The influx of new notetakers at the last couple of CSUN conferences is great to see. More choice is always a good thing, as is having fewer, and lighter, devices to cary around to get things done. But what about iOS? Apple positions its iPad Pros as a way to take better notes and a great way to get rid of things on your desk in their latest adds. But there is one feature Apple needs to implement for this to be a viable option for VoiceOver users -- an easy way to spell check.
When Apple introduced Braille screen input in iOS 8, I started using it for most of my regular iPhone writing. When they refined it in iOS 9, I started using it for nearly all my writing. For most of what I do, I'd rather use my iPhone SE than my MacBook Pro. The phone is fast enough, and braille screen input means that if I need to do some on the fly email, I don't have to tote around the heavyish mid 2012 MBP (first world problems, I know). If I do need to do some longer writing, I can just grab my Braille display. I still have to go back to the Mac for a spelling and grammar check, though.
The VoiceDream Writer app does offer a way to go back and step through misspelled words, but I don't think it gives you suggestions for the word it thinks you meant. macOS users know that you can press command+semicolon to do a spelling and grammar check on whatever you're writing, be it an email, or a school paper in Pages. If Apple could somehow implement this in iOS, it would be great, especially with them promoting the iPad Pro as a PC replacement for certain people.
There may be a few ways Apple could implement spelling and grammar check while using VoiceOver. I had high hopes that when they introduced the ability for developers to add custom actions to the rotor in iOS 10, that Apple would at least do this in Pages. Probably more obvious though, would be if they just added a spelling option to the rotor, like they did with text selection in iOS 10, or they could make it a choice in the edit rotor option. You could flick up and down to jump between errors, double tap, and be presented with a list of suggestions. Of course, they could bring over the macOS command for those people using a bluetooth keyboard.
Are there other ways you think an accessible spell check feature could be brought to iOS? Discuss in the comments. Maybe in iOS 11?