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Accessibility How Tos

How to Use Apple Fitness+ Audio Hints on iPhone and iPad

Tuesday May 31, 2022 4:26 pm PDT by
Apple Fitness+ supports a new accessibility feature developed by Apple called Audio Hints, which provides verbal cues in addition to those given by trainers for the benefit of blind and low vision users. This article explains how to enable them. Apple in March 2022 announced a spate of new accessibility features that combine the power of its hardware and software with machine learning, and...

How to Use Apple Fitness+ Audio Hints on Apple TV

Tuesday May 31, 2022 4:24 pm PDT by
Apple Fitness+ supports an accessibility feature developed by Apple called Audio Hints, which provides verbal cues in addition to those given by trainers for the benefit of blind and low vision users. This article explains how to enable them on Apple TV, but you can also use them on iPhone and iPad. Apple in March 2022 announced a spate of new accessibility features that combine the power of ...

How to Access Control Center Without Touching Your iPhone's Screen

Thursday April 14, 2022 2:47 pm PDT by
Activating Control Center on an iPhone with no Home button usually involves sliding your finger diagonally down from the top-right corner of the screen. If your other hand isn't free, this isn't very convenient, but fortunately there's another way of accessing Control Center that doesn't even require you to touch the screen. It uses something called Back Tap, an accessibility feature that...

How to Limit What a Toddler Can Do When You Hand Over Your iPhone or iPad

Monday December 20, 2021 3:58 am PST by
If you've ever handed your iPhone or iPad to a baby or toddler to entertain them while you do something else, you'll probably know just how easily their little fingers can navigate into all manner of screens and settings they shouldn't be messing with. Fortunately, Apple includes a feature in iOS that allows you to keep your device locked into a single app and control which features are...

iOS 15: How to Use Background Sounds to Minimize Distractions and Stay Focused

Tuesday June 15, 2021 2:41 pm PDT by
In iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, one of several new accessibility features that Apple has introduced is Background Sounds, which is designed to help you stay focused, stay calm, and minimize distractions with the help of your iPhone or iPad. The Background Sounds on offer include balanced, bright, and dark noise, as well as natural sounds like ocean, rain, and stream. All of the sounds can be set to ...

How to Turn on Closed Captions and SDH on iPhone, iPad, and Mac

Friday March 26, 2021 3:46 pm PDT by
This article explains how to turn on closed captions and subtitles for the Deaf or Hard of Hearing on Apple devices. Keep reading to learn how it works. The terms "closed captions" and "subtitles" are sometimes used interchangeably, but they’re actually designed for two different audiences. Subtitles offer a text alternative for spoken dialogue in video, while closed captions not only show ...

How to Turn On Subtitles and Change Languages in the Apple TV App

Wednesday March 24, 2021 10:25 am PDT by
Apple's TV app allows you to choose customized audio languages, subtitles, and other accessibility features on your iPhone, iPad, Mac, PC, and Apple TV. This article explains how to change subtitles and languages for videos viewed in the app on the above devices as well as smart TVs and streaming devices that feature Apple's TV app. How to Change Subtitles or Languages on Apple TV On...

How to Enable Live Captions in Chrome Browser for Desktop

Thursday March 18, 2021 5:39 am PDT by
Google includes a Live Captions transcription feature in version 89 of its Chrome browser for desktop. Live Captions uses machine learning to create a real-time transcription for videos or audio played through the browser, which can make online media more accessible for members of the Deaf community and other people with hearing loss. Once enabled, Live Captions appear in a box in the bottom ...

iOS 14: How to Enhance Speech, Movies, and Music When Listening on AirPods, AirPods Max, and Beats

Saturday July 25, 2020 9:00 am PDT by
In iOS 14, Apple continues to build out its extensive accessibility features, and here we're going to show you how you can use the new Headphone Accommodations to amplify certain sounds if you're having difficulty hearing them. Headphones Accommodations works with Apple and Beats headphones, and is designed especially for those who are hard of hearing: It's able to amplify soft sounds and...

