By Scott Davert: For Complete Post, Click Here…
Just like in years past, September brings us a new major release of iOS. This latest edition includes many mainstream changes such as a revamped Lock screen; enhancements to privacy and safety features; Focus Mode enhancements; new functionality in Messages and Mail; along with many other improvements. For Apple’s official list of iOS 16 features and changes, see this webpage which Highlights many. A lot of articles will cover these changes in detail, but far fewer will cover the accessibility enhancements and features for individuals who are blind or DeafBlind.
Hello Automatic Verification, Goodbye Captcha!
CAPTCHAs may soon become a thing of the past thanks to a new feature in iOS 16 called Automatic Verification. By allowing iCloud to automatically and privately verify your device and account, it may soon be possible for users to bypass CAPTCHAs. For more detailed information on how Automatic Verification works, please see this TechCrunch article.
Each time I cover what’s new in iOS, Siri gets a mention. This article is no exception. This time around, Siri gains the option to carry out new tasks. You can shut down your phone, restart it, hang up a call, and other actions. With “Hey Siri” enabled, simply tell it to carry out any of these tasks.
If you are someone who prefers to collect their thoughts before dictating, you now also have the ability to control the amount of time Siri will wait for a response. You can adjust this by going to Settings > Accessibility > Siri and choosing among the 3 options. The default setting is what we have always had, but there are now options for “Longer” and “longest”.
Finally, there are new sounds for when Siri is listening and when it stops. These new sounds are much lower pitched and may be easier for someone with a high frequency hearing loss to detect.
With iOS 16, it is mostly no longer necessary to speak the punctuation needed to formulate a proper sentence. Even when I spoke with no inflection in my voice, the dictation was still able to correctly insert punctuation marks in many instances. That said, I’ve also had random times where no punctuation shows up at all, so it is always best to verify what you are sending before doing so.
There Are More Voices Inside My Phone! Explore these and other new options by going to Settings > Accessibility > VoiceOver > Speech > Voice.
Read Eloquently With Reed
You can listen to your iOS device with any other variant of Eloquence you would like as well. In English, this includes both the U.S. and U.K. variants. Many prefer this speech synthesizer to others, as it is the default with JAWS and is very responsive. Its comparatively robotic and more predictable nature can also help those who are hard of hearing, as it can sometimes be difficult to understand the more modern concatenative synthesizers at faster rates.