Archive for the ‘accessibility Iphone’ Category

Iphone 3 GS, worth it?

June 22, 2009

So on Friday I made it to the apple store to purchase my Iphone. Once there, I dove in and bought it, not even having played with it at the store. I figured why not? That is how much trust I had in Apple.

So I had it all activated in the Apple store, as usual their staff were impeccable and extremely helpful. Once it got home, I connected it to my trusty mac book and itunes shot up immediately. the phone repeatedly made lots of noises at me, I later discovered it was text messages from my network. So once I had registered the Iphone which was pretty painless, although I had to get my set of eyes to read the phone number on my sim-card, I activated voice over and ejected my iphone as I usually do with my ipod.

It was a strange but wonderful sensation to touch a screen and hear feedback. Up until two weeks previously, I never thought that this would be possible, for a visually impaired person to use a touch screen on a phone, let alone a popular phone like the iphone. I assumed at some point Apple would extend their access to all policy to its many products but I expected this technological advance to be a year or two away at least. But here it was, my shiny new 16 gig Iphone, ready and waiting for me to explore.

Findings so Far

Turning on the Phone

Once you have set your phone up, familiarise yourself with the buttons the Iphone has. to the upper right hand corner is the power button.
To turn the power on, hold it for a few seconds. There is no audio feedback but once the phone has loaded, it will play a jingle and voice over will start to speak if you have it enabled.

To the left hand side of the handset, on the side of the phone are your volume buttons. the top one is your volume up, the bottom volume down.

At the bottom of the phone is your home button, very useful for many things.


At the bottom of your phone is your power/cable connector exactly the same as the Ipod nano cable adapter. This port will sync your phone and charge it. Note that you can externally charge with the power cord and the adapter for power outlet and also on your computer.

At the top left hand top edge of your phone is the 3.55 mm head phone socket. This is a great thing as most headphones sold are 3.55 and if you have a set you like to use for personal reasons it is likely you will be able to use your own.

Home screen

Status Bars and Indicators

So your home screen is what you see when you turn your phone on. It kind of reminds me of the doc on the mac. At the top left hand corner is your carrier’s status and if you have Wifi on or your 3G status.

this is very useful as it gives the feedback of bars of network coverage and of the level of the wifi connection.

On the right hand side of the screen, at the top gives the time and battery indicator. Finally, I have a phone that gives me the percentage rather than the visual bars. I do like the descriptiveness of the status bars. These bars are always visible, no matter what app you are in or where you are on the phone.

Page 1

On your home page as default, here is what is listed in the top row
Messaging, calendar, photos,camera.
The next row shows you:
youtube, stocks, Maps, weather.
The next row shows you:
voice memos, notes, clock, calculator.
And the final row on the first page is:
settings, Itunes, app Store, Compass

Move your finger around the screen and with one finger only tapp twice to activate the app you would like to view more of. I won’t go into details just now on each App, guides will be coming soon but I will say that the apps that come on the phone are mostly accessible from what I can tell.

Bottom of screen

You may be asking yourself where Mail, safari and phone apps are. They are seemingly on the home page but it does seem like they are there all of the time. Fore example, I have a few other apps on my phone now and they all appear on page 2 but Safari, phone, Mail are all still visible at the bottom along with Ipod.

Voice Over gestures

Move finger around the screen will highlight any item.
Tap twice with one finger selects/activates the app/button/edit area etc
One finger flip to the left or right highlights the previous/next item on the screen respectively.
Three finger swipe up or down scrolls up or down.
[especially useful in Safari]
Two finger tap twice either ends or answers a call or starts or stops playing music depending on where you are.
Turning your fingers in a rotatory movement like you are turning a dial highlight either words or characters on the home screen or elements of a webpage in safari.

And there are probably more that I will add when I either remember them or come across them.

Conclusion so Far

I do love the Iphone and keep observing new ways to do things. It took me a while to get used to the typing but I am getting there slowly now. It’s fast, especially compared to my old nokia and the speech is excellent. was it worth the money I paid for prepay? Absolutely! I just wish I wasn’t tied to O2 but hey what can ya do? It’s a snappy, easy to use phone, completely accessible out of the box with the prospects of having apps designed for it to make everyone’s lives easier. I am super pleased with Apple, they did it again and be sure to stay tuned for several podcasts and blogs over the next few weeks to explore different apps on the iphone. I intend to use the maps feature, a lot of social networking clients and who knows what else?

All I can say is excellent job Apple and keep the amazing achievements coming.