Apple is developing new accessibility features for iOS 18 and macOS 15

By Marko Zivkovic

With every release of its operating system, Apple strives to make apps more accessible and easier to navigate by introducing many new accessibility features and customizations. iOS 18 (codenamed Crystal) and macOS 15 (codenamed Glow) will be no exception, and work on accessibility improvements is well underway.

Through our industry sources, MacRumors has received information about some of the key accessibility improvements Apple is preparing for its user base. Apple is working on several new accessibility features, as well as improvements to existing settings, both of which should be available later this year.

Adaptive Voice Commands

This feature will allow users to associate a unique spoken phrase with an accessibility setting. Users will be given the option to create a custom phrase and select the accessibility setting they want to toggle by saying the phrase. Using adaptive voice shortcuts, users will be able to toggle existing accessibility features such as VoiceOver, voice control, zoom, and more.

New Categories section for live speech

The Live Speech feature, which is already present in Apple operating systems, will receive a new section for user-created categories. Users will be able to organize phrases into categories of their choice. When creating a category, users will be given the option to name their category and choose from about 20 different icons. Once a category is created, users will be able to add the phrases they want.

More apps will support custom font sizes

Apple intends to expand app support for adjustable text size, which is an existing feature. This option, located in the Display section of the Accessibility preferences panel, allows users to choose custom font sizes for individual apps and select their preferred reading font size.

macOS Sonoma currently supports custom font sizes . for the following five applications:

  • Calendar

  • Finder

  • Mail

  • Messages

  • Notes

In macOS 15, this feature will expand support for five additional apps:

  • Books

  • News

  • Promotions

  • Advice

  • Weather

Speaking to MacRumors, sources familiar with custom font sizes said Apple is internally testing the ability to change the menu bar font size in macOS, but it's unclear whether the company will do so. this option is available to end users. We're also told Apple is developing additional accessibility features, one of which uses on-device eye tracking, although more details weren't available at the time of writing. More information should become available as OS development continues in preparation for WWDC 2024.

It's important to note that while these features are in development, that doesn't necessarily mean we'll see them later this year. It is known that Apple, for one reason or another, cancels various projects that do not meet their standards. For more information on what to expect from new OS releases this year, check out our dedicated roundup of iOS 18 rumors.

Related review: iOS 18 Tags: Accessibility, macOS 15[ 45 comments ]

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