@ross, If you need to communicate for the job then you may even want to consider something like the Planet Computers Gemini or Cosmo Communicator Android-based pda's. You're really gonna want that built-in keyboard, and what better way than with a pocket-sized good old modernized psion-like PDA.
@Cmerry: If it's locked to that specific carrier, then you are probably going to want to root if you don't get Android Q when everyone else does. You're lucky you have a Pixel, as Samsung devices (at least the U.S. variants) at least galaxy s9 and above, actually make the hardware physically impossible to root.
BSI has revolutionized the speed at which I type, the only limitation being my general unease with braille. When I type on android devices, it is so slow, no, forget that. I have also tried several braille keyboards with Android, all of which do not suit me well at all.
don't worry about the little clicks,
Everything is working fine,
nevermind that audible whine.
I have an iPhone.
I have an android tablet too.
I hate the iPhone.
I use it only because of seeing AI.
When it will appear on android, I'm selling my iPhone.
I bought the iPhone because all blind people were like...
Oh my god, you should get it, you'll not regret, Siri is great, the phone is secure, etc.
Well, I seriously dislike it.
On android I can be at my laptop.
If I see on Google Play an App I like, I don't need to get the phone to install it. All I have to do is to install it using my laptop, no extra software required, only internet connection.
The battery is good. My pixel lasted 2 days, my Huawei P10 lite almost 3. The iPhone? a day.
I can connect the tablet to my laptop and do whatever I want, without frustrating software to stand in my way. On iPhone I can't, so I use it only for internet, calls and seeing AI.
On android I can use eloquence. On iPhone i'm stuck with Voice Over...
And much more.
So yes...I'm an android person.
i've used android? for over 4 years now, it's very nice and i never bashed it, but snese i bought my new iphone i begin to get away from it , apple prodect are simply and easy to use, that's what i've saw in the iphone it self
Generally, doesn't matter if it's android or iOS, but I despise carrying a keyboard around with me, doesn't matter if it's a braille keyboard or a bluetooth keyboard.
When I am doing notes on the way or have to write down some quick info, I use the direct touch typing on the iPhone, it's faster than the double tap or the lift finger to type method, direct touch is basically normal typing as if you were sighted, but with VO announcing the letters, symbols and numbers you type in, works very fast and easy.
I tried using the braille screen input on the iPhone, but pritty much let go of it, far to slow for my taste.
Android accessibility, if in fact it is catching up, is doing so at a time when I'm getting too old for the ball park. When windows 98 came out, I experimented without restraint. When XP showed up, I did the same thing. When Vista was being pushed at us, I was there. When 7 entered the market, I was a little less eager but gave it a shot and was thankful to have been informed about Godmode.
When people told me such and such was not really accessible on any of these platforms I gave it a shot anyway. When I discovered a bit of software required a ton of tweaking to be useful, I put in the effort-foobar and Miranda IM are the two notable programs that come to mind as being my favorites, which weren't exactly wonderful right out of the box. I didn't stick to conventional; I always leaped at the chance to try a little something else.
So it would almost make sense based on all of the above if I were an Android fan, right? I like hacking the bits out of my system I don't like? Well, no... Not really. Fact is, it's my fault for having waited too long. Something happened between o3 and o6 that made me wait to jump in, which is that MS started promising a mobile system to rival everything we knew at the time, and Freedom Scientific, who had just released the pacmate and showed off how it could sync up with one's PC was promising they were going to stay on top of these developments. Because I was a college student at the time, this syncing stuff between computers and mobile devices was an absolutely thrilling and important factor for me. People kept talking about this and that mobile device with talking menus and caller ID's and such and such... I thought I was being wise in waiting for full windows integration across everything!
In 2007, Apple took the market by storm with the release of the iPhone, the first mobile device who's interface was, with a few exceptions, touch screen based. Since then, touch screens have become the norm; physical buttons and accessories have slowly been phased out, a continuing process which has recently included removal of the 3.5mm standard analog headphone jack. When I saw floppy drives disappear, I wasn't entirely surprised. When CF cards didn't become as poppular as USB sticks and USB powered external harddrives, I went along with it. I was waiting, waiting for news about a great windows mobile environment that would rival Apple and Android, my hope based on the fact that MS had managed to keep the OS market for the most part over Apple, even amongst blind users. So what if even CD's became obsolete! So what if screens got smaller or larger! So what if even the way we were inputting into our machines had to change! It was going to be alright! Thank you, MS! Thank you Bill Gates!
