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by M.G. Siegler


Apple’s Accessibility Head on the iOS 13 and macOS Catalina

Steven Aquino sat down with Sarah Herrlinger, Apple’s director of Global Accessibility Policy & Initiatives — on nugget:

To Apple, Herrlinger said, pointer support — which is supported on both iOS 13 and iPadOS — is a feature they felt needed to exist because the accessibility team recognized the need for it. There’s a whole class of users, she told me, who literally cannot access their devices without some other device, like a mouse or joystick. Hence, the team embarked on their mission to accommodate those users. When I asked why build pointer support into a touch-based operating system, Herrlinger was unequivocal in her answer: it serves a need in the accessibility community. “This is not your old desktop cursor as the primary input method,” she said.

And the early feedback with the iOS 13 betas confirm this. Still, it’s an exciting option that I suspect will be expanded upon over time. And notably, it will also help Safari on the iPad become a “real” web browser.


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