During WWDC 2021, Apple previewed iOS 15. As the company unveiled many features for the general public, Apple is also always working to make its products accessible to more and more people. Here’s everything new with Accessibility on iOS 15.
It’s important to notice that a few weeks before WWDC 2021, Apple announced a variety of new software features coming soon to iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. All of these functions focus on Accessibility, including AssistiveTouch for Apple Watch, eye-tracking support for iPad, and much more, which you can learn about here.
Then, when Apple previewed iOS 15, we had the chance to see some of these changes in action. Different from some functions that require a newer iPhone, everything new with Accessibility will be available to all users on iOS 15, from the iPhone 6s to the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
Exploring images with VoiceOver: Explore people, objects, text, and tables within images in more detail with VoiceOver. Navigate receipts and nutrition label values intelligently in logical order. And move your finger over a photo to discover a person’s position relative to other objects within images.
Voice image descriptions in Markup: Markup lets the user add image descriptions that can be read by VoiceOver. Image descriptions persist even when shared and can be read in a range of supported apps on iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
Sound actions for Switch Control: Sound actions for Switch Control let you control iPhone with simple mouth sounds — such as a click, pop, or “ee” sound — without the need for physical buttons, switches, or complex verbal commands.
Background sounds: Background sounds play balanced, bright, or dark noise, ocean, rain, and stream sound continuously in the background to mask unwanted environmental or external noise and help the user focus, stay calm, or rest. The sounds mix into or duck under other audio and system sounds as the device is used by its owner.
Per-app settings: Customize display and text size settings on an app-by-app basis. Bold or enlarge text, increase contrast, invert colors, add color filters, and more for only the apps you want.
Import audiograms: Import paper or PDF audiograms in Settings and quickly customize Headphone Accommodations to amplify soft sounds and adjust certain frequencies based on your hearing test results.
Magnifier app: Magnifier finally becomes a default app on iOS, so you can use your iPhone as a magnifying glass to zoom in on objects near you.
Accessibility Memoji: Memoji represents more of your look and style with new customizations, including oxygen tubes, cochlear implants, and a soft helmet for headwear. Learn more about them here.
New Voice Control languages: Voice Control adds new language options including Mandarin Chinese (China mainland), Cantonese (Hong Kong), French (France), and German (Germany). These languages use Siri speech recognition technology for incredible accuracy as you dictate your commands.
Check out our iOS 15 coverage so far:
- iOS 15 will let users easily update to a beta release when restoring a device from backup
- Roundup: Here’s everything new with Siri in iOS 15
- SharePlay now working on iOS 15 beta 2 – here’s a first look
- Here’s what’s new in iOS 15 beta 2 and iPadOS 15 beta 2
- iOS 15 beta hands-on: 300+ changes and features [Video]
- Round-up: Here’s everything new in the Music app with iOS 15
- iOS 15: Here’s everything new with the Notes app