Mobile Accessibility

Blog Date: 
Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Mobile Accessibility from Code Factory takes the accessibility of Android phones to a new level by making things simple and accessible. Android is the most rapidly growing Smartphone platform and with Code Factory’s commitment to making mobile phones accessible for the blind, it was necessary to develop a solution for the platform. However, with the technical limitations of Android, it is currently not possible to develop a powerful screen reader like Mobile Speak. Nevertheless, Mobile Accessibility provides basic screen reader functionality that can be used to give speech feedback in 3rd party applications. Apart from the basic screen reader, Mobile Accessibility comprises of 10 fully accessible applications including: Phone, Contacts, SMS, Calendar, Email, Web, Where am I (GPS Navigation), Alarms, Apps and Settings. Some key features of Mobile Accessibility are the ability to use the touch screen, to use voice recognition to enter text, or use the virtual touch-screen keyboard to type text.

Mobile Accessibility’s Web browser gives an accessible browsing experience similar to what users are accustomed to on their desktop. You can use the simple directional arrows or touch slides to navigate web pages by lines or jump by web elements, use the menu key to change jump modes or use the quick menu to look for more comprehensive navigation and reading options. Another great feature of the web browser is the ability to let users touch and explore the webpage. After opening a webpage, tap and hold the screen and start moving your finger to explore the webpage elements. You can also use the built-in search option to quickly find text on the currently loaded page.

One of Android’s strengths is its ability to keep synchronized Contacts, SMS, Email, Calendar entries, etc. Mobile Accessibility maintains this synchronization within its applications, making them accessible to blind and low vision users. 
The Mobile Accessibility interface can be used with touch gestures as well as with arrow or navigation keys, making them comfortable for all users regardless of personal preference for touch screen or physical keys.

The Mobile Accessibility screen reader includes a virtual keyboard to facilitate typing, as well as voice recognition to allow speech-to-text input. These systems allow you to control navigation outside of Mobile Accessibility. To input text at any time you can activate the virtual keyboard and start typing, or alternatively long press the volume down key to start speech recognition and enter text using your voice. By performing touch slides when in 3rd party applications, Mobile Accessibility will announce the controls as you navigate through them. This is in addition to physical navigation systems like a track ball or a D-pad, and allows users to navigate outside Mobile Accessibility by using their touch screen.

To try Mobile Accessibility, visit the Android Market from your phone (or from your computer visit http://market.android.com) and search for “Mobile Accessibility”. In the list of results, you’ll find two versions for each language: a demo version and a paid version. The demo version expires in 30 days and when the demo version expires, users are required to uninstall the demo and install the paid version.

For technical support, please submit a help desk ticket at http://www.codefactory.cat/helpdesk/index.php?a=add. For documentation (quick start guide and full user manual) visit the Code Factory Documentation section at http://codefactory.es/en/manuals.asp?id=89#family_ma.