Something that Apple absolutely does not get enough credit for is their longstanding — and outstanding — support for accessibility features, and iOS 6 is no exception. To the already impressive list of accessibility features, Apple is adding Guided Access, a way to lock the iPad into a single app, to help people with autism or similar challenges work independently, without having to worry about accidentally closing an app. It also provides single-app mode functionality for everyone, which makes the iPad far more useful for everything from school tests to mall kiosks.
Here’s how Apple describes accessibility and Guided Access in iOS 6:
iOS 6 comes with even more features to make it easier for people with vision, hearing, learning, and mobility disabilities to get the most from their iOS devices. Guided Access helps students with disabilities such as autism remain on task and focused on content. It allows a parent, teacher, or administrator to limit an iOS device to one app by disabling the Home button, as well as restrict touch input on certain areas of the screen. VoiceOver, the revolutionary screen reader for blind and low-vision users, is now integrated with Maps, AssistiveTouch, and Zoom. And Apple is working with top manufacturers to introduce Made for iPhone hearing aids that will deliver a power-efficient, high-quality digital audio experience.
And here’s what they’ve shown off of it so far:
- Even dedicated, focused apps can have buttons or controls that, if unintentionally triggered, can alter app behavior or even exit the app completely.
- By activating Guided Access, you can toggle off hardware buttons like the Home button, touch controls completely, or shake controls.
- You can also selectively disable only certain controls by circling them with your finger.
- iOS will then disable those controls so they can no longer be triggered in-app.
- With the Home button disabled, Guided Access also becomes single-app mode. So, for example, a school could provide exams on an iPad without having to worry about students leaving the app, looking up the answers on Safari, and then cheating on the test.
- Beyond schools, it could serve as a kiosk-mode for museums, stores, restaurants, and numerous other types of businesses and institutions.
Taken by itself, Guided Access is another in a long line of excellent accessibilities features for iOS, in this case the iPad in particular. Combined with single-app, or kiosk-mode, it becomes a powerful tool for any school, business, or institution. It lets them provide highly specific applications, in highly controlled environments, keeping things simple yet still powerful for users and customers.
It’s not protected access mode or guest mode, but it’s important and it’s there.
iOS 6 is scheduled for release this fall, perhaps as soon as September 19. For more on iOS 6 and Siri, check out:
Steam has developed a reputation as a haven for indie games like Super Meat Boy, so it’s only fitting that store owner Valve has just launched a section to welcome more of those games into its tent. Greenlight lets small developers submit titles and have gamers vote as to whether or not the candidates should get space on Steam’s virtual shelf. Pickier players don’t have to see every game in contention; they can filter the list down to specific game types and platforms, and collections can narrow the selection to categories hand-picked by fans or publishers. No games have cleared Greenlight just yet, but it won’t be long before the logjam becomes a flood — between this and general apps, Steam is about to get a lot more crowded.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
Lenovo has unveiled three new Android tablets at IFA 2012, in Berlin, and we’ve had the chance to try them out for ourselves. All three tablets run Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, along with some additional UI customizations from the manufacturer.
First up is the 10-inch Ideatab S2110, a keyboard-and-tabet dock set similar to the ASUS Transformer series. Inside the S2110 is a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 CPU running at 1.5GHz, backed up by 1GB of RAM. That’s billed as a “premium entertainment tablet,” and as such packs HDMI output capable of pumping out images at up to 1080p resolution.
Next come the Ideatab A2107 and A2109 — mid-range offerings aimed at a lower price point. The A2109 is based around NVIDIA’s quad-core Tegra 3 chipset, while Lenovo wasn’t disclosing the CPU inside the A2107. Both devices sport a more curved chassis with smoother edges, though the software is consistent with the Lenovo’s larger tablet. We noticed a few performance and stability issues with these two tablets on the show floor, but we’ll put that down to the presence of pre-release hardware and software, and we imagine both will be polished up before the eventual release.
We’ve got hands-on video up top and more photos of all three products after the break.
You won’t be able to leap tall structures in one of Chrysler’s new cars with Garmin in-dash GPS hardware, but at least you’ll be able to see them. 3D buildings and terrain are among the fresh features in the navigators, along with a new UI, trip planner, improved junction view (by a factor of 25), and enhanced routing. The nav company is one of the cogs in Chrysler’s Uconnect service, which will roll out in four models next year: the Dodge Journey, Charger and Dart along with Chrysler’s 300. Other players in the service are SiriusXM, which provides weather info and entertainment; and Sprint, which shoulders the in-car data workload through its cellular service. Lest you think that all this infotainment will distract you right into the ditch, worry not — most of the controls are voice activated. If you want a beaming dealer to getcha into one of the new models, the PR is after the break.Permalink | | Email this | Comments