Skip to main content

You’ll soon be able to control your iPhone and iPad with your eyes

Controlling iPad with eye movement.

Apple has announced a bunch of new accessibility features that will arrive later this year for iPhone and iPad owners. Notable among them is the ability to interact with iOS and iPadOS interfaces using eye movement, which is something that’s seen in a similar system on Mac hardware.

The company calls it Eye Tracking, and it’s a system built on the Dwell Control foundations. So far, Dwell Control has been available as part of the Accessibility Keyboard on macOS, allowing users to execute mouse actions using eye and head gestures.

On the iPhone and iPad, Eye Tracking will merely require a few seconds to calibrate and will work using the front camera. Once enabled, it will let users with physical disabilities perform swipe and button gestures with their ocular movements.

Dwell actions are also available for the Vision Pro headset. On the pricey XR machine, they are bundled as part of the Assistive Touch system under accessibility settings. On Mac machines, eye and head gestures allow mouse click, drag and drop, and other core UI control gestures.

Music Haptics on iPhone.

For users with hearing challenges, Apple is adding a feature on iPhones called Music Haptics. Once activated, the Taptic Engine fitted inside an iPhone will produce vibrations in sync with the music playback using a mix of rhythmic taps, smooth vibrations, and textures.

This feature has already been certified for the millions of songs in the Apple Music library. Developers can also leverage the application programming interfaces (APIs) to enable vibration-based accessibility feedback to make their apps more inclusive and functionally rewarding for people with hearing issues.

Vocal Shortcuts on iPhone.

For people living with speech-related difficulties, Apple is adding a couple of new features to its phones and tablets. The first one is Atypical Speech, which relies on machine learning to identify the unique speech signature of a person so that it can help them perform tasks using voice commands.

Next in line is Vocal Shortcuts. This one allows users to record custom audio cues and then assign them as shortcuts for various on-device tasks, which could be single step or multi-step in nature. Apple says these features have been “designed for users with acquired or progressive conditions that affect speech, such as cerebral palsy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or stroke.”

Vehicle Motion Cues on iPhone.

Another related upcoming feature is Personal Voice. People who find it hard to say or read long sentences can create a Personal Voice using shorter phrases.

Apple has also developed a wellness feature that takes into account motion sickness for in-vehicle circumstances. The feature in question is called Vehicle Motion Cues, and once enabled, it will show animated dots on the screen that are dynamically aligned with a vehicle’s directional movement. The idea is to reduce sensory conflict, making it easier for users to read on-screen content.

Editors' Recommendations

Nadeem Sarwar
Nadeem is a tech journalist who started reading about cool smartphone tech out of curiosity and soon started writing…
Does the iPad Pro (2024) come with a pen?
A person uses the Apple Pencil's hover feature on an iPad running Final Cut Pro.

Apple has introduced new tablets. The iPad Pro (2024) and iPad Air (2024) are now available, and both will surely turn a lot of heads in the coming months. If you're considering the iPad Pro (2024), you might wonder whether it comes with a pen or pencil. Here's the answer.
Does the iPad Pro (2024) come with a pen?

Unlike Samsung's tablet lineup, such as the Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus, the iPad Pro (2024) does not include a stylus. If you want a stylus, you'll have to pay extra.

Read more
Apple may release a completely new type of iPhone in 2025
iPhone 15 Pro Max laying outside in a park.

The iPhone 16 isn’t even out yet, but that hasn’t stopped rumors about the iPhone 17 from swirling already. One of the latest comes from The Information, and it claims that a thinner iPhone 17 may be released in 2025 as a completely new addition to the lineup. It’s reported to be code-named D23 internally, and it’s expected to be a major redesign — potentially as big of a redesign as the iPhone X was in 2017.

The main changes for the D23 iPhone are a very thin body and a smaller cutout in the display. There’s also some talk that Apple may replace the Dynamic Island with a pinhole cutout, and we may see that as soon as the anticipated iPhone 16 launch this fall. Other changes might include moving the rear camera from the upper-left corner to the top center. The screen could fall somewhere between the 6.1 inches of the iPhone 16 Pro and 6.9 inches of the iPhone 16 Pro Max.

Read more
The iPhone 16 Pro Max may get a very important battery upgrade
An iPhone 15 Pro Max laying face-down outside, showing the Natural Titanium color.

iPhone 16 dummy models Sonny Dickson / X

The iPhone 16 still has many months to go before its anticipated announcement in the fall, but we’ve already gotten a slew of rumors, leaks, and speculation about its specs and capabilities. One of the latest rumors about the iPhone 16 Pro Max comes from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and it regards a new battery Apple is putting into the device.

Read more