Apple is among those who pay attention to the additional functions of their devices aimed at facilitating use for people with various disabilities. This was highlighted separately at many of the recent presentations of new products.
Today, the company announced separate release about the new capabilities of the Accessibility section, which will include Personal Voice — cloning the voice of the device owner. It will help people who may lose the ability to speak to reproduce a “synthesized voice that sounds like them” for further communication.
Users will be able to “teach” a smartphone or tablet to reproduce their own voice, for which it will be necessary to read examples of text aloud for 15 minutes. Then, thanks to the integration with the Live Speech function, the user can type the desired text and the device will reproduce it in the appropriate voice.
Apple also notes that it uses “on-device machine learning to keep users’ information private and secure.”
Along with this, simplified versions of the main applications for people with cognitive impairments will be made. These will be designed to “distill apps and experiences to their essential features in order to lighten cognitive load.” Among them will be a combined version of Phone with FaceTime, modified Messages, Camera, Photos, and Music, which will receive contrasting buttons, larger text, and other auxiliary tools.
Magnifier will also add accessibility. A visually impaired user will be able to point the camera at, for example, a microwave oven key, and when they move their finger over a particular key, the smartphone or tablet will announce its function or the number on it.
Mac computers will now be able to work with iPhone-compatible hearing aids (usually with the Made for iPhone logo on the packaging). macOS will also have an easier way to adjust text in the Finder, Messages, Mail, Calendar, and Notes. The system will also learn to pause animated GIF images in Safari and Messages, adjust the speaking speed for Siri, and use voice control for phonetic prompts when editing text.