iOS 14 Accessibility Listens Out For Your Safety

1 minute read
| News

A core philosophy in Apple’s hardware and software has always been accessibility. Cupertino has engineers who do nothing but work on making its products more useful for people with disabilities. Apple even has a dedicated section of its online store for accessibility devices. A new iOS 14 accessibility feature will enable your iPhone or iPad to alert you when your baby is crying, your smoke alarm goes off, and more.

iOS 14 Accessibility Feature

You can enable or disable Sound Monitoring in Accessibility settings

An iOS 14 Accessibility Feature That Listens Out For Your Safety

This latest iOS 14 accessibility feature could very well save your life, or a loved one’s. Once enabled, it can listen out for the sound of running water, someone knocking on the door, a baby crying, or a smoke alarm. There’s plenty more where those come from, too.

The feature uses Machine Learning, so it’s only going to get better and more useful. Forget about “Hey, Siri,” how about your iPhone or iPad letting you know that someone is shouting in the house?

On-Screen Notifications of Sounds

When this iOS 14 accessibility feature detects a sound you’ve configured it to listen for, it warns you with an on-screen notification. You don’t have to worry anymore about missing those important sounds in the background.

In the Accessibility section of the Settings app in iOS and iPad OS 14, you’ll find Sound Recognition. You can turn individual types of sounds on or off, customizing it to what you feel is most important.

The iOS 14 accessibility feature can listen out for fire and smoke alarms, emergency sirens, cats and dogs, household appliances, car horns, door bells, door knocking, water running, babies crying, and shouting.

Your Privacy Stays Private

Since the Sound Recognition feature uses on-device artificial intelligence, none of the noises detected ever leave your iPhone or iPad. No, Apple will not be keeping track of how often your baby cries or how many times you flush your toilet. Apple reiterated its pro-privacy stance at the WWDC 2020 keynote, noting that the clipboard/pasteboard is going to be more restricted. Keeping monitored sounds on-device is just further proof that Apple cares about our privacy.

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