Sprint announced today has officially launched a free downloadable application providing easier access to an Android smartphone's functionality for customers who are blind or have low vision.
Developed by Code Factory, the full suite of Mobile Accessibility features is being offered by Sprint under the name "Wireless Accessibility," at no charge through the Android Market to Sprint, Boost Mobile, and Virgin Mobile USA customers.
Mobile Accessibility has been specifically designed by Code Factory for people who are blind or visually impaired and for elderly individuals or those who cannot read print on smartphones because of physical, perceptual, developmental, cognitive or learning disabilities. The application features a simplified user interface and textual information that is spoken aloud using voice synthesis to aid navigation of the device.
This Code Factory application typically costs $99 on Android Market, but it is now available for free for postpaid Sprint customers with Android 2.1+ smartphones activated on a monthly service plan that includes data, such as the Everything Data plan starting at $79.99. The app also is free for no-contract customers with Android 2.1+ smartphones on Virgin Mobile USA's Beyond Talk or Boost Mobile's Monthly or Daily Unlimited plans.
The application is available in both English and Spanish. As of today, customers on Sprint, Boost Mobile or Virgin Mobile USA can download the app from Android Market under the name "Wireless Accessibility EN" for English and "Wireless Accessibility ES" for Spanish.
Features of Wireless Accessibility:
- Touch navigation: Users can simply move their finger around the screen and the voice synthesis will read the text located under their finger. They can swipe up/down/right/left and tap on the screen to navigate through the interface, and they can enable sound and vibration feedback.
- Easy to input text: In or outside the Mobile Accessibility suite users can use the touch QWERTY keyboard or speech recognition to write text quickly and easily – making it possible to write an SMS or email using their voice only.
- Voice synthesis: Provides customers natural sounding voice read back.
Wireless Accessibility functionality:
- Phone: Make calls, answer calls, hear the caller ID and manage their call log.
- Contacts: App tells user how many contacts they have and speaks the contact's name they selected.
- SMS: Virtual keyboard is larger and fills the entire screen. When the user clicks a letter on the keyboard, the app reads the letter to them. This makes it easier for them to compose emails or SMS messages. It also reads SMS messages to the user.
- Alarms: Set their alarms.
- Web: Full Web browser experience; also reads text from Web page to the user.
- Calendar: Create, edit and delete a calendar entry. View all events per day, week or month.
- Email: Full access to Gmail accounts; reads emails to the user.
- Where am I?: GPS application that gives the user an update about their current location.
- Access to basic phone functions, such as date and time or missed calls. User can click on the function and it speaks to them.