iPhone versus Samsung Galaxy

Hardware & Accessories

Hi! I am completely blind, I never used a smartphone before, but I dicided to start using it now.
Somebody gave me a new Samsung Galaxy 9. but I don't know if it is easy to use by a blind person and wheather they have a website similar to this one?. Can anybody advice me if this woeud be a good option for me or should I get an iPhone instead?
Thank you, Jorge



Submitted by Rixon Smith on Sunday, July 29, 2018

My first iPhone was an iPhone 4s. I then tried to use the android operating system and found it very difficult transition. I went back to using an iPhone primary leave for two main reasons. I found the android system very complicated and extremely confusing for a blind person. The second is how much your phones will use on his data while it is still on Wi-Fi. I have found that the iPhone uses a lot less dad is easier to use for a blind person as well.

Submitted by Michael Hansen on Sunday, July 29, 2018

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Hello Jorge,

Welcome to AppleVis!

If you're wanting to learn how to use your Galaxy S9, the best resource I know of for blind Android users is InclusiveAndroid.com.

I believe the iPhone is likely going to be the better experience for a majority of people. But, as you already have the Galaxy S9, I would personally recommend giving it a try first to see if it meets your needs. As much as I like the iPhone, I'm not about to recommend you go out and buy an iPhone if you already have the S9.

Submitted by Jarrod Jicha on Sunday, July 29, 2018

Most people here are going to suggest an IPhone, either because they are used to it, or maybe they have never tried an android. the people who say they tried an android a few years ago really need to check android again as it has really come a long way. also, samsung 9, and 9 plus have two screen readers on them, talkback, and voice assistant. I won't claug up this topic with a whole lot of android things, but just take it from me someone who has used android and IPhone over the past seven yeears, at the end of the day it depends on what works for you, but as you already have an android samsung galaxy 9, I would seriously give it some time first before going to an IPhone. if you need help, you can feel free to email me at jamminjerry2011@gmail.com and I will help as much as I can. like I said, I use both platforms, and I am totally blind.

Thank you very much for your reply. When I first tried to use the Galaxy 9, I called their tech support and asked if I can call a number with options (eg Access a Ride) where I am prompted to press 1 for language, 2 for reservation etc There is a similar menu in most companies. The tech support guy told me that it is impossible, he even went and grabbed the phone and tried to place a call, but was not able to. I asked about screen reader and he told me that ithere is non, neither gestures are available. I know this it is possible to make these calls with voice over on iPhone. He told me that I cannot navigate settings with audio feedback. What is your opinion?

Submitted by Matthew on Sunday, July 29, 2018

I use a samsung galaxy pretty much full time now, and enjoy the experience. I am also totally blind, and primarily use talkback, although voice assistant is perfectly usable as well.
As for inclusive android, I honestly don't find it to be nearly as good. There are many apps posted there, but for some reason rating them upon posting isn't a requirement, so very few have ratings for anything.

Submitted by Ekaj on Monday, July 30, 2018

A couple years ago I tried out a sighted tutor's Samsung Galaxy, and he turned on both screen readers. I was pretty impressed, but having never been a user of that platform myself I cannot comment any further. But I will say that my iPhone is indeed growing on me. This is my first one, and VoiceOver and Siri work great. Plus, it's great to have AppleVis and all the i-device email groups etc.

Submitted by Mark SARCH on Monday, July 30, 2018

Hi Jorge
I use both platforms and both are a accessible
as Michael and more members are suggesting should you try the Galaxy S9 I don't see why you have to spend some extra money getting a iPhone
Samsung has developed the own screen reading name
voice assistance
the voice assistance can be a great tool according to your needs
TalkBack is another screen reading by google again is up to you which one use in the daily basic
here some info about accessibility
here is a apple group and most of the members use apple devices perhaps the recommendation will be apple iPhones
Samsung is useable as same as iPhone
Jorge is not asking which more accessible just keep on mind that.

Submitted by Jorge on Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Thank you very much everybody for your help. I think I now have enough information to make my choice.

