Posts Tagged ‘computer’

Update

June 9, 2011

Guys I know I haven’t been writing much on this blog and I apologize for that. I’ve had to gert school stuff ready and there hasn’t been a lot to talk about lately. Well, now I’m going to start a new series of posts on Apple’s keynote address at WWDC (World Wide Developer Conference). I will be talking about IOS 5 Mac OS X Lion and ICloud. I will be also doing a series of posts on being a first time back user and using the screen reader onboard the machine. I will also go through different apps that I find accessible and give you a full rundown of them. This is all new coming up and I hope you guys will enjoy the posts. So, please stay tuned for those and more from SAA.

Aaron

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Android vs. iPhone

May 14, 2011

After about a whole week to look at my friend’s android powerd device, I’ve got a lot of things to say about it. First of all it’s not like the iPhone so don’t expect to have everything done for you. Also don’t expect for your android phone to automatically get updates. Many different carriers are now sporting android devices with verizon being number one in this space. But, as far as accessibility goes there’s a big difference. One of the biggest things I noticed is that the android platform is not as intuitive as the iPhone. What I mean by this is you know that on the iPhone you can take four fingers and hit the top of the screen and that will take you to the top of your window. On any android device that’s not the case. Also when you are on an item on the iPhone you can double tap anywhere and the iPhone will preform that action. Android doesn’t allow for this which was one of the hardest things for me to master. E-mail and web browsing on the iPhone are great experiences to say the least. Not so on the android devices, browsing the web and e-mailing are not capable well at least web browsing. To get a good browsing and e-mail experience you have to buy a seperate application that is a screen reader and a suite of mobile applications, which is $79. To me it was very expensive when the iPhone already has this feature built in. There is a screen reader that you can purchase for free, it works great but it’s not as good as the iPhone screen reader. The build quality of the device I got to look at was a good build with a slide out keyboard. I really liked this feature and wish that it would come as an option with the iPhone, although the on screen keyboard does an excellent job for short text messages and short emails. If you need to do a lot of typing for emails and taking notes possibly, you’ll want to get a better keyboard. Maybe even a Bluetooth keyboard from apple or even a third party one. The notification system was awesome. It’s not as noisy as the ios notification system. Overall, I enjoy my iPhone and prefer it over any android device. There has to be a lot more done with an android device. It’s just not for me. I’m not saying that the android platform is bad it’s just not for me. I would suggest that if you are in the market for a new phone check both android and iPhone out. They are good alternatives if you are looking for a new phone.

Google Chrome

May 13, 2011

I just downloaded Google’s so called fast browser. I’ve only had it for a few minutes but I wanted to give my take on it. Boy is it fast. I really enjoy it. I really do. As a legally blind person using a mixture of screen reading technology and magnification I find that the magnification works really well. I use Zoomtext from AI Squared and it works perfectly whether I’m using Firefox, IE, or Chrome. I also use JAWS. JAWS is a screen reading program that converts what a sighted person would see into synthesized speech. Unfortunately JAWS doesn’t work with Chrome. However, a free screen reader called NVDA (Non Visual Desktop Access) quite ironically works. Why is that? I have no idea but, it does. There are some problems however that present themselves when using NVDA with Chrome. When going on to youtube.com and hitting (b) for button the screen reader won’t read the labels on the buttons. This is quite annoying to say the least. But, overall it’s a fast browser and I enjoy it.

IOS and Apple

April 11, 2011

IOS apple’s mobile platform was introduced in 2007 when the iphone came out. I suppose it was the same was it is now and the only reason I say that is this. In my last blog apple didn’t make it’s devices accessible until the iphone 3gs was announced. So, I don’t know how it looked and really can’t say if it looked the same or has changed since it was released in 07. Apple has done a good job incorporating a screen reader into it’s mobile platform. It’s a real joy to use, with the triple click home feature you can make your iphone usable by a sighted person in a few millaseconds, and just as easily convert it back into the state you had the phone in last for you the blind user. Access is great and I really can’t say enough about this. Apple has just done a great job with their accessibility by not only building in a screen reader but also a magnifier and a large text option for mail, messages and contacts. The iphone is easy to use as well. With VoiceOver on, which is the screen reader you can drag your finger around the screen and the voice says whatever is below your finger. Double tapping on an item opens the app, once in the app flicking right or left moves you through the app interface. Note: you can also use the flicking method while on the main screen of the iphone and with all apps that are accessible.

