If you haven’t installed the update to iOS released this week, this might be a reason to do so. Besides general user experience updates, iOS has added some nice features to their accessibility menu.
iOS devices now come with the ability to type with auditory feedback across apps. The setting is enabled via the Speech Accessibility section (General > Accessibility > Speech> Typing Feedback).
To activate this feature toggle on the “Speak Words” and “Hold to Speak Predictions” options. Character feedback is also available however may prove to be confusing for a more proficient typer. A user now also has the ability to tap and hold the word prediction list to hear each recommended word. The touch is a little tricky, however. Press too long, the word is inserted into the sentence.
The update has also improved the ability to have the text read back. A press and hold on any word in the sentence provides the option of having the sentence read back. This no longer requires the user to highlight the entire sentence to have it read back. One feature that is not yet available but hopefully coming, is having the sentence read back after a punctuation mark. Currently, users who use dictation and would like to proof the outcome of the dictation with auditory feedback need to use the press and hold method.
See it in action here:
High-Quality Voice Options
With the iOS update, a larger variety of high-quality voices are now available for use. Previously a user was relegated to Alex however a greater variety is now available as an additional download.
Hear some of the voices here:
Contextual Word Prediction
The word prediction built into the on-screen keyboard has also improved somewhat in its intelligence. It still does not support phonetic spelling but is better able to suggest words based on the context of the sentence you are writing. Let’s hope one day there will be a phonetic spelling support option.
See a demo here:
Within the Display Accommodations, users can now activate Color Filters which changes the intensity and hue of the screen across all apps. This helps support users whose eyes are affected by screen glare and fatigue. Other options include color inversion (night mode) and reducing white point (color intensity). Try these settings here: General> Accessibility> Display Accommodations.