Kindle App Update!
Submitted by J.P. on Friday, October 26, 2012.
iOS and iPadOS
AppleVis family I need your help!! Amazon released a new update to the Kindle iOS app Oct. 24th. It is again not accessible. The labels are marked . However, books are still not accessible. I wrote Jeff Bezos a letter telling him I will no longer support Amazon. I am not asking you to boycott them. I am however asking my AppleVis family to post their frustrations on this thread. I would like to send it to Amazon. Will you please take a moment to post. This could benefit us all. Thank you for your time.
We can demand it all we want. We can threaten suits and boycott and make a lot of noise, but in the end we are a small nitche that apparently you don't feel the need to address with your products. There are also some among us who think they have a right to anything they think they need, and they often behave offensively. So i'm not going to do any of that. I'm just going to make one point. Ok, Maybe a couple more before I'm done, but let's start with the main one. Accessibility is the right thing to do. I can understand and sympathize with an argument based on effort and expense, but we both know the effort and expense would be minimal. The text is already there. You just need to make a few programming changes to make it accessible to screen readers. I understand the hassle with publishers. They are part of the problem, but you have a lot of buying power. Can you not leverage that power to gain a concession like this? It's the right thing to do. I hope that publishers too can be made to see this. You are to be commended for the effort you made with the Kindle. I wish that you had continued that with later models, but we might understand issues of licencing, hardware and software constraints, etc. that might have caused difficulty. However, when some very simple changes could make Kindle books available to any blind user with an Apple or Android device and we are still locked out, we get mixed signals. I hope this isn't about pumping up sales for Audible. I think not because of the aforementioned small percentage of buying power that we represent. I think the problem is more likely to be apathy, and perhaps a little negative reaction to the more militant among us. i urge you to reconsider, because it's the right thing to do. I will point out one more thing. You may be underestimating the financial benefit of making your products accessible. I don't know if anyone has ever studdied this, but I suspect that the blind community "reads" more than the average person. We are delighted to have books accessible at the same time that our sighted peers get them and might often purchase them when they come out rather than waiting to get it from the National Library Service, which can't possibly reproduce every book that comes out in any case. Make your books widely accessible, and you may find it actually turns a profit. Thank you for your consideration, Larry
Dear Amazon: As a blind person I lead a good productive life, which includes reading 20-30 books a month. Half of these books are for pleasure and the other half for my career. I am a business owner and Mayor of my community, access to information is critical in my job performance. I strongly encourage Amazon to make the Kindle App and all Kindles accessible to the blind. It will not only help your image in the blind community, but will make you more profit Take the easy steps and do the right thing and the reward will be great. Thank you.
Thank you for commenting guys. I agree with everything you said Larry. I hope more people will post to this thread. I want to pass on our community's thoughts to Jeff Bezos. With civilized comments that is..
Dear Amazon Team: I am a professor who is blind. I read many books in a wide variety of genres. The Amazon Kindle's reputation among the blindness community is rather deplorable. I'm sad to note that even an iPhone app made by your company does not provide those of us with print-reading disabilities equal and fair access to books. Once Amazon decides to value its blind customers, I will look forward to praising your inclusive strides. In anticipation of your improved performance, Christie Gilson, Ph.D.
I would like to tell the story of my own experience with Amazon and thereby make my point. When the Kindle and Kindle app first came out, I heard about inaccessibility and was naturally rather upset. Then I heard that the Kindle had been made accessible and was really glad, but still could not buy books because the cost of the Kindle machine was not in my budget. Finally, I tried the Android and PC apps, finding them both unusable. This angered me somewhat, as I had spent money on a book that i did not know could be refunded. Some time past and I was made aware of the PC client with accessibility plug-in. I would like to pause here to thank Amazon for this. while i would rather have a universally accessible app, in the end, i am happy to have a way to access Kindle books on my computer. However, this brings me to the points I would like to make. I now buy Kindle books because there is one way that i can access them. The one or two times that a book did not work with accessibility, i reported it, and the issue was fixed. But the fact still remains that I cannot access Kindle books on the mobile platform. This is very disappointing. Amazon, please consider filling this gap. Not everyone has a pC and therefore does not have the luxury of using the accessibility plug-in that you provide. Making the mobile apps accessible would fix this problem and would result in more money for Amazon. The final thing I would like you to consider is that the blind community is not the only segment of your customer base that is affected; even if we yell the loudest. There are others with text disabilities, such as Dislexia, who require access to text-to-speach to read efficiently. So please, even if it is a separate app, make it possible for us to access Kindle on mobile platforms, such as IOS. It wouldn't be ideal, but it would be better than nothing.
