Apple's range of iOS devices and Mac computers are used by a significant number of vision impaired people. This is mostly due to Apple’s VoiceOver program, which is included on all current iPhones, iPads, iPod Touch. Apple Watch, Apple TV and Mac computers.
VoiceOver enables the user to interact with the device without the need to see what is on the screen. Apple has provided some information as to how VoiceOver works for the end-user:
OS X: http://www.apple.com/accessibility/osx/voiceover
Apple TV: http://www.apple.com/accessibility/tvos
Apple Watch: http://www.apple.com/accessibility/watch
As a developer, there are a number of things that you can do to make your app more accessible to users of VoiceOver. Apple has provided guidew for developers on how to make their applications accessible.
- Matt Legend Gemmell has written a guide for iOS app developers on how to provide VoiceOver accessibility support for visually impaired users. It includes both technical information and also a discussion on how to approach accessibility, as well as points to be aware of. The guide is here: http://mattgemmell.com/accessibility-for-iphone-and-ipad-apps
- David Ronnqvist has written a number of guides to making iOS apps accessible to VoiceOver users: http://ronnqvi.st
- How to Build Accessible iOS Apps by Donald Burr: notes created from Episode 364 of the NosillaCast Mac Podcast
- The Stanford University IOS programming series includes a talk by Chris Fleizach from Apple that, among other things, shows how to make even the most complex controls
accessible. This is on iTunes U. http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=3956
- Tips for Taking Full Advantage of VoiceOver in Your App - a guide about a "magic tap" gesture that only VoiceOver users can activate.
- Pat Pound has compiled a list of Tips For Accessibility Testing Of iOS Apps
- The AppleVis Forum contains a dedicated area for app developers to seek and share information on accessible app development. View the App Development Forum.
Some developers have also written online about the experience of making their apps accessible:
- 5 Things We Learned About Developing An iOS Game for Blind Players, by Diana Hughes
- Marty Schultz has written a number of blog posts about his experience of developing the ‘Blindfold’ series of iOS games
- Raising Awareness, the Blind use iOS Devices, by Amir Rajan
Please use the contact form on this site if you need more information, would like to submit your app for testing and evaluation or know of any additional resources that should be added to this page.