Apple has published some information on setting up and using the accessibility features available on their new mixed reality Apple Vision Pro headset. This includes a guide specifically for VoiceOver users and a guide to setting up and using Zoom.
The VoiceOver guide covers how to turn VoiceOver on and off, use the various single and multi-hand gestures to control the headset, practice the gestures, and access tutorials. Some details of note include:
- VoiceOver reads out descriptions of items in view, battery level, incoming calls, open apps, etc. You can adjust speech rate and pitch.
- When you open a new app or change your view, VoiceOver plays a sound, then selects and speaks the name of the first item in that app or in your view (typically in the top-left corner).
- Use single-hand pinches (tapping thumb and finger), modifier pinches (one hand pinch held while pinching with opposite hand), and slide pinches (long pinch plus swipe) to interact with items.
- Practice gestures without affecting settings using the VoiceOver Practice feature.
- Turn VoiceOver on or off via Siri voice command, triple clicking the Digital Crown, or in Accessibility settings.
- Get guided tutorials on how to use VoiceOver when you first enable it or by tapping VoiceOver Tutorial in settings anytime.
The following options are available for Zoom users:
- Keyboard Shortcuts: Control Zoom using shortcuts on a Magic Keyboard.
- Zoom Controller: Turn the controller, change the zoom region, or set zoom level.
- Zoom Region: Choose Full Screen Zoom or Window Zoom.
- Use Crown to Zoom: Turn on or off.
- Maximum Zoom Level: Drag the slider to adjust the level.
When using Zoom, to see more of your view, do any of the following:
- Adjust the magnification: Use the Digital Crown.
- Move the Zoom lens: (Window Zoom) Drag the window bar at the bottom of the Zoom lens.
- Pan to another area: (Full Screen Zoom) Turn your head.
- Tap the Zoom Controller (if you turned it on) to see the options for zoom level and more.
Given Apple's strong track record on accessibility, it should be no surprise that they have implemented what sounds like a solid set of features on the Vision Pro from day one for blind and low vision users. However, the real test will come from hands-on usage.
If you have purchased a Vision Pro or taken advantage of the in-store demos now available in the United States, please share your experiences using the headset with VoiceOver or Zoom. We would love to hear your opinions. Did it live up to your expectations? What impressed or disappointed you? Your insights will help guide others considering purchasing the Apple Vision Pro.