Fast forward to the end of 2012; I'm now 24 years old. No MS mobile system worth writing home about, FS is falling behind on screen reader innovation, NVDA is becoming more and more popular and the only thing I have to my name where mobile is concerned is a crappy Samsung Haven, a phone so sluggish that my now 80something year old grandma could probably walk twice around the whole of my neighborhood before I send a text message. I hear buzzing about Cortana, MS changing its whole windows mobile kernel to mimic that of NT for the better, but by now I've given up hope that this will really mean anything. I had a choice to make; either I stuck with this clunker or trade it in for something I might regret later. Android didn't look anywhere near as popular as iOS... IT certainly didn't have as great a following amongst those people I spoke to most often ,and I didn't see a website or other resource dedicated to all of its functionality.
I went for the iPhone 4s. I didn't like touch screens. I found out later just how much of an acquired taste they really were. When I showed up at the store the only charged, unboxed iPhone I could actually use belonged to the service rep and wasn't even a 4s, but he assured me that if I liked it at all I'd like the 4s even better. An hour later I had already learned enough to navigate the thing nicely, thus I purchased the 4s and didn't look back.
Jump to 2015; I'm switching carriers and I need to make a choice on phones... Again. Nothing going on with MS still, save that win10 is soon to be the hype of the MS fanboys and everyone who's still using a 7 machine is stupid; shame on you even more if you're using XP! It's a bad word! No good windows mobile, and I don't see anything immensely cool happening with iOS or voiceover. I grab up an HTC 1m8, which was probably the greatest mistake I ever paid money for, as I used it for a whole year and must have made no more than 30 calls on the thing... I never dared to try and send a text message, let alone do anything else worth mentioning in this post. I found getting to the homescreen an absolute pain, trying to use google assistant virtually impossible since the phone couldn't tell the difference between my shaking it and its own vibration, and I'm just no freaking good at drawing straight or angular lines just to please a piece of plastic.
Between the different flavors of Android, the different shells and launchers and other stuff I never could wrap my brain around just to try and get a device to work, I walked away from it a sad, sad man. I still don't blame Android; I mostly blame myself for not being as adaptable and resourceful as I once was. I no longer have the time, patience or energy required to forge all the right connections to really get started with Android, so iOS it is for me. I'm not bashing anyone with my choice; I just know when something has me beat and I'm too lazy to get up and try to beat it.
I think people are sort of sneering at iOS users as if they are simply too stupid to figure out Android. This is an assumption, and when you apply it to a whole group of people, it becomes a stereotype. I've figured out Android. I've used ADB, fastboot, flashed ROMs, fucked up my device, unfucked it, installed a different kernel, used Xposed Framework to customize it, tried new ROMs, and so forth. I've been through the whole process, but I go back to my iPhone, why? Simply because I can do what I want faster, and more efficiently than I can on Android. The speech doesn't lag, it keeps up with everything I'm doing as I do it, etc. Now, if android people want to look at that and continue to sneer and jibe, well, nothing I can do about it, but I don't say the same to you all.
don't worry about the little clicks,
Everything is working fine,
nevermind that audible whine.
@nocturnus: Completely agree that Android does require more customization. However, you bought an HTC, and HTC is probably one of the worst brands in the history of accessibility, because their interfaces are god-awful.
@Ross: read about the cosmo communicator
The Gemini PDA is immediately available and has a similarly impressive feature set without the fingerprint sensor and camera, but the Cosmo Communicator is the successor to that. Now this is a real productivity device, and glad to see the pda finally make a comeback. In the days of windows mobile and Symbian, mobile phone/smartphone meant productivity. Nowadays, smartphone=dicking around with a few productivity bits here and there. And all because of what was missing, the built-in keyboard. Of course, I have a wearable keyboard but not everyone wishes to use that.
Because it has a history of not being half accessible and jumping around the universe.
@61, I may check the Cosmo Communicator out and see if I can back it. Hell, I might get the PDA that's available ATM and see how accessible their software is.
Not being able to text without using dictation or a keyboard is honestly a dealbreaker for me TBH. My job requires me to constantly be traveling and communicating with others.
I think typing has been extensively discussed
I have never typed in an iPhone, so have absolutely no idea what the process is like. But i doubt it is faster than voice dictation (which I have learned to use discreetly by the way)
it is very accurate most of the time, responds well to background noise, you can use it with a close mic to you such as a headset one, and it is really up to you if you want to not give away context so you can keep your messages private. Of course, I never text on the phone for anything too serious anyway, and when something is really meant to be private I just use a headphone and the onScreen keyboard, its predictions are also very good and it does help when speeding up entry. The switch is really not bad, but for me it had a very strong psychological implication--in other words I simply dreaded not having a physical keyboard. But slowly and at last, mostly due to pressure from needing a replacement phone fast and not living in the U.s., I moved away from buying some of the few current phones with physical keyboards like the blackberry key2, which is meant for, and targets the productivity sector, so you might wish to dive into that. Samsung also sells some keyboard covers which you can make part of your phone so no need to carry around anything extra.
