Let's face it: a lot of us are very critical of Sprint. And while it's up for debate whether or not Sprint actually deserves all the crap some of us tend to throw its way, it's is nice to see Sprint do some good every once in a while. That's why I'm so happy to report that Sprint is making Android devices like the HTC EVO a little more accessible to those with visual impairments.
Namely, Sprint has decided to provide an app called Mobile Accessibility for free to all Sprint users. This app normally sells in the Market for $99, so this is a pretty big deal. You can check out the full description straight from the Market below, but needless to say, this looks like a great product, and kudos to Sprint for making it available to all its customers.
This third-party application – also known as Code Factory’s “Mobile Accessibility” – is a screen-access application which allows people who are blind or have low vision to use an Android phone in an intuitive, easy and simple way. This app is being provided – for FREE – to Sprint, Boost Mobile, and Virgin Mobile USA customers.
Mobile Accessibility is two products in one:
1) It is a suite of 10 accessible applications (Phone, Contacts, SMS, Alarm, Calendar, Email, Web, Where am I, Apps and Settings) which have been especially designed for the blind and visually impaired. They all have a simplified interface whose textual information is spoken using Nuance Vocalizer® voice synthesis.
2) It is also a screen reader which allows you to get out of the suite and navigate the standard interface of your phone.
Inside the Mobile Accessibility suite of accessible applications you can do the following:
– Phone: Make calls, answer calls, hear the caller ID and manage your call log.
– Contacts: Manage your contacts, even those from social networks such as Facebook.
– SMS: Compose and read short messages. Manage conversations.
– Alarms: Set your alarms.
– Web: Full web browser experience, similar to what you can find on your PC. Jump by the control of your choice (links, paragraphs, headings, forms, etc.) to navigate faster to the information of your interest. Bookmark your favorite webpages.
– Calendar: Create, edit and delete a calendar entry. View all events per day, week or month.
– Email: Full access to your Gmail account.
– Where am I? : GPS application that tells you your current location.
– Apps: Access the list of apps installed on your Android phone.
– Settings: Change the ringtone. Configure feedback and notifications (vibration or audio). Configure keyboard echo, punctuation verbosity, speech pitch and rate, etc.
– Quick access to date and time, phone status information such as battery level and network coverage, number of missed calls and unread messages, etc.
– Touch navigation: Simply move your finger around the screen and the voice synthesis will read the text located under your finger. Or if you prefer, you can also swipe up/down/right/left and tap on the screen to navigate through the interface. And if you wish you can enable sound and vibration feedback.
– Easy to input text: In or outside the Mobile Accessibility suite you can use the touch QWERTY keyboard as well as the speech recognition to write text quickly and easily.
– Voice synthesis: We partnered with Nuance ® to offer their Vocalizer as the voice of Mobile Accessibility.