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#WWDC: VoiceOver Gains New Image Description Capabilities among other Changes

Like just about everything else these days, Apple's worldwide developers conference has switched to a virtual format for 2020. But a variety of new features have been announced across Apple's line of devices, including some new VoiceOver improvements.
While few details have been shared, VoiceOver appears to be gaining several features to help navigate apps and web pages which may be lacking proper accessibility support. Apple will try to identify controls that are not properly labeled, and also provide more verbose descriptions for images, including images on websites.
Outside of VoiceOver, Siri claims to be able to answer more questions with direct answers, instead of the classic "I can search the web for that" response. You can also send audio messages directly from Siri, or send your ETA to someone.
Apple grabs one of Android's top features in on-device dictation, useful on an airplane or another location where Internet access may be spotty. Speaking of Android features, iOS is gaining new ways to organize apps, and enhanced support for app widgets.
In messages, you can now pin up to nine conversations to the top of the screen for easy access. And the most important feature of all, a new face covering option for your Memoji.
There of course is a lot more than this. You can watch the keynote or view a near-complete list of new features from Apple.. Here are the specific features listed under the accessibility heading:

VoiceOver Recognition

On-device intelligence recognizes key elements displayed on your screen to add VoiceOver support for app and web experiences that don t have accessibility support built in.

VoiceOver Recognition: Image descriptions

VoiceOver reads complete-sentence descriptions of images and photos within apps and on the web.

VoiceOver Recognition: Text recognition

VoiceOver speaks the text it identifies within images and photos.

VoiceOver Recognition: Screen recognition

VoiceOver automatically detects interface controls to aid in navigating your apps, making them more accessible.

Headphone Accommodations

This new accessibility feature is designed to amplify soft sounds and adjust certain frequencies for an individual s hearing, to help music, movies, phone calls, and podcasts sound more crisp and clear. Headphone Accommodations also supports Transparency mode on AirPods Pro, making quiet voices more audible and tuning the sounds of your environment to your hearing needs.

Source: WWDC Keynote
Category: News

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J.J. Meddaugh is an experienced technology writer and computer enthusiast. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a major in telecommunications management and a minor in business. When not writing for Blind Bargains, he enjoys travel, playing the keyboard, and meeting new people.

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