Apple’s new Shortcuts feature launched as part of iOS 12 and has since gained swift popularity among users and developers. One aspect of Shortcuts that has gone largely undiscussed is what it means for accessibility.

MacStories is out today with a closer look at the role of Shortcuts in accessibility, with Apple’s Senior Director of Global Accessibility Policy & Initiatives also weighing in.

Sylvania HomeKit Light Strip

Writing for MacStories, Steven Aquino explains that the focus of Shortcuts on speed and accessibility, combined with how it’s able to consolidate multi-step tasks into one process, is huge for those with certain cognitive or physical motor delays:

In my briefings with Apple at WWDC and since, shortcuts has been one of the first items they wanted to discuss. Like Group FaceTime and others, the company firmly believes in shortcuts’ potential as an accessibility aid.

Their enthusiasm is warranted: for many users with certain cognitive and/or physical motor delays, the consolidation of tasks can reduce friction associated with remembering how to perform a task and then doing it.

Meanwhile, Apple’s Senior Director of Global Accessibility Policy & Initiatives, Sarah Herrlinger, echoed the accessibility benefits of Shortcuts in a statement today. Herrlinger explained that Apple sees “huge accessibility potential” with Siri Shortcuts and the Shortcuts app. She added that the company is receiving feedback from users on how they’re using Shortcuts to combine multiple tasks into one for accessibility benefit:

”We see huge accessibility potential with Siri Shortcuts and the Shortcuts app. It’s already making a difference — helping people across a wide range of assistive needs simplify every-day tasks like getting to work, coming home, or staying in touch with friends and family.

We’re getting great feedback about how powerful the technology is in streamlining frequent tasks and integrating multiple app functions with just a single voice command or tap.”

The full piece is absolutely worth a read and can be found here. Have you embraced Shortcuts with success? Let us know one way or the other down in the comments!


Subscribe to 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

About the Author