Apple announced a series of features designed for people with disabilities. Software features that will be implemented in future updates and try to cover different scenarios to improve the user experience when interacting with their devices.
New accessibility tools for Apple devices
One of the new features announced by Apple is SignTime, a service that will allow users to call on sign language interpreters when they need assistance or customer service from Apple remotely. A dynamic that will also be implemented in physical Apple Store stores in France, the USA, and the UK, but they plan to reach other countries.
Another accessibility option that Apple mentioned in its announcement is AssistiveTouch. A feature that will be implemented on Apple Watch to help people with reduced mobility in the upper extremities. Thanks to machine learning and Apple Watch sensors, this feature will be able to detect the activity of tendons and muscles so that the user can interact with the interface without touching the device.
On the other hand, VoiceOver will be updated with some features that will allow the screen reader to accurately describe objects within an image taking into account the context. And in iPadOS, Apple is adding support for eye-tracking devices, so users can trigger a series of actions on the iPad using only their eyes.
Apple is also adding some new features with the needs of the hearing impaired in mind. For example, it will add support for more two-way headphones and the ability to configure sound options to suit your hearing by simply importing the results of an audiogram.
Some of the accessibility features announced by Apple will begin to be implemented by the end of 2021.