Accessibility Features in IOS 14

Apple is skating as fast as possible to meet the never-ending accessibility needs of its customers. The beauty of diversity is uniqueness. Different disabilities have different needs. The needs also vary depending on the nature, place, threshold of challenges and many other factors. One size will never fit all for accessibility.
Apple ever since the introduction of accessibility in its operating systems, has never stopped in bringing industry best features. The recently released Apple IOS 14 is not an exception.
Here are some highly appreciated accessibility features in IOS 14.

Accessibility Features in IOS 14

Back tap

Back tap is one of the never imagined accessibility features in IOS 14. The feature is only available for the latest versions of iPhones starting from iPhone 8. Users can now assign accessibility features, basic functions and custom shortcuts. using back tap, one can assign two possible gestures.
To enable back tap on your phone go to Settings > accessibility > Touch. Back tap is probably the last option here. One can assign  double tap and triple tap actions.
Though this option is under the accessibility settings, the new back tap feature is useful for anyone.

Sound Recognition

Sound recognition in IOS 14 is a feature for persons with hearing loss. Users can get notifications on the device when certain sounds are recognized. Sounds that can be recognized with this feature are Ringing of doorbell, fire alarm, baby crying, water flowing   and few others. The sounds are categorized under alarms, animals, household and people.
The feature can be found under Settings > Accessibility > Sound recognition under hearing section. The device will continuously listen for the selected sounds using device intelligence. When a selected sound is recognized a notification is displayed on the phone.

Headphone Accommodations

This new accessibility feature is designed to amplify soft sounds and adjust certain frequencies for an individual’s hearing, to help music, movies, phone calls and podcasts sound more crisp and clear. Headphone Accommodations also supports Transparency mode on AirPods Pro, making quiet voices more audible and tuning the sounds of your environment to your hearing needs. Currently this feature is only supported with Apple and Beats headphones.

Sign language prominence in Facetime

FaceTime can now detect when a participant is using sign language and make the person prominent in a Group FaceTime call. This gives enough visibility for the sign language interpreter on the screen space.

AI & ML for Voiceover

Voiceover is the built-in screen reader on all Apple operating systems. IF the apps are not built with accessibility in mind, voiceOver cannot  give its best output. For example a button cannot say if it is “delete” or “exit” without an accessible label, an image cannot be announced if it is a “logo” or a picture of nature without descriptive alternate text.
IOS 14 brings AI power to voiceOver. With the new update Apple brought in artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to voiceOver. The third-party apps and websites that are developed without accessibility features still can narrate some descriptions.

These are few accessibility features in IOS 14. Read the entire IOS 14 features including those are focused on accessibility.

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Published by Maxability

Rakesh Paladugula is a dedicated accessibility enthusiast with wide experience on all forms of digital accessibility. He is a trainer, mentor, advisor, advocate and evangelist. He believes in the modern socio-scientific world digital accessibility is a fundamental right of every citizen including those who have disabilities, low literacy and are from economically backward.

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