Apple announces iOS 16 update features: Door Detection, Apple Watch Mirroring, Live Captions and more

Apple has unveiled a set of new accessibility features that will come with iOS 16 when it releases next month.

Highlights
  • Apple has unveiled a set of cool accessibility features that will come with an update to the iPhones in the fall.
  • These features include Watch Mirroring, Quick Actions, Live captions, door detection and more.
  • Apple says these features will bring additional ways for users, including those with disabilities, to navigate, connect, and get the most out of Apple products.

iOS 16 is set to debut at the WWDC event in June and the upcoming iPhone 14 series would come out of the box in September. Now, Apple has unveiled a set of cool accessibility features that will come with the iOS 16 update to the iPhones in the fall. The Cupertino giant has shared a preview of these features to clue us in on what’s coming. Apple says these features would bring additional ways for users, including those with disabilities, to “navigate, connect, and get the most out of Apple products.”

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Here’s a list of the accessibility features that will find their way to most iPhones later this year in the fall. Let’s check them out.

Apple Watch Mirroring and Quick Actions

Firstly, Apple Watch gains a new ‘Mirroring’ feature. This is said to make the Apple Watch more accessible than before, especially for people with physical and motor disabilities. The feature would allow them to control the Watch with iPhone’s features like Voice Control and Switch Control, to use inputs including voice commands, sound actions, or head tracking.

Apple Watch Mirroring uses a hardware and software combination, including “advances built on AirPlay”. This feature would allow users to easily access Blood Oxygen, Heart Rate, Mindfulness, and other features on the Apple Watch.

Additionally, there are new Quick Actions for Apple Watch, a double-pinch gesture to answer or end a phone call, dismiss a notification, take a photo, play or pause the media, start, pause or resume a workout. This feature is based on the AssistiveTouch tech on Apple Watch. It allows users to control Apple Watch with gestures like a pinch or a clench, without having to tap the display.

Live captions

Apple Accessibility

The new accessibility update will also bring the ‘Live Captions’ feature for the deaf and hard of hearing community. The feature, as the name suggests, captions audio content in real-time and it includes FaceTime calls, social media or video apps, media content and even “having a conversation with someone next to them.”

Door Detection

iOS will gain a new ‘Door Detection’ feature, useful for those with vision disabilities. As the name suggests it detects doors, helps you locate a door at a new destination and more. It also shows you how far you are from a door and indicates whether the door is open or closed. If the door is closed, the feature will give you info on how it can be opened (if it’s a push door or knob or pull a handle).

Door Detection will also be able to read signs and symbols around the doors, including numbers or accessible entrance symbols. The feature uses a combination of LiDAR, the iPhone’s (or iPad’s) camera and machine learning.

Other features coming in the fall

Other notable features coming this fall include:

  • Apple Books- it is an app that gets new themes and introduces customisations such as bolding text, character, word spacing and adjusting lines.
  • Sound Recognition – the feature can be customised to recognise unique sounds that are specific to a person’s environment
  • Voice Control Spelling Mode – this feature allows you to dictate custom spellings using letter-by-letter input
  • Siri Pause Time – this is for users with speech disabilities. It allows you to adjust how long Siri waits before responding to a request
  • Voice Over – Apple’s screen reader for blind and low vision users gets support for more than 20 additional languages (including Bengali, Bulgarian, Catalan, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese).
  • Buddy Controller – This is a special feature that allows users to ask a care provider or a friend to help them play a game.