The term “accessibility” has become a buzzword in the technological community. Since the industry has done little over the years to improve accessibility for people with impairments, these new, forward-thinking firms have been given the challenge of developing both accessible hardware and software to go along with it.
Apple has unveiled new accessibility capabilities for the iPhone, iMac, and Apple Watch just in time for Global Accessibility Awareness Day on May 19. The most prominent feature is live captions, which will enable real-time captioning of FaceTime calls and other video services, such as Skype.
It’s an excellent tool for people with hearing impairments or for anyone who needs to watch a video at a low volume. At the bottom of the screen, users will see text blocks that they can follow along with. The speakers’ names will be included, which is a nice touch.
The new function would allow users to transcribe in-person discussions around them in addition to the video captions on their screens.
Similar features can be found in third-party programs such as Ava. Apple’s release of a native live-captioning function raises the question of what will happen to the apps that provide these services. Because they’ve been scrubbing the place down, they’re no longer needed. That is, if Apple’s live-captioning capability is as good as Ava’s.
Aside from live captioning, Apple also unveiled a number of other accessibility features. A door detection tool has also been included to aid those with impaired vision or blindness in discovering doors in the room they’re currently in. If they’re new to the space, this can be really helpful in guiding them around it.
There is more to Door Detection’s capabilities than simply telling you where the door is located. Whether the door is open will be described, as will the requirement to push, turn a doorknob, or pull on the handle.
To make the Apple Watch more user-friendly, they’ve added the ability to reflect helpful features on an iPhone nearby. Using this method, users may control their watches from their mobile devices, which is typically more convenient.
All of Apple’s new accessibility features may be found on this page. Every one of them is set to arrive later in the year.