SPN Mobile Special: Scratching the Surface with Mike Calvo

Listen to our SPN Mobile Special: Scratching the Surface with Mike Calvo

In our latest SPN Mobile special, Ricky Enger, Mike Calvo and Joe Steinkamp discuss the current state of mobile accessibility. We encourage you to follow the links below to learn more about the products mentioned in this podcast.

Surface by Microsoft, Buy the New Windows Tablet

Logitech Rechargeable Touchpad T650 with Windows 8 Multi-Touch Navigation

Google Nexus

iPad Mini


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6 Responses to SPN Mobile Special: Scratching the Surface with Mike Calvo

  1. Dominique says:

    You guys rocked this podcast! Love all of them!

  2. Russ Kiehne says:

    Greetings, I’m thinking about getting the ipad mini. I see the Nexus 7 32gb
    can be had for $250.00. The ipad mini 32gb can be had for $429.00. Or I have
    the option of the ipod touch 5th generation 32gb for $299.00. It will do the
    same things as the ipad mini. I also see there’s a Nexus 10 that competes
    with the ipad 4.
    I’ll be looking forward to hearing the next episode of That Android Show to
    get more info on the Nexus tablets.

  3. Luis says:

    Hi, Really enjoyed this review. But notice one thing, when Ricky mentioned Asus when explaining the reference tablets. I kind of found it funny, because I believe she was trying to prove a point about bloatware on tablets and how the Nexas really doesn’t have any of it. But Asus is the company that makes the Nexas 7. So which is it, does Asus Nexas 7 have bloatware or is it reference tablet with no bloatware?

    As for Mikes comments about across the board for accessible jesters. While most can be applied, and my observation may not be correct. And if it’s not, please correct me, but take the toggle of screen reader on/off. With Apple you have the Home button on all it’s mobile devices. So clicking it 3 times you can turn it’s screen reader on/off. Now, with Android you have tablets that don’t have any buttons except for on/off and volume, and you have others that at least have a menu button. Also now you have Microsoft Surface that’s like some of the Android tablets. If a universal jester is to happen. I would say, it’s better to have the one that Nexas 7 has, to turn on it’s screen reader. Since all devices have a power button and touch screen. But then, there are others which don’t come to mind. So, as much as I agree with Mike about this, it kind of seems impossible unless Apple, Google, and Microsoft sit together and share some ideas. Not all but some, and keep the users in mind.

    As far as Joe’s comment of fragmentation, I have notice it on both major mobile OS. I.e. iOS and Android. But what I’ve notice is, that the fragmentation on Apple’s side is more of hardware and little on software. While on Google’s side it’s the opposite, more fragmentation on software and little on hardware. Specially now, that Google has kind of decided to move more away from physical keyboards and more into virtual keyboards.

  4. Russ Kiehne says:

    One thing I noticed about the Nexus 7, it has no back facing camera. I would have to get the Nexus 10 for this option. I would like the camera to be able to use the money identifier apps. This is why I may end up with the 5th generation ipod touch 32gb for $299.00 vs. $429.00 for the ipad mini 32gb.

  5. Russ Kiehne says:

    After reading the following, I think I’ll wait until next year to decide what
    tablet to get.

    Amazon Bringing Voice Guide And Explore By Touch To Fire and Fire HD 7″ Next Year
    Thursday, December 06, 2012 – by
    Ray Willington

    Amazon’s Kindle line has been tearing it up, or so we’re led to believe. The
    company still has yet to reveal hard sales figures, but it’s pretty clear
    from the expansion that things are doing well enough to support the
    standalone business. Now, the company has said that Voice Guide and Explore
    By Touch features are slated to land on Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD 7″ by
    early next year, giving users another reason to snag one for Christmas and
    await a surprise shortly after.
    For years features such as text-to-speech and adjustable font sizes have
    helped vision-impaired Kindle owners enjoy books more easily and those with
    learning disabilities to improve their reading skills. Now, two new
    accessibility features previously available on Kindle Fire HD 8.9” are going
    to be available on two lower-end products.
    hese features help vision-impaired customers to more easily navigate the menus
    and content on the device, enjoy books and audiobooks, and listen to music.
    These features have been available with Kindle Fire HD 8.9” since its release
    and will be made available on the standard definition Kindle Fire and Kindle
    Fire HD 7” early next year.
    “We have heard from thousands of customers who are vision-impaired that Kindle
    has made a difference in their lives. With Kindle Fire HD 8.9” and soon our
    full line
    of new tablets, we are continuing our efforts to provide a range of
    accessibility features—Voice Guide, Explore by Touch, text-to-speech, optional text coloring and adjustable font sizes—for our vision-impaired customers,” said Dave Limp, Vice President,
    Amazon Kindle. “We plan to deliver additional accessibility features, so that our
    vision-impaired customers can have a better experience for reading, communicating
    and consuming media.”
    Voice Guide leverages technology from IVONA, one of the leading text-to-speech software
    engine companies. IVONA delivers world-class pronunciations to read aloud menus with
    Voice Guide and books with text-to-speech for Kindle Fire tablets.
    With Voice Guide navigation , any action performed by the customer on the
    device is read aloud. For example, when a book is launched from the library,
    the system will announce the book title and the fact that it has been opened,
    saying “The Hunger Games. Book opened.” This mode also provides immediate
    feedback to visually-impaired individuals for their
    actions on the device. Additionally, vision-impaired customers can navigate
    the touchscreen with Explore by Touch. In this mode, customers are able to
    swipe their finger across the touchscreen and as they touch an item, the
    system announces what item has been tapped (e.g. when touching a book in the
    library the book title is called out loud).
    A second tap on the item will perform the default action on the item (e.g. a
    second tap on the book would open it).
    Other Kindle reader features vision-impaired customers and those with
    learning disabilities can take advantage of on the all new Kindle Fire tablets
    Text-to-speech—simultaneously reading along with the synchronized text.
    Adjustable fonts—customers can select from multiple font settings, including
    large font sizes for low vision, and adjust margins to allow for less text to
    appear on a page.
    Modify the text color to appear as white over black, black over white or sepia.
    Built-in dictionary for instant access to look up new or difficult words.
    Vision-impaired customers can also take advantage of the free Kindle for PC
    with Accessibility Plugin reading application, which provides an accessible way
    to enjoy the vast Kindle library on any personal computer. The application
    features voice-guided menu navigation, large font sizes, high contrast reading
    mode, keyboard navigation and accessible shortcuts, as well as text-to-speech
    reading with adjustable voice settings for customers who have an external
    screen reader program installed on their PC.

  6. Russ Kiehne says:

    Contacting Amazon Kindle support, I received the following reply. Does anyone
    happen to have a Kindle Fire HD 8.9”? If so did you try this feature? If so,
    how well does it work?

    Thanks for writing to us with your inquiry.
    Yes, Kindle Fire HD 8.9” now supports Voice Guide And Explore By Touch. You
    can find a copy of the user’s guide in the Help & Feedback section of your
    Kindle Fire. To access Help & Feedback, make sure your Kindle is connected to
    Wi-Fi. Then, slide your finger down from the top of the Home screen and tap
    More. Select Help & Feedback from the list of Settings and tap User Guide.
    You can also find information about using your Kindle Fire HD on our Help pages:
    Thanks for using Kindle.
    Thank you for your inquiry. Did I solve your problem?

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