Mobile operating systems

Android 5.0 Lollipop accessibility features – hands-on initial impressions and tips

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Dr Scott Hollier provides some useful tips and initial hands-on impressions of the accessibility features available in the latest version of Google's Android operating system, 5.0 Lollipop.

Android 5.0 Lollipop home screen with Gmail, Maps, YouTube and Play Store apps


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Accessible Christmas gift ideas for 2014

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Looking for that special something for that special someone—a Christmas present that is both accessible and awesome? Look no further than Media Access Australia’s guide on accessible Christmas gift ideas for 2014.

iTunes gift card

iTunes $30, $20 and $50 gift cards


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Digital technology highlights of 2014

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As the year draws to a close, it’s a good time to reflect back on the significant accessibility improvements that we’ve seen in digital technology across the major operating systems in computers and mobile devices.

Woman reclining on a wooden park bench outdoors, with an iPhone 6 in left hand


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Westpac banking app inaccessible: Former Disability Commissioner

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Former Australian Disability Commissioner Graeme Innes is lodging a complaint against major Australian bank Westpac due to the alleged inaccessibility of its mobile banking application.

iPhone 6 resting on a flat surface

In a blog post, Innes claimed that as the result of an upgrade to Westpac’s online banking platform several months ago, including changes to its banking app, he could no longer bank via his iPhone.


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Windows Phone

Windows Phone is a smartphone operating system produced by Microsoft with the latest version being Windows Phone 8.1, not to be confused with the desktop and tablet operating system Windows 8.1. Smartphones that primarily use Windows Phone include Nokia and Microsoft-branded products, although there are some other models available from companies such as HTC.

Digital media and technology: 

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Accessible consumer technologies and the cloud: VisAbility Tech Outlook 2014

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Dr Scott Hollier's keynote presentation at the VisAbility Tech Outlook 2014 is now available to download via SlideShare.

Presented at the VisAbility Tech Outlook 2014, Dr Scott Hollier covers the journey of Assistive Technologies (AT) from the hardware-based solutions of the 1980s, to the wide range of affordable AT options available today (including accessibility developments of Windows, Mac, iPhone and Android). The importance of the cloud in relation to the future AT is discussed, including its benefits and issues for consumer accessibility.


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ACCAN announces Apps For All Challenge winners

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The winners of the inaugural competition to recognise the work of Australian accessible app developers, the Apps For All Challenge 2014, have been announced.

The challenge, announced earlier this year, was run by the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) and the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), and sponsored by Telstra.

Prizes for the winners included the Telstra Prize of $1500 in cash, promotion through Telstra’s social media and a one-off opportunity to participate in a mini-incubator experience with Telstra’s own in-house app developers and technology specialists.


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Google launches Android One smartphone

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Google has announced its new low-cost smartphone, the Android One, potentially opening up smartphone features to the world's poorest 5 billion people.

According to Google's senior vice president of Android, Chrome and Apps, Sundar Pichai, to date the cost of smartphones has been a major barrier to people in countries such as India, Indonesia or the Philippines.

"Even entry-level smartphones still remain out of reach for many (bear in mind that in some of these countries the average monthly income is around US$250)," he wrote in a blog post on the release of Android One in India.


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Australian accessible apps developers to be honoured

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The shortlist for the inaugural competition to recognise the work of Australian accessible app developers, the Apps For All Challenge 2014, has been announced.

The challenge, announced earlier this year, is being run by the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) and the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), and is sponsored by Telstra.

For the category of 'Most accessible mainstream app', the finalists are: Energy Rating, ACCC Shopper and My Bus (Canberra Transport).


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Accessibility: the missing essential in cloud services

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Independent access expert Media Access Australia has released a research paper on the need for commercial services and governments to incorporate accessibility for people with disabilities into their cloud services.

The research finds that improving the useability of cloud services is an essential criterion in organisations efforts to maximise their customer engagement opportunities and ensure that they are not left behind by their competitors, some of whom have already discovered the commercial potential of access.


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