Accessibility

By MacRumors Staff
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Accessibility How Tos

Play Ambient Background Sounds on iPhone to Stay Focused

Wednesday November 29, 2023 1:41 am PST by
On iPhone and iPad, one of several accessibility features that Apple includes is Background Sounds. The sounds are designed to help you stay focused, stay calm, and help you minimize distractions while you are busy with something. The Background Sounds on offer include balanced, bright, and dark noise, as well as natural sounds like ocean, rain, and stream. All of the sounds can be set to...

iOS 17: How to Make Haptic Touch Faster on iPhone

Wednesday August 30, 2023 4:32 am PDT by
In iOS 17, still in beta, Apple has added an accessibility setting that makes the haptic feedback feature activate faster than in previous versions of its mobile operating system. If you fondly hearken back for the days of 3D Touch, you might just prefer it. As many iPhone users might remember, ?3D Touch? was an interactive haptic feature that Apple introduced in 2015 with the...

How to Make Siri Listen to You for Longer

Wednesday April 5, 2023 9:02 am PDT by
If Siri tends to cut you off before you can finish a spoken query or command, there are a couple of ways you can make it listen longer on iPhone and iPad. Keep reading to learn how. Have you ever had trouble getting Siri to listen long enough to receive your spoken query or request? If you press the Side or Home button on your Apple device to invoke the virtual assistant, you can easily fix...

iOS 16.4: How to Automatically Dim Video When Flashes of Light Are Detected

Wednesday March 22, 2023 11:54 am PDT by
In iOS 16.4 and iPad 16.4, Apple has added an accessibility option that dims video when flashes of light or strobe effects are detected. Here's how to enable the feature on your device. When watching video on your iPhone or iPad, there may be times when the content includes rapid flashes of light or stroboscopic effects. In such cases, a key concern is user safety. Some people with...

How to Use Hand Gestures to Control Your Apple Watch

Friday October 7, 2022 7:06 am PDT by
As part of Apple's accessibility push in watchOS 9, Assistive Touch now includes Quick Actions that let you respond to Apple Watch alerts with hand gestures. This article explains how to use them. In watchOS 8, Apple introduced a new accessibility feature called Assistive Touch that allows users to control their Apple Watch using gestures and arm movements. With watchOS 9, Apple has built on ...

How to Stop Your iPhone's Side Button From Hanging Up a Call

Wednesday October 5, 2022 12:44 pm PDT by
On iPhone, pressing the Side button ends the current call. But in iOS 16, you can disable this default behavior. Keep reading to learn how. Whenever you make or receive a call on your iPhone, you can press the Side button on your handset at any time to end the call. This can be either a convenient method of hanging up, or, if you're prone to pressing it by accident, an embarrassing way of...

How to Control Your Apple Watch With Your iPhone

Tuesday October 4, 2022 1:14 pm PDT by
In iOS 16, Apple introduced a new Apple Watch Mirroring feature that lets you see and control your Apple Watch screen from your paired iPhone. Apple Watch Mirroring is designed to make the watch experience more accessible for people with physical and motor disabilities, but it can be useful to anyone. Keep reading to learn how to use it. With Apple Watch Mirroring in iOS 16, Apple utilizes...

How to Unlock Your iPhone Using Just Your Voice

Tuesday October 4, 2022 1:13 pm PDT by
In iOS 14.6 and later, Apple includes an accessibility feature that allows you to unlock your iPhone using just your voice. Keep reading to learn how it works and how to set it up on your iPhone. For several years now, Apple's iOS mobile operating system has included a voice control feature that enables users to control a variety of system functions on their iPhone using only their voice as...

iPhone 14: How to Enable the New Power On and Off Sounds

Friday September 16, 2022 2:14 am PDT by
For the iPhone 14 series, Apple has added an optional new accessibility feature that plays a sound when the iPhone is powered on and off. Here's how to enable them. Apple added the startup and shutdown chimes as a new accessibility feature after many Blind users and people with low-vision reportedly asked the company for a clear way to tell whether their iPhone had restarted, and now anyone...

