Friday, February 16, 2024

iOS 17: Assistive Access

Mike Rockwell:

Assistive Access gives you a simplified, focused interface with access to only the apps and features you choose to enable. It was designed for people with cognitive disabilities, but there are plenty of other uses.


Some applications are built with Assistive Access in mind. Those applications offer an entirely different user interface than what you get from the app in the traditional iOS Home Screen experience. I wish that there was an option to just use the non-Assistive Access version of each app.


Lastly, it doesn’t seem that there is a way to use Bluetooth or AirPlay speakers at all while in Assistive Access.

It’s kind of like At Ease for iOS.


3 Comments RSS · Twitter · Mastodon

Manu Sridharan

I posted about Assistive Access mode recently:

Really hope Apple invests more here as it has a ton of potential but, at least for my use case, also deal-breaking limitations.

Assistive access has its pros and cons for sure. I think it has great potential for a minimalist phone for example, free from distractions. I've tried this and it helped me be a lot more productive.

But be warned. Even simple things like alarms may not work as you expect.

I encourage anyone to try this for yourself. Make sure the ringer is turned on, turn on assistive access, and set an alarm for a time one minute from now.

If the phone is locked when it goes off, you'll find the alarm does not ring, and turns itself off when the time passes. Only unlocked, then does the alarm display on screen in a large accessible window. However, without sound. (Even with ringer on and alarm volume maxed)

Needless to say, this not particularly useful for the normal functioning of an alarm. It's essentially broken.

Is this a feature that can be used for a child's iPad? In my opinion, Apple is shocking behind on this. I've used Samsung for years and set up Samsung tablets with the proprietary Samsung Kids control app, which works great for young kids with a fun simple interface and simple parental control settings. I was shocked when I finally tried setting up an iPad for a kid. Screen Time is nowhere near a decent comparison. The complexity and general poor working state of it was uncharacteristic of Apple. I'm not sure who the target is. Managing a child's device with Screen Time is way harder than it ought to be, with a plethora of options and settings scattered in seemingly haphazard ways.

I hope this feature could replace it. At Ease was great for student Macs. Apple really needs an At Ease for iPads.

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