Tag - Disabilities
As previously reported, Apple CEO Tim Cook accepted the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights 2015 "Ripple of Hope" award for his work championing various causes, including human rights, LGBT equality protections, and raising the standard of education in the US. During a 12-minute acceptance speech, he touched on topical issues, including the current Syrian refugee crisis. Recently, Cook also recorded a promotional message for the Cerebral Palsy Foundation as part of a campaign to encourage more conversations with those who have disabilities.
Apple this week is highlighting two areas of protection from discrimination in two separate actions; the endorsement of a new legislation motion to include sexual orientation and gender identity to the Civil Rights Act, and a spotlight celebrating the 25th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act by showcasing a collection of accessibility apps. The company was recently recognized for its leadership in tech accessibility by the National Federation for the Blind.
Mac OS X Lion will introduce some 53 new synthesized speech voices, people said to be familiar with the OS claim. While none of the voices can yet be downloaded in full form for the developer preview, AppleInsider remarks that demos are already accessible. To get the complete voices people will have to download packs ranging from a third to a half of a gigabyte.
A former worker at Apple's SoHo retail store in New York City has filed suit against the company, claiming discrimination on the basis of mental illness. The woman first began a job at SoHo in 2008, but in April 2009 took a four-month leave of absence because of a nervous disorder, seeking help from a psychiatrist. The leave was handled by a third-party company, alleged to have assured her that Apple wouldn't learn the details of her condition. On returning though the woman says it was "obvious" that other workers, "especially" the human resources director, had learned about her problem.
AT&T has released a new iPhone app, AT&T Video Link. The software is meant exclusively for iPhone 4 users, and connects deaf or otherwise hard-of-hearing people to AT&T's video relay service (VRS). This allows calls to people with regular hearing by way of an American Sign Language interpreter.
iZATT has released the latest addition to its Signal Series of apps for the iPhone and iPod touch, Bumps. The program works as a teaching aide for learning the Braille system. Users can view all 26 dot patterns on the screen, with or without the corresponding English letters displayed. All of the patterns can be viewed on one screen, or each can be presented full-screen. Users can also enter words to see how they are displayed in Braille.
Apple is adding new accessibility functions to iTunes, including updates to allow it to work with software used by the blind for reading the Internet, according to the Associated Press. Tony Olivero, of the National Federation of the Blind, recently demonstrated the technology at the Perkins School for the Blind. Olivero showed how a voice would read out whatever the mouse pointer was slid over, including file commands and movie, music and TV titles in the iTunes Store.
Apple has taken some important steps in helping with disabilities, says the American Foundation for the Blind. The non-profit aid and activism organization is mainly praising of the fourth-generation iPod nano, to which Apple has added software options for talking menus, as well as larger fonts. Previously, claims AFB president Carl Augusto, it was enormously difficult to find a particular track or artist on an iPod without skipping songs repeatedly.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE