With iOS 17, Apple is adding many more accessibility features. Here’s a small selection of the best new products. Some can be used by anyone.
iPhone accessibility features are designed for people with disabilities, but they make smartphones better for everyone. With iOS 17, Apple has added a whole host of improvements to iOS. Here’s a small selection of the best new products.
Speed up or slow down Siri
If you want Siri to speak faster or slower, you can adjust her speed. To do this, go to Settings > Accessibility > Siri, then adjust the slider to your preference under Voice Speed. You can slow it down to 0.8 times its original speed and speed it up to 2 times.
Tap and iPhone will speak for you
Direct Speech lets you tap what you want to say and your iPhone speaks for you. You can use this feature during a phone call, FaceTime, or a face-to-face conversation. Practical, especially if you are speaking in a language that is not your own. To activate it, go to Settings > Accessibility > Direct Speech and activate the option.
Create an AI voice that sounds like yours
Personal Voice is for those who are at risk of losing their voice. iOS can “clone” your voice and use it for direct speech. So when your iPhone speaks, it uses “your” voice. Configuring the system requires 10 to 15 minutes of dictation. If you’re interested, go to Settings > Accessibility > Personal Voice.
Use the cognitive accessibility tool
Help Access completely redesigns the look and feel of iOS to help users with cognitive disabilities use their iPhone. The entire experience is simplified, with only the essential elements displayed in the interface.
Learn how to use voice control
You can control your iPhone using voice commands with the Voice Control feature, perfect for those who can’t easily touch the touchscreen. iOS 17 has added a tutorial to learn how to use this feature.
Your iPhone can detect text
With iOS 17, your iPhone can use Magnifier capture mode to help you read. It’s perfect for copying a serial number or other hard-to-read text.
Your iPhone can read real-world text aloud
Magnifier has another improvement in iOS 17: when you point your camera at text, it reads it out loud for you.
Easily correct your mistakes with voice control
Voice Control lets you edit text with your voice, and in iOS 17, your iPhone can let you speak to correct said text. Apple says the iPhone can now detect words that sound similar and make it easier to correct them.
Automatically pause GIF
If you see GIFs in the Messages app or Safari in iOS 17, they automatically pause after playing. You can resume playback, but this automatic pause is nice.
Customize local voices
Now you can customize the tone of each voice with Speak, a feature that lets you read articles out loud on your iPhone. This is done under Settings > Accessibility > Speech Content > Voice. Choose the language, the voice you want and tap the i button next to the title to customize the tone.
Virtual Gamepad for iPhone
Touch control is a feature for those who have difficulty touching the screen. In iOS 17, you can use this feature to set your device to tap back, sound actions, or head movements as an alternative to touching the screen. It also makes Select Control a good virtual gamepad that could make many games more accessible. This can be configured in Settings > Accessibility > Selection Control > Buttons > Add Button.
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