On Tuesday, Apple previewed new accessibility features coming to their platforms this year, including new navigation, health, and communication tools alongside Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD).
Among these announcements was the expansion of their Accessibility Assistant shortcut to Mac and Apple Watch to “help recommend accessibility features based on user preferences”.
The new shortcuts have now been released in the “Shortcuts for Accessibility” category in the Gallery for iPhone, iPad, and Mac, along with the 26 Accessibility shortcuts that users can add right away in their Shortcuts app.
I’ve had the new iPad Pro and the Siri remote for Apple TV in my hands for a few days now – I wanted to give members a digest of my thoughts before I create videos on each, so look for those next week.
Plus, I’ve got a new set of shortcuts to go along with Flexibits’ apps, new Notion shortcuts, and a bundle of good links for you all – plus how I’m using Shortcuts with Apple TV:
🆕 NEW FROM ME THIS WEEK
Two apps with Shortcuts support for one subscription, my new Notion shortcuts, and another stream for diving deeper into the API – plus a teaser for next week:
New member stream on Friday at 9am PST
Following up on last week’s stream, I’m doing another this Friday at 9am PST / 12pm EST / 16:00 UTC to round out the Notion API exploration – I’ll be building shortcuts that interact with more advanced data types, building more of a front-end for the shortcuts themselves, and summarizing what I’ve learned into more digestible bits.
If you’re in the US, you might feel a little wobbly thanks to Daylight Saving Time – or if you’re somewhere it’s not used, all your US-based media just moved around an hour.
Thankfully I’ve got a new Daily Health shortcut that includes easier access to your Sleep data, as well as a way to set your alarms by the sunrise – I find I can’t help but wake up then anyways, so might as well get to sleep on time too!
Beyond that, there are some YouTube videos on Shortcuts for you to watch, as well as a challenge for you at the end:
🆕 NEW THIS WEEK
I’m back on YouTube, members can get their Automation goodness, and better Daily Health is on the way:
Accessibility features are incredibly important for modern technology to provide, making it possible for everyone to utilize their hardware & software regardless of their personal situation – you either have direct accessibility needs that require specific use of your technology, you’ll one day need them yourself, or you benefit from those features anyway (think Dark mode).
The Shortcuts app has always been an Accessibility priority for Apple, with them declaring as much in their confirmation story when they acquisition of the Workflow app before it became Shortcuts1:
“The Workflow app was selected for an Apple Design Award in 2015 because of its outstanding use of iOS accessibility features, in particular an outstanding implementation for VoiceOver with clearly labeled items, thoughtful hints, and drag/drop announcements, making the app usable and quickly accessible to those who are blind or low-vision.”
In iOS 13, Apple went further and added a set of actions to Shortcuts for controlling Accessibility features, available to use inside the shortcut editor in Apps > Settings.