How to Get Siri to Respond to Your Voice When Your iPhone's Screen is Covered

Friday March 27, 2020 5:22 pm PDT by
Normally your iPhone will stop listening for the "Hey Siri" command when you place your device face down on a surface or the screen is otherwise covered. In these circumstances "Hey Siri" is automatically disabled until the situation changes. If you find this automated behavior inconvenient for your purposes, you'll be happy to learn that in iOS 13.4, Apple has added an option to always...

How to Make Your iPhone Display Dimmer Than Standard Brightness Controls Allow

Thursday January 17, 2019 2:07 am PST by
If the screen of your iPhone or iPad is too bright for comfort, the usual solution is to go to Settings -> Display & Brightness and drag the Brightness slider to the left, or open Control Center and adjust the corresponding setting from there. However, if the lowest setting offered by the Brightness level just isn't dim enough for you, there are a couple of ways to make your screen even...

How to Create a Virtual Home Button in iOS Using Assistive Touch

Wednesday January 9, 2019 4:49 am PST by
After testing some apps on an old iPhone 6 recently, I started to notice the device's Home button was becoming less and less responsive to finger presses, especially when it came to double-clicking it. Sure enough, after a few more days' use, the Home button stopped working completely. In memory of the Home button Now, ordinarily this would have left me in the unenviable position of having...

How to Use the Magnifier Feature on iPhone and iPad

Wednesday November 21, 2018 3:26 am PST by
Apple includes an accessibility feature in iOS that's useful if you have a visual impairment, but can even come in handy if your eyes are simply tired or you're struggling to read something like small print, especially in poor light. It's called the Magnifier, and has several advantages over just opening up the camera app and zooming in to get a better look at something. Enabling it is ...

How to Set Up and Use Accessibility Shortcut on iPhone and iPad

Thursday March 1, 2018 11:21 pm PST by
Apple includes a raft of accessibility options in iOS to meet the various needs of its users, allowing them to customize their iPhone and iPad interface in several helpful ways. To make these features quicker to access, Apple also includes an Accessibility Shortcut feature in iOS that, once set up, can be invoked using a triple click of the Home button (or Side button if you have a device with...

How to Make Icons and Fonts Bigger on Apple Watch

Wednesday June 17, 2015 1:39 pm PDT by
The Apple Watch screen is small. So small that it can be difficult for some people to read messages and other text on the device. Also, even though the Home screen icons get bigger when they are centered on the screen, you might find yourself accidentally tapping the wrong one more often than you'd like. Apple has included a couple of accessibility features that make dynamic text larger on the ...

Accessibility Guides

Magnifier in iOS 14 Gets Overhauled UI and New Features, Can Be Added to Home Screen

Monday July 13, 2020 1:38 pm PDT by
In every version of iOS, Apple adds new Accessibility features and improves others, and iOS 14 is no exception. The Magnifier tool, designed by those with visual issues who need assistance, has new capabilities in iOS 14. iOS 14 Magnifier interface on left, iOS 13 Magnifier interface on right Updated Interface The app features an updated interface that makes controls more readily available...

Accessibility Articles

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Apple's Accessibility Efforts Highlighted in New Interviews Ahead of Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Monday May 14, 2018 5:45 am PDT by
Thursday, May 17 is Global Accessibility Awareness Day, and ahead of the event CNET has spoken to individuals with disabilities, accessibility advocates, and Apple's own director of global accessibility policy and initiatives, Sarah Herrlinger, to discuss the company's efforts in this field. Showing off the wheelchair workouts on Apple Watch, two-time U.S. Paralympian Austin Pruitt explained...

Apple Submits New Accessibility Emojis to Unicode Consortium

Friday March 23, 2018 11:15 am PDT by
Apple today submitted a new proposal [PDF] to the Unicode Consortium, suggesting the committee introduce a series of accessibility emojis in future Unicode releases. As outlined by Emojipedia, Apple has suggested emojis that include a guide dog, a hearing aid, a prosthetic arm and leg, sign language, a person in a wheelchair, and a person with a cane. Apple's full list of proposed emojis can...
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Apple Donates $250K to Sponsor 'Innovation Zone' in Accessibility-Focused Playground Coming to Sunnyvale

