Apple’s WWDC – Top Features We Are Looking Forward To

By: Dana Cappel, occupational therapist || 18, June 2019

Apple’s WWDC

Lots of exciting news revealed last week at Apple’s WWDC 2019. There are many new features being released and our team at the Technology Center at Beit Issie Shapiro is busy getting to know them all. Here is a sneak peek at just a few of the things we are getting excited about and can’t wait to try out in September.

 

iPadOS

iPad finally gets its own operating system, diverging from iOS, allowing for more efficient and creative use of the larger display and functionality. It is Compatible from iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 4, iPad 5, and iPad Pro.

Though these are not officially accessibility features, many will have a big impact on the way the iPad can be used as an assistive tool for students in the classroom.

Some features include:

  • Ability to work with the Same App in Multiple Spaces – for example two different Pages docs can be open at the same time in Split View

    Screenshot demonstrating use of the same app in multiple spaces using Split View

    Screenshot demonstrating use of the same app in multiple spaces using Split View

  • A New Home Screen Design – you can now pin widgets directly to the home screen allowing you to see important information such as calendar items or weather, or news without opening Notifications.
  • Improved Text Editing Gestures – improved ability to edit text with defined gestures

    New gestures for editing text

    New gestures for editing text

 

  • Additional Functionality of Onscreen Keyboard – there will now be an option to shrink and move the keyboard around the screen, making it easier for one handed typing or simply maximizing the display. In addition, Apple has finally introduced native swipe style typing, QuickPath.

    Shrink and move keyboard on the screen. QuickPath typing.

    Shrink and move keyboard on the screen. QuickPath typing.

For further reading: https://www.apple.com/ipados/ipados-preview/

 

Dark ­­­Mode

This is not officially an accessibility feature, and does not replace the Invert Color settings, but is designed to create a visual experience that is easier on the eyes, and better for low light environments. For some, this may be the contrast they need to use the device effectively. Dark Mode will be available on all Apple devices and can be turned on in Control Center or set to turn on automatically at a certain hour.

Screenshots of an iPhone in Dark Mode: Calendar, Maps, App Store, and Music

Screenshots of an iPhone in Dark Mode: Calendar, Maps, App Store, and Music

Dark Mode will be available on Apple native apps and developers will also be able to make their apps Dark Mode accessible. Click here for detailed instructions on how to use Dark Mode settings.

 

Voice Control

Voice Control will give full control of the device using just voice commands.

  • Introduces a number-based list and grid system – by using the command “Show Numbers” a little number appears next to all items on the screen allowing you to speak your selection

    Screenshots showing Voice Control numbering system. Click on a photo to see a video showcasing the features of Voice Control.

    Screenshots showing Voice Control numbering system.
    Click on a photo to see a video showcasing the features of Voice Control.

  • Incorporates improved speech recognition for people with different types of speech (ex. Stuttering)
  • Privacy – Uses built in anonymity and encryption and does not access or save the audio data processed

 

Mouse Support for iOS and iPadOS

This is an exciting and long-requested feature. It has been added as an accessibility feature (for now) and will be located under assistive touch. It was designed specifically for niche users as an accessibility feature however, mouse support can be useful for everyone.

  • connect via lightning to USB adapter, or Bluetooth
  • connect all manner of pointers including head tracking devices, opening the use of iPads for a whole range of new users

This video from AbleNet provides a great explanation of some of the major features and settings

video from AbleNet

 

Check back with us in the Fall as we try out some of these new features!

 

For further reading:

https://coolblindtech.com/apple-revamps-the-accessibility-menu-in-ios-13/?fbclid=IwAR3OHknIWKDK1qVbmz5IyO-Q2P29c-CpbIafMKAZ4PgL_lmDl_d3cTRL0Tc

https://www.techradar.com/news/ios-13-features

https://9to5mac.com/2019/06/05/ios-13-wwdc-accessibility/?fbclid=IwAR2gechdfmIfPFZJPxS6nE8vOKpqpuvW9iea9hFWOf8EK165DlTJXtstHSY

https://www.theverge.com/2019/6/3/18647071/apple-ipad-os-mouse-support-wwdc-2019

https://www.macrumors.com/2019/06/06/apple-accessibility-drive-for-iphone-ipad-mac/?fbclid=IwAR2Z-Nw3oMxDeZbuI24c6NyvX6fWJmfwdVbWkOODF-LEA92CbbyI-SKrGo8

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