back to article Oi, Apple fanbois. Your beloved Jesus Phones are pisspoor for disabled users

Apple describes their sexy new iPhone 7 and iOS 10 operating system as the most advanced yet. Well, they say that every year, don't they? However, despite the fanfare, press coverage, and queues outside Apple stores - except in Denmark - one group of iPhone users can be forgiven for feeling let down by Apple, yet again. With …

  1. stu 4

    Er - get a Samsung then ?

    I used to have iphones, found that samsung has more of the features I wanted.

    swapped to samsung.

    It just seems a very weird way to approach a problem you have with a product, when the completion has the solution - in any other sphere other than ones involving the pomaceous fruit:

    - you decided what features you want.

    - you buy product which has those features.

    The alternative strategy of deciding what features you want, then buying a product that doesn't have them and trying to persuade the company to add them seems a bit perverse ?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Er - get a Samsung then ?

      OS X has very good accessibility features, or so it's said. He has a MacBook, Continuity is nice and can be used as an accessibility feature, and presumably he thought the same care and attention would have carried through to iOS itself, but it seems that's not the case.

    2. Darryl

      Re: Er - get a Samsung then ?

      I've read a lot of articles that complain about Apple (and a lot of other companies, for sure, but the Apple ones usually contain the part about how they just bought yet another Apple product)

      It still amazes me that Apple seems to be the only product that people buy, then adjust their needs case to fit the product, instead of finding a product that fits their needs in the first place. There's usually some justification about how well it works with their other Apple products, but I'm sure if the author looked carefully at their Macbook, they'd notice some of the perhaps unconscious concessions they've made to use it as well.

      The fact remains, if you want something that does what you need it to do, go buy something that does what you need. Buying something else and then complaining about it, or adjusting your life to fit the product? Life's too short

      1. Sloppy Crapmonster

        Re: Er - get a Samsung then ?

        Hear hear! Shame on you for wanting to participate in society, cripple! Back in my day, you'd be sent off to a ward where we able-bodied folk didn't have to hear from you.

        1. Darryl

          Re: Er - get a Samsung then ?

          Yes, that's exactly what we're saying. Because everybody knows that "Society" is the equivalent of "Apple users"

        2. MrZoolook
          Facepalm

          Re: Er - get a Samsung then ?

          What the actual fuck are you talking about?

          Your appear to have tried using sarcasm against the OP, when in actual fact, you come across as implying the only phone that disabled people should use is iPhone? This suggests that, despite your obvious attempt, it is YOU and not the OP who think disabled people SHOULD be excluded from telecommunications, since it is YOU saying they should only use phones that don't help them communicate.

          Spectacular fail, well done! Those billy-goats are safe for now.

  2. Lee D Silver badge

    I have yet to find any Apple device or feature that I actually like.

    But accessibility is a major falling down for them. Their usability is general is questioned by lots of people and I honestly can't fathom how anyone thinks their things are "well-designed" rather than just "pretty".

    Have you seen how you set up an Apple iPad? Sliders for the date of birth is one of the first ones and I guarantee I have to hand-hold at least half my users through that part (yes, I could "skip that" and set up an account for them but this is the FIRST THING the user sees on buying an iPad and setting it up). And the women with fingernails find it almost impossible to get on the exact date.

    Then you have a series of screens with the "I don't want that" text getting into almost triple-negatives, being in a different place on the screen each time, and requiring a different, non-obvious way to continue (Set up Siri Later? Don't Add Passcode? Continue without adding Passcode? etc.).

    I always wonder what setting that up would be like for accessibility users. I've never seen the accessibility settings on that bit. With Windows machines, alright you have to turn on the accessibility options from the little blue thing but after that it can speak to you and do all sorts. And Samsung phones etc. seem to have the option early on too. But Apple doesn't have any of that until your iTunes account is created, signed in, all the first-time setup done and you go and manually turn it all on.

    It's not easy to make machines accessible. But almost no thought is given to it at all, and Apple aren't necessarily alone here.

    Shouldn't the very first question on the "Set up your machine" page be "Are you going to need help (e.g. text read out, larger fonts, voice control, etc.?).

    Even Slackware had a SpeakUp boot option for over two decades.

    1. paulf Silver badge

      "And the women with fingernails find it almost impossible to get on the exact date."

      I can't help thinking that if these women have fingernails that mean they can't select a date from the sliders they are likely to face wider problems than that with any capacitive touch screen device unless they use some kind of stylus.

      1. Lee D Silver badge

        Same women use touchscreen printers, tablets, phones and other devices all day long without issue.

        Even the REST of the iPad usage is okay.

        But why is the date a silly slider with a very limited area of hotspot, that can't take multitouch outside that hotspot?

      2. imaginarynumber

        "I can't help thinking that if these women have fingernails that mean they can't select a date from the sliders they are likely to face wider problems than that with any capacitive touch screen device unless they use some kind of stylus."

        Some of the Nokia Lumias had super sensitive screens that would allow you to use a finger nail rather than the fleshy part of your finger. They even worked with standard gloves.

    2. Blitterbug
      Facepalm

      Re: Have you seen how you set up an Apple iPad?

