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.
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.
A Preview of New Accessibility Features Set to Come Later this Year in iOS 11, watchOS 4, tvOS 11 and macOS 10.13 High Sierra
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:
A Proud Day for AppleVis as Apple Updates its Accessibility Website and Includes Information on our Community
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.
A Week’s Worth of Reminders of How Accessibility Sits at the Very Heart of Apple’s Ethos and Practice
During the past week there has been a series of small reminders of how accessibility sits at the very heart of Apple’s ethos and practice.
The first of these came in one of the videos shown as part of the keynote presentation at last week’s Worldwide Developers’ Conference (WWDC). Featured prominently was a piano app for the iPad being developed by the Ludwig Project, which will seek to bring music to the hearing impaired by enabling them to sense music through vibration.
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.
Whether on my iPhone or my Mac, I encounter accessibility issues pretty much daily.
Yes, much of it is the usual---mouse-centric controls, unlabeled buttons, and images without ALT text---commonplace issues that have been highlighted for years. I don’t want to minimize these issues, but I view them as minor. They are well-known. They have names. We can talk about them in discussions with developers. Free utilities are readily available to help find them.
In late April, Apple began offering the opportunity for users to explore and experience Apple Watch's accessibility features at try-on appointments. After confirming that my local Apple Store had a Watch set up and ready (all stores should now have Watch units available for accessibility demonstrations, but my appointment was at the beginning of the rollout), I went into the store to check the Apple Watch out for myself.
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.
Only a few weeks ago, Apple held a media event where it announced the latest iPhones and Apple Watches. Where, people wondered, were the iPad and Mac upgrades? The answer: right here.
At today's event, Apple introduced the latest iPad Pro, Apple Pencil, MacBook Air, and Mac Mini. Yes, the poor Mini was finally updated. The company also released iOS 12.1, with a range of features and fixes.
Below is a list of the major highlights from today's Apple Special Event keynote, compiled from the twitter feed of AppleVis and other sources as linked to on this page.
Apple held its annual fall media event today, announcing new iPhones, Apple Watches, and Apple TV. As usual, we’re here to recap what was shown off, so you know just how close to all your money Apple will be getting this year.
For years, I have used your products. I took the path that many people take: an iPod Touch, which slowly drew me into the joy of a simple, powerful, and overall great operating system; to a Mac, which slowly replaced my Windows computer thanks to OS X's lack of crashes and errors, syncing with iOS apps, ease of downloading apps from the App Store, and other features; to the iPhone, because it's a more powerful iPod that can get online anywhere and make phone calls, so why would I not want it.