Opinion: The topic should be front and centre.
Apple released a slew of accessibility improvements for iPhone and Apple Watch users earlier this week. However, similar news from 2021 gave me the creeps.
Along with the addition of live captioning to FaceTime chats and other apps, Apple also announced a door detection function that uses the LiDAR camera featured in the iPad Pro, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro models to determine where the door handle is and how far away it is from the user.
Other accessibility enhancements were seen last year, with pictures showing a new layout that hadn’t arrived on iPhone models at the time, but was confirmed a few weeks later at WWDC 2021, and released in September 2021 on iOS 15.
As we get closer to WWDC on June 6, we might see a replay of similar clues for iOS 16 and watchOS 9.
Are you hiding in plain sight?
Developers and businesses should keep accessibility at the forefront of their thinking. It’s something I look for in new apps and impending updates because software should be usable by anybody.
These features, which will most certainly emerge in iOS 16 and watchOS 9, given Apple has promised that they will be available near the end of the year, create the impression that Apple is putting a larger emphasis on accessibility this year.
Because many of us have had to adjust to the new world of remote working as a result of the epidemic, there’s a likelihood we’ll see major modifications in 2020 and 2021.
A backlog of new features being polished for WWDC in just a few weeks could mean that iOS 16 and watchOS 9 are bigger leaps than they were planned to be.
It’s nice to see Apple prioritise accessibility in software upgrades, while Microsoft has been investigating accessories in this area. Accessibility is getting its own spotlight, rather just being a footnote in a press release. With this in mind, WWDC appears to be a fantastic event for people with disabilities.
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