By Cody Lee on Jun 23, 2015
Apple on Tuesday quietly announced the promotion of Lisa Jackson, formerly the VP of environmental affairs, to a new lead policy position. As noted by The Washington Post, Jackson’s bio on the company’s website now reads Vice President, Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives.
In her new role, Jackson will not only continue to oversee Apple’s efforts to minimize its impact on the environment, but she will also be responsible for the company’s education policy programs such as ConnectED, its product accessibility work, and its worldwide government affairs. Read More
By Cody Lee on May 21, 2015
In honor of Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Apple has begun highlighting apps with specialized accessibility features. The curated section features apps such as Instapaper, which offers text-to-speech, and Workflow, which can automate complex tasks, and is featured on the front page of the App Store.
Apple has long been praised for the accessibility features in iOS. Grammy Award-winning artist, who has been blind for most of his life, famously took time out of a concert to thank Steve Jobs and company for their work, saying “there’s nothing on the iPhone or the iPad that you can do, that I can’t do.”
By Jeff Benjamin on May 10, 2015
We’re still working our way through all of the Apple Watch settings for our complete Apple Watch Guide, but here’s something that Reddit user ineedlesssleep stumbled upon that I found particularly useful.
By turning on the Reduce Motion option in the Apple Watch preferences, you can make all of the app icons on your Apple Watch Home screen the same size. This means that all of the app icons will be big just like the app icons in the middle of the interface, and thus will be just as easy to tap.
I find that this option makes the Home Screen on Apple Watch simpler, as everything is larger and more consistent across the board. Watch our video demonstration inside to see what I mean. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on May 6, 2015
Apple’s VoiceOver technology has impressed the American Foundation for the Blind enough to award the company its Helen Keller Achievement Award for “breakthroughs in accessible technology.”
Part of Apple’s rich set of accessibility features available across Mac, iPhone, iPad and iPod devices, VoiceOver for OS X and iOS is a gesture-based screen reader that lets visually impaired users navigate their devices via spoken word and gestures.
The organization has recognized not only VoiceOver, but other features that make the iPhone, iPad and other iOS devices accessible to people with vision loss. Read More
By Sébastien Page on Jan 28, 2015
I currently have two machines running Yosemite: one is a brand new Retina iMac, and the other is an older MacBook Air. Both these machines have been feeling incredibly slow in regards to general animations of the User Interface. One obvious way to test this is to bring up Exposé, which then turns both my Macs into stuttering slugs. While I can kind of understand why my old MacBook Air would behave like this, there is absolutely no excuse for my iMac to. Talking about this issue with someone at the Apple Store, I was offered an original workaround. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Nov 17, 2014
Dropbox, the hot cloud-storage startup which a few years back turned down an acquisition offer from Steve Jobs, on Monday gave its mobile client for the iPhone and iPad significant new accessibility improvements to make sure it’s simple to get stuff done if your vision or hearing is impaired.
Based on both Dropbox’s own customer research and feedback from the AppleVis community, the improved software makes it easier for people with disabilities to use the app with Apple’s VoiceOver feature when logging in to Dropbox, navigating actions within the app and more.
The new accessibility features will be rolling out to users later today, the company said.
Dropbox is a free download from the App Store. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jun 3, 2014
Over the years, both iOS and OS X platforms have adopted a number of great accessibility features to help tailor how Apple’s mobile and desktop devices work for people with disabilities.
If you’re color blind or have low vision, a brand new Accessibility option in iOS 8 replaces the colors with a range of gray shades from white to black, as used in a monochrome display or printout.
That’s not all, as iOS 8 includes additional screen zoom options and more. I’ve detailed this changes for you right after the break… Read More
By Cody Lee on Feb 11, 2014
Yahoo has posted a small but significant update for its iOS Mail client this afternoon, bringing the app to version 2.0.5. Aside from the usual bug fixes and performance improvements, the update brings about deeper VoiceOver support.
This is more of a PSA than an update alert—a lot of folks depend on Apple’s VoiceOver feature in iOS to help them navigate about apps, input and read text, and perform other actions. And now they can utilize the feature in Yahoo Mail… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Nov 25, 2013
Apple’s given its ‘Made for iPhone’ (MFi) initiative a nice little kick in the pants by introducing all-new support in iOS 7 for physical gaming controllers (examples: Moga’s Ace Power and Logitech’s PowerShell), but now the company is looking to give another industry vertical a much-needed boost: the market for hearing aids and associated devices.
