Apple is the only electronic company that really excites me with its innovation and usability integration. I switched over to the Mac back in 2006 or 2007 and I have been an Apple faithful ever since. The peace and grace of Apple products always gets my creative juices flowing and encourages me to create, to strive for greatness. Once you a get dose of true art: quality and simplicity; there is no turning back, once you see the light from years of darkness in the Microsoft world. When was the last time you felt excited that Microsoft was releasing a new operating system? Windows 8 is so cool! Wait, what is Windows 8? The annoyance and aggravation of Microsoft Windows is now in my rearview. Whenever I try Windows now, it makes me want to cry and gives me the urge to throw the ugly box through my glass windows.
I only see a bright future ahead for Apple and I am not even psychic. The innovation with great products from Apple is only going to continue to strive for greatness, in the honor of Steve Jobs. Tim Cook will never be able to replace Steve Jobs, but I know that Job's resurrected Apple from the grave, kick starting the soul of Apple once again, and bringing about a revolution in computing and electronics. The heart and soul of Apple will never die because Steve Job's philosophy is engraved in everybody’s hearts, through creating art with an intense simplistic passion; products that are designed to become a part of you, where you cannot live without these products, bringing you so much joy to your life.
The iPad is a great device that makes the tablet a joy to use and the new retina display makes me drool, I want to purchase one; it's just not a realistic option for me at this time. It's like walking downtown by a store as a child with your Mom, peering through the shop window, spotting a new shiny red bicycle that I want really bad, but it is too expensive for Mom to buy me. Although, the iPad price of the iPad is not the problem; it's the fact that it requires you to be able to hold it in your hands and navigate the device through touch. It's a great way to use a device, intuitive and non-accessible at the same time. For physically disabled users like myself with Duchennes Muscular Dystrophy, we have very limited strength and use of our hands. We do not have the strength to lift our arms and use our hands to navigate a touch screen device.
Apple has come a long way in offering accessibility features in their iOS devices, but there is a lot of room for improvement. Blind or partially blind users benefit a lot by the accessibility features. The VoiceOver screen reader for iPhone and iPad allows you to use gestures to physically interact with items on the screen by touching the screen to hear an item's description and gesture with a double-tap, drag, or flick to control the iPad. The Zoom feature let's you zoom in and out of many different elements, such as images in Mail and web pages in Safari. You can make your screen White on Black to make the screen higher in contrast. You can also have Large Text and increase the font size up to 56 points text in alerts, Calendar, Contacts, Mail, Messages, and Notes.
Apple users who are deaf or hard of hearing can benefit from FaceTime video calling to communicate using sign language or lip reading in great detail. Closed Captioning allows the playback open captions, closed captions, and subtitling. iMessage lets you send text messages and Visual Alerts visually displays of updates and important status information.
For users like myself with impaired physical or motor skills, the iPad offers an Intelligent Onscreen keyboard Predictive Text Entry. It has autocapitalization and autocorrection to avoid typos and misspellings. Also, the AssistiveTouch feature allows you to enter Multi-Touch gestures using one finger or a stylus. I have tried using a mouth stick stylus, but I do not have the head movement or jaw strength to use the mouth stick well enough to work optimally. It also supports the use of adaptive input devices, like headsets and switches, which seems to be the capability with the most potential out of all the iPad accessibility features.
On the iPhone 4S, the voice recognition software called Siri let's you use your voice to send messages, place phone calls, schedule meetings, set reminders, and more. The only downside is that Siri has to be activated by tapping the microphone button. It would be great if Siri could have the capability to be automatically activated when you tap on power button or even allow users to turn on the phone using voice with Siri already activated. Another thing for Apple to do is add Siri to the iPad.
I am glad that Apple looks into adding accessibility features to its touch screen devices, but at this time I am not able to use devices like the iPhone or iPad. It is torture to know that I cannot physically use the iPad because it is an awesome device. Apple, it would be a blessing if you could make the iOS devices more accessible to those with very limited mobility and use of the hands. I, and many other people would be extremely grateful if you could help us out in the near future with improved accessibility features.