Apple’s Accessibility

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:

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5 Responses to Apple’s Accessibility

  1. Ray Neel says:

    Glad to hear that it’s working out for your mom. As I grow older, and begin to see that my own eyesight and hearing are not exactly getting better, it’s good to know that people are giving thought to this sort of thing.

    • Thanks for checking out the post, Ray. My mom had a Windows phone prior to the iPhone. The screen reader software was $90, worked poorly, and constantly crashed the phone. Apple made their technology free and it works so well.

  2. John Eklund says:

    The real question though is this enough to drive you to the iPhone from your Android when your “New Every 2” is up?

  3. Pingback: I Switched from Android to iOS | Trent Scovell

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