- iPhone Dev tags: - accessibility - iphone - voiceover Making your iphone app accessible | Cactus

Making your iphone app accessible

It's no secret, I'm working on updates to 321run. In next big new update, I wish to make the app more accessible, so that even the visually impaired can use it, even if they need some help to run (I guess they run with other people in that case). Following Martin Pilkington's pledge to make all his apps accessible by the end of the year, I went on myself with only my app, and decided I would make the app accessible. Honestly they are some features for which I don't know how somebody blind or almost blind can use it : the maps, the graphs comparing your runs. But that is sugar when what you want is to progress running. With that goal in mind (running), the main features are the trainings, the history, the record with a stop start button and the performance screen. What are the steps? First step is to read the documentation Apple provides because they made a lot of efforts by integrating VoiceOver everywhere. Then you want to test your own app with a 3GS accessibility enabled iPhone. I did that, and frankly it rocks. The gestures and the principles take some getting used to but once you are, it is great. Trying this accessibility feature, you wonder how some interface would succeed with it out of the box. I am not sure that the convertbots for example have made that work with their custom UI: do their buttons use VoiceOver? Neither do I believe that their very nice but very specific graphic user interfaces are common enough for someone with accessibility issues. I made the test and I'm very happy to report that version 1.2 is already accessible thanks to the wonderful technology made by Apple. If it wasn't a serious technology solving real-world problems, I'd even say it's fun. I made the test with the curtain on (basically you screen is off, you just get the touch of it), and everything is usable. I just have two minor issues which I hope to correct in the next update. One seems to me to be an Apple bug, to me. I need to investigate. The other one should be easily managed by looking at the full accessibility framework. The black screen that my app creates while while running is quite useless in the case of a blind person, and in tests it didn't work well with VoiceOver and the selection UI. I need to check if VoiceOver is on in code, and suppress this mechanism if that's the case. Anyway, I encourage other developers to check how well their app behaves with a 3GS and to improve the accessibility of their apps too Thsi iPhone thing is too good to miss the opportunity to create a great device for everybody.

Publié le 6 Sep 2009
Écrit par Cyril