I know that at first the title of this post may seem a little inconsiderate but that is because there are not many people pointing out how many accessibility features are built into the phone by Apple and how many apps are also doing a part to help blind people as well! Apple has been adding features like this to their computers for a long time and it never occurred to me that it would be available on the iPhone as well.
I’m on my second iPhone and I didn’t know it could do all of these things until today! I can only imagine that with this story coming out there will be many more apps for blind and deaf people hitting the App Store soon.
Let me explain, the phone has a feature built in that will announce to you what app your finger is over then you just double tap to open the app. (This is turned off by default. Go to Settings>General>Accessibility) With each screen you visit on the phone the phone will read your options to you. Touch some text and it reads it to you. It may be slow to get used to at first but it’s usable.
And this is just one of the accessibility features.**
Now imagine an app that tells you which direction you are walking and what street intersection you are approaching. What about if it told you when you arrived at your destination? Now the iPhone being a tool for the blind doesn’t sound quite so stupid does it?
Check out this article to learn more:
How the Blind Are Reinventing the iPhone
*If you have ever had an interest in creating an app for the iPhone but just didn’t know what would be a good idea… now you don’t have an excuse.
I’ll even throw one out for free: In the article they mention that it would be nice to have an app that would announce what shops they were passing as they walked along their route. What about a crowd sourced app that would allow people to add in those locations just because they wanted to be nice. All it would have to do is take a GPS coordinate and the name of the business (or building if you wanted to build a level of generality)
** If you turn this feature on you will need to know how to scroll through the settings to shut it back off again. You can scroll the settings page by using a three finger swipe up to get to the next page of settings.
This may seem like a really annoying thing to have to discover but if you are blind and having the phone read your options to you. It would be a bad thing if the page were to scroll prior to your double tap. That is why the three finger swipe is used, so that it is not something that could be done by accident.