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Apple Developing New Accessibility Features for iOS 18 and macOS 15

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With every operating system release, Apple aims to make apps more accessible and easier to navigate by providing a variety of new accessibility features and settings. iOS 18 (Codename Crystal) and macOS 15 (Codename Glow) will be no exception, and work on accessibility-related enhancements is well underway.

Through our industry sources, MacRumors has obtained information on some of the key accessibility improvements Apple has in store for its userbase. Apple is working on several new accessibility features along with improvements to existing settings, both of which should be available later this year.

Adaptive Voice Shortcuts

This feature will allow users to map a unique spoken phrase to an accessibility setting. Users will be given the option to create a custom phrase and select the accessibility setting they wish to toggle by speaking said phrase. By using Adaptive Voice Shortcuts, users will be able to toggle existing accessibility features such as VoiceOver, Voice Control, Zoom and so on.

New "Categories" Section for Live Speech

The Live Speech feature, which is already present in Apple's operating systems, will receive a new section for user-created categories. Users will be able to organize phrases into categories of their choosing. When creating a category, users will be given the option to name their category and choose from a selection of around 20 different icons. Once a category has been created, users will then be able to add their desired phrases.

More Apps Will Support Custom Font Sizes

Apple intends to expand app support for adjustable Text Size, which is an existing feature. Located within the "Display" section of the "Accessibility" settings pane, the option allows users to choose custom font sizes for individual apps and select their preferred font size for reading.

macOS Sonoma currently supports custom font sizes for the following five apps:

  • Calendar
  • Finder
  • Mail
  • Messages
  • Notes

With macOS 15, this feature will expand support to five additional apps:

  • Books
  • News
  • Stocks
  • Tips
  • Weather

Speaking to MacRumors, sources familiar with custom font sizes have said that Apple is internally testing an option to alter the font size of the menu bar within macOS, but it is unclear if the company will make this option available to end users. We were also told that Apple has additional accessibility features in the works, one of which utilizes on-device eye tracking, though further details were not available at the time of writing. More information should come to light as OS development continues in preparation for WWDC 2024.

It is important to note that while these features are in development, it does not necessarily mean we will see them later this year. Apple has been known to cancel various projects that do not meet their standards, for one reason or another. For additional information on what to expect with this year's new OS releases, check out our dedicated rumor roundup for iOS 18.
Related Roundup: iOS 18

This article, "Apple Developing New Accessibility Features for iOS 18 and macOS 15" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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