If you were told the iPhone was one of the easiest phones in the world for a disabled person to use, you might spew your coffee. The thing has almost no physical keys! How would a blind person use it? It’s a phone that rings! How would a deaf person use it?
But it’s true. Apple has gone to incredible lengths to make the iPhone usable for people with vision, hearing, or other physical impairments. As a handy side effect, these features also can be fantastically useful to people whose only impairment is being under 10 or over 40.
If you’re deaf, you can have the LED flash to get your attention. If you’re blind, you can actually turn the screen off and operate everything—do your email, surf the Web, adjust settings, run apps—by letting the phone speak what you’re touching. It’s pretty amazing (and it doubles the battery life).
You can also magnify the screen, reverse black for white (for better-contrast reading), set up custom vibrations for each person who might call you, and convert stereo music to mono (great if you’re deaf in one ear).
Some of these features are useful even if you’re not disabled—in particular, the LED flash, custom vibrations, and zooming. The kiosk mode is great for kids; it prevents them from exiting whatever app they’re using. And if you have aging eyes, you might find the Large Text option especially handy.
Here’s a rundown of the accessibility features in iOS 8. To turn on any of the features described here, open ...