Apple's Big Push to Improve Accessibility in iOS 13, iPadOS, and macOS Catalina

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 6, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple is introducing several accessibility-friendly features with iOS 13, iPadOS, and macOS Catalina, including Voice Control, Hover Text, and Mouse Pointer Support for iPhones and iPads.

    After the company's WWDC keynote on Monday, TechCrunch's iOS accessibility expert Steven Aquino sat down with Apple's Sarah Herrlinger, director of Global Accessibility Policy & Initiatives, who offered further details on the thinking behind Apple's latest, and arguably greatest, accessibility push.


    Voice Control

    Herrlinger first opened up about Apple's new Voice Control feature, which earned its own slide space during Craig Federighi's onstage presentation. Voice Control supports editing and menu navigation in both macOS Catalina and iOS 13, but it was the feature's advanced dictation capabilities that Herrlinger was most eager to highlight.
    Herrlinger said Apple has worked hard to improve Voice Control's speech detection system, so that it can more adeptly parse users with different types of speech, such as those who stutter.

    On iOS, the feature also utilizes attention awareness to know when a user with physical motor limitations is interacting with their device. Allaying privacy concerns, Apple says that none of the audio processed by Voice Control can be accessed by anyone else, including Apple, thanks to built-in anonymity and encryption.

    Hover Text for macOS

    Another feature Herrlinger was keen to demo was something called Hover Text on macOS. Described as a subset of the existing Zoom functionality, Hover Text enables the user to place the mouse pointer over a selection of text to get a bubble with the text enlarged.
    According to Herrlinger, Apple could have brought iOS feature Dynamic Type to the Mac, but found Hover Text accomplished the same goal of enlarging text in a way that felt better suited to its desktop operating system.

    Mouse Support for iPhone and iPad

    iPadOS and iOS 13 introduces mouse support for the first time, allowing a USB mouse to be connected to an iPad and iPhone for the first time.

    Mouse support is not a standard feature, but is instead available as an AssistiveTouch option, designed for users with physical motor delays who can't easily interact with the touchscreen itself. Apple says it works with both USB and Bluetooth mice, although the company doesn't yet have an official compatibility list. According to developer Steve Troughton-Smith, who first discovered the feature, it also works with the Apple Magic Trackpad.
    According to Herrlinger, Apple recognizes that people without disabilities will use this feature. "For example, many people find value in closed captions," she said. "Our goal is to engineer for specific use cases so that we continue to bring the power of our devices to more people."

    That being said, Herrlinger was quick to emphasize that mouse support should be seen in context. In other words, Apple hasn't introduced it to drastically alter the primary user input landscape of iOS, although that being said, it's not going to stop anyone outside its intended use case from plugging a mouse into their iPad Pro.

    iOS 13, iPadOS, and macOS Catalina are only available to registered developers at this time, but later in the summer, Apple plans to make public betas available, giving public beta testers a chance to try the software before it sees a public launch in the fall.

    Article Link: Apple's Big Push to Improve Accessibility in iOS 13, iPadOS, and macOS Catalina
  2. Glideslope macrumors 603


    Dec 7, 2007
    A quiet place in NY.
  3. Khedron macrumors 65816

    Sep 27, 2013
    Embarrassing that it took them this long. This is just a software switch to stop intentionally crippling standard bluetooth/USB interfaces.
  4. Aston441 macrumors 65816

    Sep 16, 2014
    Why are you dragging your feet Apple? Just make it a regular mouse cursor, like it was figured out to be, by Xerox, decades ago, to be one of the fastest and most comfortable ways to interact with a computer.

    Just stop being weird.

    You're going to add it eventually and we all know it. Just paste in the code.


    I can't believe a closed, locked down OS became the most popular again.

    Have we learned nothing from the Windows debacle? Apple is behaving worse than Microsoft ever did.
  5. Darth Tulhu macrumors regular

    Apr 10, 2019
    I hope this works as we EXPECT IT TO, not some cockamamie Apple-exclusive-convoluted-three-finger-swipe-down-left-right-A-B-Start kind of way.
  6. Techwatcher macrumors regular


    Sep 21, 2013
    Apple needs to understand that adding in full mouse support does not mean any of us will start throwing our Apple Pencils into the incinerator. They can work together quite beautifully, we're not that simple minded. Everything has a use case--they need to stop forcing all use cases into 1 workflow.
  7. Khedron macrumors 65816

    Sep 27, 2013
    Apple are terrified that if they allow standards to work on their devices someone might get an Apple Pencil 1 working on an iPad Pro, or a Pencil 2 on a non-Pro iPad.

