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Special Stories Update

Today we've released an updated version of Special Stories for iPad and iPhone, with 2 main changes.


Support for Inverted Colours (Dark Mode)

This makes use of a feature that Apple introduced in iOS 11. Not all apps and websites support inverted colours, but where they do it can be helpful for children with poor vision or for those who simply prefer a dark background.

You can enable this (if your device is running iOS 11) in the Settings app, under General > Accessibility > Display Accommodations > Invert Colours. Simply turn on Smart Invert (not Classic Invert). Apple's Clock app has featured inverted colours since iOS 10, so you may recognise the similar appearance of Special Stories, as shown here.

If you'd like to be able to switch quickly in and out of inverted colour mode, set the Accessibility Shortcutin the Settings app to Smart Invert, and you can then turn the feature on and off just by triple-clicking the Home button. We suggest you disable Guided Access first, if you have associated that with triple-click.

Our website is now also compatible with inverted colours, and we will be working to support this in some of our other apps.

Child Safety Gate (Parental Lock)

You will be presented with the new Child Safety Gate whenever you tap the action button at the top left in the list of stories. It requires you to prove you are an adult, by performing a little calculation, and is just like the gate we introduced in Special Words last November.

This is a feature Apple has asked developers to add to apps for children, to prevent them accidentally getting to things they shouldn't. If you prefer not to use it, you can disable it in the app's settings.

With or without this, you still have the option to lock the app into the story you're reading, by pressing and holding the padlock button (top right in the screenshot above) for 3 seconds.