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Laughing Man on Apple WWDC 2020

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Apple, arguably, has a great record on tech accessibility but sometimes the company gets things oh so wrong. As a bit of a laugh, as we wait for its WWDC 2020 showpiece keynote event, where Apple unveils details of its operating system updates for the year, here are a few areas that need improving to ensure iOS 14 and watchOS 7, and macOS 10.16 are as accessible as possible to people with severe physical disabilities. We love you Apple but come on guys you can do better than this! My roundup of what the tech giant needs to do to make its devices accessible to everyone.

iOS 14

1) Better Voice Control and dictation – support for UK English, and a beefed-up Siri speech-to-text engine. Fixing a bug that mangles text dictated into the main Google search text box.

2) Smarter Siri – the ability to use a Siri voice command to end/hang up a phone call e.g. “Hey Siri end call”

3) Ability to answer calls with a voice command “Hey Siri Answer”

4) Auto Answer – ability to toggle the Auto-Answer feature on and off with a Siri voice command, (you can most accessibility features but not this one strangely) and use it in Shortcuts e.g. you put your Airpods in your ears and automatically the Auto-Answer feature is enabled and vice versa

5) Accessibility menu – the ability to make the hierarchy of the accessibility menu completely customisable to the user’s own disability.

6) Announce Messages with Siri – will become more useful when other messaging services, such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, become integrated. Apple needs to release a API

watchOS 7

1) Watch cellular needs the auto-answer feature

2) Watch cellular needs ability to answer calls and end calls with a voice command

3) Bring Announce Messages with Siri to the Watch

macOS10.16

1) Bring Face ID to Mac computers for easy hands-free login

2)  Smarter Siri on the Mac with more options for smart home gadget control

3) Better Voice Control, including fixing a bug that prevents accurate dictation in the Google search text box, and various improvements for more accurate dictation

If some of these features can be implemented in iOS 14, watchOS 7 and macOS 10.16 when they are unveiled later it will go a long way to make the iPhone, Mac computer, and Apple Watch truly accessible for people with physical disabilities and anyone who wants to do more on their devices with their voice.

How to watch the WWDC keynote on iPhone, iPad, Mac, the web

Apple’s virtual event WWDC 2020 starts with a Special Event Keynote at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET. It’s during this event that we expect the announcement of iOS 14, watch0S7 and macOS 10.16.

Here is where you can follow the proceedings:

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