10 more tips for users of Braille displays on iDevices
The 2022 WWDC Keynote
Today, Apple kicked off its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). As it always does, it started the conference with a presentation of what's in the works for all its major platforms, sharing highlights of the iOS, watchOS, iPadOS, and macOS updates set to be released in the fall. There was also a surprise MacBook Air refresh, which we'll get to in a bit.
In June 2009, Apple changed the accessible smartphone market forever with the announcement of the VoiceOver screen reader on the iPhone 3GS. The device was officially released to the public on Friday, June 19, 2009; five years later, I thought it would be fun to take a look at my own early experiences with the iPhone, reflect on how much VoiceOver has changed (hint: more than I realized), and offer some thoughts on—and hopes for—the future.
The June 2 WWDC keynote—and presumably, the first public showcase and beta of iOS 8—is fast approaching. Over the last couple weeks, I’ve been seeing some iOS 8 “feature lists," for lack of a better term, circulating around the internet. Jonathan Mosen from Mosen Consulting even put together a "Top 10 Accessibility Wish List" for iOS 8, which is definitely worth a read if you have not done so already. (After this article was published, I became aware of a few more accessibility wish lists.
I cut my own hair last week. I purchased the Elite Pro electric hair clippers through Amazon, and unpacked the much anticipated and quickly sanitized cardboard box. My overly long, unruly, very silver hair felt yucky and gross. It was time to shed the extra weight. I plugged in the clippers, stripped off my shirt and sat on a low plastic footstool over the tiled kitchen floor. Now, I was poised and personally empowered to do great damage. This was going to be fun! I drove those clippers across my locks like a 1965 Ford Mustang. What was the worst that could happen?
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.
In what could soon be coming as the first of its kind, Humanware appears to be developing a new braille display and app for synchronizing notes with iDevices. In late April, an app hit the App Store called Brailliant Sync. According to the description by Harpo, the app is designed "for synchronizing notes between Gmail, IMAP and similar servers and Brailliant 14 Braille devices." This tells us 2 things.
Over the last couple years, I’ve come to a conclusion about life as a blind person: it isn’t the physical lack of sight that’s the biggest difficulty I face; but rather, it is attempting to overcome peoples’ negative stereotypes and misconceptions about what I can—and cannot—do that is the real problem.
The iPhone6 is Apple's first foray into the arena of larger phones. It has a 4.7-inch (measured diagonally) screen, compared to the four-inch screen on the iPhone 5, 5C, and 5S, and the 3.5-inch screen on the iPhone 4 and 4S.
At its annual Worldwide Developer's Conference this week, Apple previewed some of the new features coming to its iOS, watchOS, tvOS, and macOS platforms later this year. At this point, it's worth noting that this software is still in beta form, and not all features--particularly, the specifics of how they will be implemented--are finalized. With that said, below is what Apple has told us will be coming for users of accessibility features:
As we're approaching Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference which is to be held on June 10th, I thought I'd put together a list of the features I want to see included in iOS 7.
Apple and Google love their mobile operating systems. They do their best to convince users that their way of implementing features is better than the competition. Of course, therein lies a fundamental difference. Apple uses iOS on its own handsets and iDevices but Google practically gives away Android to hardware manufacturers -- to every company which wants to utilize and modify it.
If you're into words, you're always on the lookout for the best and the most decent vocabulary titles, word games, puzzles, and, last but not least, dictionaries. And you might want to take your treasury of words with you -- regardless of the OS you use. A good dictionary is the bread and butter of every logophile and having access to what many scholars deem authoritative is of utmost importance.
My book collection takes up no space. With my phone in my pocket, and wearing my AfterShokz headset, I have hundreds of books to keep me occupied wherever I go. And when I buy new books, I don't need to worry about whether I have enough room for them on the shelves.
Apple Releases iOS 8.1 With a Number Of Fixes And Improvements For Blind And Low Vision Users
Following a short beta testing period, Apple today released iOS 8.1 to the public - the first major update to iOS 8 since its release last month. Along with the introduction of a number of new features, iOS 8.1 appears to include a number of accessibility-specific fixes and improvements.
I've used an iPhone since 2007. I should know how to use the alarm feature by now. No such luck. My spouse and I use our Bose Wave Radio as our main alarm. I use my iPhone alarm only on rare occasions when I get up earlier than she does.
The "Time Flies" Event
On September 15, Apple held its second all-digital major press event of the year, calling it "Time Flies". Ordinarily, the September event is where we get to see the latest iPhone, among other products. Even Apple isn't immune to the craziness of life in the year 2020, however; it seems we'll have to wait a bit longer for the new iPhone. Instead, today was about Apple Watch and iPad. It wasn't all hardware, though.