Re: Android Accessibility Good Bad, or In between?

Josh Kennedy

with my tablet and its physical keyboard, the anser is yes yes yes! web browsing with talkback is just as good as it is on windows with jaws. I can navigate by headings, heading level, tables, all kinds of form controls and much more. its excellent! talkback is like jaws for android and its free!

On 4/26/2017 12:44 PM, Gene wrote:
I don't use mobile devices, either Android or Apple.  I am skeptical of your amount of praise but if you and others present good arguments and information, I'm willing to change my mind.  I'll deal with my questions and skepticism below.
You say that surfing can be done satisfactorily.  In my view, if such abilities as are provided by quick navigation commands in Windows screen-readers are available in Talk Back, move by heading, skip blocks of links, move to the next button, etc. then that would be roughly equivalent, depending on exactly on how and what is available.  If such commands are not present, Talk Back would be significantly inferior for browsing. 
I don't know how Dave intends to use whatever device he is interested in but it appears to me that you are not defining what you are discussing in terms of your use enough to be meaningful in a comparison and are discussing what you do in terms of reducing reliance on Windows without addressing any specifics of use. 

Given the lack of awareness and concern for accessibility among developers, it's hard to believe that apps are generally more likely to be accessible than Windows programs in terms of the percent of accessible apps.  I don't know that and I don't use such devices, as I said, but such effusive praise causes me to be skeptical.  I'm willing to be convinced but remember when Apple engaged in effusive praise of how its screen-reader would make things accessible?  it was the same kind of statement, if developers follow Apple guidelines.  That's a big "if."  You will understand, I hope, my skepticism of such statements.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 11:13 AM
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Android Accessibility Good Bad, or In between?

Grumpy Dave, I will not personally compare smartphone screen readers with
those on Windows.  Why so?  The Windows screen readers have been there for
ages and, in my mind, the environment in which they operate are not the same
as those of a smartphone or tablet. 

Talkback is the main screen reader on the Android platform; however, it
isn't the only one!  ShinePlus is a huge contender; Amazon and Samsung do
have their own screen readers on Android too.  Talkback comes preinstalled
on most Android devices, but if it isn't, it's not hard to install directly
from the Playstore. 

If you currently have an iPhone and love it, stick and keep running with it;
if Windows has always ROCKED THE BOAT for you, get a Windows tablet instead;
at least, the learning curve will not be too steep.  If, on the other hand
you enjoy venturing into territories hitherto unexplored, let Android ring
the bells! 

If an app DOES NOT produce desired results on an Android device, that, in my
view, has absolutely nothing to do iwth Talkback!  The app may be badly
written by its developer as is the case with some Windows apps.  Where a
developer follows Google's guidelines on accessibility and completely labels
its apps' buttons and such, there's no reason why you can't access the app
using Talkback. 

In my mobile universe, Android rules!  For this reason, I've begun to slowly
move all business related tools that I use daily over to the Android
platform.  For one thing, I don't have to worry about costly SMA's for
screen reader upgrades, no need to pay a scripter to have a Windows app
scripted for accessibility only to find out that I can only GAIN minimal
accessibility to the scripted app, and, I have better interactions with app
developers in that I can help them understand what needs to be done to make
their apps more accessible to all.  Within the next 9 months or less, I am
hoping to CUT my dependency on Windows to about 5% when Android takes over
95% of all that I do on a daily basis. 

You asked:

"how accessible are the various features and Apps in an Android system?"

Whilst some Android devices come with baked in apps, you are NEVER OBLIGATED
to use any of them!  You can look around on the Playstore and find apps that
work better for you, buy them for a small price, or, some of them may even
be free.  I have a Samsung phone; I don't use any of the apps that came
preloaded on my phone.  I have disabled all of these preloaded apps and, my
phone continues to function as expected with no issues of any kind. 

For me, Talkback is not only intuitively responsive, but most certainly
getting better with each new release.  What's more, it is actively developed
and released independently of the operating system.  Microsoft Word or
Office can be used on an Android device!  There are several notetaking apps
that are accessible, when you are ready for the plunge, several of us in
this space will be extremely glad to share the names of a few.  There are NO
problems with E-mail or web surfing, these can be done in Android and
Talkback is NOT sleepy at the wheels!  An Android device connected to your
computer is like another hard drive; so, moving files between the two DOES
NOT require or call for the installation of any additional app. 

I am NOT SO CERTAIN I addressed your concerns satisfactorily.  However, to
the best of my ability, I shall be willing to answer other questions that
you may have.

Denver, Colorado         

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