Hello there. My name is Andrew Tompkins. This is my very first time posting to Apple Vis. I am a blind musician who has been playing piano for 28 years. I own an iPhone, iPod, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch. One of my biggest hobbies is performing live places and using my iPad as a MIDI sound module.
The app I'd like to discuss in particular, is called Ravenscroft 275 Piano. This is a virtual software piano app that can run on all IOS and most desktop platforms. It works with external MIDI controllers or keyboards through MIDI USB or Bluetooth. The one big problem, is the lack of usability with Voiceover. The instant the app is launched, Voiceover stops talking. Gestures will not work, and Voiceover no longer speaks. Basically, the device behaves like the screen is locked, even though visually it is not. It is only when Voiceover is turned off that all controls and functions in this app will work.
I believe that this is an issue of software encoding, and this app did not seem to be designed with the Blind in mind. It has been developed in a way where Voiceover and the App do not get along.
Because I am a musician and a pianist, I would like to advocate for more accessible IOS apps such as this Ravenscroft 275 piano app. From what I've heard on this app, the piano tone is absolutely gorgeous. However, none of the features/functions, and tweaking controls are available to Voiceover users yet. I have to rely on a pair of eyes to help me and I honestly feel that I should not have to rely on them all the time.
While I have used other more accessible virtual piano apps with Voiceover, and while Ravenscroft is by no means the only music App, Ravenscroft has probably one of the best-sounding and realistic piano tones I've ever heard, and it leaves the smallest footprint. It does not hog up battery power and high power consumption. Again, I would like to advocate that this app be made accessible for the Blind, and especially to any other blind pianist out there, who really wants a ultra-realistic-sounding grand piano in an IOS product, and will not consume your battery to run the App.
FYI, the Ravenscroft app is made by VI Labs. If anyone out there is willing, please send this post to the App developers. Whoever designed this app certainly did not encode it to work in conjunction with Voiceover. I cannot access anything whatsoever in the App. Voiceover literally just says, "Landscape.) That's it. I cannot access buttons, controls, settings, nor do any gestures within the app to move within it. So please, anyone reading this post, join me in advocating for accessibility with software music apps such as Ravenscroft, and ask developers that the apps be encoded so that Voiceover can talk to the app, allow interaction without relying on sighted help, and also that all buttons be labeled as well.
Thanks for reading. Sincerely: Andrew Tompkins