Tuesday March 6, 2018 7:03 am PST by
The Magical Bridge Foundation, which helps build playgrounds for children and adults with disabilities and special needs, this week announced that Apple will help fund the foundation's latest playground, located in Sunnyvale, California's Fair Oaks Park. Magical Bridge Foundation's playgrounds are located in select communities in the Bay Area, including Mountain View, Morgan Hill, Palo Alto, and...
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Cochlear Launches New Made for iPhone Hearing Implant in Partnership With Apple

Wednesday October 25, 2017 6:19 pm PDT by
As was announced back in July, Apple partnered with Australian company Cochlear to develop the Nucleus 7, the first made for iPhone Cochlear implant, which is able to stream audio from a compatible iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch directly to a surgically embedded sound processor. Cochlear's new Nucleus 7 Sound Processor is launching in Australia this week, and should soon also be available in...
cochlear iphone

Apple Used Bluetooth Low Energy Audio for Cochlear Implant iPhone Accessory

Thursday August 3, 2017 4:39 am PDT by
Late last month Apple revealed it had partnered with hearing aid company Cochlear to launch the first Made For iPhone Cochlear implant, which can stream audio from an iOS device directly to a surgically embedded sound processor. Now, in a new Wired article titled "How Apple is Putting Voices in Users' Heads – Literally", the company has offered up a few more details on how it was able to...
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Apple Partners With Cochlear to Launch First Made for iPhone Hearing Implant

Wednesday July 26, 2017 6:48 am PDT by
Apple has partnered with hearing implants company Cochlear to launch the first made for iPhone Cochlear implant, which can stream audio from a compatible iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch directly to a surgically embedded sound processor (via TechCrunch). Cochlear implants are reserved for people with profound hearing loss that traditional hearing aids can't help to alleviate, and consist of both an...
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Apple Celebrates Global Accessibility Awareness Day With Stevie Wonder Concert

Friday May 19, 2017 7:59 am PDT by
Apple yesterday held a concert at One Infinite Loop in honor of Global Accessibility Awareness Day. This morning, CEO Tim Cook tweeted out a thank you to Stevie Wonder, who performed at the concert. Thank you to the incomparable Stevie Wonder for lifting hearts and celebrating accessibility with us! #GAAD— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) May 19, 2017 The event marked one of ...

Apple CEO Tim Cook Talks Accessibility With Three Accessibility Activists

Wednesday May 17, 2017 8:42 pm PDT by
In honor of Global Accessibility Awareness Day, which takes place tomorrow, Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down with three YouTubers to discuss the Accessibility features built into Apple's iOS and Mac devices. Each of the three YouTubers, who met Cook at Apple's campus for coffee, have shared their conversations with the CEO on their respective YouTube channels. All three, including legally blind...

Apple Highlights Accessibility Features in New 'Designed for' Video Series

Tuesday May 16, 2017 9:47 pm PDT by
Apple today updated its YouTube channel with a series of Accessibility videos, highlighting the different ways the Accessibility features built into the iPhone and iPad are used to help people accomplish a range of tasks. In one video, for example, a sight impaired singer and drummer named Carlos Vasquez shares how he uses features like VoiceOver to promote his band on social media sites. Ca...
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ReSound LiNX 3D Hearing Aid and iOS App Connect Users to Their Audiologists for Remote Fine-Tuning

Monday April 3, 2017 5:49 am PDT by
Danish hearing aid company GN Hearing today announced the newest iteration of its IoT hearing aid solution, called the ReSound LiNX 3D, as well as new apps for the iPhone and Apple Watch. The major update to GN's new hearing care solution is a way for users to get their hearing aids remotely fine-tuned by their audiologist after an initial fitting at their local clinic, through a cloud-based...

