Hello! I am particularly interested in finding something for MacOS but happily would accept something that works only in iOS at this point...
I have been relying on MacOS Apple Messages (formerly iMessage) for years for very usable and natural chatting and texting. This natural feeling was due to Messages' ability to speak incoming messages in real time as they appear on the screen. So I could just type frustration-free on my keyboard (keeping the cursor in the text entry field), messaging back and forth with a friend or colleague, and just listen as their responses came in... It was gloriously simple and even worked without Voiceover. This was easily enabled in the Messages Preferences by choosing Speak Events.applescript in the AppleScript Handler dropdown menu.
However, Apple has removed the AppleScript handler option from Messages in MacOS High Sierra 10.13.4 (i.e. the most recent update at time of posting). To make matters worse, there is no incoming message sound played at all when a message comes in on the active window, so I don't even know when to navigate my Voiceover cursor back to the messages window to find any new messages that might have come in. This makes MacOS Messages essentially useless to me now. I have already complained to Apple Access but the rep did not seem to care and only said that it was intentionally removed. I think I cried after that phone call, out of anger, frustration, and a feeling of defeat since generally I find it's only Apple that cares to make software truly accessible.
So now I'm looking for an alternative option. Does anyone out there have one?
To hit upon some potential suggestions in advance,
1. I could use Siri and dictation, as I do all the time with my iPhone, but it is very unnatural and slow, and dictation is not very reliable compared to typing on a keyboard.
2. I could use a bluetooth keyboard with my iPhone, as I occasionally do, but I still need to navigate the VO cursor back each time a new message comes in.
3. Facebook Messenger is a joke when it comes to accessibility, at least in my experience.
4. WhatsApp is actually pretty darn good on iOS with a bluetooth keyboard and even works with Siri, but it doesn't read messages aloud in real time, which is what I'm looking for. Sadly, the WhatsApp web platform that can be used on MacOS (i.e. using it within a browser) is completely incompatible with Voiceover. Plus I'm in the USA, where WhatsApp isn't super popular, so not all my contacts have it.
Please, anyone, help! And if it's just a matter of VO settings or customizations, please inform me! THANKS!
And if no such software platform exists, then what do you all find is the most usable way to text and chat? While my vision deteriorates, I don't want my social circle to do the same.