Apple iPad launched with iPhone-like accessibility features

Thursday, 28 January 2010 09:26am

Apple has announced the launch of its latest handheld device called the Apple iPad, a touch screen device that functions like an iPhone but is the size of a netbook, with a 9.7” screen. It also comes with the same suite of accessibility features that have been available on the iPhone 3GS.

The accessibility features contained in the iPad include the VoiceOver screen reader, zoom functionality, the ability to reverse the colour scheme, the ability to play back captioned video and the ability to change the sound from stereo to a mono output. 

Although the accessibility features are a great addition to the product, especially having the features on launch, there is some criticism that typing on the device is limited to the on-screen keyboard which does not feature any tactile feedback. Although audio feedback is provided, it will be challenging for people who are blind or vision impaired to touch-type on the device.

The iPad is scheduled for an international release in April, but there is currently no confirmed release date for Australia. The base model will retail in the US for $US499 with includes 16GB storage. Higher-priced models include 3G connectivity and greater storage.

Further information on the accessibility features of the iPad can be found on the Apple iPad technical specifications page.  A transcript and videos of the iPad launch can be found on the CNET News website.

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