Monday, 13 October 2014

Talking Tech for October 14 2014

In this weeks show, spending some time talking about android accessibility as I did a presentation on it at the recent BCA NSW/ACT state conference in Newcastle and will be presenting on it again at the Vision Australia texpo in Sydney this Friday.


Next weeks program I will be talking about the Android and Apple apps that were highlighted at both the Melbourne and Sydney VA Texpos.


Android accessibility includes:



Screen reader: Talkback: supporting Braille displays via BrailleBack, and general Bluetooth keyboard navigation: i.e. no specific Talkback commands.
Low vision: magnification, large text,
Hearing: Closed Captions.
General: auto rotate screen, speak passwords, accessibility shortcut, and text to speech output control.
´On phone, ability to set the power/sleep button to hang up call.

No other accessibility options such as with iOS with assistive touch, switch control etc.

All accessibility settings in Settings, Accessibility. NB to find accessibility, remember to scroll down to bottom of the Settings screen.
Android does not have toggle function for quicly turning accessibility features on or off as with iOS.

Some general usage comments

1. Various manufactures of Android devices such as Samsung, LG, HTC, Amazon etc.
2. Can get different versions of Android on different hardware or different on same hardware depending on manufacturer update schedule.
3. Google itself produces its own range of Android devices which are the first to be updated: hence why ATCS at VA have Nexus 7 tablets.
4. Recommend that users try and get a phone or tablet with at least 4.21: i.e. 4.21 introduced magnification settings. Current version is 4.4.
5. Recommending that the Samsung range of phones and tablets is the best way to go for most users. Eg S5 has triple click for turning Talkback on or off, and user experience seems to be a lot more stable.
6. Google Now is not as good as Siri for speech users: eg asking Google Now “where am I?” results in a map not, telling you where you are in the case of Siri. SVoice may be as good as Siri, have not yet verified this.
7. When purchasing apps from the Play Store, you can return it within 15 minutes (i.e. uninstalling it) and receive a refund if the app was not free.
8. Using the Play Store to purchase music, books, movies et is all accessible particularly with Talkback.
9. Home button at middle bottom of screen is your friend, plus apps button directly above this when at a home screen to easily locate apps or scroll between app screens. Always have Back, Home, and recent apps at bottom of all screens.
10. Can get Eloquence as a software synthesiser. Other synthesizers are widely available including Acapela.
11. Can use Talkback with a BT keyboard and Braille display. NB no Talkback commands are assigned to the Bt keyboard as with Voiceover on iOS.
12. Oddly, on the Nexus 7, Talkback does not tell you when the unit is charging, only the charge percentage. The Kindle Fire hd on the other hand with Talkback does report if the unit is plugged in and charging.
13. Using Alt-tab on a Bluetooth keyboard switch’s between recent apps. Start typing an app name with the BT keyboard to locate an app.
14. Main difference between navigating with Braille on the home screens with Talkback as with iOS, is that all icons are shown on the Braille line and you have to locate the icon that is shown with dots 7 8flashing underneath. Some Talkback commands are used with the Braille display. No UEB at this time.
15. Overall Android absolutely ok for low vision users, still not as good for speech users as with iOS.
16. Good starting web address is:

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