iPhone

Google Maps make Sydney public transport directions accessible

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Google and Transport New South Wales have teamed up to introduce Sydney public transport directions to the Google Maps app.  After testing, we can safely say that accessibility has been a key consideration in the feature’s development.

Media Access Australia staff tested the public transport option in the Google Maps app for iPhone and found it is accessible via the VoiceOver screen reader. This means people who are blind or vision impaired will now have greater access to information on Sydney’s trains, buses, ferries and light rail services when using the Google Maps app on the Apple iPhone.

Information that can be accessed through the public transport option on the Google Maps app includes:

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Fleksy app improves texting for blind or vision impaired users

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A yet-to-be-released iOS iPhone app called Fleksy has stripped down the traditional touchscreen keyboard to make typing text more accessible to people who are blind or vision impaired.

The app automatically detects words as a user is typing and works with the inbuilt iOS screen reader VoiceOver.

While traditional keyboards offer a tactile experience for blind or vision impaired users, touch screen keyboards often prove challenging without something tangible to guide users while typing. However the Fleksy app will improve this experience for blind or vision impaired users through automatic detection of words as the user types combined with VoiceOver which will announce suggested words.

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Siri update boosts accessibility on iOS devices

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The update to Apple’s operating system iOS 6 announced today will provide a boost to the accessibility of Apple’s mobile devices such as the iPhone and iPad. 

Improvements made to its voice activation software Siri, which will now also be included on the iPad tablet, will increase the accessibility of apps, particularly those with geolocation features.

One of the biggest announcements made today is the introduction of Apple’s own Maps service. The Maps app will now replace the Google Maps app as the primary maps service on all iDevices and will have integration with Siri.

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App review: Remember the Milk

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Our digital technology and online media team have tested the usability of various task management apps for blind and vision impaired users. Due to the inbuilt accessibility features found in iOS devices, only apps available on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch have been reviewed.

Below is a review of Remember The Milk version 2.0.2. The app has since been updated and users have reported decreased accessibility on the iPhone.

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