Apple unveils new Accessibility features coming with iOS 17 later this year
Apple has today unveiled a set of new features coming later this year for cognitive, vision, hearing, and mobility accessibility, along with new tools for individuals who are nonspeaking or at risk of losing their ability to speak.
Shown off ahead of WWDC23 in June, where Apple will announce the next major software updates coming later in the year for iPhone, the new Accessibility features previewed by Apple today include Assistive Access, which distills iPhone and iPad apps and experiences to their core features in order to lighten cognitive load, new Live Speech on iPhone which allows users to type what they want to say to have it be spoken out loud during phone and FaceTime calls as well as in-person conversations, and newPoint and Speak in Magnifier, which makes it easier for users with vision disabilities to interact with physical objects that have several text labels.
Apple has additionally announced that Text Size will be easier to adjust across Mac apps such as Finder, Messages, Mail, Calendar, and Notes, users with physical and motor disabilities who use Switch Control will be able to turn any switch into a virtual game controller to play their favorite games on iPhone and iPad, and that Voice Control will add new phonetic suggestions for text editing so users who type with their voice can choose the right word out of several that might sound alike, like “do,” “due,” and “dew.”
Apple hasn’t specifically confirmed when the new set of features for cognitive, vision, hearing, and mobility accessibility will be released however, it is likely that the new toolsets will be made available with the public release of iOS 17, which is expected to be rolled out in fall.