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Unlocking accessibility: A dive into iPhone’s most impactful features


The iPhone, a marvel of modern technology, is not just about its sleek design and easy user interface. It’s also a powerhouse of accessibility features, making it a vital tool for individuals in the deaf and blind community. These features, which we’ll dive into, are designed for ease of use, ensuring that users feel comfortable and at ease with their devices.

Eye Tracking Control

What is it? Eye-tracking control enables users to navigate and operate their iPhones using their eye movements. This feature uses the TrueDepth camera to detect where the user is looking and translate these movements into actions on the screen.

How to Enable:

  1. Ensure your iPhone has a TrueDepth camera (iPhone X or later).
  2. Open Settings.
  3. Go to Accessibility.
  4. Select Voice Control.
  5. Set up Voice Control and enable Attention Awareness in Face ID & Passcode settings.

Using Eye Tracking Control: With Eye Tracking Control enabled, the TrueDepth camera tracks your eye movements. Look at an item on the screen to highlight it, then use a voice command or blink to select it. You can scroll by glancing at the bottom or top of the screen.

Eye Tracking Control is a remarkable feature that highlights Apple’s innovative spirit. For individuals with severe motor challenges, it offers a new level of autonomy and interaction with their iPhones. It’s a sophisticated yet user-friendly solution that significantly enhances accessibility.

Hearing Devices

What is it? Hearing Devices support allows users to connect compatible hearing aids and sound processors to their iPhones, providing a better auditory experience tailored to their hearing needs.

How to Enable:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Go to Accessibility.
  3. Tap on Hearing Devices.
  4. Follow the instructions to pair your hearing device.

Using Hearing Devices: Once paired, you can adjust settings directly from your iPhone, such as volume levels and ambient noise reduction. Some hearing aids also support Live Listen, which uses the iPhone’s microphone to help you hear conversations more clearly in noisy environments.

The integration of hearing devices with the iPhone is seamless and highly effective. It empowers users with hearing impairments, offering them greater control over their auditory environment. The Live Listen feature, in particular, is a thoughtful addition that makes a tangible difference in daily interactions. If my late uncle were here, he’d use this to catch up on people’s hot teas.


What is it?The VoiceOver feature is a screen reader that provides auditory descriptions of what’s on your screen. It enables users with visual impairments to navigate their iPhones through gestures and listen to descriptions of text, images, and other elements.

How to Enable:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Go to Accessibility.
  3. Tap on VoiceOver and toggle it on.

Using VoiceOver: Once enabled, VoiceOver transforms how you interact with your iPhone. Touching the screen will have VoiceOver read out the item you’re touching. You can swipe left or right to move between items, double-tap to select, and use three-finger swipes to scroll.

TheVoiceOver shows Apple’s dedication to inclusivity. It’s intuitive, allowing people with vision problems to navigate their iPhones independently. The feature’s ability to describe everything on the screen opens up a world of information and interaction that would otherwise be inaccessible.

Spoken Content

What is it?Spoken Content allows the iPhone to read the content on the screen, such as emails, web pages, and messages. It includes features like Speak Selection, Speak Screen, and Typing Feedback.

How to Enable:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Go to Accessibility.
  3. Tap on Spoken Content.
  4. Toggle on Speak Selection and Speak Screen.

Using Spoken Content: To use Speak Selection, highlight the text you want read aloud and tap Speak. For Speak Screen, swipe down with two fingers from the top of the screen, and the iPhone will read everything on the screen. Typing Feedback provides spoken feedback as you type, which is invaluable for users with visual impairments.

Spoken Content is an incredibly versatile tool. It’s useful for reading long articles or documents without straining your eyes. The ability to customize the voice and speed adds a personal touch, making the feature adaptable to individual preferences.

Voice Control

What is it?Voice Control allows users to operate their iPhones using voice commands. This feature benefits individuals who have difficulty with mobility, enabling hands-free navigation and control.

How to Enable:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Go to Accessibility.
  3. Tap on Voice Control and toggle it on.

Using Voice Control: Once enabled, you can use a wide range of commands to interact with your iPhone. Say “Open Photos” to open the Photos app or “Scroll down” to scroll through a page. You can also create custom commands for specific actions.

Voice Control is a game-changer for users with mobility issues. It’s precise and responsive, allowing for seamless interaction with the iPhone. The customization options are a fantastic addition, enabling users to tailor the commands to their needs.

Sound Recognition

What is it? Sound Recognition alerts users to important sounds in their environment, such as a doorbell, a baby crying, or a smoke alarm. It’s designed to assist individuals who are hard of hearing.

How to Enable:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Go to Accessibility.
  3. Tap on Sound Recognition and toggle it on.
  4. Customize which sounds you want to be notified about.

Using Sound Recognition: When Sound Recognition is enabled, your iPhone will listen for the selected sounds and notify you with a visual alert or vibration. This ensures you don’t miss critical sounds even if you can’t hear them.

Sound Recognition is a lifesaver for those with hearing impairments. It provides peace of mind by ensuring that important alerts are not missed. The ability to customize the sounds makes it highly practical and tailored to individual needs.

Subtitles and Captioning

What is it? Subtitles and Captioning provide textual representations of spoken content in videos and live streams.

How to Enable:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Go to Accessibility.
  3. Tap on Subtitles & Captioning.
  4. Toggle on Closed Captions + SDH.

Using Subtitles and Captioning: Once enabled, subtitles and captions will appear in supported videos and apps. You can customize the appearance of the captions to make them easier to read.

Subtitles and Captioning are essential for inclusive media consumption. They make content accessible to a broader audience and enhance the viewing experience for everyone. The customization options are a nice touch, ensuring readability for all users.


What is it? Magnifier turns your iPhone into a powerful magnifying glass, using the camera to enlarge objects and text.

How to Enable:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Go to Accessibility.
  3. Tap on Magnifier and toggle it on.

Using Magnifier: Activate the Magnifier by triple-clicking the Side button (or Home button on older models). You can adjust the magnification level and use filters to enhance visibility. The built-in flashlight can also illuminate objects.

The Magnifier is a fantastic tool for anyone with low vision. It’s easy to use and practical for reading small print or examining detailed objects. Additional features like filters and a flashlight enhance its usability, making it a versatile aid.

Guided Access

What is it? Guided Access helps users focus on a single task by restricting the iPhone to a single app and controlling the available features. This feature is particularly useful for individuals with attention or sensory challenges.

How to Enable:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Go to Accessibility.
  3. Tap on Guided Access and toggle it on.
  4. Set a passcode to control the Guided Access session.

Using Guided Access: Start a Guided Access session by triple-clicking the Side button (or Home button on older models) in the app you want to use. You can disable certain areas of the screen and hardware buttons and set a time limit. End the session by triple-clicking again and entering the passcode.

Guided Access is an excellent feature for maintaining focus and minimizing distractions. It’s handy for parents or educators who need to control app usage on a device. The ability to customize restrictions makes it adaptable to various needs and situations.

Making Technology Accessible

Apple’s iPhone accessibility features are designed to make technology more inclusive and empowering for everyone. From voice control and eye tracking to sound recognition and guided access, these tools enhance the iPhone’s usability for everyone, especially individuals who have hearing or vision problems. By exploring and utilizing these features, users can unlock the full potential of their devices, ensuring a more accessible and enriching experience for all.

Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph

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