IPhone Information

5S or 5c, which should I get? Here is my thought for those using the iPhone with VoiceOver. The extra advantages of the 5S are mostly visual. The enhancements in the camera, which is made possible by the faster processor, will mean little to a VoiceOver user. Using apps like TextGrabber and Tap Tap See will work fine on the 5C, just as they do on a 4S. I do highly recommend a warranty, and Squaretrade had reasonable prices. So, think about saving that extra $100 on the 5C and get a warranty.

The iPhone is the king of accessibility as far as cell phones goes. All the apps which come pre installed on the iphone are completely accessible for the user who is blind or has low vision. If voiceover is not running, you should be able to press the home button three times in rapid succession to turn voiceover on. The same action will turn it off if you need to let a family member use your phone.
A complete list of Voiceover gestures for IOS 5
A page of IOS 5 useful tips. Add volume to the rotor; this will save you if the volume goes to zero and you can’t hear VO

Answer the phone:

When you have an incoming call, double tap on the screen with two fingers, this will answer the call, to end the call, do the same action “two finger double tap”. When placing a call, which you can do by voice or using the dial pad; as soon as your call starts to go through, another dial pad will be presented so you can “press 2 for English”, dial an extension number or put in a pin. This second dial pad only is presented if VoiceOver is running.
Useful, Accessible, iPhone apps I’ve learned from several iPhone users who are blind about some very useful apps.
Sendero GPS Lookaround: price $4.99, this app tells the closest cross streets and points of interest, voiceover compatible. It gives compass directions and lots more; great app for such a low price.
Siri Assistant: part of the phone operating system which lets you use your voice to control many aspects of the phone
Prizmo: There are now several scanner apps for iphone. Prizmo has lots of features and seems to be voiceover compatible. On my first few uses I found the OCR to be very accurate. It can be used for bills, business cards, which puts the info into your contact list if you choose, regular documents and even whiteboards. price is $9.99

How-to techniques

I came on some short podcasts by Kevin Chao, where he explains the easiest way to type, how to cut and paste text, and gives spoken instructions on using some very useful apps. On itunes, do a search for Kevin Chao and you will be taken directly to the podcast list.

Understanding the rotor on IOS devices (iphone, ipad, ipod touch). One of the new features which makes the ipad or iphone easier to use is the rotor. This is an action not a physical item. To use the rotor action, place two fingers on the screen, like your thumb and index finger. Hold one of the fingers in place as a pivot point while you move the other finger around the pivot in a semi circle. As you move your index finger, you’ll hear Voice over say something like words, characters. If you stopped moving your finger when you heard words, and start to flick your finger up or down, you will be moving by whole words. If you chose characters, as you would to edit a word, then each flick will move one character at a time. Flicking up will move backwards in a sentence and flicking down will move forward.
When you have the keyboard available, there will be more choices in the rotor. On a web page, the rotor action has a dozen or more choices. If you stop moving your finger when you hear headings, then each flick up or down will move from heading to heading while skipping over other items and text. When you hear the heading you want, flick to the right to read the text after that heading.

Tips for using voice over on the i-phone.

The phone app has several functions. On the bottom left there is the favorites button, net the recent calls, then contacts, then dial pad, and finally the voicemail button. The app opens to the last function you used. One good feature is that when you dial a number and press the call button, the dial pad comes back so you can easily put in an extension number.

The undo command is to shake the phone. This will bring up two buttons, the undo typing button will be in focus, if you swipe your finger to the right the cancel button will be in focus. Tap twice with one finger to activate the button.

Open a website: press and hold the home button for two seconds and you will hear a two beeps and Siri will say,listen. Speak now, do not hesitate, and say “new york times website” the Siri will repeat what you said and open the browser. Move your finger down the screen and you will hear the search results of a google search. You can also say gizmodo dot com. Siri will again open the browser and give you the search results.

Typing: I’ve found that most people are more accurate and faster using the standard typing method. Using standard typing you slide one finger around the keyboard to the letter you want to type, and with your finger still on the screen, tap with another finger. This action is called split tapping. Some of my friends use the split tap for everything.