Announced Apple announced a variety of new and updated features designed for people with disabilities.
Starting May 20, customers can use the new SignTime interpreter service to contact AppleCare and retail customer service through web browsers.
Software updates later this year across iOS, watchOS and iPadOS provide enhanced options for Assistive Touch, VoiceOver, and support for hearing and background voices.
The new SignTime service is launching first in the United States, the United Kingdom and France, providing simultaneous remote interpreter access to American Sign Language, British Sign Language and French Sign Language.
People can also use the service in Apple stores to get interpretation without having previously booked it.
People with peripheral differences can use Assistive Touch via watchOS, which enables them to use the Apple Watch without touching the screen.
Apple says: Its smart watch can detect muscle movement and tendon activity through its built-in sensors, allowing users to control the cursor via the watch’s screen, answer calls, access notifications, and more by making various movements and gestures.
IPadOS supports third-party eye tracking devices, allowing people with reduced mobility to move the cursor with their gaze and perform actions through eye contact rather than tapping the screen.
And VoiceOver, Apple’s built-in screen reader, is being updated to include more detail in the images.
According to Apple, the update allows people to move between images with text and spreadsheets by rows and columns, descriptions of people and objects in the images, and people can also add image descriptions using Markup.
Apple also plans to upgrade its Made for iPhone hearing software with support for two-way hearing aids.
Users can also upload their hearing test results to Headphones Accommodations to more easily customize how the feature is amplified for sounds and different frequencies.
And for people with nervous diversity, Apple offers background sounds that can be combined with system and other sounds, and include balanced, bright or dark noise, in addition to ocean or rain sounds that can be tuned for continuous playback and masking distracting noises.
Other features that Apple plans to use later in the year include the ability to use mouth sounds instead of using physical buttons, customizing display settings and text size in individual apps, and new Memoji options with cochlear implants, oxygen tubes, and soft helmets.
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