Apple devices are full of native accessibility features thanks to their operating systems, iOS and iPadOS. Continue reading below to see some of the features available in the latest iOS update.
The app library is a new way that your device organizes all of your apps to reduce app clutter. With the app library, you can still have all of your apps installed on your device without needing to have the icon for every single app visible on your home screen. The app library uses algorithms to automatically sort your apps into helpful categories, but you can also use the search feature to view all apps alphabetically or type the name of an app to search for it.
VoiceOver now utilizes on-device intelligence to improve what the system is able to detect and read aloud for when developers don’t provide that data, and can also now read image descriptions. VoiceOver can now also read text within images and describe on-screen interface controls within apps.
The native magnifier function is now accessible via an app which can be placed on the homepage. To create the app shortcut, first enable the magnifier by opening the settings app, tapping accessibility, tapping magnifier, and toggling the switch to “on”. Then, go to the app library and select the magnifier app, dragging it out into your home screen. The magnifier itself has also been improved, with the ability to take multiple zoomed in pictures, change the controls, and add filters to the screen for improved visibility.
Back Tap Accessibility
A new way to access accessibility features is with the Back Tap feature. By going into Settings > Accessibility > Touch > Back Tap you can set shortcuts for both double and triple taps on the back of the device, such as inverting colors, opening the magnifier, speaking the screen, turning on VoiceOver, and more.
Headphone accommodations allow you to customize the sound that comes through compatible Apple and Beats headphones. Customizations include changing audio from a balanced tone to one optimized for higher frequency sounds or vocals in the middle frequencies, adjusting how quiet sounds are boosted, and more.
A new feature in iOS 14 is sound recognition, which allows you to turn your iOS device into a notification device when certain sounds are present. By going to Settings > Accessibility > Sound Recognition, you can select whether you would like the device to listen for sounds like smoke alarms, cat or dog noises, doorbells, water running, and babies crying. When the device picks up on these sounds, it will provide a visual alert, notifying you that a sound has been recognized that may be whatever sound you have selected.