The Walled Garden

 Mac OSX and IOS are closed platforms, and for me the end user that’s not a bad thing. If I don’t want to get into my system and hack it like I could windows. I still could hack into my IOS or Mac computer if I wanted to, but the reason I don’t is because apple have built their OS from the ground up. They’ve included everyting you’ll every need. Yes, it may be expensive but you pay a premium for something that is going to last you supstantionally much longer that a pc or any other phone would do. Now, I do have a few problems with the “closed mindedness” of apple, expecially when it comes to my iphone. Apple I paid the freaking money for your device, I bought the hipe, I bought into the apple franchise adn love the a11y you put forth. But, I bought the phone ok, so now let me customize it the way I want. Apple’s “strangle hold” on their mobile os is driving a lot of people to jailbreak. Yes, jailbreaking is legal but apple is trying to stop it. Ok, here’s my solution to that. Apple if you want people not to jailbreak then make IOS 5 customizable get off your soap box about how we are better than everyone else and listen to your customers. Just giving some consumer advice here folks. I’m just saying.

Computer God

The next topic I want to cover is this “Aaron your such a fan boy of apple because you use a macbook and an iphone, your always saying how good it is”. Wrong!!!!!!!! yes, I do applaud them for making a11y mainstream. However, there are some bugs within IOS that I have constantly sent emails to apple and I get the same email in return, but that’s for another post. I’ve been a windows user for a long time, a very long time. I’ve also used and will own a mac for school. I use what works for me depending on what I’m doing. Apple has a lot of things to fix with their iwork suite of applications in regards to VO (voiceover). People either think your all mac or all windows and you can’t use both systems to get things done you have to use one. The knowledge that you have had in windows before you switched over tot he Mac doesn’t apply. Hello!!! Wake up yes it does. Hacking OSX (apple’s OS) requires you to know some windows things. Bringing your knowledge from the pc does you good when you convert to the mac espically if you are a blind user. Explain in windows there are certain commands whether your using JAWS or Window Eyes doesn’t matter, that allow you to move around in a table. Well, look here the same thing for Mac. Yeah, it’s different commands but it’s still basic knowledge of how a table is laid out that works on either platform. This cult that apple has is stupid. Why, do people feel the need to defend apple? Apple is just a company and if something is wrong then tell them. You don’t owe apple anything just like you don’t owe HP, Dell, Toshiba or Microsoft anything. When my pc breaks and yes it has, I call up HP and say fix this. I don’t just say well that’s the way it is and here’s and priase HP for something that’s not there fault. Come on seriously people I mean come on. Am I the only one who thinks that apple should have incorporated VO into the orginal iphone? Heck no, but the mac had it before the iphone did so, why did it take apple 3 generations of the iphone and a lawsuit from the NFB to figure this one out? Now, you apple religionists can’t sit there and tell me “well they had to figure out how to get it in there”. “you just like windows mobile”. “apple didn’t do anything wrong you had a phone that worked”. WOH, apple didn’t do anything wrong? They didn’t do anything wrong? Let me reiderate a lawsuit by the NFB to get access to a mainstream device developed by apple. The a11y team at apple should have been thinking way ahead and should have put it in the original iphone not 3 generations later.

Ease Of Use

The mac is so easy to use, in fact, it’s almost boring. I am kidding it’s a blast to use. With a keystroke I can use my own computer, no additonal software to purchase to make it accessible. Applications run smooth and the screen reader reads them no problems. It’s the same on the iphone, 3 clicks of the home button and I’m ready to use my phone and whenever my friends want to see my phone or a person needs directions, easy just another 3 clicks of that button and speech is off. It’s so easy that a friend of mine who has never touched an iphone in his life picked mine up and was running with it in no time. I didn’t even show him a thing it’s that easy.

The Dark Side

I’ve said a lot of good things about apple, and I am generally happy with their performance. There are a few things however that are frustrating to me as a user.

1. In the music production app garageband you have to interact with everything and not just once but multiple times.

2. Syncing everything with itunes, it’s not a big deal but android doesn’t have you synce with a pc/mac application for everything.

3. Closed OS, why do I need to jailbreak to get features I want, I should be able to customize my iphone.

4. Putting something on then removing it then bringing it back. The 5 gen ipod nano had a camera, then apple decided to make it a touch screen and take it off on the 6th, rumor has it that the camera will be coming back on the 7th. My question why not just keep it in the first place?

5. Apple religion, this is not specifically apple’s fault but I don’t owe anything to apple they are a company when I bash a product or don’t like a move I’m gonna say it. There’s no reason to get defensive and protect them. Apple has lawyers to do that.

Conclusion

Apple is a great company, but a great company is gonna have it’s weak points. I commend apple for making accessibility for blind and low vision users a priority. But, under no circumstances do I give them credit for being so controlling over their mobile platform. Again, it’s my device I pay the bill every month I should be able to customize my phone any way I want. Once apple starts paying my cell bill then fine let them control it but until then (which that will never happen) I want control of my phone and have to optioin to customize the software.

So, my question to you is what do you like and hate about apple??


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