Apple shared some details today about new accessibility features coming later this year to iOS 16 and macOS 13. The new capabilities are designed to help users with disabilities to use their devices and navigate the world, and they include enhancements for existing features such as VoiceOver as well as brand new accessibility tools that leverage hardware, software, and machine learning.
“These powerful updates combine the company’s latest technologies to deliver unique and customizable tools for users, and build on Apple’s long-standing commitment to making products that work for everyone,” Apple said today. Here’s a list of new accessibility features coming to Apple devices later this year:
Door Detection: This new navigation feature will leverage the LiDAR camera on iPhones and iPads to help users who are blind or have low vision to locate doors and get descriptions of their attributes, including how to open them or the presence of signs and symbols around them. Door Detection will be available within Apple’s built-in Magnifier app alongside People Detection and Image Descriptions
Apple Watch Mirroring: This feature will mirror the Apple Watch screen on an iPhone, allowing users to control the wearable with the iPhone’s assistive features such as Voice Control and Switch Control.
New Apple Watch hand gestures: New Quick Actions leveraging Apple’s AssistiveTouch technology will let Apple Watch users use a double-pinch gesture to control phone calls, notifications, media playback, use Camera Remote, and more
Live Captions: Coming to iPhone, iPad, and Macs, Live Captions will support any audio content including phone and video calls, streaming media content, or even real-life conversations with surrounding people.
VoiceOver updates: Apple’s screen reader technology is adding support for more than 20 new languages including Bengali, Bulgarian, Catalan, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese.
Buddy Controller: Similar to the Co-pilot feature on Xbox consoles, Buddy Controller will let two players combine two game controllers into one.
“These features will be available later this year with software updates across Apple platforms,” the company said today. Apple is expected to officially announce iOS 16, macOS 13, and other major updates for its software platforms at its WWDC developer conference on June 6-10.