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Apple adds new accessibility features to iOS, iPadOS

As Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) draws to a close for 2019, it’s a good time to recap its announcements regarding accessibility improvements for its portable devices such as the iPhone running iOS and the iPad running iPadOS, a recently announced OS improvement for the tablet.

In an interview conducted by Tim Hardwick for TechCrunch with Apple’s Director of Global Accessibility Policy & Initiatives Sarah Herrlinger, several new accessibility features were revealed relating to voice control and display features.

Features include:

  • Voice control: a new feature that provides support to editing and menu navigation and advanced dictation capabilities. Apple has also indicated that the update provides better support in understanding different accents.
  • Mouse support: provided as an accessibility feature, a mouse can now be used for people with a mobility limitation that makes it difficult to use a touchscreen. Apple will provide additional information on which USB and Bluetooth models will work n the near future.
  • Dark theme: this will allow the interface to feature a darker background with light colour text which will significantly improve the ability to see the screen for some vision impairments

In addition the updates have included some minor improvements to established assistive technologies such as the VoiceOver screen reader.

The iOS13 and iPadOS updates are currently only available to developers but will roll out to compatible iPhone and iPad devices in the coming months.

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