So the WWDC for 2010 is a bit behind us now, there's time to take a breath and think of the accessibility implications of the things that were announced at the conference and since then.
Here's a run-down of the announcements, highlighting the areas related to accessibility. This isn't a full list of all the features of all the new announcements, there are too many to list, this is a list of the ones I think have accessibility implications.
- The iPhone 4 is on its way, with a much higher resolution and higher contrast display, longer battery life, a 3-axis gyroscope for more accurate sensing of the phone's position, a better camera for stills and video, and additional front-facing camera for video chat (currently limited to Wifi only and iPhone 4 to iPhone 4 only, however).
- iPhone OS, the software that runs the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad will be renamed iOS and version 4 will be released on June 21. iOS 4 will include limited multitasking, apps can be organised in folders in your home screen, it has bluetooth braille display compatibility as part of VoiceOver, and there is a new "large font" features in Mail, Contacts, Notes, and Messages applications.
- iBooks, Apple's ebook reader already available for iPad (and fully accessible), will be released for iPhone and iPod Touch as well and the new version will include support for reading PDFs and the ability to take notes within books.
- Safari 5 is to be released for OS X and Windows. Major improvements in speed are expected, the ability to choose your search engine, and there is now a secure official plugin capability.
As is common, a bunch of new software has been released and some more hardware updates have been announced shortly post WWDC. These have included:
- OS X 10.6.4 has been released with mostly hidden upgrades including compatibility improvements with some braille displays.
- iTunes 9.2 for OS X and Windows has been released, with improvements to make it compatible with the forthcoming iOS 4 and the iPhone 4 including the ability to organise PDF documents as books, it also has faster backups when syncing iOS devices.
- A new line-up of the energy-efficient Mac Mini desktops has been released, with an aluminium enclosure to match the new Macbooks, SD card slot, better graphics performance, and an HDMI port.
Wow, that's a lot of new stuff in just a few weeks, and a lot of information to take in!
Some of these announcements will prompt further posts in the future to explore the implications in depth, but now you're up to date with all the latest information.
- Ricky Buchanan