iPhone 4 Accessibility features

As I am sure you are all aware by now, the iPhone 4 launched on 24th June 2010 in the UK. It certainly looks like a great device (despite the initial teething issues…), although I am trying my hardest to resist one. For me, Apple’s world domination is becoming rather unnerving...

iPhone 4 picture

This said, I have been extremely impressed with the accessibility features built into the iPhone 4. Apple’s continued support for accessibility is really commendable, and I hope Apple's rival companies begin to follow suit.

Here is a quick rundown of the iPhone 4 accessibility support :


- Screen reading with VoiceOver.

VoiceOver is “the world’s first gesture-based screen reader”. This allows the user to hear a verbal description of item they are touching. VoiceOver speaks 21 languages and works with all of the applications built into iPhone 4.

VoiceOver also features a ‘rotor’. Rotating two fingers on the screen changes the way VoiceOver moves through a web page. This allows the user to move through webpages by headers, links, images, etc

- Video calling with FaceTime.

Facetime makes it possible to have iPhone 4 to iPhone 4 videocalls. This is a perfect medium for sign language conversations.

- Support for wireless braille displays

iPhone 4 supports more than 30 Bluetooth wireless Braille devices - no additional software needed.

Braille keyboard picture

- Touch Typing

Touch Typing is a new way for blind or visually impaired people to use the onscreen keyboard. Running your finger across the keyboard, and listening to VoiceOver speak each letter aloud, enables quicker typing than before.

- Zoom and magnify.

Zoom lets you magnify any application up to five times normal size.

- White on black for higher contrast.

Provides higher contrast for certain visual impairments.

Higher Contrast on iPhone4 image

- Optional mono audio.

Enables you to change stereo sound to mono, which is useful if you have limited hearing in one ear.

- Support for closed captioning.

iPhone supports the playback of open captions, closed captions, and subtitling.


I hope you have found this post interesting. As always, please let me know if you have any questions or comments. Find out more about me and my Accessibility / User Experience work here and don't forget to follow me (@simplicityUX) on Twitter.

Posted byCharlie M at 01:54  


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