Apple has today previewed a new set of features designed to improve cognitive, hearing, vision and mobility accessibility. This includes a new Personal Voice for people who might lose the ability to speak. It allows them to create a “synthesized voice that sounds just like them” in order to communicate with family and friends.

Apple says that users can create their own Personal Voices by reading text prompts for 15 minutes on the iPhone or iPad. The feature is integrated with Live Speech so users can type their message and have the Personal Voice read it out loud to whomever they choose. Apple claims that the feature is powered by “on-device learning” to protect users’ data.

Apple has also introduced streamlined versions for its core apps, as part of Assistive Access. This feature is designed to help users with cognitive disabilities. This feature is intended to “distill app and experience to their essential features to lighten the cognitive load.” It includes a combined version for Phone and FaceTime, as well as modified versions for Messages and Photos apps, as well as modified versions for Music, Camera and Messages apps with high contrast buttons and large text labels.

was spotted in an iOS 16.2 beta late last year working on a “custom access mode”. Apple has said that the features are coming “later this summer,” suggesting they may be included in iOS 17.

Magnifier also has a new detection feature that helps users with low vision or blindness interact with objects that have multiple text labels. Apple has stated that a user could aim the camera of their device at a label such as the keypad on a microwave, and the iPhone or iPad would read it aloud while the user moved their finger over each number or setting.

Apple also announced a few other features that will be coming to Macs, such as a way for users who are deaf or have hearing difficulties to pair Made for iPhone devices with Macs. Apple is adding a new way for Mac users to change the font size in Messages and Mail.

The new features will allow users to pause GIFs within Safari and Messages. They can also customize Siri’s rate of speech and use Voice Control to get phonetic suggestions for editing text. Apple has already developed accessibility features on the Mac and iPhone. These include Live Captions and a VoiceOver screenreader, as well as Door Detection and more.

Sarah Herrlinger said that accessibility is part of what Apple does. These groundbreaking features were developed with the help of members of disability communities at every stage, in order to support a variety of users and connect people in new ways.


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