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Dim your screen further than Control Center allows (and other cool iOS 8 tricks)

Dan Frakes, formerly of Macworld, took some time on Monday to write up a giant compendium of iOS 8 tips, tricks, and hints that he's compiled over his months beta-testing the operating system. There's a lot of good stuff in there for people interested in Mail shortcuts, Siri, and Safari, but my...
How Siri became an autistic boy's best friend

How Siri became an autistic boy's best friend

For Gus, Siri is more than just a virtual assistant, more than just a sequential inference engine that listens to him and answers his questions. Gus is autistic, and Siri has become something akin to his friend. The New York Times: It all began simply enough. I'd just read one of those...
How to design apps for everyone

How to design apps for everyone

Who are you designing your app for? Is it meant for people of all ages and interests, or is it meant for a very narrow niche? That's the topic Dave Wiskus addresses in the latest installment of his Better Elevation video series — what it means to design apps for human beings. The last...
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Force Touch is going to do incredible things for accessibility

Force Touch is going to do incredible things for accessibility

I'm really excited about Force Touch for a bunch of reasons. But where I think it's going to really succeed? Accessibility. I've been thinking about Force Touch almost non-stop since the Apple event a few weeks ago — what it means for Macs now, what it could mean for the future of software...
The accessible power of pinch-to-zoom

The accessible power of pinch-to-zoom

The onset of the iPhone in 2007 introduced the world to Multi-Touch, which Steve Jobs said "worked like magic". It forever changed the way people interacted with smartphones; not only was Multi-Touch an impressive technical achievement, but it was fun and delightful to use. More importantly,...
How to design apps for everyone

How to design apps for everyone

Who are you designing your app for? Is it meant for people of all ages and interests, or is it meant for a very narrow niche? That's the topic Dave Wiskus addresses in the latest installment of his Better Elevation video series — what it means to design apps for human beings. The last...
How BabyTalk made remote therapy accessible with iPad and FaceTime

How BabyTalk made remote therapy accessible with iPad and FaceTime

BabyTalk is a free program offered by the Stanford Ear Institute and Weingarten Children's Center that uses Apple's iPad and FaceTime to bring speech therapy to deaf and hard-of-hearing children in the rural areas of California. Kathy Sussman is executive director at Weingarten, and a passionate...
How to enable and use alternate calendar formats on iPhone and iPad

How to use Chinese, Hebrew, and Islamic calendars on iPhone and iPad

The Calendar app on the iPhone and iPad supports alternate calendars, including Chinese, Hebrew, and Islamic. By default, in America, it's set to U.S. format. However, you can easily change it to any of the other formats. Here's how! How to enable Chinese, Hebrew, or Islamic formats in...
Accessibility is for everyone

Accessibility is for everyone

The point of my work as a freelancer writing about accessibility is to advocate for (and raise awareness of) iOS users with special needs. This is meaningful work to me, as I'm a disabled user myself, and I've worked with children with special needs who have leveraged iOS to help them learn. Yet...
BabyTalk program uses iPads to help children with cochlear implants learn to talk

BabyTalk initiative uses iPads to help children with cochlear implants learn to talk

Accessibility, and the use of technology in helping people live better lives, has always been an important focus for Apple. A recent profile shows another amazing example of this at work: A toddler who was born deaf is learning how to talk by remotely connecting him to a speech therapist some...
Apple Watch, WatchKit, and Accessibility

Apple Watch, WatchKit, and Accessibility

Ever since rumors started swirling that Apple was working on a wearable device, I've often thought about what such a device would mean for people with disabilities. My curiosity is so high, in fact, that I've even written about the possibilities. Make no mistake, for users with disabilities such...
Apple Pay: Inclusive and empowering by design

Apple Pay: Inclusive and empowering by design

After Apple introduced the iPhone 5S last year, I wrote a piece on Medium about Touch ID and accessibility. In it, I posit that the fingerprint scanner would prove to be a huge usability win for users with disabilities because unlocking one's phone was no longer a chore. Over the next 12 months...
darken-ios8-screen-hero

Dim your screen further than Control Center allows (and other cool iOS 8 tricks)

Dan Frakes, formerly of Macworld, took some time on Monday to write up a giant compendium of iOS 8 tips, tricks, and hints that he's compiled over his months beta-testing the operating system. There's a lot of good stuff in there for people interested in Mail shortcuts, Siri, and Safari, but my...

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