Not everyone knows these functions. They are tailored for people with different types of disabilities, but can still be fun and inspiring to play with, even if you are not in the direct target audience.
Not everyone knows that.
But the camera on your iPhone can be used to identify objects in your surroundings, and the phone’s microphones can be used to pick up specific sounds and alert you about them.
These are features that are particularly useful if you yourself or one of your relatives are hearing or visually impaired, but they can also be interesting if you just think it’s fun to explore all the hidden functions that your phone hides.
The features are part of a series of new accessibility features that Apple has launched in conjunction with iOS 16, and they are also part of Apple’s years-long effort to make its products accessible to everyone.
Apple prides itself on the fact that the company already opened its first department in 1985, which worked to make the company’s products more accessible to people with disabilities.
But let’s take a look at some of the new features and see how to turn them on.
Recognition of doors and people
The first feature is what Apple calls a registration feature, and you’ll find it in the “Magnifying Glass” app on your iPhone.
Through the magnifying glass app, you can have the camera in your phone recognize doors and even describe the distance to the door, how the door is opened and register any signage on the door.
The function is intended for people who are blind or have impaired vision, and it can therefore also be set to read the information to the user.
The app also has a people detection feature where it can similarly detect people near you and tell how far away they are.
You turn the function on by opening the Magnifying glass app and then pressing the cogwheel in the lower left corner. Then you select settings and here you have to move the “registration function” up as either a “secondary setting” or a “primary setting.”
Once you’ve done that, just click the button with the little square, then choose whether you want to use it to recognize people or doors.
The feature uses a LiDAR scanner that is only built into the camera on certain newer iPhones and iPads. Therefore, the function also only works with iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro as well as iPad Pros from 2020 onwards.
Get your iPhone to detect sounds
You can have your iPhone recognize sounds from your surroundings and give you a notification when the sound in question is registered.
Your iPhone is capable of detecting everything from a doorbell and a fire alarm to a running faucet and babies crying.
In addition to recognizing the more generic sounds, you can also customize the sound recognition so that it can recognize the sound of a very specific sound from an electronic device in your home.
You do this via the “special alarm” function. When you activate the function, you must first place your iPhone close to the sound source, and when the phone has listened to and registered the sound, you will subsequently receive a notification when the sound is heard again.
You turn on the sound recognition functions by going into settings on your iPhone and selecting sound recognition and then selecting activates the function.
Next, you can freely choose which sounds your phone should listen for, and here you can also choose the aforementioned “special alarm” function.
Turn on subtitles during calls
Do you sometimes have difficulty hearing what is being said when you talk on the phone? So in iOS 16, you will soon be able to turn on subtitles on your calls.
This applies both in Facetime calls a phone calls or just in videos that you watch.
So far, however, there is only one problem, and that is that the function does not yet support Danish. Therefore, at the moment you can only turn it on if you make English (US) the main language of your phone.
The feature is also still only a beta feature in iOS 16, but over time the feature will be made available in more languages.
When the function becomes available in our location, you will be able to switch it on under availability, after which you select Live subtitles.
If you want to test the function already, you can switch it on by selecting general in the settings menu, and then select “Language & region”. Next, make English (US) the main language and then select “Live Captions (beta)” in the accessibility menu.