You are so right, all of you. I am a musicologist completing my Ph.D and naturally need "Kindle" but cannot use it. I keep downloading the latest updates for my Apple computer as well as my iPhone, but the results are deplorable. I really cannot understand why this accessibility issue cannot be taken care of as soon as possible. Thanks for starting this thread.
Thank you guys. Your personal stories are great. I want Mr. Bezos to see who we are. Keep the comments coming.
I wonder if Jeff will actually read our emails we send? There are those companies which aren't like Apple. Apple takes accessibility very seriously, and I don't think Amazon is one of those companies. Companies like Google, Apple, Microsoft, and now recently, Facebook, have an accessibility team. Amazon, however, doesn't have one. Even if they started to consider accessibility, it'll probably take them a while to make the Kindle fully accessible. That said, Twitter doesn't have an accessibility team that I'm aware of, so this could easily turn around.
Accessibilityemail@example.com is the email address. Jeff has one too, firstname.lastname@example.org
i think applevis should make the kindle app the app of the month so hopefully amazon will realise what a misjustice they are doing to blind people by not making the app accessible.
I agree that everyone should nominate this app for Campaign of the Month, I did just that.
Over the last little while i noticed an increase in the accessibility of the audible.com website, so writing to them and requesting, not yelling and screaming does help. and who owns audible? why Amazon! So if Audible can step up their accessibility game, so can Amazon. It really is the right thing to do. I fully realize that the many blind consumers who make use of Amazon are only a very small portion of its user base, but we are consumers, and it seems counterproductive to lock out anyone, blind or sighted who can make use of Amazon's many services. The Amazon mobile app is extremely easy to use, so why not make the kindle app just as easy to use? Books are an important part of life, so anything that can be done to widen the scope of their ability, wether blind or sighted is just the right thing to do no matter what. I don't know if our voices will be heard on this one but it never hurts to try. Come on amazon do the right thing and raise your level of customer satisfaction! Think of what you could do if you made the kindle usable to everyone!
Dear all, I made these very comments last March concerning the Kindle app and the associated download for PC and suggested that the Kindle app should be investigated further as an app that needs to be made accessible. As an avid reader of books and researcher at a UK University, I am always on the look-out for additional methods to access books and it would be a great opportunity to have access to the books that are offered by Amazon. I have access to the audio books offered by the RNIB, my local library based in Essex, England, listening books, an audio book charity in the UK and Book Share as an international subscriber and of course I Books for e-books. However, I get very frustrated by looking at the millions of books that are available to sighted people and not being able to access them. It is true that Amazon offer an accessible download app for Kindle books but the interface isn't that accessible with JAWS and I would like the opportunity to change from a USA voice that is provided, which I find is very low quality to a high quality UK English voice. Also, as a PhD researcher, I need to be able to navigate through the books I use, not something you can do with the Amazon download reader app for Kindle. I am also frustrated with many of the book providers mentioned only allow the user to download to a computer. I don't want to drag a lap top around with me all the time listening to a book. I would rather (like most sighted people) use my IPhone or MP3 player, especially when out on my own. It's not easy to carry a lap top bag, a long cane and everything else when just going out socially! This is why we need an accessible Kindle app, so that we can be just like all other book readers. Perhaps we should campaign for the Kindle app to be made accessible but like others, I think we should apply the light touch, rather than the activist role in this. I would be happy to e-mail Amazon accessability or the Amazon boss but I'm sure they already know all the arguments. Perhaps it might be better to have the Kindle app as the campaign of the month and do it that way. After all, we all use Amazon to buy stuff and that's accessible, as is audible, so what's the problem with making Kindle accessible as well? Kind regards, Steve.