Is upgrading the new system just for early adopters? It may be “just needed” for them

When it comes to system upgrades, people always have two diametrically opposed views. One side thinks that they can not upgrade without upgrading. After all, there are too many lessons for the reduction of battery life and the change of mobile phone cards. There are still many stable users.

The other party believes that in addition to security updates, the new system also has many useful new features, and even the appearance of the system can be greatly changed, so why not try it out.

Especially recently Apple, Microsoft, etc. have successively released new systems. Early adopters of the system have become one of the most recent hot topics. For the visually impaired, new systems are not just early adopters, they can effectively improve their life experience, and even become "Just need".

In recent years, Apple and Google have paid more and more attention to accessibility features, which is also one of the key points of the iOS and Android system updates every year.

From completely unworkable to usable, there may be only a system upgrade

First of all, I will briefly introduce how visually impaired users use smartphones. Generally speaking, visually impaired people prefer to use the iPhone, because Apple has an early start in accessibility and has a relatively complete system.

Voice over is the core function of smart phones for visually impaired users. It can assist in reading text, pictures, interactive buttons, etc. on webpages and apps, and most of the operation logic relies on gestures and touch controls, such as single-finger sliding Switch to the next item, double-click to confirm, etc.

▲Use narration to browse products

The problem of usage comes more from websites or apps that are not designed in accordance with accessibility design standards. Apple has always hoped to solve this problem by introducing more accessibility features, and the enhancement of the narration function has been one of the focuses of Apple’s system updates in recent years. .

As early as on iOS 14, Apple added a screen recognition function based on narration. Huang Junwen, who has two identities as a technology enthusiast and a visually impaired user, told me that screen recognition is very useful for him.

Before screen recognition, apps such as Taobao and JD.com often had problems with connecting keys. Multiple products were grouped with a single button, and the narration could not identify a single product. This made me not know which product I was looking at, so I couldn’t buy it. .

▲Huang Junwen

The screen recognition function will automatically categorize the interactive buttons in the App, and separate the content of many connected keys. Huang Junwen can also recognize a single product in real time through narration and purchase it.

Of course, iOS 14 has many regrets. Although Apple provides image recognition based on narration, it can recognize pictures in websites or apps and describe them in voice, but only supports English.

What makes Huang Junwen quite happy is that iOS 15 solves this problem, and Apple has added Chinese support.

▲ iOS 15 beta on the left, iOS 14 on the right

As a technology enthusiast, Huang Junwen was also the first to use his old mobile phone-iPhone 6s, the last iPhone that supports iOS 15 to upgrade the iOS 15 beta version. After experiencing the new system, he is looking forward to the official version more and more.

In addition to adding Chinese support for picture descriptions, iOS 15 has also added Chinese support for the "voice control" function. You can control your phone with only dictation. For short video products like Douyin that slide up and down pages, Huang Junwen only needs dictation. Swipe up or down to switch the video.

More importantly, the efficiency of content input is improved. In the past, when replying to my WeChat message, Huang Junwen had to slide to find the voice button and start dictating. With voice control, he could directly reply to me by dictating and finding the input box. The voice will be in the system. With the help of automatic conversion into text.

▲ Baidu web version voice button, camera button narration function can not be recognized

Especially when some apps are not adapted for accessibility and the voice buttons cannot be recognized, voice control not only solves the efficiency problem, but also upgrades some apps from completely unusable to barely usable level.

Before there was no voice control, Huang Junwen could only rely on the feedback channel of the App or the customer service phone to give feedback to the Internet giants.

This has also led to many visually impaired users who are willing to upgrade the iOS system but are not willing to upgrade the app. After all, after many apps are updated, the original accessibility adaptation will be cancelled.

For Huang Junwen, upgrading the iOS system is not only an early adopter of new features, but also solves their mobile phone usage problems to a certain extent, becoming "just needed", and even buying new phones for new systems and new functions.

Huang Junwen replaced his iPhone 6s, which he has used for many years, with an iPhone 12 because of the screen recognition function.

Google and mobile phone manufacturers pay a lot of attention to accessibility, but not many visually impaired users actually use the new system

Google has a certain gap in the coverage of accessibility features compared to Apple, but it is still continuing to promote related features and optimizations, especially in recent years, almost every Android system upgrade will bring many practical accessibility features.

Google also provides a screen-reading function, talk back, similar to iPhone narration. On Android 10, it has a "real-time subtitle" function. The system automatically recognizes the media sound being played on the phone and converts it into subtitles.

Android 11 adds Voice Access, which allows visually impaired or hearing impaired people to directly control their mobile phones by voice, but they all have the same problem-the Chinese experience is not good.

In fact, many domestic accessibility features are localized and even introduced by mobile phone manufacturers. Huawei has added a function called "AI subtitles" as early as EMIUI 11, and its function is similar to real-time subtitles, but it Obviously more suitable for domestic users.

AI subtitles can recognize the sound of the mobile phone system and automatically convert it into Chinese. At the same time, it supports the translation of languages ​​such as English into Chinese.

▲ After trying, the default playback speed or 0.75 times experience is relatively stable, and the recognition accuracy of high-speed playback will decrease. The picture shows the effect of the bilibili App

MIUI and millet are also in the 12 acceding to a similar accessibility – millet hear sound. Through cooperation with iFlytek, Xiaomi claims that the voice-to-Chinese recognition rate of Xiaomi's voice-to-sound function is as high as 98%, and as a system-level function, Xiaomi's voice-to-sound can also convert between Chinese and English, and it can also be based on mobile phone system voice conversion. Subtitles to assist in watching movies.

