Disabled Individuals Believe That Revolutionary Feature, Voice Control, Holds More Importance Than Siri, But Lacks Development

Voice Control, which disabled individuals greatly count on, also Apple’s accessibility feature, lacks in development when it comes to capability and accessibility, even though it is an imperative feature, a necessity, not just a complementary feature.

Disabled individuals have expressed their disappointment as Apple keeps pushing new updates for Siri. Yet, the accessibility feature they greatly depend on is neglected in terms of development, hindering them from accessing their Apple devices.

The accessibility feature, Voice Control, allows individuals who cannot use their hands — including blind and visually impaired individuals — to operate an iOS device (Apple Watch, Mac, iPad, or iPhone).

At the end of the previous year, Apple featured Voice Control in their video as an accessibility feature on their iPads and iPhones. Apple presented a quadriplegic man with the ability to use his iPhone to take pictures for him. The accessibility feature also allowed him to edit his pictures using gestures such as raising his brows and sticking his tongue out.

Voice Control existed long before Siri, but they developed them separately, even though many of their features overlap with each other. The issue stems from the fact that Siri keeps getting updated with better features, but Voice Control lacks behind.

Colin Huges, a campaigner of Paraplegic disability, came out with his personal experience with Voice Control and others. Huges stated that Siri may be handy for a majority of users but Voice Control is essential for some, claiming that people are reliant on voice tech for basically operating a smartphone or a computer.

He further stated that for an individual like himself, being given the feature to control and instruct his Apple devices just by using his voice can either significantly aid his day or impair his experience with them. He emphasized that voice dictation technology is not just a supplementary feature but a much-needed accessibility feature that allows him to navigate and access the outside world.

Apple has yet to fix the capitalization error that has bothered many users of the accessibility feature. Voice Control tends to ignore the capitalization during sentences even after adding them into the custom vocabulary, including the capital letters. An example of the bug would be Voice Control mistaking the star in the sky, the sun, for the British tabloid newspaper, ‘The Sun.’ Another example includes Voice Control incorrectly referring to the verb ‘will’ with ‘Will,’ which is a proper noun.

Ian Gilman, another user with a disability, reliant on Voice Control, stated that users could use Siri in any application. However, the accessibility feature does not allow editing in all of them.

Hughes expressed frustration regarding Apple’s disregard for updating Voice Control, claiming that the feature now lacks behind its competitor companies, such as Nuance’s Dragon Dictate and even Google.

Hughes revealed that he had a better-customized speech recognition experience with the Google Project Relate application on his Pixel device, which allowed him voice dictation with the highest accuracy he had ever seen on any smartphone, even after wearing a ventilator mask that was quite noisy.

Therefore, in order for Apple to be more inclusive and expand its accessibility to disabled people, they must dedicate more advanced and updated features to Voice Control to properly allow them to use their Apple devices with ease.

Read next: Apple’s iPhone 14 Becomes Top-Selling Smartphone Globally In Q2 2023
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