Submitted by Trenton Matthews on Tuesday, July 31, 2018


There’s one more page to check out, just in case folks haven’t seen the full list of Voice Assistant Gestures:


NB. yes, that’s a “UK” site, and not the “US” one, which for some reason does not list these, unless I’m missing a page somewhere?

PS. I am also, a multi OS user of iOS and Android, (Galaxy S8/iPod Touch 6th Gen.)

Submitted by Sean Terry on Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Hey all,, I have the Galaxy S9 plus. It works very very well. I find it very similar to the use of an iPhone in the way of speed. What is the website that is life the Apple this website for android In fact, I'm using the Galaxy S9 plus to write this message. With voice!?

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Check J Mosen, He did several podcast on theblindside podcast. Title Galaxy.

Submitted by Tree on Tuesday, July 31, 2018

yes the Galaxy S9, is a very good and accessible option, as has already been said. As it stands right now, my next phone will probably be a Galaxy or Pixel phone, and I have been an iPhone user since they first became accessible.
It may be a little easier getting started on an iphone, because you do not have the ability to customize as many things, and certain things are more accessible out of the boxx, but once you learn how to use the phones it's an open question as to which one would be better for you.

If you have questions about your phone or anything Android related, I would check out the Eyes Free Google group.
It might not be the very best source for getting started questions, because a lot of the chat is about more advanced matters, but there are a lot of knowledgeable users who I think will be happy to help.

Also you can search the group through the web interface, linked above, for things like, getting started, VoiceAssistant, etc. I'm subscribed to the group, and it is a very active community. I posted the same question to the eyes free and blind phones mailing lists; I got two responses on blind phones, neither of which answered my question, and over twenty responses on Eyes free, which were extremely informative.

Be warned though, because it is such an active community, if you subscribe, you probably want to change to the daily digest mode, because if you don't your inbox will fill up with emails.

Get some experience with your phone, see what you like and what you don't like, research what you don't like and see if something can make the experience better, and if not, find out if the issue would be better on the iPhone. If you do run into issues that make your experience really bad and you have reason to believe an iPhone would be better for you, make the change. Just remember, phones and computers are only tools and their only value is in getting the job done.

Good luck,

Submitted by Roxann Pollard on Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Hello Jorge. I just wanted to let you know that, in most cases, your cell phone carrier will exchange your current phone as a trade in value toward your purchase of a different phone. So if you decide that you would like an iPhone after all, and because your Sansung is the latest release for that brand, you should be able to get a reasonably good trade in discount toward your iPhone purchase.

Personally, I am an iPhone user and wouldn't consider switching. There are those on this forum who enjoy their Android devices, however. Either way you go, I hope that your experiences are good and that your device of choice adds to your life instead of just frustrating it. Remember, hno matter which way you go, any new device has its own learning curve with it. Be patient and if you have questions that AppleVis might be able to answer, don't hesitate.

Submitted by david s on Thursday, August 2, 2018


I use both Android and IOS. The latest Android is accessable but there are a couple of more things to consider.

If you need tech support, especially accessability support, with your Samsung device, who can you call? If you want to see or speak with someone face to face, where can you go? The Samsung dealer? Your cellular provider? Good luck with that. With an Apple device, you have a dedicated team that works with accessability issues. If you want to speak withsomeone in person, go to an Apple store. At the Apple store, you can also get lessons on how to use your device.

Security and OS updates. The big downside for Android is the time it takes to get security updates or if you’re lucky, an OS update. The only way I keep my Asus Tablet up to date is to keep installing the lastest ROM as they come out. This is not simple to do especially if you are blind. The Android play store isn’t secure either. You would think the play store is controlled by Google so it should be safe, but it’s not. People have been known to get malware and viruses from there. IOS on the other hand, gets security updates as needed and OS update yearly for at least 4 years. The app store is also well monitored so no chances of malware or virus there.

I am not trying to discourage you from using your Samsung device. I just wanted to make sure you know what you are getting into before you invest time, money and your data into it. These are just two reasons why an iPhone cost that much more than their Android counter part.

HTH and good luck.

