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 that when my mom 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 using 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