It's that time again, when the AppleVis Editorial Team sit down to look at all the activity in the site's App Directories in the previous month and decide on our App Pick of the Month.
Traditionally we have only selected from apps that are totally new to the App Directories, but we have now decided to expand what we select from to include any apps that have had significant updates during the month.
This change meant that Facebook's iOS app came close to being our pick for November. It still has problems for VoiceOver users, but these do appear to be decreasing in number and severity with each update. There was a time in the evolution of the Facebook app when each step forward in terms of accessibility was accompanied by two steps backwards. This pattern now seems to have been reversed, and we can only speculate as to whether this is a direct result of Facebook's recruitment of former Apple developers. Whatever the reason, it is great to see that Facebook now appear to be taking iOS accessibility into consideration, and we must hope that this evolves into a firm commitment.
November was also notable for the discussion that took take over the relative merits of 2 alternatives to the official YouTube app - YouPlayer and McTube - both of which showed great promise in terms of accessibility, although it was YouPlayer that proved to be more popular with our Editorial Team.
However, our actual Pick of the Month for November was Bossjock Studio, an iOS app that allows you to mix, monitor, record and master audio on the fly from the iPhone's built-in mic and a soundboard of up to 30 carts.
Bossjock claims to be a new kind of audio tool for producers with no time for post-production. Load up audio from your iPod library, iTunes Sharing, Dropbox and Audio Copy/Paste. Start recording, trigger sounds and fire up the mic. Share to the world via SoundCloud, FTP, Email and more.
By it's nature, this is perhaps not the type of app that you would expect to be fully accessible with VoiceOver. However, Bossjock Studio is one of the growing number of apps that specifically mentions VoiceOver and accessibility in its description. Like the steady improvement in Facebook accessibility, this is a trend that we are extremely pleased to see!
Although there are still far too many app developers who have no clue about VoiceOver and why it matters, it's clear that the efforts of blind users from right across the community to raise awareness of accessibility on the iOS platform is working. Great work by you all, and great work too by the developers who take the time to listen and then do something to make their apps accessible.
If you think there were other apps worthy of mention for November, we would love to here about them in the comments.