There’s a new movement which is taking hold across many disability communities, one which has existed for about 6 years now. Their main website highlights the background and motive for its creation. Checking the website out is highly recommended as it will provide a good overview and interviews for understanding a present-need for such an event. Although opponents of GAAD would argue that there is no need to create a special day just to place disabilities on a high-horse, with the rapid and transforming state of technology, companies need to know that accessibility has to be a part in every aspect of their design cycle.
Today may be a pretty historic day when it concerns innovation and partnerships. Window-eyes might not be a household name among screen readers, but it’s discontinuation means that many especially within the international blind community may be impacted. For anyone who has used the offer whereby a free copy of Window-eyes could be used with Office licenses, you will now be running an unsupported screen reader, and we know how quickly Microsoft has been changing their framework with newer, more modern Windows 10 releases. I am for one doubtful that Window-eyes users will ever experience the new audio ducking behavior changes which will be coming in releases such as NVDA 2017.2. Alas, updates will come no more.
As the new Creators Windows 10 update keeps rolling out, many will find themselves wondering: Is it worth upgrading anyway? What am I getting? Will I lose functionality I’ve had? The answer is yes, yes you possibly might. However, what you do lose is replaced and in a way that can help you transition seamlessly to this new Windows 10 version without feeling overwhelmed.
Note: This is the first part of two in a series detailing what is to come in Microsoft’s new Creators update. Part 2 details new features and experiences.
Version numbers are not always what they are cracked to be. Windows 10, for example, has kept the version at 10.0, with only incremental build numbers which are prefixed by the month and year.
Do you ever wonder what the next big speed boost to computers might be? Ask any person today, and they will tell you that using an SSD is one of the biggest and as of 2017, cost-effective ways of speeding up system performance. While processors have increased in speed and decreased in power usage, the relative need for performance has gone down – and thus we accept computers with lower clock rates. This has placed more diversity in the CPU world. A few years back, ram capacity exploded, and it, too, has stabilized since to have a projectable curve of growth. We have finally moved past 1 GB devices to consider 2 GB at the low end,, with 4, 8, and 16 dominating the mid to high-performance systems. And 32 is becoming more and more common for some enthusiasts.
KNFB Reader has been a household name in text recognition for quite some time now, at least within the community. The original dreams of the Kurzweil solutions was to make KNFB affordable, even though back then it was still exclusively on Nokia phones.
When the iPhone 7 was released, many lamented the headphone jack. Since my own shameless adoption of this new phone, I have and certainly feel obliged to share a different perspective on the matter, one which I have been dabbling in a little. Since many rumors are swirling about the galaxy s8 and whether it will include one, or if other phones are about to adopt the trend like Motorola certainly has, this is quite important to look at. Apple is clearly trying to position their AirPods as the premier experience, especially for seamless connectivity among an ecosystem of many Apple devices. However, just as Belkin and others are benefitting from the new market of adapters capable of charging and 3.5 audio output on iPhones, other markets also get a boost.
As of this ending year of 2016, we have seen multiple and rapid developments in the choices available to those who wish to cut the cord but are reliant on speech or low-vision tools. Before, the Apple TV was the only usable choice for a long time. Google had the Nexus Player, which in its way was one of the first companies aside from Apple to implement a standard screen reader.
The competition among so called smart speakers is heating up. This is no doubt fueled by Google and other players looking into entering this game; The natural interaction it could provide would result in a huge technological shift across our societies again. Later, its maturity could even embrace a screen-driven design, where you can still use voice but read your feedback visually, for those who are hard of hearing or deaf. I would suspect that others with various disabilities impacting speech could still use a speech-to-text tool and communicate with such devices, though at that point the timeliness of return diminishes a little – couldn’t they just type these same responses directly to the AI?