon. It was amazing and quite magical.
Your iPhone can also listen and alert you for crying babies, running water, knocks on the door, barking dogs and more.
The iPhone is renowned for its many accessibility features. Accessibility settings can make text on the screen bigger, buttons easier to identify, animations less jarring and sound easier to hear.
An accessibility feature that is useful for everyone is Spoken Content. You can have your phone read out loud anything you have on-screen. This feature was designed for people who have trouble reading small text, but you will find it handy even if you don’t — in lots of situations.
You can have recipes read to you while your hands are busy cooking, quickly hear how to pronounce a word you don’t know — that’s what I use it for most of all — and more. You can even hear what you’re typing as you write.
One of the upgrades to Accessibility in iOS and iPadOS 15 is a new Background Sounds feature that plays relaxing audio tracks to help you stay calm and focused, and to block out background distractions.
An iPhone and AirPods can be used to listen to conversations without people knowing. Such iPhone spying is really just a tricky use of the Live Listen feature built into iOS.
And, even if you’re not a budding James Bond, knowing about this trick could keep someone from eavesdropping on you. Here’s what to do if you want to use your iPhone to spy on someone. (Or what to watch out for if you don’t want to fall victim to iPhone spying.)
iOS and iPadOS 15 give you the ability to specify accessibility settings for individual apps. The change lets you adjust things like text size, increase contrast, invert colors and more only where you need to.
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.