Here’s a tweet I sent recently:
My mom is blind and an iPhone user. She downloaded iOS5 for her iPhone 4. Said the VoiceOver screen reader is now even better. #applerocks
21 Oct via web
So I admit it. When my mom first told me she was getting an iPhone, I was a doubter. How is a blind person going to use an iPhone, I thought. But I didn’t say anything because I know my mom well enough to know that when she gets an idea like this, she usually ends up knowing exactly what’s she’s doing.
Now she operates an iPhone just as well as a sighted person.
After she told me about how much better VoiceOver functionality is in iOS5 – and it was really good in earlier versions – I decided to check it out for myself via my daughter’s iPod Touch. I turned on the functionality and closed my eyes so I could attempt to navigate the screens dependent only on the screen reader.
One of the genius features of VoiceOver on iOS is double-tap: the user taps a screen element once to activate the screen reader, then taps twice to activate the screen element’s intended action. Apparently VoiceOver is a mature technology appearing initially in OS X. And like almost everything Apple does, it’s done right and done well.
This week I was catching up on podcasts and listening to TWiT episode 319. I smiled when Leo Laporte played this clip of Stevie Wonder making comments at a show in September.
Clip set to start at the 4m 19s mark: http://youtu.be/5p4ZGPnieBs?t=4m19s
I’ll reiterate. Apple rocks.