How Apple ensures that its technology and services work for everyone, regardless of their needs
Apple places great emphasis on the accessibility of its products , ranging from iPhone and Apple Watch to AirPods and more. In a new interview, Sarah Herrlinger, Apple’s global accessibility manager, offers more details on Apple’s focus on accessibility.
During an interview with the Evening Standard , Herrlinger explained that Apple’s main goal is to offer everyone the ability to be productive members of the company.
“We all want to be productive members of society, do good things and show all that we are. Being able to create a technology that can put everyone on the same level is really important, ”he says.
When it comes to developing new accessibility features, Herrlinger states that one of Apple’s key assets is customer e-mail . Hearing a user explain why an accessibility feature would be useful for them is often the ” aha moment ” ( Aha moment is the moment when the user realizes the value of your product for the first time ) for Apple, said Herrlinger .
“We receive lots of e-mails every day from customers who write to us to ask questions or provide feedback that gives us a different perspective, they can report bugs and all kinds of things,” says Herrlinger.
One of Apple’s greatest accessibility improvements is VoiceOver , which is a screen-reading technology that helps visually impaired users know what’s on their iPhone or iPad screen. VoiceOver succeeded thanks to its deep implementation on iOS, explained Herrlinger:
“VoiceOver is designed to be available in every corner of the operating system,” explains Herrlinger. “If you are trying to take a picture, it will tell you how many heads are on the screen, where they are centered, if you have to tilt the camera slightly and how to move so you can take a more level picture.”
Herrlinger also spoke about AirPods’ live listening function . This allows our iPhone to act as a directional microphone, with audio played live on a pair of AirPods. Herrlinger stated that this is one of many examples of accessibility features with a wider use case than was initially expected.