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Apple announces new accessibility features for iPhone and iPad users | TechCrunch

Apple announces new accessibility features for iPhone and iPad users | TechCrunch

Apple is bringing New accessibility features For iPads and iPhones, designed to meet different user needs. These include controlling your device with eye-tracking technology, creating custom shortcuts using your voice, experiencing music with a haptic engine, and more. The company unveiled the announcements Thursday ahead of World Accessibility Awareness Day.

Apple already supports eye tracking in iOS and iPadOS, but this required the use of additional eye tracking devices. This is the first time Apple has introduced the ability to control the iPad and iPhone without the need for additional hardware or accessories. A new built-in eye-tracking option allows people to use the front-facing camera to navigate through apps. It leverages AI to understand what the user is looking at and what gestures they want to make, such as swiping and tapping. There's also hover control, a feature that can sense when a person's eyes rest on an element, indicating they want to select it.

“Vocal Shortcuts,” another useful new feature, improves Apple's voice-based controls. It lets people assign different sounds or words to launch shortcuts and complete tasks. For example, Siri will launch an app, even after the user says “Ah!” As simple as something says. The company also developed “Listen for Atypical Speech,” which uses machine learning to recognize unique speech patterns, and is designed for users with speech impairments, including cerebral palsy. Others including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and stroke.

Speech fixes that Apple has made in the past include “A personal voicewhich launched last year to give users an automated voice that sounds just like them.

For people who are deaf or hard of hearing, “Music Haptics” is a new feature that allows users to experience millions of songs in Apple Music through a series of taps, textures and vibrations. It will also be available as an API, so music app developers can soon provide users with a new and accessible way to experience audio.

Apple also announced a new feature to help with motion sickness in cars. Instead of viewing stationary content, which can cause motion sickness, users can turn on the “Vehicle Motion Cues” setting. This feature places animated dots on the edges of the screen that move and move in the direction of movement.

CarPlay is also getting an update, including a “voice control” feature. “Color filters,” which give bold and large text to color-blind users. and “Voice Recognition” to notify deaf or hard-of-hearing users when vehicle horns and sirens sound.

Apple also revealed an accessibility feature coming to visionOS, which will enable live captioning during FaceTime calls.

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