This fall, Apple iOS 16 will no longer support older devices such as the iPhone SE, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, and the iPod touch. We have created a concise list of some new accessibility features Apple will be offering for iPhones’ models released since 2017. If you have any questions, please contact your nearest Apple store for information, or a DBCS Literacy Specialist for support learning how to use the new accessibility features.


Apple users are familiar with Notifications alerts appearing on the top of the screen. With iOS 16, Notifications will be rolling up from the bottom of the screen. This is to ensure the main widgets and features are in clear view. The lock screen will be customizable. According to, “users can change the look of the date and time on the lock screen with expressive styles and color choices. Widgets will also offer information at a glance.”

New Feature: Detection Mode

Detection Mode in the Magnifier app includes Door Detection, People Detection, and Image Descriptions. These features help users who are blind or partially sighted use their iPhone to travel safely by locating a door upon arrival to a destination and describing the distance to the door. These new accessibility features can tell the user if a door is open or closed, or whether it can be opened by pushing, or turning a knob. It also reads signs and symbols on the door with the capability to provide descriptions of the user surroundings.

Real-Time Captions

Real-time captions will allow anyone to follow any audio-based content when you use an app. Whether you are video conferencing with FaceTime or in a phone call, or watching a video on your device, Live Captions will automatically appear at the top of your screen in a separate pop-up window. Live Captions will also automatically attribute its transcribed captions to the right caller, making it clear who is speaking.

New Feature: Medications

Apple is also adding a new tool to the health app on the iPhone through the new Medications category, which will allow users to add any medicine, vitamins, and supplements. Users can also create a custom schedule and reminders for each medication and give each one a unique visual with customizable background. Users can search for their medications and manually add them or scan them using the iPhone's camera.

A cellphone and a smartwatch displaying an example of the Medications feature.
The new Medications experience on Apple Watch and iPhone helps users manage and track their medications, vitamins, and supplements. Picture courtesy of

Keyboard Haptics will allow users to feel confirmation when typing, and VoiceOver users will get both sound and haptic feedback in Maps by identifying the starting point when following walking directions. Users will be also able to set up multi-stop routing and plan a route that has multiple stops.

Mail & iMessage

Mail app users will be able to schedule emails ahead of time and have up to ten seconds to cancel the delivery of a message before it reaches a receiver's inbox. When iMessaging with another Apple user, they will have 15 minutes after sending a message to either edit it or unsend it. The other user will not get a notification but will see that the message has been edited or recalled. Users will also be able to mark texts as unread. Users will be also able to schedule sending e-mails for a time in the future such as the next day!

Helpful tips and tricks

Which new feature are you looking forward to use and try? Tell us by writing a review or your experience in our next newsletter. Speak to a Literacy Specialist for more details, we would love to hear from you!