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Author: Colin Hughes

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...

Apple’s trillion dollar amnesia

On 17 May Global Accessibility Awareness Day Apple marked the occasion by highlighting its accessibility credentials on its apple.com homepage. Under the heading it proudly announced, “technology is most powerful when it empowers everyone,” with a link pointing to the company’s accessibility site, introduced by a film. Everyone? Well, not me. I’m not feeling very empowered by Apple’s l...

Review: Amazon Echo Connect

I have just added another accessory to my growing Amazon Echo device family, which is cheap and extremely useful for people like me. With Amazon’s recent release of Echo Connect in the UK, and a landline, you can now use your Echo smart speaker to call any number supported by your home phone service. It turns your Echo device into a voice-controlled speakerphone for making and receiving phon...

Waking up to Alexa

Whether it’s bolstering your home security, watering your garden, or turning your lights on and off, smart technology is starting to fill our homes. For some it seems it can be too much like hard work to get off the sofa to even adjust the thermostat. Smart home gadgets now mean smart speakers can play music when you talk to them, you can turn the heating on before you get home, and a smart ...

Siri: Why do you keep me hanging on the telephone?

For ten years I have been an Apple addict spending thousands of pounds on MacBooks, iPhones, Airpods, Watches, and Airport Expresses. I have had brief flirtations with other devices and software like Samsung and Windows 10 but quickly dashed back to the Apple ecosystem. I have always thought their products “just work” and their seamless integration with each other is a huge pulling fac...

iPhone X: A week with Apple’s new iphone

The first thing to say about Apple’s new flagship iPhone X is that it is very different to any iPhone released over the past 10 years. Different in terms of design, look, feel, navigation, features and capabilities. At £999 for the 64 GB version, it is also the most expensive iPhone ever released. In the box Included in the box you will find: iPhone X Wall charger Lightning cable EarPods wit...

Apple iPhone X Unboxing

I had woken up extra early last Friday 27 October when the iphone X first went on pre-order and on the stroke of 08.00 GMT, I placed my order via the Apple website paying the inflated UK price of £999 with Apple Pay and held my breath.  Many were not as lucky with pre-orders selling out in minutes but my order went through successfully and in the process I booked a store pickup reservation at 1.00...

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