The Settings That Make Smartphones Easier For Everyone To Use: Making Most Of Accessibility Features Of Smartphone


Aditi Narendra

With the increasing use of smartphones we should know the settings that make smartphones easier for everyone to use. Smartphones have become more useful for people with varying abilities over time. Thanks to features like changeable font sizes and screen readers. Apple’s iOS 16 and Google’s Android 13 software releases have recently improved accessibility features.

Improved live transcription tools and apps that use AI to recognize things are among the new features. When these capabilities are activated, users will receive a visual alert when a baby screams, as well as a sound alarm when they approach a door. Also, both old and new accessibility tools make phone use easier for all users.

Getting Started

To access accessibility tools on your phone, whether it’s iOS or Android you have to open the Settings app and select the Accessibility option. It is recommended to spend some time exploring and experimenting with the available features.

To get comprehensive information on accessibility features, check out the dedicated Accessibility sections on the Apple and Google websites. However, keep in mind that the features available may differ based on your phone model and software version.

To Make Readability Better

To enhance readability on your phone, increasing text size alone is not enough. You also need to increase contrast. On iOS, go to Settings > Accessibility > Display & Text Size to find options to increase the boldness of text, reduce transparency, and decrease the intensity of bright colors.

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You can also use a slider to increase text size across all apps or even adjust the lettering inside individual apps using a widget on iOS 15. On Android, go to Settings > Accessibility > Text and Display to adjust font size and display size.

The Settings That Make Smartphones Easier For Everyone To Use

Turning on High contrast text improves readability by adding a black outline to white letters against colorful backgrounds. Inverting colors and disabling animations can also help. Android has a handy on-screen magnifier that you can enable from the Accessibility menu.

Navigating and Controlling Your Phone Hands-Free

Not all phone users can navigate their devices by swiping and tapping. For this reason, iOS and Android offer various options. It includes quick-tap shortcuts and gestures, to move through screens and menus. Both platforms allow navigation through third-party adaptive devices, such as Bluetooth controllers, and by using the camera to recognize facial expressions assigned to actions.

Making The Better Interface

Android users have the option to revamp their device’s interface with launchers. It can change the appearance of the entire phone, including the home screen and settings menu. Some launchers cater to seniors with bigger buttons and text, such as BIG Launcher.

Samsung phones have a built-in Easy Mode for a simplified interface. On iPhones, widgets can be added to the home screen for larger icons and customizable access. Other tweaks can also improve the default interface.

Assistive Audio and Speech-to-Text Features On iOS And Android

Both iOS and Android provide controls to amplify speech through headphones. In iOS, you can access this through the Headphone Accommodations section in Audio/Visual settings. In Android, you can find it in the Sound Amplifier setting.

The Settings That Make Smartphones Easier For Everyone To Use

With the latest iOS 16 update, Live Captions is now available. It provides real-time transcriptions of audible dialogue around you on your screen. Android also has a similar feature called Live Caption. It automatically captions videos, podcasts, and video calls.

Google’s Live Transcribe & Notification app for Android converts nearby speech to on-screen text and provides visual alerts for sounds like doorbells or smoke alarms. The Sound Recognition tool in iOS does the same. Additionally, users should check their phone’s settings for multisensory notifications like LED flash alerts or vibrating alerts to avoid missing anything.

Voice-Controlled Digital Assistants to Help Aging Users Navigate Smartphones

As we age, using a touchscreen device can become more difficult even with assistive tools. To address this, most smartphones come with a voice-controlled digital assistant. For iPhones, Siri is the built-in assistant and can be activated by enabling “Hey Siri” in Settings.

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After it is activated we can command Siri to perform tasks. We can ask questions without having to physically interact with the phone. We can use it for sending messages or checking the weather. For more information on Siri commands it can be found on Apple’s website.

If your Android phone doesn’t have Google Assistant, you can get it from the app store. On an iPhone, you have to open the app to use voice control, but on Android, you can say “Hey Google” or “OK Google” even when the phone is locked. You can turn on this feature by going to Google Assistant settings and setting up Voice Match. If you don’t like Google Assistant, you can use other assistants like Samsung’s Bixby or Amazon’s Alexa.


Smartphones have become easier to use with features like voice control and speech-to-text. These tools are available on both iOS and Android devices. It’s important to try out these features to find the ones that work best for you. By using these tools, you can make use of your smartphone in a suitable way. You can stay connected in a way that is better for you.

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