iPad

Apple continues to improve accessibility of iOS

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A new feature in the latest beta release of iOS 5, the operating system for the iPad and iPhone, provides on-screen replacements for various button functions, such as the home button.

The control panel, called Assistive Touch, will assist users who may have trouble using the standard gestures or the physical buttons on the iPad. For example, instead of using the swipe action (gesture) to move from screen to screen, you can tap on an icon instead. This may increase accessibility for users with a physical disability.

Once the feature is turned on in the accessibility settings, you can tap on a designated corner on the device to bring up the control panel.

Assistive Touch has four options in total:

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Update to ABC iView for iPad supports closed captions

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The latest update to the ABC iView app for the iPad allows you to watch prime time ABC TV programs with closed captions.

iView is the ABC’s online ‘catch-up’ service where you can watch ABC TV shows and exclusive iView programs online. The iView website accessed via a personal computer has supported closed captions since March 2010. Until now, captions were not available to iPad users.

The ABC is currently the only free-to-air network in Australia with a catch-up service that supports captions. This is in contrast to the UK and US, which have seen multiple online players provide levels of captioning ahead of Australia.

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New large print contacts app for the iPad now available

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Ai Squared has released a new ‘large print’ contacts app for the iPad for users who have difficulty with the text size on the screen.

ZoomContacts uses Apple’s internal contacts database to store and manage contacts. This means that any existing contacts will be available using ZoomContacts, and you also manage and search your contacts using the custom interface that comes with this app.

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New version of Apple iBooks includes read-aloud feature

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The latest version of the Apple iBooks app includes a new read-aloud feature, allowing publishers to include human-voice narration in their books.

The feature, included in select children’s books purchased through the iBookstore, uses a real narrator to read out the book to you. In some books, the words are highlighted as they are read aloud so children can follow along.

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