Apple announces launch of iPad 2 and iOS 4.3

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Thursday, 3 March 2011 11:50am

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:

  • The increased functionality of FaceTime, as users on iPhones, Macs and iPads can now take part in video conferences. Faster dual processors and two new cameras are also expected to improve the quality and performance of FaceTime.  FaceTime may be useful to Deaf or hearing impaired users who use sign language and can communicate using the video conferencing tool.
  • The new Apple ‘iMovie’ app will also include an audio editor which allows users to edit videos on their iPad to include up to three tracks and a voiceover track that may be used to audio describe a video, making it accessible to the blind and vision impaired. You record the track through the iPad microphone.

Like the first generation iPad, iPad 2 will include Apple’s built-in screen reader VoiceOver, support for playback of closed captions, white on black display, full-screen zoom magnification and mono audio.

Read cnet’s article ‘Apple takes covers off iPad 2’ for more on the release and new features of iPad 2.

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