Apple’s iPhone is on the cutting edge of assistive technology, and its accessibility continues to improve with each software update. Check out 101 Mobility®’s 7 favorite assistive technology features on the iPhone (Note: Unless otherwise stated, these features can be found in Settings > General > Accessibility.):
Text can be read aloud - The “Speak Selection” option can read emails, websites, and other applications. Just by selecting the text, you can prompt the iPhone to speak the text aloud. The settings—including the voice used and speed of reading—can be customized to fit your needs.
Adjustable font size - Stop squinting at your screen! As phones have become smaller, it has become more difficult to clearly see and read the words on the screen. In iOS 7, Apple made moves to change this. In Settings > General > Text Size, users can opt to make text larger or smaller. These changes even show up in some apps!
Visual adjustments - In addition to font size, iOS 7.1 also has options to easily zoom in and out; make text bold; increase the screen’s contrast, and reduce the motion of the iPhone’s transitions and effects for those with motion sickness.
LED flashing for alerts - Always missing calls? iOS 7 has the option to have a flash of light emitted from the back of the iPhone to alert users of an incoming call or text message. This visual signal is perfect for those who may not be able to hear the iPhone’s audio alerts.
Auditory adjustments - The iPhone also has other features to assist those who use hearing aids or are hard of hearing. There is an option to have subtitles/captions appear automatically when they are available, and the audio output settings can be adjusted. Apple even has hearing aids that are compatible with the iPhone’s Bluetooth technology.
Switch Control and AssistiveTouch - Switch Control allows you to control your iPhone with a single switch. Selecting or dragging items has never been easier. Switch Control is very customizable, so users can modify the options for their own needs. AssisstiveTouch makes interacting with and touching the iPhone’s screen much easier as well, and can be used in conjunction with other assistive devices. Things like changing the volume, swiping, rotating the screen, and locking the iPhone can be done in a single touch.
iOS 8 - Apple’s innovation with assistive technology is only getting better. iOS 8, which is set to debut in fall 2014, has even more adaptive technologies and features for its users. New assistive keyboards will be included, and Touch ID and Siri’s capabilities will be increased. More innovations and improvements are expected to be announced before iOS 8 is released, so keep checking in for more updates!
There is a lot to look forward to when it comes to assistive technology! Apple is one of the best companies out there when it comes to innovation in this field. Accessibility is becoming easier and easier every day, whether it is on your phone or in your home with 101 Mobility®!