iPad

Apple iPad 2 launches in Australia today

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The Apple iPad 2 will be launched in Australia at 5pm AEDT this afternoon.

The reduced weight of the new model and the $50 price cut makes the new iPad 2 an attractive, accessible device for people with disabilities.

The accessibility features of the new iPad are similar to those in the current version with many options to support the needs of people with disabilities including:

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Apple announces launch of iPad 2 and iOS 4.3

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Apple today announced the launch of iPad 2 and an update to Apple’s operating system iOS to version 4.3, which will be released in America next week and in Australia on 25 March with minor accessibility improvements.

The iOS 4.3 update has seen some bug fixes to accessibility features. Apple has now fixed the issue preventing controls from being dismissed in some cases, and where the keyboard could not reappear when highlighting and browsing search results. Apple has also adjusted VoiceOver so that it reads entire charts in the ‘Stocks’ app when it is in landscape mode.

Features to the iPad 2 itself that may improve the accessibility for some users include:

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Apple iPad and iBooks

An apple iPad can be used as an eReader through the use of an app called iBooks, which is free in the apple store. iBooks can read aloud eBooks downloaded or purchased through the book store. It can also open ePub and PDF documents available on the device.

The accessibility features for iBooks are:

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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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