Affordable

Highlights of 2013: Accessibility in mainstream devices

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In 2013 people with disability have been offered more choice in smartphones and tablet computers. While Apple still dominates this market, this year saw its competitors offer affordable and accessible alternatives. Here, Media Access Australia looks at a selection of mainstream electronic devices and how they have been improved for accessibility.

Samsung Galaxy S4

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An accessible smartphone for under $200

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Motorola has produced a smartphone that for $US179 carries all the accessibility features of premium models.

The Moto G, an Android phone, runs on Jelly Bean 4.3, but Motorola has stated that it will be upgraded to the most recent version, KitKat, in January. This means that the phone includes accessibility features such as Android’s built-in screen reader and screen magnifier. In addition, other apps can be installed to help you customise the phone to suit your needs.

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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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The mobile web and access potential

It’s an amazing thing to watch how new platforms and devices move from ‘niche developer tool’ to ‘fad’, then ‘trend’ and finally ‘commonplace’. In recent years devices such as netbooks and the iPad, along with platforms such as Google Android, have certainly followed this path. Android in particular seems to have gone from a hobby OS to a dominant mobile platform in about a year. 

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