However, although Google and mobile phone manufacturers have paid a lot of attention to accessibility in recent years, there are not many visually impaired users who have used new systems and new functions. Huang Junwen’s colleague Meng Shifu is also a visually impaired user. He who uses Xiaomi Mi 8 Tell me:

You say these new features we do not quite understand, it is not used, we are using the commercial version of the software – point Mingan Zhuo.

▲ Point out the Android interface, the buyout price is about 249 yuan, one phone with one number, you need to buy a new phone when you change to a new phone

Yes, there are already many screen readers in the Android ecosystem that form a positive business model. It points out that Android is the one with a higher user base and greater influence.

"The commercial version is always better than the free version." When chatting with me, Master Meng constantly emphasized this point, pointing out that Android, as a screen-reading software designed for the visually impaired, is in the use of experience, after-sales service, etc. It has advantages on multiple projects.

Generally speaking, it is pointed out that the update frequency of Android is not low. It is often adapted to mainstream mobile phone systems such as Xiaomi MIUI and Huawei Hongmeng. This is also the reason why many visually impaired people are unwilling to upgrade their mobile phone systems. Adapting to the new system may cause problems.

In addition to the basic accessibility standard adaptation, it is pointed out that Android will usually come up with some adaptation schemes that can significantly improve the experience.

Take the function of adjusting the brightness, ordinary users can slide down to open the status bar, and then drag to adjust the brightness, but it is more troublesome for the visually impaired users, hovering down to open the status bar, multiple swipes to select the brightness Bar, and then swipe several times to adjust the brightness.

Moderately visually impaired users are equally sensitive to strong light, and generally use mobile phones with lower screen brightness

And point out that Android makes full use of the phone buttons. After selecting the brightness bar, you can directly call the volume buttons to increase or decrease the brightness. For the Mongolian master, this is just one point Ming Anzhuo even solve some of the problems are not resolved even Apple's.

There are many software marked improvement software did not follow Apple or Google to give, like Taobao search box, know almost more function buttons can not be read screen software recognition for this situation points out the launch button from Define the function.

▲Zhihu's "More" function button is not recognized, the iOS terminal is recognized as a button, and the Android terminal screen reader software directly displays unlabeled

Through several explorations, the visually impaired can often understand the functions of some unlabeled buttons. Through button customization, you can customize a "search box" for unlabeled buttons such as the Taobao search box, so that you don't need to explore it next time. .

More importantly, point out that Android, as a commercial company, has many and fast feedback channels. Compared with software feedback from Taobao and Zhihu, point out that there are sales staff directly. Blind people like Huang Junwen and Mengshifu can directly WeChat Or call feedback on the problem, and the speed of repair or improvement is relatively fast.

But it is not to say that Xiaomi, Huawei and other manufacturers' attention to accessibility is meaningless. Master Meng once said that once he called and pointed out that the Android software did not respond, instead, Xiaomi's own voice assistant reminded him to return the call.

With Google, and even the domestic mobile phone manufacturers point out, the benefits of such third-party insurance company's continuing concern for accessibility, the visually impaired are also changed for Android attitude.

When I interviewed Li Shu, a blind masseur last year, he told me that 80% of the people in the circle are using iPhones, and now many of his colleagues use domestic Android phones.

The ultimate solution may be regulation

During the communication, Huang Junwen mentioned to me many times that because Internet companies attach importance to accessibility differently, he always has to "remind" large companies through software feedback or customer service channels—the new version of the accessibility adaptation has come out again. Problem.

Even Apple, which has made great achievements in the field of accessibility, is no exception. Although the iOS screen recognition function mentioned above can significantly improve the use experience of the visually impaired, it has also experienced stuttering and occasional unavailability problems.

Regarding this, Huang Junwen once gave feedback through Apple's customer service, but there are not many people who understand the accessibility of iOS in the customer service. Huang Junwen even needs to explain the principle and use of the relevant functions to the customer service. In the end, Huang Junwen can only understand and understand. English-speaking visually impaired friends gave feedback to Apple's official website via email.

Although it was properly resolved in the end, it also highlights another problem for the visually impaired in using smartphones—difficulty in feedback.

Because the Information Accessibility Research Association has carried out accessibility cooperation with many products, many visually impaired people think that they can directly communicate with Internet companies. The research group told me that the organization has been passing on the cooperation products through various methods. Obstacle needs and solutions.

For example, the research association has established contacts with many impaired user groups, established communication groups for products and users, and carried out face-to-face communication activities. It also regularly collects user feedback information, organizes relevant reports and submits them to the cooperating product team.

However, each company and each product attaches different importance to accessibility, and even different employees of the same company attach importance to accessibility. This leads to the long-term failure of accessibility problems in some products. To response processing.

So is there a better solution?

Huang Junwen told me that, in fact, the promotion of the regulatory authorities is the most effective. In December last year , the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued a notice on the "Special Action Plan for Internet Applications to Adapt to Ageing and Accessibility", and decided to organize a one-year period of Internet applications to adapt to ageing and accessibility across the country from January 2021. The special transformation action further improved relevant rules and standards in April this year.

At present, initial results have been achieved. Huang Junwen said that after the implementation of the transformation, the experience of many apps has been much better. Products such as JD.com and Taobao have fewer inter-keys even if the screen recognition function is not turned on. In fact, both Apple and Google have given corresponding development standards. According to the standards, the user experience will not be bad. The key depends on whether the Internet company has this intention.

For those companies that value accessibility and frequently launch corresponding functions, Huang Junwen also puts forward a suggestion:

Write software/system updates carefully. Don’t fix bugs and some new features every time. Mark the updates related to the optimization of the accessibility experience. Otherwise, the visually impaired will not dare to upgrade at all. A more detailed introduction can make people trust. Become your user.

The picture comes from: Gameingnow

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