iOS 18 could add a trio of new accessibility features to make life easier

iPhone 15 Plus review front straight
The iPhone 15 Plus (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

iOS 18 is expected to debut later this year, and while the headline upgrades could be a visual redesign for Apple’s operating system and the addition of AI to Siri, we might also get some new and improved accessibility features.

This is according to MacRumors, which claims to have learned through “industry sources” that Apple might bring three accessibility enhancements to iOS 18.

First, there’s Adaptive Voice Shortcuts, which would let users map a custom spoken phrase to accessibility shortcuts, allowing them to toggle existing accessibility features such as VoiceOver, Voice Control, or Zoom, simply by speaking the phrase into their phone.

Next up, there’s talk of a ‘categories’ section for the existing Live Speech feature. This will allow users to create categories and organize phrases into them, as well as giving each category an icon, from a choice of around 20.

Live Speech allows you to type a phrase and then have it spoken out loud, so it’s handy for those with speech impairments. You can already save favorite or commonly used phrases so you don’t have to type them each time, and with this new categories system those favorites should be easier to find.

Not just for iOS

These two features are reportedly in the works for both iOS 18 and macOS 15, but finally, MacRumors claims that macOS 15 will additionally support custom font sizes in more apps than it does currently, with Books, News, Stocks, Tips, and Weather apparently getting support for this feature.

However, while only macOS 15 is mentioned here it would make sense for this to apply to iOS 18 as well, since you can also change font sizes in supported apps on iPhones.

In any case though, the site notes that while these features are all apparently in development, there’s a chance Apple will scrap or delay some of them, so there’s no guarantee we actually will see them in iOS 18.

iOS 18 probably won’t launch until September, so there’s a while to wait either way, but we’d expect it will be announced at WWDC 2024, which based on past form will probably occur in early June. So in the next few months we should at least have a clearer idea of what features will be included.

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James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.