Accessibility Report on Apple’s Latest iOS Update for iPhone, iPod, and iPadBy Burton, Darren; Access World, Vol. 12, No. 1
Publication Date: January 2011
Article reviews the Apple iOS 4.2.1, a free operating system upgrade for the iPhone 3GS and 4, the iPod Touch 3 and 4, and all versions of the iPad as regards its accessibility to blind and visually impaired users. The upgrade, which can be downloaded to a Mac or Windows computer using iTunes 10 or later versions, was found still to include its built in access features, including the VoiceOver screen reader and Zoom magnifier. Accessibility improvements reported include better VoiceOver responsiveness to taps and other gestures, enhanced ability to adjust VoiceOver speech rate and volume, and a problem with a button for choosing the phone number type for a new contact that has now been corrected to work with VoiceOver. Also mentioned is a software update to Apple TV which supports AirPlay, an app allowing devices running iOS 4.2 to stream video to a television; this is accessible using VoiceOver, which speaks the menus for controlling the video and can access descriptions of movies or TV show episodes. The reviewer also describes several apps downloaded from the App Store which he found useful, including the GPS-based navigational tools Around Me and Navigon; iTreadmill for tracking workouts; AidColors for color identification; LaDiDa, an app that lets you sing into the phone and picks music to match; and oMoby, an object identification app that uses the camera in the device to capture an image and VoiceOver to describe it. A resource list of Web resources regarding Apple products and accessibility is included.
Published by: AFB Press (Website:http://www.afb.org/Section.asp?SectionID=46)
American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) (Web Site: http://www.afb.org )
Link to text: http://afb.org/afbpress/pub.asp?DocID=aw120103