10 Years With A phone

I’ve just listened to a documentary on how Voice Over was 10 years old on the iPhone and it got me thinking of my journey using a phone in general.

I must have been about 17 or so when i realised that you could get phones that could talk however no-one seemed to know where i could get a phone with the Talks software on it. We called in to the RNIB shop in Belfast and they recommended that i go to the Vodafone shop as they knew exactly what the Talks software was and they knew who to send it to to get it put on to a phone. I finally got my first phone when i was 18.

My first phone was a lovely little Nokia E51. I loved that phone and literally used it until it no longer functioned. Even sending a text was so cool. The fact that i could have a phone that talked to me was just amazing. I went from the E51 to an E65 to a C6 phone which had a touch screen and a qwerty keyboard and not the T9 keyboard that was on previous phones.

I had heard about the iPhone by this stage as the people who were making Talks weren’t making it as much any more and the operating system wasn’t supporting Talks. People were suggesting that i should get an iPhone as it had Voice over built in to the phone, but the thought of this scared me a little. After seeing my friends’ iPad, which also had voice over and a blue tooth keyboard, i began to wonder if an iPhone could be compatible with a blue tooth keyboard. It was after buying my first iPad that i decided to go for the phone but i was still reluctant to get one.

I got my first iPhone in 2013 and even something as simple as making a phone call was a real challenge for me. When i found out that you could get a blue tooth keyboard for the phone, that was me hooked and i haven’t looked back since. Whilst i can use the touch screen, it is very slow and cumbersome for me at least.

I am still using an iPhone today and i can’t believe how back in the early days of Voice over that it was considered merely as an afterthought. Now though, voice over and accessibility in general is very much integrated in to the iPhone and other Apple products as standard. In fact most phones now come with accessibility features installed. Sometimes it can feel as if voice over isn’t that important, particularly when an app isn’t accessible, but overall, the fact that you can just buy an iPhone and it will speak to you is brilliant. I hope accessibility is just as important in another 10 years’ time as it is now.

The documentary which made me want to write this entry can be found


Coming At You From An Ipad Mini

I never thought i’d be saying this but here i am on an Ipad mini.

A few weeks ago i was asking on Twitter what netbook would be the best and that as i wanted something for when i stayed over at friends houses just to make it easier than carrying a laptop about all the time. I could only find a select few though that had Windows 7. Someone on
Told me about someone selling an ipad mini for 200 pounds. I thought this was quite good and started asking more questions. I still wasn’t sure if i really wanted it and wanted to get all the facts so to speak. I found out that you didn’t need to use the touch screen at all and that you could get a keyboard for it too. It wasn’t that dear either so i took the plunge and ordered it and a case. There was no turning back now. I just had to wait for the ipad to come then.

I exchanged quite a few direct messages to the seller of the ipad and we were going to meet last Tuesday. However that fell through which was very disappointing. I don’t know whither i shot myself in the foot or what by saying how excited i was or that, but the hunt was on as i still wanted to get it.

I found one on
For 349 pounds so I decided to order it.

It came on Thursday. Boy was it hard to work! I couldn’t do anything at all on it. I just about managed to send an email, or i thought i did but i wasn’t too sure. So it was on to twitter again. Somebody recommended a site called
Which discusses apps for the visually impaired. It was like a mindfield until i googled exactly what i wanted to know and that narrowed down my search a lot. There is so much information on there.

I’m pleased to say that now after a lot of experimenting, i’m now up and running. My bluetooth keyboard is working well and i hardly ever have to use the touch screen. But the option is there if i need to use it.

I was only going to use this for travelling but to be honest i’m considdering using it for my main device. That’s probably bad, but i have to keep my laptop for connecting usb devices as i don’t think you can get adaptors to plug in so you could plug in usbs. I love how portable it is, and now i know what i’m doing the battery seems to last longer too. I love love love how responsive it is compared to windows, and i love how accessible the apps are. I haven’t had a bad app yet.

The only bad thing is i wish voiceover had more voices, and sometimes when i go to type in my apple id and password it doesn’t type. Also i wish the speech could be ajusted by 5 percent rather than 10. I have it at 50 % but sometimes i find myself missing words. But 40 % is too slow for me. Vut they are just minor annoyances.

I was worried i was just convincing myself i wanted an ipad because everyone else had one or i was jumping on the bandwaggon but that’s not the case at all. Maybe i will go back to windows, but i doubt it to be honest. I’ll probably only use it for usb things, but i’m not going to be one of those people who slate people for using windows after going apple.

I deffinetly think it is a worthwhile purchase. I love how the keyboard is just like a part of the ipad it fits so snuggly. I’ve even got an app for wordprocessing.

I don’t know what i was so scared about, especially since the envention of bluetooth keyboards.

I’m going to go now but just thought i’d blog.