MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
54,120
15,914



Apple has outlined the Apple Watch's built-in accessibility features for vision and hearing on its website, with four of the primary assisitive technologies being VoiceOver, font adjustment, mono audio and the Taptic Engine. The accessibility features can be accessed using the Apple Watch directly or through the Settings app on a paired iPhone.

Apple-Watch-Accessibility.png
For the visually impaired, the Apple Watch features VoiceOver, a gesture-based tool that uses the device's built-in speaker to communicate what is appearing on the screen. VoiceOver is compatible with built-in apps and available in 14 supported languages. Apple Watch users can also activate Larger Dynamic Type to adjust the size of the font or choose Bold Text to make the text heavier.

Apple outlines six other assistive technologies for the visually impaired: zoom, grayscale, extra large watch face, reduce transparency, on/off labels and reduce motion. Zoom is controlled using the Digital Crown on the side of the Apple Watch, while the other accessibility features must be enabled through settings.

Apple-Watch-Accessibility-Features.png
Apple Watch also supports mono audio for people that are deaf or have hearing loss in one ear, enabling users to play both audio channels in both ears and adjust the balance for greater volume in either ear. Apple Watch also features the Taptic Engine for haptic feedback, giving your wrist a gentle tap every time a notification comes in.

Article Link: Apple Watch Accessibility Features: VoiceOver, Mono Audio, Grayscale, Taptic Engine and More
 

Slix

macrumors 65816
Mar 24, 2010
1,211
1,452
Just heard a friend of mine the other day mention something about how they didn't understand how blind or deaf or other impaired people can use computers. Here's a great example. Good to see these types of options being implemented.
 
Comment

lazyrighteye

macrumors 68020
Jan 16, 2002
2,278
1,270
Denver, CO
XL watch face is maybe my fav Watch face I have seen to date.
Will likely look at rocking this option. Come June.
 
Comment

DavidLeblond

macrumors 68020
Jan 6, 2004
2,233
352
Raleigh, NC
The feature is also on the phone's accessibility options. It would also be helpful on the watch when paired with headphones for music (stored on the watch) or other audio playback.

I guess I still don't understand why the watch would be paired with headphones or store music when it must be paired with a phone that does both as well.
 
Comment

Drumjim85

macrumors 68030
Oct 7, 2007
2,601
224
DFW, TX
I guess I still don't understand why the watch would be paired with headphones or store music when it must be paired with a phone that does both as well.

The example I can think of is when you're running or working out and don't want to bring your phone.
 
Comment

Lacasse

macrumors regular
Oct 24, 2006
134
104
The example I can think of is when you're running or working out and don't want to bring your phone.

I think that it's a great feature. Think about it...you don't need your phone all the time, especially when doing physical activities. Such as. Running, walking the dog, puttering around the yard, working out, cycling,...just listening to music...etc.

As far as I can see, I think that the watch is a great implementation of what a watch should be.

The only question that I have is: does the information from the iPhone's calendar and email get stored locally on on the watch, so that information that was last synced, can be accessed when de-coupled from the phone. Example: going from one meeting to another meeting, does the watch remind me of appointments in absence of the phone.
 
Comment

newagemac

macrumors 68020
Mar 31, 2010
2,091
23
I guess I still don't understand why the watch would be paired with headphones or store music when it must be paired with a phone that does both as well.

You don't have to pair your phone with the watch. Some parts of it can function without the phone like music you've stored on it. So when you go running, you don't need your phone or anything in your hands. Just your wireless bluetooth headphones and the watch on your wrist.
 
Comment

ttss6

macrumors 6502
Mar 28, 2014
333
58
California
I wonder if they can somehow implement the taptic engine with accessibility features. There's gotta be something there to help say people who are deaf.
 
Comment

Marbles1

macrumors 6502
Nov 27, 2011
262
1,104
I wonder if they can somehow implement the taptic engine with accessibility features. There's gotta be something there to help say people who are deaf.

A killer feature for blind folks (so it can be done discreetly), is if the taptic tapping could tap out the time. e.g. 2:53, two taps for 2, brief pause, 5 taps, brief pause, 3 taps. Something like that. They'd then be able to 'see' the time and others wouldn't hear it speaking.
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.