    And that would basically be stealing money straight from Apple.
  8. TMRJIJ macrumors 68040


    Dec 12, 2011
    South Carolina, United States
    I can only really accept mouse support if the iPad is docked on a keyboard. Otherwise, it should not be a common primary input. iPadOS/iOS is a touch-centric OS just like macOS is a precision mouse OS. It’s never good to conflate or switch the two.
    I’ve always hated when people try to justify a touch-screen laptop. It’s not ergonomically practical and the desktop UI doesn’t work with touch.
  9. alexandr macrumors 6502a


    Nov 11, 2005
    i love what the video showed, but given how dumb siri is comparing to how they show here....
  10. BootsWalking macrumors 65816

    Feb 1, 2014
    Apple is kidding themselves if they think a large contingent of iPad users won’t be clamoring for a more refined and feature-complete implementation of mouse support. With Photoshop just around the corner, precise mouse pointer support will be a necessity.
  11. mi7chy macrumors 603


    Oct 24, 2014
    What is the motive for hiding ordinary features like mouse support under accessibility? Is it because of shame for backtracking, playing into the hearts of consumers that they really care about disabilities, weird rebranding, etc.? No other mouse supported OS does this.
  12. bb9 macrumors member


    Apr 1, 2017
    Android have these features already?? Apple is late again?
  13. cgaw23 macrumors newbie


    Oct 17, 2015
    I’ve always used Siri, but Apple has seriously fallen behind in the performance of their voice detection compared to their competitors. I’m glad they are working it.
    One thing I wish they would do is make Apple Music available on gaming consoles and TVs with android software. Spotify users can play music on pretty much any device in their house while Apple Music users are strictly limited
  14. vidjahgamz macrumors member


    Oct 29, 2017
    So.... if the mouse support isn't going to be like the conventional PC input mechanism than how different will it be from the standard experience? I'm curious.
  15. Lounge vibes 05 macrumors regular

    May 30, 2016
    I can't blame Apple for this, because it is a Beta. But I am a blind user, who uses voice over daily, and iOS 13 is the worst that is has ever been. The App Store will not launch if VO is turned on.
    Apple Music refuses to download onto my phone. I am just praying that Beta 2 drops soon. And really soon
  16. Romeo_Nightfall macrumors 6502


    Aug 8, 2018
    So You are a hater who tells other people what they should do, please report yourself!
  17. Lounge vibes 05 macrumors regular

    May 30, 2016
    Go back and watch Steve Jobs introduce the Macintosh. Then watch him introduce the iPad. One is made for full mouse support, and one is made for touch support. If you want a mouse, by a Mac. That why you have the choice
  18. TMRJIJ macrumors 68040


    Dec 12, 2011
    South Carolina, United States
    Got a problem with my opinion? Cry about it.
  19. Darth Tulhu macrumors regular

    Apr 10, 2019
    You mean like this?

    Or this?
  20. now i see it macrumors 68040

    Jan 2, 2002
    Their philosophy is (and always will be) get a Mac if you want a real mouse. An identical mouse behavior will never come to iPad.
  21. Darth Tulhu macrumors regular

    Apr 10, 2019
    Why can't we have BOTH on the iPad (NOT the Mac)?

    Did you see the amount of weirdo-swiping we have to muscle-memorize just to copy and paste some text??

    Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to have it and learn it for when I DON'T have a mouse or (Apple) trackpad, but it'd be MUCH easier to do otherwise.

    Hopefully now WE get to choose.

    Like with all OTHER (non-Apple) devices on Earth.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 6, 2019 ---
    Why not?
  22. metalsiren macrumors 6502


    Oct 28, 2017
    This, I have used a mouse on android and it works, even scroll works on web pages etc. and I am not talking about desktop mode, it works in native. and its a REGULAR pointer. not some weird circle from hell,
  23. Baymowe335 macrumors 601

    Oct 6, 2017
    Apple actually tries to get software features to work and continue to support that functionality over the long term.
  24. Macaholic868, Jun 6, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019 at 5:17 PM

    Macaholic868 macrumors 6502


    Feb 2, 2017
    I absolutely love this feature!!! The one thing that prevents me from going on vacation with an iPad alone leaving my laptop behind is that I need to be able to use Microsoft’s RD client to connect to my system at the office and do work that requires a mouse from time to time.

    I can bumble my way through it with touch if it’s just adjusting a line or two of code but anything more than that and forget it on anything but a laptop or desktop with a mouse.

    With mouse support I can take my iPad Pro with me and be safe in the knowledge that I’m covered if I have to do something more complex on my work PC that requires the precision of a mouse instead of touch through the RD interface! For me this one is a game changer!!!

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