Mobile Screen Readers

Mobile phones and tablet devices has became the integral part of each one of us in the latest era. Use of mobile devices is very much high in the community of persons with disabilities as well. Before the introduction of smart phones persons with disabilities especially who have visual challenges have difficulty in using them. Technology giants such as Apple have set a bench mark in providing robust assistive features in built in IOS. Top mobile manufacturers such as Nokia have provided a platform to use third party screen readers such as Nuance Talks, Mobile Speak.

Observing the revolution in mobile screen readers I have come up with this blog to put together the information mobile screen readers at one place to help the users to pick their choice.

Voiceover for Apples IOS Devices

Apple IOS devices such as iPhone, iPad, iTouch and iPod come with inbuilt accessibility features such as

  • Voiceover (screen reader)
  • Zoom (screen magnifier)
  • large text
  • Black on White
  • Mono Audio
  • assistive touch
  • Siri.

Voiceover is a in built text to speech technology that helps users with visual impairments use the phone. Voiceover reads out the information that is present on the IOS device. Voiceover has a robust gesture feature that helps the visually challenged person to use the device independently.

How to find whether my iPhone or iPad has these accessibility features?

If you want to purchase an iPhone or iPad, or If you want to know if your device has these accessibility features follow these simple steps.

  1. Open settings on your device.
  2. Go to General settings
  3. Find accessibility

In accessibility you should have all the above features.

More information on Apple accessibility features can be found hereApple Accessibility(External Website)

BlackBerry

BlackBerry has recently come up with an innovative free screen reader for its visually challenged customers. Research In Motion (RIM) on May 7, 2012 has announced a revolutionary screen reader for it BlackBerry users. The latest version of the screen reader supports core applications of the phone, speech settings, Keyboard short-cuts and basic browser support.

How to find whether my BlackBerry supports this screen reader?

The following Blackberry models support the screen reader.
BlackBerry Curve 9350, 9360, 9370, 9320 and 9220 smart phones.

More information on the latest release and a demo can be found at
BlackBerry demo video(External website)
Download BlackBerry Screen reader here (External Website)

Android

Google Android operating system is the hot topic in the modern mobile market. Android store has thousands of apps available to do wonders with mobiles. However most of these are not available for a person with visual impairment. Android have come up with a screen reader Talk back for its Android users. Talkback is not a very powerful application for android users. Third party software such as Mobile Accessibility is a commercial alternative for visually challenged Android users.

Mobile Accessibility Suite is a commercial software by Code factory, However you can have a 30 days trail period for the same. Mobile Accessibility is a two product suite with 10 accessible applications such as phone, web browser, music player, where am I etc. This suite also consists of a screen reader for the devices that operate with Android OS.

More information on Mobile Accessibility can be found at Mobile Accessibility by Code factory(External Website)

Symbian

I have shared my experience of Nokia screen reader months back at Overview of Nokia Screen Reader So not going deep into the same. Other than Nokia Screen reader Symbian operating systems also have screen readers such as Nuance Talks and Mobile speak. A personal experience on Nuance Talks can be observed at Nuance Talks with my Nokia C5

Hope the post helps in choosing the best screen reader for your mobile device.

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