You can choose compassion

Unless they’re made by Apple.

Like so many hot new iOS applications that don’t work in VoiceOver, camera apps don’t, either. I assume you aren’t going to bother with the argument that blind people don’t take pictures, because you already know they do. The built-in Camera app works fine for that, but I haven’t found a third-party camera application that works in VoiceOver – very much including the biggest names.

  • Instagram. Jolly, audio-description-rejecting blink Tommy Edison can pretend to give YouTube lessons on “how blind people use Instagram,” but the fact remains blind people barely can use it or have to hack their way through it. I’ve suffered through four revisions – and a $715 million buyout – and nothing’s changed. I call that gold-plated incompetence. (What impact will Facebook’s new accessibility team have? Again: None.)

  • Camera+ is actually worse. I’ll spare the developer, rolling in dough, some embarrassment here – I won’t publish their textbook angry and defensive response to my request to add a few features to make it accessible.

  • Flickr. These are supposedly smart people, but they aren’t very good at accessible iOS development. (Another way I look at it is: Upgrading to this version finally rid me of that goddamned “kk+” photograph of a kid in a cereal-bowl haircut and round glasses doing Ken Burns effect every time I open the thing. And now this!)

You’ll want proof, so I uploaded some videos. (No captioning.)

  • Instagram doesn’t work in VoiceOver. Tab order wrong seemingly everywhere; comments and comment counts unreadable; Like/Comment/More section unusable and Like button misread in Liked state; classic mishandling of text equivalents for images (Flickr doesn’t make that mistake in Explore tab); endless mislabelled buttons, headings, lists; cannot upload from library (button invisible to VoiceOver). I didn’t even try to use filters

  • Camera+ doesn’t work in VoiceOver. Can’t zoom; mislabelled buttons, list items (especially settings); wrong tab order; can’t use Lightbox, which means you can’t apply filters, upload, or, in essence, use the application

  • Flickr doesn’t work in VoiceOver. Mislabelling of the sort we’ve come to expect; unlabelled images basically everywhere but Explore; lousy grouping; cannot move from image to image; zoom doesn’t work here, either; tells you how many comments a photos has but won’t read them

iOS accessibility is the easiest application accessibility in the history of computing. Quit blowing it.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2012.12.17 07:53. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2012/12/17/vo-camera/

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