Accessibility could be a key iOS 18 and macOS 15 focus for Apple's 2024 launches

Apple is set to unveil the iOS 18 and macOS 15 software updates in June and a new report suggests there are some big accessibility changes coming.

1 minute & 46 seconds read time

If Apple follows the release cadence that we're used to it will unveil the iOS 18 iPhone software and macOS 15 Mac software during an event in June before releasing them to the public this fall. And while Apple is yet to confirm anything about the new softwre releases, or indeed that they're even in the works, we're beginning to see leaks suggesting what iPhone and Mac owners should expect.

That report comes from MacRumors and cites industry sources when it says that Apple is working on a number of accessibility improvements as well as new fetures that should be part of the iOS 18 and macOS 15 software updates that are expected to be made available in or around September.

Accessibility could be a key iOS 18 and macOS 15 focus for Apple's 2024 launches 02

There are a number of improvements expected including Adaptive Voice Shortcuts. This feature allows users to map spoken phrases to an accessibility setting, including custom phrases. The idea is that people will be able to more easily toggle existing accessibility features on or off when neeed.

Another addition is a Categories section for Live Speach, a feature that allows users to type out text and have it spoken aloud during FaceTime calls and more. The new Categories feature will allow people to organize their custom phrases into categories while attaching icons and more for easy locating later.

MacRumors also says that more apps will support adjustable text sizes, an existing feature that will be expanded to add support for more apps than ever before. The Mac's Menu Bar is one example of an area where custom text sizes could be added, for example. It's also thought that additional eye-tracking features could be coming to the Mac, perhaps borrowing technology from the development of the Apple Vision Pro - a headset that uses eye tracking as a way to interact with apps.

It's important to remember that this report is based on prelreease software however, and Apple's plans can and often do change. With that in mind it's impossibel to be sure that any of these tweaks and new features will make the final shipping versions of iOS 18 and macOS 15, but we should only have to wait until June's WWDC event to find out. That being said, Apple routinely adds new accessibility features to the Mac and iPhone so the idea of it spending time and resources on new features like this is something that would make a lot of sense.

Other features expected as part of these new software updates include a heavy focus on AI, with Apple thought to be ready to make big changes to the way its devices use large language models and more.

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Based in the UK, Oliver has been writing about technology, entertainment, and games for more than a decade. If there's something with a battery or a plug, he's interested. After spending too much money building gaming PCs, Oliver switched to Apple and the Mac - and now spends too much on those instead.

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