Smartphones

New app brings enhanced accessibility to Perth bus network

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A new app for Android smartphones has been released to help Perth residents who are blind or vision impaired get around on buses.

Stop Announcer (Perth) provides audio information for buses and other public transport around Perth, Western Australia. Users select their route number and stop, and the app counts down the number of stops and alerts the user when their stop is approaching. The app is designed specifically for people who are blind or have low vision, so it is completely screen reader accessible with a high contrast visual design.

Developer Voon-Li Chung explained the inspiration for Stop Announcer.

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Nokia assistive app competition

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Smartphone company Nokia and the Royal National Institute for Blind People in the UK have partnered in a competition for apps which assist people who are blind or vision impaired.

Eligible apps must be compatible with Windows 8 and Nokia Lumia phones. While there’s a broad range of assistance apps available on Android and Apple iOS phones, options for blind and vision impaired Windows users are far more limited. The Nokia Create: Do Good Mission aims to help remedy this.

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Apple’s ‘budget’ iPhone 5C still not affordable

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Apple unveiled its iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C at this week’s launch, with many disappointed about the pricing of its very first ‘budget’ phone, the iPhone 5C. Despite being regarded as one of the most accessible smartphones to people with disabilities, Apple’s smartphones still remains expensive in comparison to others on the market.

Leading up to the announcement, it was hoped that the lower cost iPhone 5C would allow low income earners access to a smartphone with impressive accessibility features. This would have been a significant development for Australians with disabilities.

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Accessible app challenge announced

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The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) and the Australian Human Rights Commission have announced an accessible app challenge called Apps For All at this week’s M-Enabling Australasia 2013 Conference. 

Apps For All challenges developers to create mobile or tablet apps which can be accessed by as many people as possible, including people with disabilities.

Announced by Johanna Plante, Chairperson of ACCAN, and Graeme Innes, Disability Discrimination Commissioner, the focus of the challenge is to raise awareness about the universal benefits of accessible apps.

“The Apps For All challenge will not only highlight why accessibility is so important, but trigger a flood of innovative and groundbreaking ideas around how apps and technologies can truly benefit all,” saidPlante.

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