Sat. May 18th, 2024

Even though typical interactions with smartphones and tablets haven’t changed much over the past decade, there are some more experimental input methods. Apple has announced a few new accessibility features coming to iPhone and iPad, including a way to use your eyes for navigation.

Apple has announced a new wave of accessibility features designed to empower users with disabilities. These features, set to launch later this year, will be available across Apple’s whole product range, including iPad, iPhone, CarPlay, and the upcoming visionOS. What might be one of the most notable features here is Eye Tracking, which enables people with physical disabilities to control their iPad or iPhone using just their eyes. This innovative feature leverages Apple’s artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, ensuring data privacy remains a priority. You can scroll, navigate through apps, and even perform specific actions thanks to Dwell Control. We’ll have to see how well this works in real life, but it certainly looks interesting.

Another feature included in the update is Music Haptics, which will allow users who are deaf or hard of hearing to experience music through vibrations and taps on their iPhone. This feature utilizes the phone’s Taptic Engine and will be available across Apple Music’s vast catalog. Vocal Shortcuts will give you the ability to create custom voice commands to perform tasks, while Vehicle Motion Cues aims to reduce motion sickness for passengers in moving vehicles. CarPlay will also see accessibility updates, including Voice Control and Color Filters.

VisionOS will feature Live Captions for spoken dialogue, aiding users who are deaf or hard of hearing. It will also include features for users with low vision, such as Reduce Transparency and Dim Flashing Lights.

Additionally, Apple is enhancing existing features like VoiceOver, Magnifier, and Braille Screen Input. New features such as Hover Typing and Personal Voice are also being introduced to cater to users with low vision and those at risk of losing their ability to speak.

Apple says that these features are coming “later this year,” which could mean they could come either as part of a minor update or as part of iOS 18, which we should know more about next month.

Source: Apple

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By John P.

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