The iPhone’s “most powerful feature” is well received, but many apps still “do not match” it

Recently, a video of " This is the strongest function of the iPhone, does not accept rebuttal-visual accessibility experience " has been screened by Mr. A's circle of friends. This video with nearly 3 million views can be said to have successfully "out of the circle".

The visual accessibility of the products it mentions is also known by more people. In fact, in addition to the auxiliary functions of the iPhone , there are more products that need to spend enough thought to allow users to embark on this "blind way" of the Internet. Today, we are going to experience the barrier-free experience in mobile phone systems, applications, and applets with you.

iPhone is your "electronic guide dog"

In the aforementioned iPhone video, the most part of the full video barrage is the moment when the amplifier "person detection" function is displayed. The barrage "tears" and "absolute" cover the entire screen and obscure the content of the presentation.

But even if you don't watch the content, you know what the video is, because the sound lets you "see" it. Whether it is day or night, what color the light is, and what scenes are in the picture, you can all know through the description of the sound. This is the effect of the iPhone accessibility narration plus the amplifier, and it is also Apple's latest breakthrough in visual accessibility.

It allows the iPhone to truly assume part of the eye function, let you know what is in front of you, and even say that this is the guide dog in your phone. Only due to language limitations, visually impaired users in China may not be able to experience the complete image description function immediately, but they also have their own commonly used functions.

The blind operations editor Zhou Tong we interviewed did her daily work through narration. Through the cooperation of ears and hands, she can listen to the voice to edit documents in Pages, get feedback on content creation, and then browse the web in Safari browser and operate the WeChat official account, and use her voice to determine whether the content she has created has appeared. In the right place.

Lily, who was also unable to see, said that she was moved by the updated recognition function of the narration.

They can also "see" through the three functions of image description, screen recognition and text recognition. When watching a video, the screen recognition function can read the subtitles in real time; when taking a picture, the screen recognition function can also describe what is in the camera for you, and guide you how to put the person in the center of the screen; when watching the picture, the narration is also Will read out the text information in the picture.

▲ With the help of the narration function, I closed my eyes and took this photo. The narration function told me that it was leaves, cars, parking lots, people

In the iOS 14 update, the biggest significance of the three new narration recognition functions may be to "fill in" the products that have not made the product accessibility experience.

For example, when we read this article, we know what the three dots "…" in the upper right corner are. It is "More", click to extend operation. But for users who cannot see, if WeChat does not convert the symbolic language into the corresponding label configuration in development, then blind users may only hear the "unlabeled" prompt.

However, after the update, the auxiliary function of narration can solve this problem well. As long as the screen recognition is turned on, the user can also hear the content of the page that is not well configured and cannot be read, so as to complete normal browsing and operation.

With this function, even if it is some software that is not so good in accessibility compatibility, it can also identify the label information that is not filled in the software itself from the interface, so in fact, this function surprises me the most. A feature.

This is why I have not changed the 6S, but this year I changed my teeth to the 12 because I want to experience it earlier.

Accessible experience, App performance varies

If we call some of Apple’s basic auxiliary functions the Internet blind track, then each app is like a shop around the blind track. Whether they can maintain the blind track is another matter.

Lily said that in terms of the accessibility of the app, many of her experience feedback may not be the same as most people think. If you talk about which apps are not doing well, it may be that "BAT has completely fallen."

Gu Linglei, the author of the public account "Accessibility", once said that some pages of Tencent Video are blank to him. No matter if you browse with touch or swipe gestures, you can't read anything. For Lily, although Taobao has added image recognition functions early on, its basic function support is not good enough. Until today, she has not been able to modify the address or add a new delivery address on it.

The ones that do better in accessibility support are some less popular apps. "Some independent developers, relatively small teams, and some more people-friendly Internet teams we can communicate with will do better." For example, Moke, who used to have a pure Weibo experience, often communicates with blind users Line drawing, and ulysses, who won the Apple Best Design Award in 2016.

For example, Apple will also consider this perspective in its annual awards. There are several award-winning apps Apple will write directly because it has excellent compatibility and barrier-free support.

