Door detection, Apple Watch control from iPhone, subtitles: Apple showed new iOS features


Accessibility originally appeared in iOS as a separate section with features designed to make it easier for people with disabilities to use Apple devices.

They remain so today, but adjusted for the fact that almost everyone began to use them to one degree or another. Message effects, magnifying glass, Face ID attention recognition, shortcuts, voice control are all part of the accessibility menu.

However, Apple decided not to stop there and add a number of special features to iOS that can be useful not only for disabled people, but for many others.

Apple rarely introduces new iOS features outside of announcing new versions of the operating system. However, this time in Cupertino they made an exception and announced a number of innovations regarding universal access, without waiting for the WWDC conference, which is just a short time away.

Why do you need lidar

Your iPhone will be able to determine the doors, the distance to them and even the inscriptions

Door Detection is the first Accessibility feature introduced by Apple. It will work using the image from the camera and lidar, which will be processed by artificial intelligence and identify doors, which is very important for blind or visually impaired users.

However, it would clearly not be enough to simply indicate the presence of a door. Thanks to machine learning technologies and the rangefinder function that lidar has , the iPhone will almost accurately determine the distance to the door, what is written on it, and even tell you exactly how to open it – towards yourself, away from you, or otherwise.

Manage Apple Watch from iPhone

Apple Watch Mirroring is a special interaction mechanism with Apple Watch that allows you to control your watch from your smartphone via AirPlay . Practice shows that people with vision problems or musculoskeletal disorders may find it difficult to use the small Apple Watch screen, and the image mirroring function will solve this problem.

If you’re not comfortable with controlling your Apple Watch from a small screen, you can do it from your iPhone

Conveniently, Apple Watch Mirroring lets you interact with your watch in a variety of ways. They can be given commands using both the smartphone’s touchscreen and voice control, and Switch Control , and even gestures. Therefore, the user can decide for himself how to use his watch.

All functionality of the Apple Watch in mirroring mode is fully preserved. Thanks to this, you can even track oxygen in the blood, measure heart rate, attentiveness, and many other indicators, not to mention the interface elements and components of the operating system itself.

Double pinch makes Apple Watch easier to control

For convenience, Apple Watch will receive a double pinch gesture , the use of which can be set independently. It will be used to answer or end a call, take a screenshot, hide a notification, or start a workout.

This is a kind of gesture shortcut that automatically performs the desired action by recognizing the appropriate movement.

Subtitles in iOS

For deaf and hard of hearing users, Apple has introduced Live Captions , a feature that will work on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Thanks to it, any audio track will be decoded and served as a ticker on the screen, regardless of the usage scenario.

Subtitles will appear in FaceTime and other applications for the convenience of users

Subtitles will work in FaceTime , marking each interlocutor individually for convenience in group calls, when watching audio and video content, and even during telephone conversations. Users at their discretion will be able to adjust the font size for easy perception.

Live subtitles are generated directly on the device of the user who has enabled them. Therefore, information about conversations will not be transmitted to Apple’s servers or anywhere else and processed in any way, allowing you to maintain the confidentiality of your conversations with other users.

New iOS Features

Apple Books can be customized to better see app content

Additional Accessibility features coming to iOS:

  • 20 new languages ​​for VoiceOver
  • Setting pauses in dialogues with Siri (so that she waits for people with speech impairments)
  • Spelling dictation (what is called spelling in English)
  • Buddy Controller (combining two game controllers into one)
  • Recognition of specific sounds
  • More customization tools in Apple Books
  • Providing technical support in sign language
  • Short Descriptive Phrases in Apple Fitness+ for the Visually Impaired
  • Guides in Apple Maps for the visually impaired and deaf
  • New playlists in Apple Music for the hearing impaired
  • Separate content category on Apple TV with disabled actors

When exactly Apple will release all these innovations is not yet clear. The company promises that they will start appearing in the firmware of compatible devices this year. But most likely you should not count on the first assembly of iOS 16 . 

Otherwise, Cupertino would have simply announced these features at the WWDC conference . Therefore, it is highly likely that they will get to new versions of iOS and macOS towards the end of the year as part of minor updates.