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Apple Voice Control widens voice accessibility to iOS, MacOS

A complete voice-operated interface opens up Apple's iPhones and computers to people with physical motor limitations.

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Apple's new voice commands bring more accessibility to the Mac. 

Screenshot by Lynn La/CNET

Apple on Monday revealed Voice Control, new voice commands for its iPhones and computers that allow people with physical motor limitations to browse and operate their devices by speaking. 

The new commands, unveiled at Apple's WWDC 2019 confab for developers, let users do things like request the addition of an emoji while dictating an email, or divide a screen into a numbered grid so they can replicate a screen tap or mouse click by calling out a number. 

Apple's annual developer convention kicked off Monday at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California. WWDC is where Apple details its newest software and services that will arrive on devices later in the year. The company may be best known for its hardware, but the integration of its hardware with its software sets Apple apart from rivals. Apple's ability to control every aspect of its products -- something that began when Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded the company in 1976 -- has been key in making it the most powerful company in tech.

The event comes as software and services are taking on even greater importance for Apple. The company still sells millions of iPhones every quarter, but sales aren't soaring like they used to. People are holding onto their devices for longer, which makes it important to give them services that get them paying monthly. Apple has made augmented reality, mobile payments, streaming music and other areas key focuses over the past couple of years.

It's the company's App Store, though, that makes up the bulk of Apple's services business. For that business to keep growing, Apple needs developers to continuously update their apps and create new services. The company last week said it has 20 million developers in its Apple developer Program, and they've made more than $120 billion from selling digital goods and services in their App Store apps. Apple also touted the creation of over 1.5 million jobs in the US and over 1.57 million across Europe.

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Apple has faced criticism over its App Store policies and approval process nearly since it launched the store. In May, the Supreme Court ruled that iPhone owners can sue Apple for allegedly operating a monopoly through its App Store. And there has been an outcry from parental control app makers that Apple unfairly banned their software because their apps compete with Apple's own software. Amazon, Netflix, Spotify and other heavyweights have also criticized Apple's App Store model. 

Follow all of today's Apple news.