Apple has unveiled a range of new features that will be released later this year on iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch
Apple introduces Door Detection, an advanced navigation feature for blind and visually impaired users. Door Detection will help users locate a door when they arrive at a new destination, understand how far away they are from the door, and describe the attributes of the door including whether it is open or closed, and when it is closed, whether it can be opened by pushing, turning or pulling the handle. The Door Detection feature can also read signs and symbols around the door, such as the room number in an office or the presence of an accessible entrance symbol. This new feature combines LiDAR, camera and machine learning capabilities on the device and will be available on iPhone and iPad models with a LiDAR scanner.
New Apple Watch Features
Users can do even more with the Apple Watch with simple hand gestures. With the new Quick Actions on the Apple Watch, a double tap gesture can answer or end a phone call, reject a notification, take a photo, play or pause media in the Now Playing app, and start, pause or resume a workout. This builds on Apple Watch's innovative AssistiveTouch technology, which gives users with upper limb impairments the ability to control the Apple Watch using gestures such as pinching or squeezing, without having to touch the display.
The Apple Watch is becoming even more accessible to people with physical and motor disabilities thanks to the Apple Watch Mirroring feature, which helps users control the Apple Watch remotely from a paired iPhone. With Apple Watch Mirroring, users can control the Apple Watch using assistive iPhone features such as voice control and toggle control, and use voice commands, audio actions, head tracking or external Made for iPhone switches as an alternative to tapping the Apple Watch display.
Live captioning on iPhone, iPad and Mac
For deaf and hard of hearing users, Apple introduces live captioning on iPhone, iPad and Mac. Users can more easily follow any audio content - whether it's a phone call or FaceTime, using a video conference or social networking app, streaming media content, or talking to the person next to them. Users can also adjust the font size for easy reading. Live captioning in FaceTime attributes auto-transcribed dialogue to the participants in the conversation, so group video calls become even more convenient for users with hearing loss. When live captioning is used for calls on a Mac, users have the option of typing their response and speaking it aloud in real time to other callers. And because live captioning is created on the device, user information remains private and secure.
New Languages in VoiceOver and More
VoiceOver, Apple's screen reader for the blind and visually impaired, adds support for more than 20 additional localisations and languages including Bengali, Bulgarian, Catalan, Ukrainian and Vietnamese. Users can also choose from dozens of new voices optimised for assistive features in different languages. These new languages, locales and voices will also be available for the Speak Selection and Speak Screen accessibility features.
In addition, VoiceOver users on the Mac can use the new Text Checker tool to detect common formatting issues such as duplicate spaces or misplaced capitalisation, making it even easier to proofread documents and emails.
With the Buddy Controller, users can ask a caregiver or friend to help them play a game. The Buddy Controller combines any two game controllers into one, so multiple controllers can control input for a single player.