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Author: Colin Hughes

macOS 10.16 Wishlist: 3 ways Apple can improve accessibility

A couple of weeks ago Apple invited select developers to attend an accessibility webinar ahead of WWDC 2020. It is said to not be presaging anything WWDC-related as the company does this kind of thing as part of its ongoing work around disability. Apple says its webinar is about how developers can improve their apps by supporting accessibility features. Developers will be able to interact with com...

watchOS 7 Wishlist: 3 ways Apple can improve accessibility

Last year I wrote about how the release of voice-activated hands-free hey Siri in the second-generation Airpods improved access to the Apple Watch for people with severe physical disabilities. Where previously users had to be able to physically raise their hand to press an Airpod to trigger Siri into action on the Watch, or raise and twist their wrist significantly, (something many people with sev...

iOS 14 Wishlist: 5 ways Apple can improve accessibility

Earlier this week I installed a fairly significant update to the iPhone’s operating system iOS 13.4. Whilst it included new features such as iCloud Drive folder sharing, and improvements to the Mail application amongst others, it’s a pity Apple so infrequently improves accessibility features between annual operating system updates. I have been waiting six months for the tech giant to improve...

Waking up to Alexa: 2020 follow-up

Aside from the coronavirus threatening me and the rest of the world it has been a very positive start to 2020 as I continue extending my smart home to give me more independence, choice and control of my life. My voice controlled smart home journey started back in autumn 2018 when the progression of my genetic muscle wasting condition, muscular dystrophy, meant that I could no longer rely on my han...

The King is dead: why the customer is no longer always right

The customer is king. Everyone takes that old saying as gospel. But is it still true today? Is the customer always right? I am really starting to wonder. I ordered a new washing machine from Samsung, the old one packed in a week ago, annoyingly just outside its warranty period. Ordering online on the Samsung website was a breeze and I quickly secured a delivery date for the following day. I paid a...

Access denied: Apple and the iPhone Upgrade Programme

iPhones are eye-wateringly expensive. The latest one, the iPhone 11 Pro, costs from £1,049 but is a product that is unrivalled for its size with a gold standard camera, great screen and 32-hour battery life. Every September, when new iPhones are traditionally released, if I feel it’s time to upgrade mine to the latest and greatest, I buy a new one directly from Apple for the full price, rather tha...

Time to tax the tech giants

As Labour’s election pledge suggests, digital technology is no longer seen as a luxury. Rolling out broadband for all has been likened to the great Victorian projects to provide clean water, or the building of the electricity national grid. For disabled people especially, technology can be a great liberator. All my life it has played a major role in giving me independence. I was born with muscular...

A letter to Apple from a lone voice in the wilderness

In the year Apple has released its most significant accessibility initiative ever it may not be popular to express the idea that in some areas Apple is failing its most severely disabled consumers but it has to be said. Despite the introduction of Voice Control, the company’s new voice recognition tech, Apple has fallen short when it comes to providing comprehensive access for users with cer...

What’s up with Apple’s new Voice Control?

Full, fantastic, life-changing…this was one of the gushing headlines about Apple’s new Voice Control feature after it was announced at the tech giant’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on 7 June. Voice control offers physically disabled people, and anyone who owns a Mac computer, iPhone or iPad the ability to precisely control, dictate and navigate their devices by v...

Apple is listening: Voice Control widens access

Accessibility doesn’t often get much coverage or attention by tech companies, or the media, but today Apple revealed what could be a big step forward for people with physical and motor disabilities: Voice Control. With macOS Catalina and iOS 13 you will soon be able to control your Apple device completely by your voice. This is a significant as it is a recognition by Apple for the first time that ...

Best features from Apple WWDC that will never come

Every year Apple uses its Worldwide Developers Conference to showcase its new software and technologies for developers. The conference opening keynote is where the tech giant’s top executives preview the company’s upcoming operating systems. iOS 13, macOS 10.15, tvOS 13, watchOS 6, are expected to be unveiled. Apple usually releases developer betas of its new iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and Ap...

Airpods 2 review: how Apple’s new wireless earbuds have set me free

I took delivery of Apple’s new second-generation Airpods on release day last week. After months of speculation and rumour about what the new earbuds would include, as I will explain, I had a particularly urgent reason for waiting for their release – and it seemed like an eternity. I have muscular dystrophy, which causes severe muscle weakness in my limbs, including my hands and arms, meaning...

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