How to Use Siri to Hang Up a Call on iPhone

Wednesday September 14, 2022 3:13 pm PDT by
In iOS 16, Apple added a new setting that allows you to hang up on an active phone or FaceTime call using the virtual assistant, Siri. Keep reading to learn how it works. With each version of iOS, Apple seeks to improve the accessibility features of its mobile operating system to ensure that as many people can use it as easily as possible, and that's been no different in its latest release,...

iOS 16: How to Make Siri Announce Notifications Through Your iPhone's Speaker

Friday August 19, 2022 10:15 am PDT by
In iOS 16, Apple has made iterative improvements to its built-in Siri voice assistant, including expanded offline support, the ability to hang up calls using Siri, and new accessibility features. One of these new accessibility enhancements is an option to have Siri announce notifications and incoming calls through your iPhone's speaker. Previously in iOS 15, Siri's announce notifications ...

iOS 16: How to Make Siri Wait Longer for You to Finish Speaking

Friday August 19, 2022 10:09 am PDT by
In iOS 16, Apple has made iterative improvements to its built-in Siri voice assistant, including expanded offline support, the ability to hang up calls using Siri, and new accessibility features. One of these new accessibility enhancements is an option to increase Siri's pause time, which causes the voice assistant to wait a longer period for you to finish speaking. There are now three...

How to Use Apple Fitness+ Audio Hints on iPhone and iPad

Tuesday May 31, 2022 4:26 pm PDT by
Apple Fitness+ supports a new accessibility feature developed by Apple called Audio Hints, which provides verbal cues in addition to those given by trainers for the benefit of blind and low vision users. This article explains how to enable them. Apple in March 2022 announced a spate of new accessibility features that combine the power of its hardware and software with machine learning, and...

How to Use Apple Fitness+ Audio Hints on Apple TV

Tuesday May 31, 2022 4:24 pm PDT by
Apple Fitness+ supports an accessibility feature developed by Apple called Audio Hints, which provides verbal cues in addition to those given by trainers for the benefit of blind and low vision users. This article explains how to enable them on Apple TV, but you can also use them on iPhone and iPad. Apple in March 2022 announced a spate of new accessibility features that combine the power of ...

How to Access Control Center Without Touching Your iPhone's Screen

Thursday April 14, 2022 2:47 pm PDT by
Activating Control Center on an iPhone with no Home button usually involves sliding your finger diagonally down from the top-right corner of the screen. If your other hand isn't free, this isn't very convenient, but fortunately there's another way of accessing Control Center that doesn't even require you to touch the screen. It uses something called Back Tap, an accessibility feature that...

How to Limit What a Toddler Can Do When You Hand Over Your iPhone or iPad

Monday December 20, 2021 3:58 am PST by
If you've ever handed your iPhone or iPad to a baby or toddler to entertain them while you do something else, you'll probably know just how easily their little fingers can navigate into all manner of screens and settings they shouldn't be messing with. Fortunately, Apple includes a feature in iOS that allows you to keep your device locked into a single app and control which features are...

How to Turn on Closed Captions and SDH on iPhone, iPad, and Mac

Friday March 26, 2021 3:46 pm PDT by
This article explains how to turn on closed captions and subtitles for the Deaf or Hard of Hearing on Apple devices. Keep reading to learn how it works. The terms "closed captions" and "subtitles" are sometimes used interchangeably, but they’re actually designed for two different audiences. Subtitles offer a text alternative for spoken dialogue in video, while closed captions not only show ...

How to Turn On Subtitles and Change Languages in the Apple TV App

Wednesday March 24, 2021 10:25 am PDT by
Apple's TV app allows you to choose customized audio languages, subtitles, and other accessibility features on your iPhone, iPad, Mac, PC, and Apple TV. This article explains how to change subtitles and languages for videos viewed in the app on the above devices as well as smart TVs and streaming devices that feature Apple's TV app. How to Change Subtitles or Languages on Apple TV On...

How to Enable Live Captions in Chrome Browser for Desktop

Thursday March 18, 2021 5:39 am PDT by
Google includes a Live Captions transcription feature in version 89 of its Chrome browser for desktop. Live Captions uses machine learning to create a real-time transcription for videos or audio played through the browser, which can make online media more accessible for members of the Deaf community and other people with hearing loss. Once enabled, Live Captions appear in a box in the bottom ...

iOS 14: How to Enhance Speech, Movies, and Music When Listening on AirPods, AirPods Max, and Beats

Saturday July 25, 2020 9:00 am PDT by
In iOS 14, Apple continues to build out its extensive accessibility features, and here we're going to show you how you can use the new Headphone Accommodations to amplify certain sounds if you're having difficulty hearing them. Headphones Accommodations works with Apple and Beats headphones, and is designed especially for those who are hard of hearing: It's able to amplify soft sounds and...

