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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Apple today shared a new ad titled "The Greatest" that highlights accessibility features available on the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch. Namely, the ad demonstrates the Door Detection, Sound Recognition, and Voice Control features on these devices.

"At Apple, we believe accessibility is a human right," the video description says. "Innovative features like Door Detection, Sound Recognition, Voice Control, and more are designed to let you use your devices in ways that work best for you."

Built into the Magnifier app on the iPhone, Door Detection can detect doors around you and help you understand how to open the door. Sound Recognition can notify you to certain sounds, such as a crying baby, doorbell, or siren. Voice Control lets you navigate and interact with Apple devices using your voice to tap, swipe, type, and more.

Apple's accessibility website provides a detailed overview of these features and many others.

Article Link: Apple Highlights Accessibility Features on iPhone, Mac, and More in New Ad
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macrumors 604
Jan 26, 2014
Horsens, Denmark
I had no idea the watch could detect sounds like a baby crying and alert the user. The depth of their accessibility features is astounding to me.

iPhone can do it too. Watch just adds convenience. There's also sirens, door bells, car horns, fire/smoke alarms, cats and dogs, appliances, knocking, glass breaking, kettle is done, running water, shouting and coughing.
Feature is called Sound Recognition. Last I checked it unfortunately did not work with our doorbells, but everything else worked well as far as I could tell and test (didn't test all).


macrumors regular
Oct 13, 2007
Seeing stuff like this gives me hope and reassurance that my life might still be enriched and enjoyable if I ever suffer some kind of severe physical impairment.

Yeah, the basic truth that profit is the primary motive here does sour it a bit, but.


macrumors 68020
Feb 1, 2014
I give Apple a lot of shade for many of their corporate practices but one thing I'm eternally grateful for is Apple's focus on accessibility features in their products. They don't have to do it, it likely costs them a lot of R&D without a commensurate payoff in revenue. But it's the right thing to do from a human perspective.

Thank you Apple.


macrumors P6
Jul 4, 2007
Atlanta, GA
Seeing stuff like this gives me hope and reassurance that my life might still be enriched and enjoyable if I ever suffer some kind of severe physical impairment.

Yeah, the basic truth that profit is the primary motive here does sour it a bit, but.
I mean. All companies are driven by profits, and profits are usually the business justification for any effort a company takes. In this case Apple profits by making their OS very useful to those with disabilities, but Apple's accessibility solutions are significantly better and well thought out than those done by a company just trying meet the minimum requirements to make a profit.

Apple can also be sued for not meeting compliance in the same way that a physical store can be sued for not having wheelchair ramps, but again their solutions are far better than the minimum required to avoid litigation.
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macrumors 65816
Jan 4, 2022
London, UK

Not really. I was served in an Apple Store by a blind person recently. They did an absolutely perfect job of helping with the aid of their apple devices.

The one blind person in the Microsoft store up the road had only wandered in after smelling urine thinking it was a public toilet.
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macrumors member
Nov 2, 2016
Love seeing the progress they have made in this area, and it's also why my parents continue to love using their Apple devices. Even my Grandma who was 96 before she passed away, could still effectively use her iPhone. Not only are these features great for people with disabilities, but also for older people that have issues reading, hearing, etc.


macrumors 604
Aug 20, 2015
My favorite Accessibility hack is to use the red color filter late at night to wash over my iPhone's entire screen. The accessibility shortcut is set up so all I have to do is triple-press my side button and I'm in submarine control room mode :)

Another one I've stumbled on is, on the Mac, the ability to have it read back each character you type. I set it up this way for our 3 year-old: we put her in front of a Pages document with the text set big and bold, and she types things out as we tell her the letters, with feedback after each one. When she hits the space bar after the last letter of a word, it reads out the entire word as a reward. Boom, a free educational app. (You just have to remember to turn it off afterwards because it will quickly drive you insane in normal use. )


macrumors 601
Apr 19, 2010
Is Apple better at accessibility than Android and Windows?

My impression is that it is, but I am not familiar enough so I'm just asking.
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macrumors newbie
Feb 23, 2021
Leidli T'enneh Territory
I don't need most of these features right now but I'm glad they're there and that Apple has continued to prioritize development on them going back all the way to MacinTalk and Speakable Items. If stuff like this is part of what the "Apple premium" goes to fund then I'm happy to pay for it if it helps make the world a better/easier place for those with different abilities.
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