iOS

Mobile operating system for Apple devices

VoiceOver saved in Apple, Samsung patent battle

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Apple's screen reader VoiceOver has been saved from being removed from Apple devices, after a German court ruled against Samsung's claim that VoiceOver breached one of its patents. The ruling comes as a relief to the blind and vision impaired community.

VoiceOver is an assistive tool that interprets text on screen and delivers this information back to the user in audible form. This enables blind users to navigate and access apps on their device. When VoiceOver was first introduced in iOS devices in 2009, it became an affordable alternative to other commercial screen readers.

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American Foundation of the Blind launches note-taking app

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A specialised iPhone and iPad app called AccessNote has been launched by the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), enabling blind and vision impaired users around the world to write notes on their phones. With a host of accessibility features including compatibility with braille displays and keyboard navigation, AccessNote is an affordable alternative to traditional note-taking devices.

The AccessNote is the first note-taking app specifically designed for blind and vision impaired users, and thus includes VoiceOver support, and adjustable colour contrast and text size.

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Winners of the inaugural Golden Apple awards

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AppleVis has announced the winners of its first ever Golden Apple awards, celebrating innovations that enable and empower blind and vision impaired Apple users. The winners were determined by popular vote amongst AppleVis readers.

The Golden Apple went to Fleksy, an app which uses advanced predictive text software to allow accurate typing even without looking at the screen. The app also took out the award for Best iOS App of 2012 and earned its developers, Syntellia, Developer of the Year.


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Pressure increases on Amazon with AppleVis campaign

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eBook giant Amazon has been under increasing pressure from disability groups due to its failure to provide accessibility features in its Kindle devices and apps. The latest comes from a campaign run by AppleVis to have Amazon’s Kindle app for iOS devices made accessible for blind users.

AppleVis, a popular resource for blind and vision impaired Apple users, has launched a campaign to encourage Amazon to make its Kindle app for iOS compatible with the VoiceOver screen reader. If made, the change would drastically increase the accessibility of eBooks on mobile devices and provide blind customers greater choice.

AppleVis states, “Not only would this be a good commercial decision, but it would simply be the 'right' thing for Amazon to do. As consumers, this would also provide us with some much-needed competition and choice when shopping for eBooks.”

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