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Accessibility Improvements on iOS 6

Waiting for WWDC 2013 to begin, it’s a good idea to watch the last unread sessions of last year.

Recently, I came across WWDC 2012 Accessibility for iOS session. This session is titled "Raising the bar", because making your app accessible, is not only noble, but also it’s a mark of care and polish from the developer. Accessibility on iOS is huge, and simple to implement, so there is no good reason to avoid it! (must read: Accessibility for iPhone and iPad apps and iOS Accessibility Heroes and Villains by Matt Gemmell).

iOS 6 brings some improvements to Accessibility (I wasn’t aware of it until I watch the videos). The most impressive is Speak Selection. Speak Selection lets you highlight text in any application by double tapping it. Even if you don’t have VoiceOver enabled, Speak Selection will read you the highlighted text , and will detect automatically the language used. I’ve always found that computer generated voice and speaking wasn’t good, but ’Speak Selection’ has raised the bar.

I find fascinating to have all this cleverness and power in a so small device. You can activate ’Speak Selection’ by going to ’Settings’ > ’General’ > ’Accessibility’ > ’Speak Selection’ > ’On’.

Following the reading of this session, I’ve started to watch how Accessibility is supported by my today’s apps. Interesting, my bank app from la Société Générale switches the numerical input login screen with and ’audio’ login as soon as VoiceOver has been detected. Clever and interesting (you can implement this by using UIAccessibilityIsVoiceOverRunning() and listening to UIAccessibilityVoiceOverStatusChanged notifications to find out when VoiceOver starts and stops).

App login normalApp login with VoiceOver

From jc.

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