How to Get Siri to Respond to Your Voice When Your iPhone's Screen is Covered

Friday March 27, 2020 5:22 pm PDT by
Normally your iPhone will stop listening for the "Hey Siri" command when you place your device face down on a surface or the screen is otherwise covered. In these circumstances "Hey Siri" is automatically disabled until the situation changes. If you find this automated behavior inconvenient for your purposes, you'll be happy to learn that in iOS 13.4, Apple has added an option to always...

How to Make Your iPhone Display Dimmer Than Standard Brightness Controls Allow

Thursday January 17, 2019 2:07 am PST by
If the screen of your iPhone or iPad is too bright for comfort, the usual solution is to go to Settings -> Display & Brightness and drag the Brightness slider to the left, or open Control Center and adjust the corresponding setting from there. However, if the lowest setting offered by the Brightness level just isn't dim enough for you, there are a couple of ways to make your screen even...

How to Create a Virtual Home Button in iOS Using Assistive Touch

Wednesday January 9, 2019 4:49 am PST by
After testing some apps on an old iPhone 6 recently, I started to notice the device's Home button was becoming less and less responsive to finger presses, especially when it came to double-clicking it. Sure enough, after a few more days' use, the Home button stopped working completely. In memory of the Home button Now, ordinarily this would have left me in the unenviable position of having...

How to Use the Magnifier Feature on iPhone and iPad

Wednesday November 21, 2018 3:26 am PST by
Apple includes an accessibility feature in iOS that's useful if you have a visual impairment, but can even come in handy if your eyes are simply tired or you're struggling to read something like small print, especially in poor light. It's called the Magnifier, and has several advantages over just opening up the camera app and zooming in to get a better look at something. Enabling it is ...

How to Set Up and Use Accessibility Shortcut on iPhone and iPad

Thursday March 1, 2018 11:21 pm PST by
Apple includes a raft of accessibility options in iOS to meet the various needs of its users, allowing them to customize their iPhone and iPad interface in several helpful ways. To make these features quicker to access, Apple also includes an Accessibility Shortcut feature in iOS that, once set up, can be invoked using a triple click of the Home button (or Side button if you have a device with...

How to Make Icons and Fonts Bigger on Apple Watch

Wednesday June 17, 2015 1:39 pm PDT by
The Apple Watch screen is small. So small that it can be difficult for some people to read messages and other text on the device. Also, even though the Home screen icons get bigger when they are centered on the screen, you might find yourself accidentally tapping the wrong one more often than you'd like. Apple has included a couple of accessibility features that make dynamic text larger on the ...

Accessibility Guides

Magnifier in iOS 14 Gets Overhauled UI and New Features, Can Be Added to Home Screen

Monday July 13, 2020 1:38 pm PDT by
In every version of iOS, Apple adds new Accessibility features and improves others, and iOS 14 is no exception. The Magnifier tool, designed by those with visual issues who need assistance, has new capabilities in iOS 14. iOS 14 Magnifier interface on left, iOS 13 Magnifier interface on right Updated Interface The app features an updated interface that makes controls more readily available...

Accessibility Articles

Magnifier Reader Mode Article

Apple Previews iOS 18's Upgraded Magnifier App With New Reader Mode

Wednesday May 15, 2024 10:04 am PDT by
One of the new iOS 18 accessibility features that Apple previewed today is a Reader Mode in the Magnifier app, which will convert words in images to uniform lines of text. Apple did not provide any specific details about the feature, but it shared a screenshot showing that users will be able to change the font and have the text read aloud. Apple also revealed that iOS 18 will allow iPhone...
vehicle motion cues

Apple to Reduce Motion Sickness With Vehicle Motion Cues on iPhone

Wednesday May 15, 2024 7:36 am PDT by
Apple today announced new accessibility features coming to its devices later this year, and one feature in particular that is likely to have widespread appeal among vehicle passengers is Vehicle Motion Cues, which aims to prevent motion sickness when looking at an iPhone or iPad. According to Apple, research shows that motion sickness is commonly caused by a sensory conflict between what a...
iOS 18 Hover Typing Feature

