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Archive for Noted

→ Apple Accessibility Site Revamped and Updated

Apple products are simple, intuitive, and easy to use. And to help you do more in more ways, a variety of award-winning assistive technologies come standard. So every device not only has accessible features — but accessible principles — built right in.

Nice redesign and updated information on the Apple Accessibility pages. Definitely worth a look.

→ Amazon Kindle Accessibility for Blind, Kindle for iOS Accessibility

This is a fantastic overview of the Amazon Kindle iOS app’s VoiceOver support by Justin Romack. It is a fair and accurate assessment. It also provides some information for those who may be confused by the app’s somewhat unique interface. I highly recommend you read this review first, before putting too much stock in pieces posted by those with other agendas.

→ Zombies, Run! Accessibility Update

But first I’ve got bad news for people looking forward to the full VoiceOver support that we promised on iOS for Zombies, Run! 2 - it will not be available in tomorrow’s update. Instead, we will be making good on our commitment for full VoiceOver support in version 2.1, which we will release AS SOON AS POSSIBLE after April 16th. If you depend on VoiceOver to play the game, you should hold off on updating until 2.1 is out, when we will have made the game fully accessible.

If only all developers were this communicative! While this is a disappointment to many, the rest of this piece contains a lot of good information about why there was this delay. The good news is that it sounds like they’ve already finished the VoiceOver support, and will be submitting the update to Apple immediately. Hopefully, this will mean version 2.1 will be available for VoiceOver users very soon.

If you’re a fan of this game and rely on VoiceOver, this post is definitely worth reading.

→ Infovox iVox 3.1.1 released

Today we released a minor update to Infovox iVox. This update solves a couple of small issues, including:

  • Distorted speech after switching between Apple and Acapela voices. *Interruption of demo mode.
  • Incompatibility with Mac OS X 10.4.11.
  • Incompatibility with Kurtzweil 3000.

In addition, we can confirm this also fixes the problem with Acapela voices in games by Draconis Entertainment, and likely several other third-party software developers whose products rely on the system voice settings.

→ Reading devices on Planes

Marco Arment writes:

If you’re using an iPad, must you be reading during taxi, takeoff, and landing instead of watching a movie or playing Super Stickman Golf 2? Am I allowed to listen to Phish in my headphones while I’m reading? If not, are audiobooks or screen-readers allowed, or are we discriminating against the visually impaired?

This entire piece really hammers home the problems with drawing distinctions between the types of devices we have now, and what we do or the types of media we consume with them. We’re back to the same old question: “Are iPads computers?”

In either case, specifying reading consumption does indeed pose some serious accessibility questions, as Marco rightly points out. And, unless you’re blasting audio through your earbuds, how would anyone know if someone is listening to the latest Stephen King novel or the latest Dido record? Who cares? Even if exceptions were made, are flight attendants going to be expected to police visually impaired travelers’ devices to make sure what they are actually listening to is textual? This is a bizarre and ill-conceived distinction.