The big focus on Apple's iPhone accessibility is a bigger deal than you realize

The big focus on Apple’s iPhone accessibility is a bigger deal than you realize

  • The new iPhone 14 lineup includes a new accessibility feature that plays a sound whenever the device is turned on or off.
  • The new feature is a huge advantage for people with visual impairments, but it’s just one of many important features that help people with disabilities.
  • Experts say Apple is the leader in terms of accessibility and that other phone makers continue to play a catch-up role.

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Apple’s new iPhone 14 lineup plays a sound when it’s turned on or off to help people with visual impairments know when to perform these actions, but it’s just one example of the greater focus on accessibility and highlights how Apple stands head and shoulders above the competition for those. people with disabilities.

While it’s true that many people can look at their iPhones to see what it’s all about, this isn’t a luxury for everyone – and it’s those people who will benefit not only from New startup and shutdown Chime, but also Apple’s continued focus on making its hardware as accessible as possible.

Basically, any sound or haptic feedback informs [visually impaired] that something going on is really beneficial,” Chris Lewis, a communications industry analyst and access expert at Lewis Insight, told Lifewire via email. Lewis added that he wished other home appliances would offer similarly focused features.

Important new feature

Apple’s new feature is simple on its face. When enabled, a ringtone plays whenever the iPhone is fully powered on. It can also be configured to play another ring when the iPhone is turned off as well. Unfortunately, this is an advantage vacant only On iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models. Ring is built into a part of the software that can’t be changed after build, so older iPhones can’t be updated with it.

While some view the new Ring as a nice thing, it’s a much bigger deal for visually impaired iPhone users.

“Like people with good eyesight, we love new games,” Fabrice Rocciolisubordinate blind mind Accessibility podcast, for Lifewire via email. “Setting up the iPhone when you are blind is very frustrating. We always have to ask a friend, [but the] chime [brings] It’s a step closer to being able to set up the phone yourself.”

“The problem with the power button is that you don’t know if you’ve turned on the device or not,” Lewis noted when discussing the feature further. “Sighted people see the Apple logo start to appear while the phone is thinking to start up. Having a sound at this point is reassuring [user with visual impairments] The device is already turned on. “That’s what makes accessibility features so vital – they make things that many take for granted.

“Our phone is very important these days, and even more so [people living with blindness]Rocchiccioli added when discussing the broader focus of accessibility on the iPhone with Lifewire.

Focus on accessibility

As much as the new Ring gets a lot of attention, it’s important to note that this is a far cry from the first accessibility feature that Apple added to its products, including the iPhone. Like privacy, the focus on accessibility is something Apple has become synonymous with.

“Apple has been very much ahead of the game when it comes to accessibility,” Lewis praises. “Android has caught up with a lot in recent years, but Apple is still seen as the standard.”

It also indicates that while Apple Voice Over The feature allows the iPhone to read what’s on the screen, and it’s not just Apple that has to be on board. “Aside from its VoiceOver and other handicap features, it also encourages app developers to go along with designing its toolkit for accessibility,” he adds.

This doesn’t mean Apple is perfect or that the accessibility battle is over. The company’s products may be the answer for some people who need a little help with smartphones and computers, but that doesn’t mean they can rest on their laurels. The same goes for other tech companies as well.

Unfortunately, not all Apple features work 100% either.

“The Magnifier app is causing the iPhone to overheat,” Rocchiccioli said when discussing the hurdles Apple still has to overcome. “Connecting to a refreshable braille display is frustrating, and the magnifier/console shortcut to spoken content is always on the way no matter where you put it,” he added.

Clearly, there is still work to be done despite Apple’s strengths. But it starts from a better place than most – people also pay for improvements from the inside.

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