Apple Announces iOS 18 Accessibility Features, Including Eye Tracking

Wednesday May 15, 2024 7:08 am PDT by
Apple today previewed many new accessibility features coming later this year with software updates like iOS 18, iPadOS 18, macOS 15, and visionOS 2. The announcement comes one day ahead of Global Accessibility Awareness Day. The key new accessibility features for the iPhone and/or iPad will include: Eye Tracking Music Haptics Vocal Shortcuts Vehicle Motion Cues Mac users will gain...
iOS 18 Roundup Article

Apple Developing New Accessibility Features for iOS 18 and macOS 15

Thursday March 7, 2024 11:32 am PST by
With every operating system release, Apple aims to make apps more accessible and easier to navigate by providing a variety of new accessibility features and settings. iOS 18 (Codename Crystal) and macOS 15 (Codename Glow) will be no exception, and work on accessibility-related enhancements is well underway. Through our industry sources, MacRumors has obtained information on some of the key...
Personal Voice iPhone Feature

iOS 17 Will Let You Create a Voice Sounding Like You in Just 15 Minutes

Wednesday May 17, 2023 12:25 pm PDT by
Apple this week previewed new iPhone, iPad, and Mac accessibility features coming later this year. One feature that has received a lot of attention in particular is Personal Voice, which will allow those at risk of losing their ability to speak to "create a voice that sounds like them" for communicating with family, friends, and others. Those with an iPhone, iPad, or newer Mac will be able...
Apple accessibility iPad iPhone 14 Pro Max Home Screen

Apple Previews iOS 17 Accessibility Features Ahead of WWDC

Tuesday May 16, 2023 5:17 am PDT by
Apple today previewed a wide range of new accessibility features for the iPhone, iPad, and Mac that are set to arrive later this year. Apple says that the "new software features for cognitive, speech, and vision accessibility are coming later this year," which strongly suggests that they will be part of iOS 17, iPadOS 17, and macOS 14. The new operating systems are expected to be previewed...
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Apple Highlights Accessibility Features on iPhone, Mac, and More in New Ad

Wednesday November 30, 2022 5:11 am PST by
Apple today shared a new ad titled "The Greatest" that highlights accessibility features available on the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch. Namely, the ad demonstrates the Door Detection, Sound Recognition, and Voice Control features on these devices. "At Apple, we believe accessibility is a human right," the video description says. "Innovative features like Door Detection, Sound...
Custom Accessibility Mode iOS 16

References to New 'Custom Accessibility Mode' Found in iOS 16.2 Beta 2

Wednesday November 9, 2022 4:03 am PST by
Apple is working on a new "Custom Accessibility Mode" for iPhone and iPad, according to evidence uncovered by 9to5Mac in the second iOS 16.2 developer beta. Image credit: 9to5Mac Apple released the second betas of iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 to developers on Tuesday, including camera bug fixes, support for 5G in India, a Medication widget, and references to the new Custom Accessibility Mode,...
iphone 14 pro max deep purple

iPhone 14 Features a Mac-Like Startup Sound While Turning On

Wednesday September 7, 2022 6:28 pm PDT by
An optional new accessibility feature allows the upcoming iPhone 14 models to play a sound while turning on and off, according to assistive technology expert Steven Aquino, who compared the feature to the Mac's iconic startup chime. Twitter user Martin Nobel shared a preview of the sound based on a file from the iOS 16 Release Candidate. As noted by developer Steve Moser, the feature will be ...
Apple Accessibility OS features 2022

Apple Previews New Door Detection, Apple Watch Mirroring, and Live Captions Accessibility Features

Tuesday May 17, 2022 5:42 am PDT by
Apple today previewed a range of new accessibility features, including Door Detection, Apple Watch Mirroring, Live Captions, and more. Door Detection will allow individuals who are blind or have low vision to use their iPhone or iPad to locate a door upon arriving at a new destination, understand how far they are from it, and describe the door's attributes, including how it can be opened and ...
siri glow

Apple Still Hasn't Fixed Siri Issue That Nixed Call, Email, and Voicemail Features Used by Low Vision and Blind Users [Updated]

