Mobile Roundup 6

One of the most important aspects of developing an application is usability. When you come up with your app concept, you have to think about who will use your app. That’s where accessibility comes in. Accessibility is the practice of creating products or services that are accessible to people of differing abilities. Empathy is an important part of development; you should make software that is usable by everyone regardless of their ability. To avoid making an app that’s inaccessible, check out the resources below.

iOS Accessibility WWDC 2015 - Every year at Apple’s annual conference WWDC, the Accessibility iOS team presents their latest advances. In this video, an engineer goes over UIAccessibility, Guided Access and more. UIAccessibility is a built-in class for iOS and OS development, it allows you define how you want users, who have varying accessibility settings turned on, to interact with your application. Guided Access is a tool for students who need less distractions while using iOS apps. It restricts the student to one application and disables parts of the screen that could be distracting for them to interact with. If you want to implement the new Accessibility features for iOS9, watch this video.

Accessibility for Apple Developers - This guideline links to all of Apple’s programming guides, sample code, and presentation videos on accessibility topics. If you are developing an app for iOS, this is a must-have guide when it comes to making your app accessible, especially for those who are differently abled.

Android Accessibility Developer Checklist - If you are an Android developer, this checklist goes through all of the accessibility requirements and further recommendations you should implement to make your Android app fully accessible. There are even special cases for interfaces you can implement like text field hints. Text field hints ensure that a reader who cannot see the text field will be read information aloud that informs them what needs to be typed into that field.

Usability: Accessibility - This usability guide from Android applies to any mobile platform. Unsure about what parts of your app might need improving? Go through this guide to figure out the right questions to ask. Asking questions will help you understand what isn’t accessible in your app. This guide is great if you need an overview about how differently abled users interact with their phones. For example some users may use their phone via voice control only, with a switch or without color. Whether it’s navigation or readability, the guide will help you understand in depth what you need to change in your app implementation in order to make it accessible.