Apple Highlights Autism Acceptance Month Through App Store, Retail Field Trips

Friday March 31, 2017 9:43 am PDT by
April is Autism Acceptance Month, and Apple plans to mark the occasion in several ways, including a dedicated section in the App Store and retail field trips. According to Steven Aquino, a journalist who covers accessibility topics, Apple will offer field trips to retail stores that will host music events designed to include children with disabilities. Kids will be able to participate in...
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macOS Sierra Addresses Dropbox Security Concerns by Explicitly Asking for Accessibility User Permission

Tuesday September 20, 2016 2:32 pm PDT by
Following Dropbox-related security concerns that surfaced earlier this month, developer Phil Stokes has confirmed that macOS Sierra now explicitly requires apps to ask for user permission to access Accessibility (via Daring Fireball). Users can give access to an app, or click "not now" to deny the request. Concerns were raised after it was demonstrated that Dropbox appears in System...
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Apple's Dedication to Accessibility Highlighted by Story of Blind Engineer

Sunday July 10, 2016 1:55 pm PDT by
Mashable today shared the inspiring story of Jordyn Castor, the 22-year-old Apple engineer who has been blind since birth and now plays a central role in improving the company's Accessibility features. Castor was born 15 weeks early and weighed just under two pounds – small enough to be held in the palm of her grandfather's hand. She defied doctor's predictions and survived those first...
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Accessibility at WWDC: Dwell Control, Taptic Time, Software TTY, and More

Wednesday June 15, 2016 10:55 am PDT by
Apple on Tuesday hosted a WWDC 2016 session called What's New in Accessibility that provided an overview of new assisitive technologies and features added to iOS 10, macOS Sierra, tvOS 10, and watchOS 3. Physical and Motor Skills Switch Control can now be used to interact with the tvOS interface using a single physical button, such as a switch on a wheelchair. There is both a cursor...
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Apple Begins Selling Accessibility Accessories on its Online Store

Thursday May 5, 2016 5:46 am PDT by
Apple recently updated its online storefront with the addition of a new "Accessibility" category, which is broken up into sections pertaining to the assistance of individuals with impairments related to vision, physical and motor skills, and learning and literacy (via Amvsement). There are 15 total products broken up into each of the three sections, with further sub-categories allowing users...
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Facebook iOS App Gets VoiceOver Feature to Help Blind Users 'See' Photos

Tuesday April 5, 2016 2:57 am PDT by
Facebook has introduced a new accessibility tool to its iOS app for blind and visually impaired people to help identify images posted on their social feed. The function, called Automatic Alternative Text, works via VoiceOver and generates descriptions of photos that are spoken out loud as a user swipes past photos in the Facebook app. Previously, people using VoiceOver would only hear...

Apple Celebrates Autism Acceptance Month With Two New Videos

Saturday April 2, 2016 1:56 pm PDT by
Earlier this morning, Apple posted a pair of videos onto its YouTube channel to join in on celebrating Autism Acceptance Month. The videos - titled "Dillan's Voice" and "Dillan's Path" - show how the company's technology, namely the iPad, has helped a young man with autism navigate a world that doesn't fully understand what he's going through. Dillan narrates the first video, Dillan's Voice,...
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Apple Stores to Begin Selling Accessibility Accessories in Early 2016

Monday December 21, 2015 4:56 am PST by
Apple is rumored to begin selling accessibility-related accessories and peripherals in its retail stores sometime in early 2016. The report, from Mac Otakara [Google Translate], states that the new iOS- and OS X-supported devices will go on sale between January and March of next year. No specific hint was given as to what kind of peripherals users can expect to find within an Apple Store...
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Apple's Award-Winning Accessibility Features Help Bring Gaming to the Blind on iOS

Wednesday May 6, 2015 10:48 am PDT by
Apple today was honored as a recipient of a Helen Keller Achievement Award from the American Foundation for the Blind for the company's accessibility efforts, particularly VoiceOver's ability to give vision-impaired users access to iOS devices. With the advent of the Apple Watch, many of those accessibility features are now also migrating over to the wrist. Coincidentally, MacRumors' sister...
Apple Watch Accessibility

Apple Watch Accessibility Features: VoiceOver, Mono Audio, Grayscale, Taptic Engine and More

Thursday April 16, 2015 8:15 am PDT by
Apple has outlined the Apple Watch's built-in accessibility features for vision and hearing on its website, with four of the primary assisitive technologies being VoiceOver, font adjustment, mono audio and the Taptic Engine. The accessibility features can be accessed using the Apple Watch directly or through the Settings app on a paired iPhone. For the visually impaired, the Apple Watch...