According to a new report Monday by Reuters, Apple has worked closely with Copenhagen, Denmark-based GN ReSound on the first batch of iPhone-connected devices for hearing-impaired customers.
The new gear is much more compact than before and taps the 2.4-gigahertz band using Bluetooth 4.0’s low-energy mode. The hardware works in tandem with special iOS software not only to improve one’s hearing, but to also stream music and double as a two-way headset for receiving phone calls… Read More
By Lory Gil on Nov 9, 2013
Even people who love reading books all of the time will sometimes get too busy to sit down on the couch and spend a few hours with their nose in their favorite novel. Sometimes, running around, baking cookies, knitting sweaters, and exercising gets in the way of quality reading time.
You could invest money and digital storage space into downloading audio books from iTunes or a third-party digital audio book supplier. Or, you could just get your device to read to you using the iOS accessibility feature, VoiceOver… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jul 23, 2013
Wireless CapTel, Sprint’s nationwide caption-calling service for the hearing impaired, is now available to owners of Apple’s iOS devices. America’s third-largest wireless carrier announced Tuesday that owners of the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices who have a hearing loss can download a brand new iOS app, free to users on an Everything Data plan (voice-only plans are not supported).
As the software taps the power of the cloud, a network connectivity is a must. The app lets you speak and listen to your caller while at the same time read everything the other person says, right on your iDevice’s screen… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jun 26, 2013
This is kind of interesting. Hot on the heels of yesterday’s report that iOS 7 includes the ability to detect smiling and blinking faces, comes word of another odd new feature onboard: the ability to control your iPhone or iPad with head movements.
That’s right, tucked away in the Accessibility section of the Settings app in the latest beta of Apple’s new OS is a toggle that activates a new head tracking feature. Once enabled, users can control their iOS devices with simple left to right head nods… Read More
By Lory Gil on May 10, 2013
My nephew loves to play with my iPad. I have a special folder with kid’s books just for him. He loves flipping through the pages of Wreck-it-Ralph, Wheels on the Bus HD, and all of the Dr. Seuss apps. He is autistic, so buttons, tabs, and anything he can tap on easily distract him. If I am not totally vigilant, he will be out of his book and into my Facebook app before I even realize it.
Apple added a helpful feature for making sure that hands don’t accidentally (or purposefully) tap something that they should not have. It is called Guided Access and it disables the touch screen in designated areas or the entire screen of your iOS device. We’ve got a tutorial to show you how it works… Read More
By Lory Gil on May 7, 2013
Touch screen devices like Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, are not particularly usable for visually impaired people. If you are blind, or simply have a difficult time seeing the small images and texts on the screen, iOS devices are effectively useless.
Apple has worked to make their touch screen products usable for those with impaired vision. Apple’s accessibility features offer a variety of options for vision including VoiceOver, zoom, inverted colors, and more. We have a basic tutorial for activating these features, plus an explanation of what each one does… Read More
By Cody Lee on May 1, 2013
Amazon today announced a nice little update for its Kindle iOS app, bringing the title to version 3.7. The update includes a handful of bug fixes and improvements, but the biggest change has to be the new VoiceOver support.
Tapping iOS’ Accessibility features, Amazon has made it much easier for blind and visually impaired users to navigate their way around the Kindle app through the use of VoiceOver. More details and full change log after the fold… Read More
By Cody Lee on Feb 22, 2013
Samsung has taken another hit in its patent war with Apple today.A Mannheim Regional Court in Germany ordered a stay of its infringement suit against the Cupertino company, pending a validity challenge on the patent-in-suit.
On the surface, this case looks just like any other Apple-Samsung court battle. But it’s grabbing a significant amount of attention this morning due to Samsung’s patent in question, as it’s used in the iPhone’s VoiceOver feature… Read More
By Oliver Haslam on Oct 23, 2011
When iOS 5 was released alongside the iPhone 4S, much of the talk was about Siri and other voice-related technology built right into the operating system. The option to speak into your iPhone and have it either translate that speech to text, or act upon your instruction is obviously super cool, but there’s one speech-related feature that’s slipped under the radar.
iOS 5 has a new accessibility option that allows iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad users to have their text read back to them… Read More
By Jeff Benjamin on Oct 2, 2011
The awkwardly named ActiveAccess for Activator, is a jailbreak tweak, which allows you to assign various accessibility options to Activator actions.
Accessibility options consist of features like Invert Colors, VoiceOver and Zooming — options that are great for the visually impaired.
Thanks to this tweak, there’s an even easier way to invoke these features by assigning one or all of them to an Activator action… Read More