It is a well known fact that all Apple products have amazing accessibility features, and that’s one of the reasons why these products are appreciated so much. However, have you wondered why Apple cares so much for accessibility? Why do they invest so much time and money in researching accesibility features? What’s in it for the company?
These are some of the questions Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, answers in the videos below. A few months ago, he sat down and had coffee with some YouTubers who use Apple’s accessibility features, and they all, more or less, had the same question – why does Apple care for accessibility?
Tim’s response is simple, yet powerful. He explains that accessibility is a human right, and a basic value. The company tries really hard to make its products accessible to everyone, and Apple has never looked at its return on investment on accessibility. Tim goes on to explain that making products accessible is a part of the company’s values, and it will never compromise on it. The goal really is to democratize technology so everyone could create, and solve problems. That’s what Apple’s about.
Tim also talks about fairly newer features like HomeKit that change the way people do things around the house. With HomeKit, “scenes” can be set up that help control multiple devices around the house. For example, upon waking up, just saying “Good morning, Siri” can set up the thermostat at a certain temperature, turn on the lights in rooms and set them to a certain brightness, and maybe brew coffee if the person has a smart coffee maker. There are people who struggle with doing basic things around the house – light switches may be in the wrong place or they may not be able to raise their window shades. Now, with Siri and HomeKit, they can do everything with just their voice. It is a very powerful, and empowering feature.
Tim also talks briefly about Clips – Apple’s video app that can automatically add captions. For many disabled users, it is an easy way to create quick videos and share with others on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, etc.
Watch the videos below to see Tim talk about Apple and accessibility, and to know more about the company’s mission to make products accessible for everyone.