Announcing our Editorial Pick: One for the Wordsmiths out There

It's that time again, when the AppleVis Editorial Team look back at all the apps that were submitted to the site during the last month and decide which of these should be our Editorial Pick.

Although September was an extremely busy month for AppleVis, few of the new apps struck us as particularly noteworthy.

If our decision was based solely upon noteworthiness, if such a word even exists, it's likely that the new YouTube app from Google would have been the clear winner. However, even though it's probably been downloaded by the majority of visitors to this site, it has enough quirks and issues for VoiceOver users to rule it out of consideration. It would be easy to expect nothing more from a Google app, as their track record on accessibility has traditionally been poor. However, September did see Google release updates to their Gmail and Google Drive apps, and both showed enough positive signs to suggest that they might be looking to improve their record on accessibility. If true, we can hope that the next update to the YouTube app will address some of the initial problems for VoiceOver users.

Whilst on the subject of updates, both the Twitter and FourSquare apps for iOS saw some accessibility fixes in September. The former is particularly noteworthy, as it now makes the app mostly usable with VoiceOver. Considering the level of integration that the official Twitter app has with iOS and that the number of alternatives is likely to fall next year when Twitter introduces new rules for third-party apps, it is extremely important that it becomes fully accessible to blind users.

But, back to announcing the app that is our Editorial Pick for September.

Before naming it, there have to be some disclaimers - firstly, it's probably not an app that many will download, as the in-app purchase necessary to unlock the full features of the app is quite expensive at $25. Secondly, it's only recommended for iPhone or iPod Touch users right now, as there are some accessibility issues when using it on an iPad.

However, despite this, we felt that American Heritage® Dictionary — 5th Edition deserved to be our pick of the month.

As some of you might recall, Amir has previously blogged to this site about his quest for a dictionary that wasn't just accessible with VoiceOver, but would also deliver a satisfying user experience. The developers of the American Heritage® Dictionary have risen to this challenge - working with VoiceOver users, they have delivered what Amir believes to now be the best and most complete offering for anybody looking for a dictionary app. Our thanks go to the developers at AHD for demonstrating a positive commitment to accessibility.

As always, we'd love to hear what you thought were the pick of the September crop.

And finally, we are pleased to announce that the winner of this month's iTunes Gift Card Giveaway is Jennifer from Virginia. We hope that you enjoy spending your $20!

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Submitted by Meaghan on Tuesday, October 9, 2012