Amazon on Tuesday updated its Alexa app on iOS to include a couple of changes relevant to accessibility.
First, the company has added support for Light and Dark modes. Whereas previously the Alexa app’s user interface sported a dark blueish background—in effect, creating a de-facto “dark mode”—today’s update now reflects the system-wide lighting setting. Apple added dark mode support to iOS in 2019’s iOS 13. Users can optionally choose either Light or Dark; the default behavior is to switch appearance at sunrise and sunset, respectively. (Users can permanently choose Light or Dark in iOS’s Settings.)
The change is noteworthy—switching between modes has a significant impact on contrast and legibility, which may be beneficial to many who have certain visual impairments. While the app historically has always been dark, the new light appearance may be a welcome sight, depending on one’s needs and tolerances.
Second, Amazon has added support for Dynamic Type. Introduced in 2013 with iOS 7, Dynamic Type allows users to set text-size at a system level, allowing them to bypass text-size settings in each individual app. Apple has long provided an API for third-party developers to hook up to their apps, which Amazon is taking advantage of now.
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