What are Apple devices and are they accessible?

Apple have a range of smart phones and tablets known as iPhones, iPad touch, iPad and iPad minis which operate using iOS software exclusive to Apple products. They all use touch screen technology, which allows you to control the device using finger gestures such as flicking, tapping and sliding. It may seem daunting at first but with practice it soon becomes very usable.

All Apple devices available today have built in accessibility through options including speech (Siri), screen magnification (Zoom), inverted colours, bold text, large cursor and built in video magnifiers or screen readers (VoiceOver) for reading printed materials.

For those who find using the on-screen keyboard difficult it is possible to use a Bluetooth keyboard with an iPhone.

Additional functions can be added to the iPhone and iPad by installing 'apps' or applications. Apps which allow you to read documents or books, identify products and locations or currency and colours, as well as keep in touch with friends and family and manage your bank accounts.

Further information can be found on the accessibility pages of the Apple website.

Here are some of the key differences between the main products:


  • the only one of the three that can be used as a phone
  • available with Wi-Fi and 3G (and 4G depending on the model)
  • built in GPS receiver (needed for satellite navigation)
  • voice activated intelligent assistant (Siri)
  • 10cm to 15cm screen, depending on the model
  • available with 16GB, 32GB, 64GB or 128GB storage
  • 11 hours of video playback, 50 hours of audio playback or 14 hours of talk time on 3G (based on iphone 6).

iPod touch

  • available with Wi-Fi only
  • available with 8GB, 32GB or 64GB storage
  • up to 7 hours of video playback and 40 hours music playback
  • 9cm screen

iPad Pro

  • tablet style
  • with Wi-Fi only or with Wi-Fi and Cellular
  • available with 28cm or 33cm screen (the largest of all three)
  • available with 64GB, 256GB or 512GB or 1TB storage
  • up to 10 hours of battery life (based on watching videos and listening to music)

iPad Mini

  • table style
  • with Wi-Fi only or with Wi-Fi and Cellular
  • 20cm screen
  • 128GB
  • up to 10 hours of battery life (based on watching videos and listening to music)

Further information can be found on RNIB's Beginner's guide to computers, laptops and tablets web pages.

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