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
I’m currently on my way to see Ushi’s puppywalkers, but more on that in a separate post.
I decided on Monday to go in and see what i would need to upgrade to n iphone. I was told that i would only need my bank card, so decided i’d go ahead and get the phone that same day. My c6 was okay but to be honest it started to take a while to open texts and sort of stuttered when it would start talking. I also thought it might be worth getting the iphone since all my ipad stuff would sink so thought it would be good if i couldn’t take my ipad or i needed to answer an email quickly. Part of me too was also wondering was i just getting it to get the latest phone but i knew it would benifit me.
Witin about 15 minutes all the paper work was squared away. It’ll be £47 now instead of the 10 pounds i was paying. But as well as the unlimmited minutes and texts, i have 8 gig of internet too if i ever did need it. I went away while they put ios 7 on it. I was amazed at just how quick it was and i thought it was cool how you could just back up from the cloud even though i didn’t have my ipad with me.
So after about an hour i headed back to get the phone itself. They turned on voice over and everything and we just stood and talked for quite a while since there were no other custumers. I couldn’t get over the size of the little box it came in. I’ve noticed with my nokia phones they have big boxes and a lot of packing to make you think you’re getting more in the box. The iphone is a simple little box no bigger than the phone. The iphone sits in a beautiful little craddle. When you lift that off you have a charger and a nice little square box that contains your earphones and that is all you get. I must say it was very well presented and that’s all you need really. No fancy boxes with so much packaging. I thought it really makes a difference how a phone comes.
When i got home i ordered me a boxwave buddy case with a keyboard. It’s basically a case for the phone with a slide out qwerty keyboard. The keyboard is blue tooth. It’s a slightly different layout than a normal qwerty but i’m getting used to it. The only thing i’ve noticed about the keyboard is if you’re in a low signal area it stops working especially on a train journey if it has bad signal. It is a bit sluggish to start with but once you get used to it it’s grand. I’m glad i have it now. I’ll probably just text and that but if i do need to answer an email i can or if i just fancy writing i can. I think it helped because i have the ipad too. We had a bit of trouble sinking it all but it’s all grand now. I just hope i don’t get bored of it and don’t give it up.