Mobile Accessibility, developed by CodeFactory, consists of a suite of 10 accessible applications for everyday online activities such as email, phone calls and contact lists, SMS, calendar and web. It also has a screen reader that works with these applications, as well as outside the suite to navigate the standard interface.
Those interested in seeing how Mobile Accessibility works can view video and audio demos of the application or read the Mobile Accessibility user guide.
One of the major features of Mobile Accessibility is the touch navigation. This is very similar to that found in Apple iOS where you can touch the screen and items underneath your finger will be announced using the text-to-speech function. You can also swipe left and right or up and down to navigate through the items on the screen.
Mobile Accessibility also includes an accessible onscreen QWERTY keyboard. This addresses one of the key limitations of Android – the inaccessibility of the default onscreen keyboard.
CodeFactory has also teamed up with Nuance®, creators of Dragon Dictate, speech recognition software for personal computers. Mobile Accessibility is using Nuance’s Vocalizer text-to-speech technology for more natural sounding speech output from the text-to-speech feature plus voice recognition.
Mobile Accessibility will work with Android smartphones from version 2.1 and above. The voice recognition feature is supported from version 2.2 and above. If you are in the US or UK, you can try the Mobile Accessibility Demo for free for 30 days:
CodeFactory states that Mobile Accessibility will be available for purchase through the Android Market at the price of 69 Euros. There is no indication when it will be available to Australians or the price.
Eduard Sánchez, CodeFactory’s CEO says, “We very quickly realized that there was a real need in this specific market for an accessible solution that can provide a user-friendly experience for all blind and low-vision consumers.”
Mobile Accessibility is supporting the ‘bolt on’ rather than ‘built in’ philosophy by creating a separate application, and blind or vision impaired owners will have to pay a fee to make their device accessible.
Project Eyes-Free and Apps4Android, Inc. to date have been the leaders in producing free and open source accessible Android applications and user interface enhancements for people who are blind or vision impaired.
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