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Accessibility on Apple Watch: The ultimate guide

Accessibility on Apple Watch: The ultimate guide
Accessibility on Apple Watch: The ultimate guide (Image credit: iMore)

Apple has often put an emphasis on how accessible its technology is to everyone, building in features across its devices for all sorts of accessibility needs. For instance, if your vision is impaired, tools like VoiceOver can help you navigate your device using audio guidance. But these efforts aren't restricted to your iPhone or Mac. Apple has brought accessibility to the Apple Watch, too. Whether you need to zoom in on a part of the screen to see it better, or you need VoiceOver to help you navigate the watch, this guide will help us set up and use the accessibility features on the Apple Watch.

How to set up and customize VoiceOver on Apple Watch

Apple Watch sizes (Image credit: iMore)

With VoiceOver, those who have vision difficulties can still use Apple Watch. In doing so, simple gestures are used to move around the Apple Watch screen while a VoiceOver narrator speaks each time an item is selected.

How to set up and use Zoom on Apple Watch

How to set up and use Zoom on Apple Watch

How to set up and use Zoom on Apple Watch (Image credit: Joseph Keller / iMore)

To better aid those who need greater visual accessibility, Zoom lets you set a default magnification level for the Apple Watch but also adjust it dynamically. For those with visual impairments or partial blindness, it can make what are otherwise small, hard to see screen elements bigger and easier to see.

How to use other visual accessibility features on the Apple Watch

Apple Watch accessibility (Image credit: iMore)

There are a number of other accessibility features on the Apple Watch which are aimed at helping those with visual accessibility needs, from dynamic font adjustment to reduced motion and transparency.

How to set up and use Real Time Text (RTT) on Apple Watch

Apple Watch Series 5 (Image credit: iMore)

On Apple Watches with cellular, you can use real-time text or RTT. The protocol transmits audio as you type text. Ideally suited for those with hearing or speech difficulties, RTT lets you communicate when you're away from your iPhone using built-in Software RTT that's configurable in the Apple Watch app.

Updated May 2020: Updated through watchOS 6.2.5.

Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.

3 Comments
  • Would this help preserve battery life on any significant amount?
  • I imagine it might actually decrease it, considering each pixel is made up of three colors and they all have to light up to make white/gray Sent from the iMore App
  • The apple watch uses an AMOLED screen so theoretically black on white and white-ish should increase batterly life. You see users with AMOLED display android phones use black and white themese to get insane battery life out of their devices.