Low vision improvements in iOS 7.1

10 March 2014

A new update for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch has some great improvements for people with low vision.

When iOS 7 was released last September, a lot of partially sighted people were dismayed by the changes to the way it looked. The high contrast of areas like the on screen keyboard and some of the controls were replaced by much less distinct colours.

Apple have now released iOS 7.1, which has some significant changes to the way the interface looks. It's not a return to the old look, but there are several enhancements within Settings, General, Accessibility worth knowing about.

  • When Bold Text is on, keyboard characters are bolder. The colour of the icon on the Shift and Backspace keys has been changed.
  • Increase Contrast has been given extra options to "Darken Colours" and "Reduce White Point".
  • The Button Shapes option re-introduces background colour to buttons (change the setting from Off to On and see how it affects the "General" button at the top of the screen).

Among other changes, Siri has new UK English voices, with a choice between male and female. You can also speed up getting results by letting go of the Home key when you have finished talking and Siri will immediately start analysing what you said. And the Slide to Unlock and Power Off screens look somewhat different, but work the same.

If you have comments about the new look - things you like or don't like - email them to [email protected]

Posted at: 10/03/2014 11:45 PM by Steve Griffiths