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New accessibility features rumored for iOS 18 & macOS 15

Apple is always working to improve accessibility

Apple is rumored to be working on accessibility features like voice-activated shortcuts, Live Speech categories, and improved font size control across the system in iOS 18 and macOS 15.

Apple's annual Worldwide Developer Conference is approaching fast, so rumors about what's coming next are already leaking out. Accessibility features tend to be announced ahead of WWDC, so it is likely that these features are entering the final development stages first, making them more likely to leak.

According to industry sources speaking to MacRumors on Thursday, a few new accessibility features are coming to iOS 18 and macOS 15. These include Voice Shortcuts, categories for Live Speech, and improved font size control.

Voice Shortcuts would allow users to map an accessibility feature to a spoken phrase. This isn't dissimilar to Siri Shortcuts, but likely eliminates the need to say a wake phrase like "Hey, Siri" before stating the Voice Shortcut.

Apple already has a feature like this on Apple Vision Pro called Sound Actions. Users can map system actions and Shortcuts to sounds like hissing or clucking.

The rumor suggests that Voice Shortcuts will be limited to accessibility feature activation like VoiceOver, Voice Control, and others.

Live Speech allows users to create phrases that can be spoken by the machine. The feature is getting an organization upgrade with categories labeled by 20 available icons.

Apple previously announced Personal Voice for Live Speech, which allows users to synthesize a version of their voice for machine speaking. Categories will help find frequently used phrases faster, increasing accessibility and usability.

The last rumored feature pertains to font sizing. iOS and macOS already let users adjust the font on a per-app basis, but the app has to support it. Some of Apple's system apps don't support the feature yet, but will with the fall updates.

macOS 15 will gain font control for Books, News, and Stocks. Users can already adjust the font in Calendar, Finder, Mail, Messages, and Notes.

There may even be a new feature that will allow users to adjust the macOS menu bar font.

Any, all, or none of these rumored features could make it to iOS 18 and macOS 15. Apple tests many features internally, and there is no guarantee that they will be released.

WWDC has historically been held the first or second week of June. The pre-recorded event will likely have a limited in-person component, so expect a date announcement by May to allow for travel plans.