Submitted by Pa. Joe on Thursday, August 2, 2018

I recall once listening to the eyes on success podcast about a book on android accessibility. I believe the name of the lady that wrote it was the android queen or something like that. You could probably find it by searching the eyes on success website, or a general search. The book was not expensive. Good luck

Submitted by Mark SARCH on Thursday, August 2, 2018

Hello be aware what you wrote:
there are a couple of more things to consider.

If you need tech support, especially accessability support, with your Samsung device, who can you call? If you want to see or speak with someone face to face, where can you go? The Samsung dealer? Your cellular provider? Good luck with that. With an Apple device, you have a dedicated team that works with accessability issues. If you want to speak withsomeone in person, go to an Apple store. At the Apple store, you can also get lessons on how to use your device.
just keep on mind the this forum is global and those apple services are only available to some countries
if you live in
Central and South America and even some countries in North America, Africa and more and more you don't have those service
they don't have even some apple store and the tech support is impossible did I say Tech support can you imagine accessibility support??
just to let you know android offer better support and those Countries to repair equipment
we are lucky to live in one of the countries where apple offer those service and warranty but apple does not do a good job in the majority of the world.

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Thursday, August 2, 2018

When people start to make comments about what is best or better does not work. Both are OK. I use iPhone and works for me. What I suggest again check podcast the blindside with Jonathon Mosen on the Galaxy phone. HE did several last year. Those who use Galaxy will say that the Galaxy is best. Only you can make that choice.

Submitted by Ekaj on Friday, August 3, 2018

Hi again to everyone. My brother actually did a demonstration of VoiceOver on his iPhone and TalkBack using someone else's Android device. If you go to http://www.meetup.com and do a search for "Mobile Screen readers 101", I think you'll find it. I tuned in via their live stream, and he did a fantastic job. I'm pretty sure it's still up on their site, though the title of his presentation might be a bit off but I think I nailed it. He doesn't use an Android and has never done so, but the presentation was very nice.

Submitted by AbleTec on Tuesday, August 14, 2018

I'm not going to get into a battle here about which phone is more accessible. I think both are pretty much on par w/1 another in terms of accessing the phone is concerned. I've not used a Galaxy 9. I've not used an IPhone either, though I do have an IPod Touch 5. 1 thing I do think, though, is that there may be more accessible apps on the IPhone than on any Android flavor, simply because the majority of blind mobile device users seem to be on the Apple ecosystem, likely because it was the first accessible platform. That'll probably change as time passes, but it does appear from what I'm seeing that the Apple platform tends to get accessible apps either first or exclusively. I think perhaps deciding what you want to do is an important consideration, ie, navigation, word processing/spreadsheet, games, etc. That way, you can research the available apps, read reviews, etc, & then make up your mind. Just my $.02, & likely worth precisely what you paid for it.

Submitted by Scott Davert on Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

As someone who has used both platforms, I would say that if you are a speech user, things are different, but mostly equal in terms of accessing core features like texting, email, web browsing, etc. I did find that FireFox on Android seemed to work better than Chrome, but that could have just been my lack of understanding about something in the Chrome browser. If you happen to be using braille, well, I think it's fare to say iOS is a much better choice. With an active development cycle which includes braille, and the fact that you don't have issues with things like webviews, it's simply a better option. Not to mention that the limited braille support offered hasn't been updated since 2015. Sure, there is a public beta which has contracted braille input as a feature, but it still lacks many core features you find in iOS. However, if you are a speech user, you will need to do some customization for the best experience on Android, assuming you want to accomplish some tasks more efficiently, but it may be worth the trade off. You have an S9, so I'd give it a go before making any kind of decision. I think the book for Android that was mentioned above is the one sold by NBP. Getting Started With Android offers a good how-to with TalkBack, but I am not sure they go into a tun of details concerning the Samsung specific screen reader. Anyway, that's all I will offer on this subject. We're focused on Apple related stuff here, of course, but I hope the above info is helpful.

Submitted by Brian Tew on Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Scot have you looked at brltty at all?
It works really well for me in linux, and is available for android now.

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The deciding factor for me as to whether I would try Android is whether or not I could set it up without sighted assistance right out of the box. I don't know if this is currently possible. If it is, that's great and I would consider giving it a try. However, if not, it is not an option.