Monday December 6, 2021 3:23 pm PST by
With the launch of iOS 15, Apple changed Siri functionality and removed features that were heavily relied on by low vision and blind iPhone users. ‌Siri‌ commands that provide details on phone calls, voice mails, and sending emails are no longer working, and Apple has yet to fix the issue. We first shared details on this problem in September, shortly after the launch of iOS 15. Prior to the...
apple accessibility features 2021

Apple Announces New Background Sounds, Apple Watch AssistiveTouch, and Eye-Tracking Accessibility Features

Wednesday May 19, 2021 10:23 am PDT by
Apple today announced the upcoming launch of several new accessibility features that are being added to its various products and services. Apple says that these options are designed for people with mobility, vision, hearing, and cognitive disabilities, and showcase Apple's belief that accessibility is a human right. "At Apple, we've long felt that the world's best technology should respond to...
chrome live captions feature google

Google Chrome for Desktop Gains Live Captions Feature for Audio and Video

Thursday March 18, 2021 4:33 am PDT by
Google today rolled out its live caption transcription feature to version 89 of Chrome browser for desktop, as first spotted by XDA Developers. Previously only available on some Pixel and Samsung phones, Live Captions uses machine learning to create a real-time transcription for videos or audio played through the browser, making online media more accessible for members of the Deaf community ...
accessibility site

Apple Launches Redesigned Accessibility Site and New Support Videos

Thursday December 3, 2020 2:07 am PST by
Apple today is honoring International Day of Persons with Disabilities with a re-launch of its Accessibility site and a new collection of tutorial videos highlighting the accessibility features of its software. As spotted by iMore, the redesigned site is made up of four broad sections that showcase many of the accessibility features across Apple's product range, with new categories covering...
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Twitter Expands Rollout of Voice Tweets Feature for iOS Users

Wednesday September 30, 2020 3:10 am PDT by
Twitter says it's making its voice tweets feature available to more users on iOS. Launched in June for a limited number of users, voice tweets is designed to allow people to tweet with their voice, sending voice-based messages instead of text. Voice tweets can be created by opening up the tweet composer and tapping the new wavelengths icon. A screen then opens with a user's Twitter icon,...
iphoneaccessibility

Apple Accessibility Exec: 'iPhone has Become the Most Powerful and Popular Assistive Device Ever'

Monday July 27, 2020 4:11 pm PDT by
This week marks the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and to highlight the milestone, TechCrunch did interviews with several tech companies and advocacy organizations, including Apple, to discuss how technology has improved the everyday lives of people with disabilities. At Apple, TechCrunch spoke to Sarah Herrlinger, the company's Director of Global...
apple ada 30th

Apple Celebrates 30 Years of the Americans With Disabilities Act

Wednesday July 22, 2020 8:32 am PDT by
Apple today shared a new feature celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which was signed into law on July 26, 1990. The law prohibits discrimination due to disability, and has led to significant improvements and awareness of accessibility to help disabled individuals navigate their worlds. Apple has long been a champion of accessibility in its...
google maps wheelchair accessibility

Google Maps Increases Visibility of Wheelchair-Friendly Locations

Friday May 22, 2020 3:08 am PDT by
Google is currently rolling out an update for Google Maps that aims to make it easier for wheelchair users to get information about the accessibility of locations. By enabling the app's Accessible Places feature, users can benefit from increased visibility of businesses and places of interest on the map that are marked as wheelchair-accessible, including whether a location has accessible...
accessibility day 2020

Apple Highlights Global Accessibility Awareness Day With App Store Features and New Today at Apple Video

Thursday May 21, 2020 6:49 am PDT by
Apple today is marking Global Accessibility Awareness Day with several new features across its sites and services to promote inclusion and access to technology for anyone with a disability. On the front page of Apple.com, there's a new section today with the tagline "Works the way you do" that links to the company's existing Accessibility page, which highlights a number of personal stories...
Apple accessibility

Apple's Big Push to Improve Accessibility in iOS 13, iPadOS, and macOS Catalina

Thursday June 6, 2019 11:06 am PDT by
Apple is introducing several accessibility-friendly features with iOS 13, iPadOS, and macOS Catalina, including Voice Control, Hover Text, and Mouse Pointer Support for iPhones and iPads. After the company's WWDC keynote on Monday, TechCrunch's iOS accessibility expert Steven Aquino sat down with Apple's Sarah Herrlinger, director of Global Accessibility Policy & Initiatives, who offered...