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3 iPhone features that make life of a specially-abled individual easier

iOS 17 added new accessibility features for iPhone and iPad users. Personal Voice lets you replicate your real voice using machine learning. Apple says is processes data used for these features on the same device. 

iOS 17 update 3 iPhone features that make life of a specially abled individual easier gcw
First Published Dec 2, 2023, 12:40 PM IST

The United Nations observes December 3 as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities to promote awareness and the welfare of people with disabilities worldwide. The most popular technological gadget in use today is the smartphone, and tech companies have been moving quickly to develop new technologies to increase user accessibility. While Apple has added new features like Voice Control and Assistive Access, Google has added Action Blocks, Camera Switches, and Live Transcribe in recent years.

In anticipation of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, we examine a few features that can greatly simplify the iPhone experience for users.

Personal voice feature

Apple's new Personal Voice function, which is powered by on-device machine learning, enables iPhone owners who have been diagnosed with degenerative illnesses like ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), which can cause speech loss, to continue speaking. Users of an iPhone or iPad are required to read aloud 15 minutes of randomly generated text in order to access the Personal Voice function.  The newly created voice should sound like an artificial voice that you can recognise after it has been stored. To add a more intimate touch to conversations, you may combine Live Speech with the Personal Voice function, which is entirely created and processed on the same device.

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Live Speech

When speaking with someone face-to-face or even during FaceTime chats, iPhone users who have lost their voice or are mute due to a medical condition can enter whatever they want to say on their phone and have it read aloud via the device's speaker.

Users have the option to save specific words in highly dynamic group conversations, which they may touch to participate at any time. According to Apple's support literature, this capability is also compatible with iPad and Mac PCs.

Assistive Access

On iOS, Apple offers a standard visual interface, however users with vision-related problems may find it a little confusing. With the release of iOS 17, Apple added a new Assistive Access mode that significantly streamlines the user experience for those who only want a basic interface, with the goal of making the iPhone and iPad more accessible.

Users who have enabled Assistive Access will notice a streamlined interface for optimised apps, along with substantially bigger icons and text labels. Larger buttons may also be utilised for frequently performed tasks like returning to the home screen, taking pictures, and taking calls. Elderly users may also find the function useful, since it facilitates family members' communication with them. 

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