Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

Apple previews new cutting-edge accessibility features

Apple has previewed some nifty, cutting-edge accessibility features that will give iPhone and Apple Watch users with disabilities more tools to navigate the world around them. As stated in its press release, the new features will aid them in navigation, communication, hearing, and more.

The newest navigation feature Apple has introduced is called Door Detection, which will help blind or low-vision users locate a door within the last few feet of their destination. Thanks to the combination of a LiDAR scanner, camera, and on-device machine learning, Door Detection will tell users the distance between them and the door they’re approaching, whether the door is open or closed, has a knob or handle, and if it can be pushed or pulled open, as well as reading the signs and symbols around it.

For those with motor and physical disabilities, there’s Apple Watch Mirroring, which allows them to control their Apple Watch remotely from their iPhone. Using Voice Control and Switch Control instead of tapping the Apple Watch display, anything that shows up on the watch will pop up on the iPhone screen thanks to AirPlay. They can also use hand gestures, like double-pinching, to answer or end a phone call, play or pause media, take pictures, or resume their workouts, which can be extremely useful for people with missing limbs or hands.

Deaf and hard-of-hearing users will get Live Captions on not just the iPhone, but also the iPad and Mac products. This feature will help users understand the context of any audio media content and conservations, whether held in person, or via phone calls, FaceTime, or video conferences. In FaceTime group chats, Live Captions will attribute auto-transcribed dialogue to call participants so that it will be easier for deaf and hard-of-hearing users to tell who’s talking. Caption size can also be adjusted to help them read captions more easily.

Apple introduced these new features in honor of Global Accessibility Awareness Day, and they aim to make the lives of disabled users easier than ever before. They will be released via updates later this year.

Editors' Recommendations

Cristina Alexander
Cristina Alexander has been writing since 2014, from opining about pop culture on her personal blog in college to reporting…
Check out this old news report of when Apple released the first iPhone
Apple's first iPhone.

The first iPhone 15 customers are already heading to Apple Stores in Australia and Asia to pick up the new device, or are having it delivered to their door.

Apple’s new handset range comprises the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max. Pricing starts at $799 and tops out at $1,599 -- but it’ll cost even more if you opt for a case, a screen cover, and AppleCare.

Read more
I found 11 new widgets for iOS 17 that you have to try
Best iOS 17 interactive widgets

Widgets have been a popular feature on iPhones for a long time. With iOS 17, these widgets have become interactive, creating a more immersive experience. With interactive widgets, you can take important actions right from your iPhone home screen and lock screen. For instance, you can complete to-do lists, play and pause media and podcasts, access your Home app controls, and much more — all without having to open any apps.

Interactive widgets aren't solely for Apple's native apps in iOS 17. Third-party developers are also embracing the new feature. While the list of apps that utilize the new feature is still short, a few have already stood out. Here are some interactive widgets worth exploring.

Read more
Don’t buy the iPhone 15 — 5 reasons to wait for the iPhone 16
The camera array of the iPhone 15 Pro.

Apple revealed a slate of new products at its recent Wonderlust event, including the new iPhone 15 lineup, Apple Watch Series 9, and Apple Watch Ultra 2. We also got a minor update for the AirPods Pro in the form of a new USB-C charging case to align with the iPhone ditching Lightning.

This year, there’s actually a lot to love about the iPhone 15, as it’s a much bigger upgrade than its predecessor. We now have the Dynamic Island across the entire lineup, USB-C charging, a 48MP camera, and a beautiful display that reaches double the brightness of the iPhone 14 with 2,000 nits. It also packs in the A16 Bionic chip that launched with the iPhone 14 Pro.

Read more