Hands on with Apple's new voice control accessibility feature in iOS 13

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 7
Accessibility is getting a major upgrade in iOS 13 and macOS Catalina -- adding not just the ability to use a mouse with iOS, but also granting users the ability to control their devices using only their voice.




Apple is making a push for greater accessibility with iOS 13, iPadOS 13, and Mac Catalina. In the WWDC keynote, Apple showcased a video in which Ian Mackay, a disability advocate, bike-path enthusiast, and quadriplegic, effortlessly uses his Mac and iPhone to coordinate a nature ride with a friend.

Really happy to help demonstrate the game changing power of voice control. #AppleAccessibility https://t.co/nwejA3XYbG

-- Ian Mackay (@iansride2016)


Understandably, people were impressed. Apple is affording people with disabilities a better way to interact with their devices. It's a big step forward for making the tech world more accessible to everyone.

With the next roll out of OSs, users will be given greater control over their devices with the addition of voice commands. Voice commands allow users who may not be able to hold a phone or type on a keyboard to do many of the same things an able-bodied user could. This includes opening and navigating apps, typing, and even pinching, tapping, zooming, and swiping.

We tried out the new accessibility features in the iOS 13 beta on an iPhone 6s.




The voice commands work quite well, though knowing what we know about Apple's current voice recognition capabilities, we weren't surprised.

There's an option to turn on visual conformation for voice commands, which flashes a small text bubble at the top of the screen before executing the command. We found this especially helpful as it allowed us to see what the iPhone was registering us saying.




There is a bit of a learning curve, especially if you have never used a voice-control setup before. It was easy to forget what some of the commands were named. Fortunately, there is a master list of commands in the Accessibility menu, allowing you to go back and see what commands are available.




Unsurprisingly, simply having the voice control on also tends to drain an iPhone battery fairly fast. We tested on an iPhone a battery that was less than 6 months old and noticed that the battery seemed to drain noticeably quicker than when the feature was off.

Overall, we were impressed with how fluidly the voice commands work in the iOS 13 beta. Other accessibility features, such as mouse support for the iPad, are also being added.
StrangeDays

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    ivanhivanh Posts: 372member
    You forgot to remind readers that they’ll need excessive use of their eyeballs. Try close your eyes and do voice control like talking to Alexa or Google Assistant, then you’ll know this Siri tech is ...
    Well, let see.
  • Reply 2 of 9
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,261member
    ivanh said:
    You forgot to remind readers that they’ll need excessive use of their eyeballs. Try close your eyes and do voice control like talking to Alexa or Google Assistant, then you’ll know this Siri tech is ...
    Well, let see.
    What the f are you talking about? This isn’t a Siri feature or topic. It’s specifically an Accessibility feature, to use voice control for Mac or iOS. 
    AppleExposedfastasleepjbdragonalexonlinewatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 3 of 9
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,642member
    Apple already has superb voice feedback for the visually impaired or blind, as Stevie Wonder would be happy to tell you (or you can try yourself using Do Not Disturb While Driving to do something like get directions). Voice control just makes what visually-impaired people can do with the iPhone much more efficient and powerful.

    So in short Ivan, you really have no idea what you’re talking about ... as usual.
    fastasleepStrangeDaysalexonlinewatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 4 of 9
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,149member
    ivanh said:
    You forgot to remind readers that they’ll need excessive use of their eyeballs. Try close your eyes and do voice control like talking to Alexa or Google Assistant, then you’ll know this Siri tech is ...
    Well, let see.
    Not sure what you are taking about.  Siri works fantastic for me.  I have a couple Amazon Dots and even a Google Mini and Cortana on my Windows 10 Desktop.  Siri is what I always use.  I am using it all the tine on my Apple Watch and it works amazing well.  When I can just lift my wrist and say “Open Garage”.  That’s it and it opens.  Siri even says a few different things when it responds.

    in current rated tests, Siri moved up to Second place above Alexa.  Not far behind of Google.  I don’t See Siri beating Gooogle just because of all the crap Google spy’s on you for info that it can use for Google Home.

    But Siri Shortcuts makes up for many of those holes.

    StrangeDayswatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 5 of 9
    sergiozsergioz Posts: 241member
    What about voice over speech with new Siri voice? Any one will show us what’s it like? 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 9
    neutrino23neutrino23 Posts: 1,531member
    Did you get a chance to try the feature where you can add your own words to the vocabulary? I am really interested in this. It would be nice to use dictation, but I write technical pieces and need specialized vocabulary.

    I suspect that I don't need all that many extra words. 

    A long time ago I got a spell check program with no dictionary. I just started using it on all my communication back to my home office. I carefully checked the list of spelling errors and when I was sure they were right I used them to create my own dictionary. I should have tracked the number of new words over time. It seems like this dropped in a nonlinear fashion.

    Similarly, once I add the names of the elements and some other technical words then I think the number of new words needed each week will be small. 

    I do wonder what will happen to the accuracy of dictation if the vocabulary becomes larger?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 9
    frantisekfrantisek Posts: 488member
    Why it should be just for impaired. I would like to operate phone by voice very often as Siri capabilities are very limited. And my language is missing at all.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 9
    Can you confirm that general voice dictation works without an internet connection? They seemed to say that in the platform session.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 9
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,757administrator
    Can you confirm that general voice dictation works without an internet connection? They seemed to say that in the platform session.
    It does.

    But, it's worth noting that it is still very early, and very buggy.
    watto_cobra
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