[blindreplay] The new iPhone 3G S news

  • From: "Petro T. Giannakopoulos" <petrakigianos-giasou@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: blindreplay@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 9 Jun 2009 08:11:23 -0700 (PDT)

Unrelated news but good one to share. I know Leslie uses an iPhone.

Found this on the web. Petro.
True Accessibility for the Blind and Visually Impaired comes to the iPhone
Yesterday, June 08, 2009, 4:05:43 PM | noreply@xxxxxxxxxxx (Michael McCarty)
The following information comes from Apple. 

The same VoiceOver screen reader made popular on the Mac is now a standard 
feature on the iPhone 3G S. It’s the world’s first gesture-based screen reader, 
enabling you to enjoy the fun and simplicity of the iPhone even if you can’t 
see the screen. 

What makes VoiceOver on iPhone truly remarkable is that you control it using 
simple gestures that let you physically interact with items on screen. It’s 
easy to learn and fun to use. Instead of memorizing hundreds of keyboard 
commands, or endlessly pressing tiny arrow keys to find what you’re looking 
for, with VoiceOver, you simply touch the screen to hear a description of the 
item under your finger, then gesture with a double-tap, drag, or flick to 
control the phone. 

VoiceOver delivers an experience unlike any screen reader you’ve ever used 
before. Traditional screen readers describe individual elements on the screen, 
but struggle to communicate where each element is located or provide 
information about adjoining objects. This contextual information is very 
important but typically filtered out by other screen readers. For example, 
“off-screen” models used by traditional screen readers to represent 
applications and web pages intentionally strip away contextual information and 
describe web pages as a list or menu of items. But with VoiceOver on iPhone 3G 
S, you’ll experience something entirely new. 

Because VoiceOver works with iPhone’s touchscreen, you interact directly with 
objects on the screen and can naturally understand their location and context. 
So, when you touch the upper-left corner of the screen, you’ll hear what’s in 
the upper left corner of a web page, and as you drag your finger around the 
screen, you’ll learn what’s nearby, providing an amazing new sense of context 
and relationship between the items you hear. For many, VoiceOver on iPhone will 
provide, perhaps for the first time, a true sense of how things appear on 
screen, not just descriptions of what they are. 

You’ll hear descriptions of every item on the screen, including status 
information such as battery level, Wi-Fi and cellular network signal levels, 
the cellular network provider, and time of day. It even lets you know when the 
display changes to landscape or portrait orientation, and when the screen is 
locked or unlocked. 

The speaking rate is adjustable so you can set it to a speed that best suits 
your listening ability. VoiceOver uses distinctive sound effects to alert you 
when an application opens, when the screen is updated, when a message dialog 
appears, and more. And, when Voiceover is talking, the volume of background 
sounds and music are automatically lowered, “ducking” under the voice, so you 
can clearly hear what VoiceOver is telling you. 

VoiceOver includes built-in voices that speak 21 languages including Chinese 
(Cantonese), Chinese (China), Chinese (Taiwan), Dutch, English (US), English 
(UK), Finnish, French (Canada), French (France), German, Italian, Japanese, 
Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Russian, 
Spanish (Mexico), Spanish (Spain), and Swedish. 

VoiceOver is built right into the iPhone 3G S. There’s nothing extra to 
purchase or install. All you need is the iPhone 3G S, iTunes 8.2 or later, and 
a Mac or PC. You can activate your iPhone and enable VoiceOver without sighted 
assistance using iTunes with a compatible screen reader like VoiceOver included 
in Mac OS X and GW-Micro Window-Eyes® for Windows XP and Windows Vista (sold 
separately). When you activate iPhone using iTunes, you can enable VoiceOver on 
the iPhone to start using it right away. Sighted users can also enable 
VoiceOver for you directly on iPhone using the Accessibility menu in the 
Settings application. 

With VoiceOver enabled, you’ll use a different, but simple set of gestures to 
control the iPhone. For example, instead of tapping to click a button or select 
an item, you tap to hear a description of the item you touch and double-tap to 
click or select it. 

When an item on the screen is selected, a black rectangle called the VoiceOver 
cursor appears around it. The VoiceOver cursor is displayed for the benefit of 
sighted users with whom you may be sharing your phone. When you prefer privacy, 
VoiceOver includes a screen curtain that turns off the display so no one can 
read it without your knowledge. 

In addition to touching and dragging around the screen, you can also flick left 
and right to move the VoiceOver cursor precisely to the next or previous item 
on the screen—no matter how big or small it is. By flicking, you have precise 
control of what you hear even when it might otherwise be difficult to place 
your finger on it. 

When you’re typing text, such as an email message or a note, VoiceOver echoes 
each character on the keyboard as you touch it, and again to confirm when you 
enter it. You can also have VoiceOver speak each completed word instead of and 
in addition to individual characters as you type them. A flick up or down while 
typing moves the insertion point cursor left and right within the text so you 
can edit a word just as easily and precisely as typing a new word. 

To help you type more quickly and accurately, iPhone features word prediction 
and suggests the correct spelling when you type a word incorrectly. With Speak 
Auto-text enabled, you’ll hear a sound effect and the suggested word spoken 
automatically. You can just keep typing to ignore it, or press the space key to 
have iPhone type it for you. 

VoiceOver works with all of the built-in applications that come with iPhone 3G 
S, such as Phone, iPod, iTunes, Mail, Safari, and Maps. So, you can place and 
receive calls, surf the web, text and email your friends, check your stocks and 
the weather, and much, much more. Apple is also working with iPhone software 
developers so they can make their applications VoiceOver compatible. 

In addition to gestures, you can use your voice to play music and make a phone 
call. Just press and hold the home button, listen for the audio prompt, and 
speak the name of the artist, album, or playlist you want to hear. You can 
pause, play, change tracks, even shuffle your music. 

When you want to make a call, speak the name or telephone number of the person 
you want to call. iPhone 3G S understands 21 different languages. 

While many iPhone applications let you zoom in and out specific elements such 
as images in Mail, or webpage columns in Safari, Zoom lets you magnify the 
entire screen of any application you’re using to help you see what’s on the 
display. Zoom can be enabled on iPhone 3G S using iTunes when you’re setting up 
the iPhone, for yourself or someone else, or later, using the Accessibility 
menu in the Settings application on the iPhone. 

Zoom works everywhere, including the Home, Unlock, and Spotlight screens, even 
with applications you purchase from the App store. 

For those who need or prefer higher contrast, iPhone 3G S provides an option to 
change the display to White On Black. This reverse video affect works in all 
applications including the Home, Unlock, and Spotlight screens and can be used 
with Zoom and VoiceOver. 

iPhone includes a few, easily discernible physical buttons used to control the 
phone: the Sleep/Wake button, located on the top edge; the Ring/Silent switch 
and volume-control buttons, located on the upper-left edge; and the Home 
button, centered below the display.

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