Apple products are extremely popular choices for blind and low vision users. This is due to Apple’s VoiceOver screen reader 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:
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 guides for developers on how to make their applications accessible.
- Google Scanner for A11y (GSCXScanner) - a developer assistant that sits in an iOS app's process scanning it for accessibility issues to catch them before the developer even writes a test for them: https://github.com/google/GSCXScanner
- GTXiLibis an iOS framework developed by Google for accessibility test automation: https://www.google.com/accessibility/blog/post/GTXiLib-announce.html
- 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 apps for everyone using VoiceOver on iOS - by Jayven N
- How to Build Accessible iOS Apps by Donald Burr: notes created from Episode 364 of the NosillaCast Mac Podcast
- Tips for Taking Full Advantage of VoiceOver in Your App - a guide about a "magic tap" gesture that only VoiceOver users can activate.
- Lysette Chaproniere has created a comprehensive AppleVis Guide for iOS app developers on Taking Your Accessibility from Good to Great.
- Darrell Shandrow Hilliker has created a comprehensive AppleVis Guide for app developers and educators on Teaching and Testing iOS App VoiceOver Accessibility.
- 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
- Ilkka Pirttimaa, developer of an iOS app called BlindSquare, discusses in a blog post “why making your apps accessible is just the right thing to do”
- Marty Schultz has written a number of blog posts about his experience of developing the ‘Blindfold’ series of iOS games
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.