Here Are All the Accesibility Features Built Into Your Apple Watch
The Apple Watch has a wealth of accessibility features that you may not know about. There are several features that make the text easier to read, which can come in handy if you find yourself struggling to read text on your small watch screen or experience eye strain using your devices. There are also features for blind, low vision, deaf, and hard of hearing people to ensure that everyone can easily navigate and utilize the Apple Watch.
Here is an overview of everything the Apple Watch has to offer in its accessibility menu.
Accessing the Accessibility Menu
The Accessibility menu can be accessed from either your iPhone or your Apple Watch. If you already have your accessibility features set up on your phone, you may find it easier to do the initial accessibility setup on your iPhone rather than your watch.
On your Apple Watch, the Accessibility menu can be accessed from Settings > Accessibility. On your iPhone, open the Watch app and select Accessibility.
It is also worth noting that you can adjust many of these features with Siri. For example, if you are blind or have low vision, you may want to ask Siri to turn on VoiceOver so that you can more easily navigate the accessibility menu without assistance.
Vision Accessibility Features
There are several accessibility features available on the Apple Watch designed for those who are blind, have low vision, or experience other vision difficulties:
- VoiceOver: Operates as a screen reader for your Apple Watch. When VoiceOver is turned on, you can tap words to have them read aloud to you. You can also tap on images to have image descriptions read to you by Siri. VoiceOver can also help you navigate your iPhone without vision. This feature allows blind or low vision users to navigate their devices with touch and sound rather than sight.
- Zoom: A built-in magnifier to use as you navigate your Apple Watch. You can use the Digital Crown to move across the screen by rows or use two fingers to move around the screen. Seeing text on a small screen like the Apple Watch screen can be challenging, so this is a useful feature for many users.
- Bold Text: Makes all text bold for easier viewing.
- On/Off Labels: Displays an additional label on the on/off switches to make it easier for people to tell when settings are on or off.
- Grayscale: Enables grayscale on the Apple Watch to support people who have difficulty when viewing color.
- Reduce Transparency: Increases the contrast on the watch screen by reducing the transparency of the background behind elements such as alerts and Siri.
- Reduce Motion: Reduces motion on the screen by limiting animation or automatic resizing of the Apple Watch interface when opening or closing apps.
- Chimes: Plays a chime sound and haptic feedback on the hour, or on another schedule that you set, to help those who can’t see the time on the watch keep track of time.
Motor Function Accessibility Features
These accessibility features can help users with motor function challenges:
- Side Button Click Speed: Adjusts the speed required to double-click the side button on your Apple Watch. You can choose between default, slow, and slowest.
- Touch Accommodations: Allows you to adjust how your watch responds to touches. There are several adjustments that can be made, such as adjusting the hold duration. The hold duration is how long you need to touch the screen before it recognizes a touch. You can also tell your watch to ignore repeat touches and treat them as a single touch
- Auto-Answer Calls: Tells your Watch that you would like calls automatically answered, rather than waiting for you to swipe to answer on your watch or iPhone.
Hearing Accessibility Features
Apple also has a ton of hearing accessibility options for those who are deaf or hard of hearing, use hearing devices, or just want to protect their hearing:
- RTT: Allows you to make and receive real-time text (RTT) phone class from the Phone app on your Apple Watch, letting you use text to communicate during phone calls.
- Mono Audio: Plays both left and right audio channels in both ears when listening to Bluetooth headphones connected to your Apple Watch, and lets you adjust the balance for greater volume in one ear or the other. This feature is designed for people who are hard of hearing in one ear. Normally when you listen to music or videos on headphones, different sounds will play on the right and left ear (called stereo sound), but those with limited hearing in one ear may find this difficult as they will miss out on some audio.
- Headphone Notifications: Sends a notification if you’ve been listening to loud music or audio for a prolonged period through Bluetooth headphones connected to your watch. The notification is sent once your listening reaches a duration that could negatively impact your hearing at the high volume.
- Hearing Devices Complication: Lets you decide what complication you would like shown in your watch face complications when you connect a hearing device. You can choose between Mic Volume and Program.
- Audio Transcriptions: Shows audio transcriptions on your Apple Watch for announcements from your HomePod.
If you want to make an accessibility feature available as a shortcut by triple clicking the Digital Crown on your watch, you can set this up by:
- Opening the Watch app on your paired iPhone.
- Selecting Accessibility from the menu list.
- Scrolling all the way to the end of the list and selecting Accessibility Shortcut.
- Choosing between the three shortcut options available: VoiceOver, Zoom, and Touch Accommodations.
The Apple Watch has an impressive range of accessibility features to ensure that everyone can make use of their devices. Apple has also integrated most of the above features and more into its other devices as well. So you can set up all your Apple devices to work as well for you as possible.
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October 7, 2021 at 06:07AM