Archive for June, 2011

Morality is in the Gutter

June 7, 2011

The agreements between companies and their outside developers are stringent. Apple for example have often been criticised for the extension of their own secrecy policy to the terms of agreement in their developer programmes. This topic has again been unearthed this week with the announcements at WWDC.

I’m all for people testing. I also get excited when sites like mac Rumours talk about things but I treat them as merely rumours.

I personally know several individuals on the developer scheme and while most of them stick to the non disclosure policy, I’ve seen several who are outright breaking it.

Today it was released that there’s a “backdoor” to get iOs5 through a security leak and my favourite thing I’ve heard is that blind people must get it to ensure it activates.

I seriously roll my eyes at that. There are several blind individuals on the developer programme and if iOS doesn’t activate, they’ll let Apple know the “right way”.

I have to say, this self righteous attitude that we can break rules just to suit ourselves in the blind community is shoddy and needs to stop. You cannot have it all ways. Expect to be treated equally and then put yourself above the rules by flinging the blind card everywhere for the world to see when it suits you; hypocritical, methinks?

I am not saying sighted people or others with different disabilities are not breaching the terms of use and that is also wrong but do not use “the blind card” to justify your piracy.

To the developers who are VI and are testing both Lion and iOS5 while sticking to you’re binding agreement, I applaud you for both. Because you are testing and reporting back to Apple, you are doing the rest of us a service.

Was I tempted? Sure! If we can get something for nothing, most of us are but I will not get either Lion or iOs5 until I can purchase Lion and update my iOS devices in iTunes.

It seems mighty unfair that people who have shed out money to test to give what I I hope is constructive feedback to Apple are being tarnished with a brush by selfish and arrogant individuals determined to get their own way because they can.

I know I’m stepping onto moral high ground but seems the level of morality is in a ditch for most people these days. All I can say to those doing the backdoor way, just know, if it blows up in your face neither Apple nor your phone company will give a damn. I suspect developers and anyone on their account has cover via some reference number and that is fine but just know you are not covered under this unorthodox method.

If I was a developer, I may test and who knows, one day that may happen. With the next version of the Mac OS I might enter into the development programme as I have a spare mac at home now to test on but it wouldn’t be so I could blog about features.

News Rack On The Mac

June 6, 2011

The popular paid app on iOS News Rack came to the Mac OS not so long ago. However, it being £4.99 in the UK App store, I didn’t want to risk buying it just in case it was terribly inaccessible and on the off chance the developer might not be forth coming about accessibility improvements. However, after a quick email to OMZ: Software, I was pleasantly surprised to receive an informative email disclosing that although News Rack was currently not very workable with VoiceOver on the mac as it was on iOS, they were working on changing this and if I were to buy, I should wait for the 1.1 version release.

So, I thanked them and waited.

They then emailed me a few weeks ago to let me know that despite not mentioning the VoiceOver changes, that the app was more accessible with VoiceOver now.

Upon downloading News Rack in the mac app store tonight, I have discovered much more than I anticipated. A few buttons are not labeled as yet but this app is totally accessible in my opinion. The buttons that are not labelled seem to just change something on the screen. The refresh, mark as read, star, etc are all labelled and there’s a menu button to with short cuts, edit, subscribe to new feed, etc and an action menu that allows you to share the current highlighted article.

Using arrows makes navigating this app super slick. Up and down in the first table switches from folders/feeds. You do need to interact with the table to expand the folders. However, if you hit your right arrow while not interacting, it jumps directly to the article table and vo-right once and the HtML area is immediately there, containing your content. Tabbing will get you there to but you run past the menus and buttons first.

There’s notification alerts, all the sharing options available in iOS. If you love the iOS app and you want to have the same RSS freedom on your mac, download this app that works very nicely with VoiceOver. The beauty of this app compared to some others is that you don’t need to use your google account if you don’t want to or don’t have one.

Great job to OMZ software. Keep it up and I’m happy such a feature filled RSS app is now accessible on the mac from a developer seemingly committed to accessibility.