Voiceover Apple Watch Source: Bryan M. Wolfe/iMore

There's been a lot of discussion over the years about accessibility and iPhone. Often missed are the many accessibility features also available for Apple Watch, including those for the visually impaired. Fortunately, we're going to show you how to make use of them!

How to use VoiceOver with Apple Watch

VoiceOver is a gesture-based screen reader that uses the built-in Apple Watch speaker. In doing so, it can tell you what's happening on the wearable device without the need to see it. To date, VoiceOver is compatible across built-in apps and is available in more than 35 languages. To turn on VoiceOver on Apple Watch:

  1. Tap on the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Choose Accessibility.
  3. To the right of VoiceOver, tap Off.
  4. Toggle VoiceOver to the On position.

    To use VoiceOver with Apple Watch, tap on the Watch app on iPhone, choose Accessibility. To the right of VoiceOver, tap Off. Toggle VoiceOver to the On positionSource: iMore

When you tap on Apple Watch, you'll now hear more about what's happening on the screen. Double-tab to perform an action.

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For example, if you tap on the Exercise app, Siri will say "Workout." By double-tapping the same icon, you'll be given a choice of the options within that app.

How to use Taptic Chimes on Apple Watch

With Taptic Chimes, you can receive an alert every 15 or 30 minutes or hour to tell you the time directly from your Apple Watch via sounds. To set this up:

  1. Tap on the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Choose Accessibility.
  3. Select Chimes.
  4. Toggle on Chimes.

    To use Taptic Chime on Apple Watch, tap on the Watch app on your iPhone, choose Accessibility, then choose Chimes. Toggle on ChimesSource: iMore

  5. Tap Schedule and select from Hourly, 30 minutes, or 15 minutes.
  6. Choose from Bells or Birds for the sounds.

    To use Taptic Chimes, tap Schedule to set up the schedule, and under sounds select the sounds you want to hearSource: iMore

How to use Font Adjustment on Apple Watch

You can activate Larger Dynamic Type to increase the text size on Apple Watch on apps such as Mail, Messages, and Settings. There's also the ability to Bold Text across all built-in apps.

To change the font size:

  1. Tap on the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. On the My Watch tab, select Display & Brightness.
  3. Use the slider to adjust the Text Size.
  4. Toggle on Bold Text.
  5. If Bold Text is turned on, choose Continue in the popup.

    To use Font Adjustment, tap on the Watch app on iPhone, on the My Watch tab, choose Display & Brightness, use the slider to adjust the text size, toggle on Bold Text. If Bold Text is turned on, tap Continue on the popup menuSource: iMore

Using Zoom on Apple Watch

With Zoom activated, Apple Watch has a built-in magnifier that you can use wherever you are on the device. Use the Digital Crown to move across the screen by rows or use two fingers to move around the screen.

To turn Zoom on:

  1. Tap on the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Select Accessibility.
  3. Toggle Zoom to turn it on.
  4. On the Zoom page, you can adjust the maximum zoom level up to 5x.

    To turn on Zoom, tap the Watch app on iPhone, select Accessibility, toggle on Zoom. You can adjust the maximum zoom level up to 5x. Source: iMore

How to turn on Grayscale on Apple Watch

When you activate Grayscale, the filter is shown system-wide on Apple Watch.

To turn on Grayscale:

  1. Tap on the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Choose Accessibility.
  3. Toggle Grayscale to the On position.

    To turn on Grayscale on Apple Watch, tap the Watch app on iPhone, choose Accessibility, then toggle on Grayscale. Source: iMore

How to reduce motion and transparency on Apple Watch

You can reduce screen motion and transparency on Apple Watch. In doing so, the movement of icons on the wearable device's Home screen is more straightforward and more directly associated with your navigation gestures, and contrast is increased on the screen.

To turn these on/off:

  1. Tap on the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Choose Accessibility.
  3. Toggle on Reduce Transparency.
  4. Select Reduce Motion.
  5. Toggle on Reduce Motion.

    To activate reduce motion and transparency on Apple Watch, tap the Watch app on iPhone, choose Accessibility, toggle on Reduce Transparency, choose Reduce Motion, toggle on Reduce MotionSource: iMore

Using On/Off labels on Apple Watch

To make it easier to see whether a setting is on or off, you can have Apple Watch show an additional label on the on/off switches. This label looks like a vertical line.

To turn this setting on or off:

  1. Tap on the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Accessibility.
  3. Toggle On/Off Labels.

    To turn on on/off labels on Apple Watch, tap the Watch app on iPhone, choose Accessibility, then toggle on on/off labelsSource: iMore

Questions?

Did you have any trouble using any of these accessibility settings? Give us a shout in the comments with your questions and thoughts!

Updated May 2020: Includes latest Apple Watch information.

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