The lively and cheerful Lily often completes a lot of experience feedback about the accessibility of the app. Not long ago, she tried to communicate directly with the app's engineering team offline for the first time, and gave the first accessibility feedback to the podcasting app Universe.

In the previous small universe, facing some function buttons without label information, Lily needed to get used to it and remember what the Nth button on the page did. For Lily, who has memorized the functions of the app, the optimized version of the accessible mode will not change the usage habits, but it will be more convenient. For new users, this version of the universe will become a lower threshold app.

▲ Use of small universe without threshold

As a listening app, the team of engineers of Cosmos has also put more effort into the listening experience. With the help of the original narration, what the blind user hears on the homepage of the small universe app is fragmentary, and the context is probably irrelevant. The user needs to guess which program is related to the current content. In the new version, they did it to make the listening experience better.

The change we made is to integrate it into a section, it is not a detail to read, it will be read to users as a whole. For example, if this is a certain N period of a certain program, how much is its playing volume, and the next default action is probably to play it.

What we are doing now is to make the existing functions friendly enough for visually impaired users. But even in this one, we still have a lot to do, and now we just cover some of the most important scenes. We are also discussing how to put this thing into each iteration.

Cosmos also made a collection of related podcasts on the International Day of the Disabled. The one that impressed me the most was the blind IT engineer Cai Yongbin in the podcast "UX Coffee Design Cafe" when he talked about the accessibility features: "Product influence After you get older, it’s not that you’re getting customers, but you’re creating obstacles for others. You circle a bunch of people to one place, and then isolate a bunch of people. This is the product's work. "

Entrepreneurs: What blind users need is equal respect

There are also many people who are also working hard for the barrier-free product experience. The entrepreneur Jiang Nan is one of them.

When Jiang Nan did a scientific research internship at IBM China Research Institute, he learned that in the late 1990s, foreign countries formulated many barrier-free specifications for products for visually impaired and hearing-impaired users, such as barrier-free web pages, App or computer software development specifications. However, this aspect is still very lacking in China at present, which is one of the reasons why he invests in the cause of barrier-free.

▲ Braille keyboard. Picture from: Sigmund on Unsplash

Two years ago, Jiangnan still took his own mini program "I am your eyes" to participate in the college mini program development competition. Two years later, he has become a firm entrepreneur in this field and has produced a series of products.

Qiming circle, Qiming pupil, and Qiming shop are three types of small programs for community, identification, and e-commerce. The official account "I can help", formerly known as "I am your eye", is for people with a sense of sight to spend time helping blind people distinguish complex The official account of the scene, as well as the screen-reading software Qiming screen-reading on the Android side using the turntable interactive mode.

In the small program Enlightenment Circle, Jiangnan also opened a Science and Technology Morning Post module to provide blind users with more information. The reason for adding the information module is also because he believes that news applications such as Toutiao do not do well in accessibility support. Blind people often fail to recognize them when using traditional screen readers and screen readers. Regarding this point, he also has many regrets:

What are the functions of the accessible app plus accessibility? It is not adding functions, but adding barrier-free labels in accordance with international standards. It depends on whether the developer will follow the development specifications of the program, because there will be a warning in the program that you have not added a certain label. This is the basic specification. If many apps are developed according to the specification, they can be used by blind people.

▲ Qiming Circle Mini Program

Jiangnan believes that what blind users need today is not sympathy, but equality, respect, and shared prosperity. It's just that most people haven't realized this yet, and everyone is still looking at them with their earliest thoughts.

Lily, who was interviewed by us, also said that when people no longer treat the award of a disabled person as a news report, and regard it as a state of daily life, that is what she thinks is barrier-free. Blind IT engineer Cai Yongbin has a similar view in the podcast. Blind people can also do shorthand, editing, shopping guide, and customer service. They are not just masseurs.

As long as there are equal opportunities, we have the possibility of transcendence.

And many tools on the Internet, let these ordinary users see the hope of surpassing.

Not too interesting, not too optimistic.

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