“I think that, generally, people in the blind community are optimistic. That’s even without knowing what’s accessible.”
FRANCIE DIEP
There were a lot of people watching Apple announce its new smartwatch today. Among them was Michael Hansen, a college student in Indiana, a self-described Apple fan, and part of the team that runs AppleVis, a news and forums site for blind and low-vision Apple users. While there are certainly those who prefer Windows and Android devices, Apple is widely considered the leader in designing accessible gadgets for users with visual impairment. It’s a position that Apple has held since the company launched the iPhone 3GS with VoiceOver in 2009, a feature now built into all Apple products that reads what’s on the screen for users. As Hansen, who is blind, explains, “All of the system apps, everything that’s built in, is accessible by default.” (Not everyone loves this lack of competition, of course.)
Pacific Standard decided to check in on how Hansen and AppleVis were feeling about the watch. The following conversation has been condensed and edited for clarity…….
This is from Apple on their SmartWatch
As much as patent and trade-dress lawsuits would like to stop it, getting to today’s idea of a modern, mature smartphone was a collaborative effort. Apple laid the foundation with the first iPhone, which popularized the idea of a finger-driven all-screen device with an on-screen keyboard and later added an app store. Google later came up with now-standard functionality like a pull-down notification panel, voice input, and a heavy cloud component. Even Samsung helped out by giving the world the phablet and leading the charge toward larger screen sizes—today even Apple makes a 5.5-inch phone.
Smartwatches will be a collaborative effort, too. Every new product advances the conversation of what these tiny wrist computers should be, and yesterday Apple gave a long, impassioned speech on the matter.
And it was mostly stuff Android Wear did already.
At least, the feature set mostly matched Android Wear. Feature sets aren’t what make a device, though. The biggest change Apple is bringing to the smartwatch is its approach to apps. Consider how Android Wear is designed: it’s a notification machine. On Wear you’re always looking at a stack of notifications that come to you, rarely do you go and launch an app. When you run out of notifications, the screen is just blank—it becomes a regular watch, suggesting that when you run out of notifications, you’re pretty much done with your wrist computer….. more: http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/03/apples-contribution-to-the-smartwatch-an-app-centric-approach-and-wi-fi/
more: http://www.psmag.com/nature-and-technology/apple-watch-blind-low-vision-users
Source: PS Mag and Apple

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