Accessible Apple 2017-2018: The 12 Requests of Christmas - Day 9

 Old Siri Dictation icon from Mac OS X

Old Siri Dictation icon from Mac OS X

This is the ninth post in our annual 12-part series covering the accessibility features we would like to see Apple bring to its products in the coming year. This series is being put together by Accessibility Editor Alex Jurgensen, with the help of several contributors.

For the ninth request of Christmas, we ask Apple to give to us:

9. More Reliability When Using Dictation

Dictation, or, in this context, the ability to type by speaking into a computer, is something I use in iOS quite often. I also have gone through times where it has been absolutely essential to my ability to keep up with work tasks across iOS and macOS. It has come a long way since it's introduction alongside Siri's iPhone integration in 2011 but it still has a long way to go to be the accurate typing assistant many of us need it to be. For example, dictation still often misunderstands speech. It's editing commands, such as those for selection and deletion, need improvement on macOS and to be added on iOS where they are notably absent.

What we would like to see Apple do is continue to improve dictation, focusing on the editing experience, dictation's ability to work with VoiceOver, and, of course,  the recognition of speech. Focusing on these areas would ensure users unable to use the keyboard have a smooth text editing experience.

For more things we'd like Apple to include in upcoming releases, please see:

8. A Camera Accessory and FaceTime App for the Apple TV

7. An iPhone SE 2

6. More Support for Audio Ebooks in iBooks

5. An Ultra-Simple Router Experience That Uses the Tech We Already Have

4. A Smarter Way to Order Cabs with Siri

3. A Fix to a Not So Long-Standing Mail Bug

2. A Fix to a Long-Standing Mail Bug

1. Easier Web Browsing with VoiceOver

Accessible Apple articles take a significant amount of volunteer effort to put together. This year, we ask readers to consider making a donation to support the development of an independent living skills training centre for training Canadians who are blind, partially sighted, and deaf blind in independent living skills such as assistive technology, literacy, independent travel, cooking, etc. These skills are essential and training centres help provide them. More information and donation links can be found here.