New Accessibility Features on Apple Platforms Released Later Year 2017

Posted on Wed, 06/14/2017 - 00:00
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First week of June, Apple made an announcement about new accessibility features and improvements for iOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS platforms which will be released later this year. Though, they are all still in beta testing phase so there might have additional new features at the time of official release. This article will give Apple users a general overview about main interesting features and improvements mentioned in their announcement.


For iOS

  • Can increase larger text size, especially designed for low vision user.
  • Media content will not invert as using invert color. This would help users view easier.
  • With 3-finger tap action, VoiceOver will describe the image for users with information such as how many people there are in the picture, emotions and scene around. It can also recognize the text embedded in the image.
  • Enhancing Braille editing with your Braille display, supporting converting between Braille/printed text and being able to assign new keyboard shortcuts on Braille display to perform certain actions on Apple device.
  • Supporting both audio and Braille content of video caption.
  • Improving support for PDF tags such as providing more information of table and list.
  • Now, users can interact with Siri by directly typing questions or requests.
  • Can customize the highlight colors for speaking selection and screen options.
  • Improving the prediction feature, easy to switch and select the word when editing.
  • Adding some more styles for showing video caption.
  • Users can now arrange things in control center, including: accessibility shortcuts, guided access, magnifier and text size.
  • Siri voice is improved to speak more natural.


For watchOS

  • Being able to set the speed of activating the side button. This should be useful for people with motor impairment to have extra time to perform quick actions such as double or triple clicks.
  • Improving text enlargement feature for whatOS apps.


For tvOS

  • Supporting Braille display connection features with Apple tvs by providing labels for controls and basic navigation support to move around Apple TV user interface.
  • With Bluetooth keyboard connected, can issue more VoiceOver commands for easy navigation.
  • Users now can access media controls like play, pause, stop while it’s playing.
  • Like with iOS, adding some more styles for showing caption.


For macOS

  • Improving Zoom feature with keys Ctrl + Option to quickly zoom in and out.
  • Users now can interact with macOS with its onscreen keyboard as it does with the physical one. Users can customize to have better experiences.
  • Like support for iOS, users now can type questions or requests for Siri.
  • Improving Braille grade 2 reading and editing.
  • Automatically detecting and switching voice to other language than the primary one.
  • Improving support for PDF tags such as giving more detailed information for table and list.
  • Supporting voice description for images such as scene around, people in the picture etc. It can also recognize the text embedded in the picture.
  • Enhancing web browsing and email navigation with HTML 5 accessibility standard.
  • Also, adding some more styles for video caption.


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