iPhone can recognize the door, display live translation, and more

New functions such as door recognition or live translation are intended to help users with disabilities in daily life.

On the third Thursday of May (May 19, 2022), Apple introduced a whole series of new accessibility features to help users with disabilities coincide with the Digital Accessibility Day of Action. In addition to door recognition and live translation, the Apple Watch has new gestures.

Door detection for the blind and visually impaired

Upon arriving at a new destination, your iPad or iPhone can now help the visually impaired locate the door, describe the type and symbols. The new door detection feature detects doors, indicating the distance and type of door, as well as whether it is open or closed. The functionality is available via the system’s magnifying glass function and complements the people identification and photo descriptions here. However, only devices with lidar sensor such as iPhone Pro from iPhone 12 Pro and iPad Pro are supported.

Door detection provides information about the door


Door detection provides information about the door

© Apple

Live subtitles

For the deaf and hard of hearing, a new live translation function will also be available during the year, but it is only available to English users for the time being. The function automatically creates subtitles for audio content via a system functionality across applications: for phone calls, Facetime, video conferencing, and also video clips and conversation with peer. In Facetime, the speakers are recognized automatically. Interesting: during phone calls, answers can also be written, and then the system reads them out loud. The functionality is available from iPhone 11 (for iPads with A12 CPU), initially as a beta version.

Improved audio commentary

Apple’s screen reader continues to improve, adding 20 new languages ​​and dialects, including Ukrainian. Users can also choose from dozens of new sounds and there is a new correction tool for common formatting errors.

Better Apple Watch controls like Apple Watch Mirroring

Apple Watch Mirroring will soon be available for users with physical and mobility impairments who have problems operating with touch on their Apple Watch. This new feature allows the Apple Watch to be controlled via the iPhone – for better access to functions such as measuring blood oxygen and heart rate. Easier operation is also possible with the so-called quick actions and new launch gestures. For example, you can answer or end a call, dismiss a notification, take photos, start or end workouts with a double tap of your fingers.

Additional functions

Other new features:

  • Do you want to play a game with a friend or caregiver? This is possible with the new function Buddy Controller, here it is possible to play a single player with several controllers.

  • Also new: Siri’s response time can be extended, helping users with language limitations.

  • There’s a new voice-controlled spelling mode to dictate character-specific spellings. (English only at the moment)

  • Known sound detection can be customized to recognize the sounds of a particular task, such as a specific alarm or a crying baby.

  • Apple Books also gets new themes and customization options, such as showing text in bold and adjusting character, line, and word spacing.

World Day of Action for Digital Access

This week, Apple celebrates World Day of Action for Digital Access with special events.

  • SignTime will also be available in Canada from May 19, and is already available in the USA, UI, and France. Apple Store or Apple Support customers can request an interpreter for American Sign Language in these countries and French Sign Language in France.

  • Live sessions showcasing iPhone accessibility features will be held in Apple stores around the world this week, as well as how-to guides across social channels.

  • A new shortcut, Accessibility Assistant, is rolling out to Apple Watch and Mac.

  • Access to Apple Fitness + should be made available to everyone, with the help of translation, sign language integration and voice instructions.

  • Instructor Bakari William will provide definitions for these jobs this week – using American Sign Language.

  • In the United States, Apple Maps receives guides from the National Park Foundation highlighting accessible offerings, and Gallaudet University displays businesses and organizations that value and include deaf people.

  • The App Store, Apple Books, and Apple Podcast also provide accessibility content.

  • Apple Musics offers the Saylists Playlist, a collection of playlists focused on a single sound – for vocal sounds and speech therapy.

  • Apple TV is also showing popular movies and series this week, including Marlee Matlin (“CODA”), Lauren Ridloff (“Eternals”), Selma Blair (“Introducing, Selma Blair”), and Ali Stroker (“Christmas Ever After”). “)

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