Apple unveils new features for people with disabilities

On the occasion of World Accessibility Awareness Day, organized last Thursday, May 19, the Apple brand announced that it would deploy new features on its iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch to better support people with disabilities.

For several years now, Apple has attached great importance to accessibility to as many people as possible. It also offers, on all its products, an entire category of settings dedicated to adapting its tools to everyone’s needs, simply called Accessibility. This is where you can in particular enlarge the size of the text displayed on the screen, activate Voice control to perform commands with the voice, or even have access to the “Content spoken” option, among many other features designed to facilitate the use of the iPhone, iPad or even the Apple Watch for people who are visually impaired, hard of hearing and in other situations with disabilities. Far from resting on its laurels, and on the occasion of World Accessibility Awareness Day, the apple brand announced this week the arrival of some new Accessibility tools on all of its products. .

Door detection comes to iPhone and iPad

Starting with a feature with a name that says it all: Door detection. Planned for iPhone and iPad, intended for blind and visually impaired people, it will allow users not only to be warned when they approach a door, but also to have a description of it. Know if it is open or closed, already, but also how to open it (by pushing it, pulling on a handle, etc.). The icing on the cake, it will even state everything that will be indicated on the door in question, such as a number or the name of a shop.

So good, on the other hand, this functionality will not be accessible on any device. Using as you can imagine advanced technologies, both in terms of artificial intelligence and at the level of the camera, the tool used for this Door detection, the functionality will only be available on iPhones and iPads equipped with of the LiDAR scanner. Either the iPhone 12 and 13 in their Pro and Pro Max versions, as well as the 11-inch iPad Pro (2nd and 3rd generation) and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (4th and 5th generation).

Live Caption: live captions on iPhone, iPad and Mac

Then, in its press release published on May 17, Apple announced the arrival of live subtitles on iPhone, iPad and Mac. A feature it must be said already offered on Android, called Live Caption at Apple. Intended for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, it consists, as its name suggests, of instantly transcribing any audio content in writing on the screen. Be it a video call, social media video playback and any other multimedia content on the relevant devices. The Cupertino company specifies that the size of these live subtitles can be adjusted, and that with regard to group conversations on FaceTime, the transcripts will be associated with each interlocutor concerned. In addition, on Mac, it will also be possible for the user to speak aloud too, through the artificial intelligence which will state for him his typed answers in writing.

Note, however, that the Live Caption feature will initially only be available in English, and this only in a planned beta version “later in the year“… While it will thus be necessary to wait before seeing it arrive in French, Apple also underlines that it will be accessible on the iPhone 11 and later models, the iPads equipped with at least the A12 Bionic, and the Macs equipped from Apple Silicon.

Better accessibility also on the Apple Watch

Finally, another notable effort announced by the Apple brand: making the Apple Watch, and in particular its health features such as measuring heart rate or blood oxygenation, more accessible to people with physical and motor disabilities. . The Californian giant thus announces the arrival of Mirroring, or “Apple Watch video mirroring“, which will be used concretely to control the connected watch from the iPhone. The idea being to allow the use of the Accessibility settings of the latter, such as voice command, sound actions or head tracking, rather than having to touch the Apple Watch screen.

While this feature should be available through an upcoming update, on Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch Series 7, the Cupertino company has also announced that its watch will also be equipped with new “Quick Actions ” within the AssistiveTouch feature. A tool that allows you to control the knocker again without having to touch your screen, but by making simple hand gestures, such as pinching your fingers or clenching your fist. As an example of the new features, Apple indicates that it will now be enough to simply double pinch to answer a call, take a photo, start playing a song or even start a workout.

Source : Apple

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Apple unveils new features for people with disabilities

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