@ethin: I believe there is sourcecode available as well, so that's always a nice bonus. IN either case the Agenda app and Database app, which mimic the psion applications, are obviously lightweight and meant for productivity. So for once, a custom skin that isn't bloatware! The Android itself is aosp based, but with a windows CE-style system bar and task manager.
Because I actually believe you have a nice grasp on Android and do at least understand where I'm coming from, what would you say to someone who has bought into the Apple eco system? I mean, I have a yearly subscription of Apple music, movies I've purchased on iTunes, audiobooks I've acquired by the same method, etc etc. Would I find switching to an Android of your suggestion an inconvenience?
I'm willing to concede that I might not have done all of the legwork required when I went after the HTC phone and that lack of misinformation could have been my greatest hindrance. Perhaps I banked a bit too much on the idea that people were saying that iOS and Android accessibility were more or less equall to one another and that their was no excuse for at least not trying it. Maybe quitting iOS cold turky wasn't the wisest thing I could have done.
But now, I've added another 3 years of iOS experience under my belt. I"ve seen what a great environment Apple can, and in many ways has, created for its users. The seamless integration that exists between OSX and iOS is thrilling in many ways, or at least it is to me. I guess what I'm leading up to is what Dark has posed above, which is the why. One might suggest getting an Android tablet to mess around with, but my logic is that I could just as easily get an iPad which would be familiar to me.
BTW, I'm fully aware that everything I've posted above might still sound like I'm being close minded; feel free to call me out on that. I'm not trying to be. I just wish I could shake this feeling that most people who choose this or that system do so more or less on Principle rather than because one truly has massive advantage over the other. AS it stands, I'm an iOS user because I believe in my device doing for me rather than me doing for it. That could change if I discovered that if I work with my device long enough it'll benefit me more than the iOS stuff I've used.
Android accessibility is close in line with IOS, if you are using a less bloated system. In the mainstream world that usually means Google-Pixel devices.
Apple Music: There's an app for that on the Play Store, and it's reasonably accessible.
iTunes music: Android has no problem with m4a's, particularly when you're not confined to one media player (Winamp does exist on for Android, but is rather disappointingly inaccessible. Of course, Google Music also lets you import your library from iTunes into Google Music, uploading the songs to the cloud in the process.
Audiobooks: That's the only thing standing in the way, i.e you will no doubt need a drm stripper to get rid of audiobook drm so you can listen to them on your Android.
Okay, here are my thoughts on all this.
Google has a culture based on creating new things. I've read in some places that Google employees get pats on the back and maybe even promotions based on working on new things. That's probably why a new messaging app comes out every few years, and they're even making a new operating system, fuchsia. This means that working on TalkBack, BrailleBack, and older accessibility functions of Android isn't profitable for the accessibility team, so what do they do? They work on some live captioning stuff for deaf people, which of course is great, but my gosh isn't it easier to give blind people access to the virtual world than to give deaf people access to the infinitely more variant real world? Don't misunderstand me, it's great that they're considering people with other disabilities, but they should consider us all equally, not just one at the expense of another. So that's one reason why I will not use Android, theirs is a culture of "new," not of making what is there even better. Also, their treatment of developers is awful, just ask stereomatch, the developer of Amazing MP3 Recorder. Google has begun banning not just the one developer for any infractions, but banning others by association. Also, in a later version of Android, Q probably, developers won't be able to access the whole file system of storage. What was that about Android being free as in freedom again? Google has been steadily limiting developers' power, because of course Google Drive is the answer to everything... right? right? Isn't it?
Another thing, braille. Google obviously doesn't care that much about braille. Who even owns one of those braille adapter writer digital things anyway? Who would rather read with their fingers rather than listen to the sexy rigid tones of Google TTS stripped down to its 7 Megabyte nakedness? Oh and Eloquence, we have Eloquence on Android! *drool*. In all seriousness though, what happened to accessibility for everyone? Why is it that braille can't be a first-class citizen (this really applies to any operating system, as none of them do it exceptionally well) on Android? Why is it that one cannot turn off speech when using BrailleBack? Furthermore, why is it that BrailleBack isn't included in Android Accessibility Suite, and Select To Speak was? Why are the commands on a braille display so different than on any other system?
Now, on to the third party offerings. Why can't Commentary use multi-finger gestures? Samsung's Voice Assistant can. I don't need hundreds of audio themes, I need a screen reader on which I can be productive in all that I do: reading email, browsing the web, reading books, writing and editing documents with only the touch screen (which I can do on the iPhone fairly well), and playing games. I feel like Commentary is trying to tackle so much, but is still based on the sorry excuse that is TalkBack.
