iPhone

iPhone app uses real-life people to answer questions for blind and vision impaired

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A new iPhone app enables people who are blind or vision impaired to recruit sighted users to answer questions about an item they have taken a photo of.

The VizWiz app, being developed by Rochester Human Computer Interaction, allows iPhone users to take a photo of an item they have a query about, record their question and send the photo and question to a team of real-life people to answer. These people record the answer, which is then sent back to the user.

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Netflix adds captions to iOS app

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A new update to the Netflix app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch now allows you to watch movies and TV episodes with captions.

Netflix began releasing titles with closed captions in April last year, but until the recent update to its iOS app, users could not turn on captions when using their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

Captions are particularly useful for people who are Deaf or hearing impaired, as well as those who are viewing content in a noisy environment, teaching or training, or learning English.

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Hopelessly devoted to captioning and audio description

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Looking for last minute ideas for Valentine’s Day? Enjoy our top 5 suggestions for an accessible and romantic evening.

Go out and enjoy an evening at the cinema together. Visit the Your Local Cinema website for details and session times of captioned and audio described movies.

Rent or purchase a copy of Dear John and watch it with audio description or captioning. Not into romantic movies? Why not check out our categorised database of audio described titles for another movie choice.

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iOS – iPad & iPhone

iOS is the operating system that runs on Apple mobile devices such as the iPhone and iPad. Apple is generally credited with creating the first popular consumer accessible touch screen device with the inclusion of the VoiceOver screen reader in the iPhone 3GS.

Current versions of iOS contain a number of accessibility features closely related to the features found in OS X, the desktop and laptop Apple operating system. Features include:

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Latest Skype app supports video calls on WiFi and 3G

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People who are Deaf or hearing impaired can now use the latest version of Skype for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch to communicate using sign language via Skype-to-Skype video calls on WiFi and 3G.

Skype for iPhone 3.0 works on the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPod touch (fourth generation) running the operating system iOS 4 or above. Owners of the iPod touch (third generation) or iPad can still receive video calls but cannot make video calls as there is no inbuilt camera. Making video calls from the iPhone 3GS can also be cumbersome without a forward facing camera.

The update opens up more options for people who are Deaf or hearing impaired, providing an alternative to FaceTime. FaceTime provides video chat only to iPhone 4 owners, and only when connected to WiFi.

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