And Android users may say "Well, Android doesn't need to be a PC-like operating system." Why not? Modern smart phones *are* computers! Yes they use touch screens instead of mice and keyboards, but that's input. There is absolutely no reason why a "mobile" screen reader can't be as powerful, or even more so, than a "computer" screen reader. There is no reason why a "mobile" screen reader can't make one as efficient in productivity as a "computer" screen reader. That's another reason why I will not use Android, users don't use it to its potential, so developers feel that they can keep TalkBack as a toy screen reader. Even Victor Tsaran, developer of TalkBack, uses a Mac and iPhone, seemingly most of the time. Why? Probably because he can be productive on those platforms, and just answer calls on the Android, do texting on messages.android.com or whatever the site is where people can text using their Android phone, basically using the phone as just a conduit for his other devices, not as a device itself, and I'm willing to bet that that's what most blind people do; see Jack telnetting into his phone for texting. This isn't to say that this practice is inharrently bad, it can work out, but gosh its such a waste of a perfectly good opportunity to use a phone as sighted people do. Do you see sighted people having an actual need for a computer for most things? No. Why? Because they're perfectly productive on phones and iPads. They don't need to wear a keyboard to be quick typists, they don't need to do something as technical as telnet into their phone to type. They don't even need to download a third-party email program because Gmail just isn't all that great for us. Then again, many of them that I know use iPhones, but are happily productive with them, too.
So, why iPhones? First, Apple has limited developers from the beginning, so most of them know what to expect. Actually, iOS has been opened up more and more over the years. Developers can create keyboards, Siri implements, iMessage apps, and for us, rotor options to be changed or navigate with; see Outlook for iOS for an example of this. Is it perfect? No. We don't have Eloquence, and apps have to implement voices pretty much in each app they want them in. But gosh it could be worse. Braille is pretty darn good. We have braille screen input, which, while not being perfect, does allow us to type very quickly. Other languages, like German braille where capitalization isn't used much, does suffer from English rules on capitalization, but English braille works well.
Also, iOS doesn't have Dolby Atmos for Headphones. I use Windows, with Windows Sonic for Headphones, for all that though. iOS doesn't have an Esperanto voice. Neither does Android by default.
#70 (edited by Jeffb 2019-05-19 18:20:27)
I'm really considering getting the Google Pixel 4 when it comes out. I've been interested in switching to Droid for a while now and have a few questions. I listened to Nick Adamson's Blindly Switching podcast and it sounds like you have to do all the jesters with just 1 finger. Is this true? Is there any way to change them to using 2 or more similar to IOS? The thought of having to draw everything with 1 finger is kind of a put off to me. Also is there a gesture to stop and play audio like the 2 finger double tap in IOS? That's all I have for now.
Android does only use one or two finger gestures. Which does mean less gestures to remember/use. That being said there's no magic-tap equivalent to stop and start music playback, but there's Button Mapper for that.
@Devin: That's only because, if I'm correct here, Apple patented the advanced multitouch gesture support that Voiceover takes advantage of.
Also, you're forgetting that Android makes for a pretty good desktop OS on the Pixelbook, and Chrome OS and Android is actually a pretty good blend, and with Chromevox included in the linux support, the Pixelbook makes for a great 4in1.
Regarding Amazing MP# Recorder, that app was a scam waiting to happen, so good riddance. High-Q Mp3 Recorder, while it is a paid app, has a trial with all codecs available (wave, mp3, even flac) where the only restriction is a 10 minute limit on recordings. I bought it and it's been the only recording app I've ever used for years now.
#72 (edited by Jeffb 2019-05-19 20:14:24)
@Jack thanks that's gonna be a tough learning curve for me but I think I'll still try it. I'm getting tired of Apple and I think I'd get more out of my Google Home with Droid.
Is there any site for Android that suggests accessable apps akin to Applevis?
Jack you keep suggesting the Pixel, and it does seem great, but even the mid range one is 670 bucks. Is there really that much of a difference between that one and say, the Nokia 7.1?
Lets demonstrate this: stand still Thom...
#74 (edited by jack 2019-05-19 20:41:15)
1. Budget Pixel3A: Do you mean $670 in Canadian? It's $400 over here.
The difference is likely in system specs, inability to receive updates when everyone else does (unless Nokia is faster with updates) not as much of a chance of the fingerprint sensor supporting talkback gestures, and no Google Lookout.
That's not to say Lookout is still a Pixel-exclusive, because it did just make its way onto some more non-Google devices just recently, and they are continuing to expand.
Hi. Regarding multy touch gestures, at present, it is simply impossible for commentary to do it. Before you say but voice assistant does it, don't forget that Samsung does not only make voice assistant, but an entirely customized version of Android, thus their screen reader works only on their devices. Even then, it's not an open API or something other developers can use, they just built it for their own screen reader.