      This. I don't turn away business but when I get callouts to help 'rescue' iPads that 'helpful' family members have mis-configured for elderly relatives, I always groan. As long as Find My Phone isn't set up, no problem - I can do a factory reset with the button hold combo whilst connected to iTunes, but when I see the dreaded 'Please enter the password for the user abc....@icloud.com' it's usually game over and I tell the unhappy owner that they need to get the full login details from the family member who set it up. I then have to leave, unpaid (no fix no fee). I have literally had customers telling me it was set up by a relative who lives in Australia so they could Face Time them. And can they get these login details? No.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Have you seen how you set up an Apple iPad?

        >And the women with fingernails find it almost impossible to get on the exact date.

        Aha! Let's design and market some fake acrylic fingernails incorporating a conductive layer/filaments so that they can work on capacitive screens!

        Dang! I wrote the above before I googled for the existance of such things.... it turns out they've already been invented:

        http://www.cultofmac.com/210391/your-long-fingernails-can-now-be-transformed-into-touchscreen-styluses/

        But yeah, the use of skeuomorphic sliders or dials for entering numerical data (alarm clock settings, current date etc) instead of a virtual numberpad in Android is irritating (can't speak for iOS).

        1. Down not across Silver badge

          Re: Have you seen how you set up an Apple iPad?

          But yeah, the use of skeuomorphic sliders or dials for entering numerical data (alarm clock settings, current date etc) instead of a virtual numberpad in Android is irritating (can't speak for iOS).

          Quite often (no, not necessarily always) you can tap the number and get keypad popup to enter the number with (in Android, no, I can't speak for iOS either).

  3. SuccessCase

    "Whether Apple gives a shit about consumers like me is debatable but the way they design, build, and grow technology, affects its ability to relate to people that buy and use the things they make and that affects their bottom line, so here’s hoping."

    Ok I fully accept it sound as though this important feature is lacking. But Jesus, get an education about the history of the iPhone. Apple pioneered accessibility features and pushed the accessibility before any other phone manufacturer. They have advocated building accessibility into apps consistently and strongly, without having been asked or lobbied to do so. Every WWDC has a strong emphasis on accessibility and constant reminders to app developers to build in accessibility features from the outset. They always have multiple sessions on the topic and have built strong support into Xcode. They employ many disabled people including those with muscular dystrophy and have their feedback at the heart of OS design. All you have to do to prove this is view the catalogue of WWDC videos which clearly show the extent of their work on this and the level of their advocacy is anything but trivial or half hearted. They have shown immense pride in their pioneering work and are very far from giving the impression of not giving a shit. I find it hard to believe this feature could possibly be missing due merely to oversight.

    1. thesykes

      If it's not missing due to mere oversight, then why is it missing? Apple are incapable of programming an auto-answer feature, or, they really don't give a shit.

    2. Jemma Silver badge

      @ successcase

      Wrong.

      Symbian phones had voice answer well before the Crapple iPhone even existed, I know because my Nokia E70 supports it, is a 2005 model, and is still working perfectly a decade after I bought it. Dual core processor and a word compatible word processor anyone? Working well in 64mb of ram?

      I'd be very surprised if some of these features originated as "disabled user support", they more likely appeared as something for middle managers to show off, and happened to be useful for people in that unenviable position. Not that I'm cynical.

      Please stop blurting the "Apple created all" garbage

      1. SuccessCase

        Re: @ successcase

        "Wrong"

        Oh dear one of those socially incontinent commenters blurting "Wrong" without any logic or reference to anything actually.

        1. I haven't said Apple invented such a feature or anything at all in fact relating to the subject of accessibility.

        2. You seem to be equating this single feature to the vast feature set that is categorised by the Term "accessibility."

        3. You clearly don't know anything about the extensive work Apple have done or bothered to even check the references I have provided by way of reference to WWDC video's so let me make it easy for you.

        Check this link. Come back once you have educated yourself and tell me again Apple aren't bothered about Accessibility or haven't done pioneering work. <talking to self> Jeesh. Stay calm. This is the Internet. You have to deal with utter ignorance on a variety of topics. </talking to self>

        https://developer.apple.com/search/?type=Videos&q=Accessibility

        1. Blitterbug
          Meh

          Re: socially incontinent commenters

          And you started off sounding so reasonable. Do ad-hominem attacks often help promulgate one's point of view? Not usually. You seem to be upset by any outrage leveled at Apple. Why so upset? Clearly there is a major usability gap here, and there is simply no denying it. I agree you didn't say 'Apple is Da Shitz so there', but you are very defensive toward them. I personally regard the lack of voice call and answer as an non-negotiable dealbreaker, and for the article author this is clearly the case.

          I have worked in the disability tech field since the early eighties and am reasonably familiar with user requirements across many different disabilities. Most companies use disabled testers during usability testing including Microsoft. Why laud Apple in this way? If they got it wrong on such a major usability feature, why be so defensive? I don't understand.

        2. Jemma Silver badge

          Re: @ successcase

          Apple is almost as famous for nicking other people's ideas and claiming them as fanbois are of doing the precise same thing at ear damaging volume.

          This is a company that patented a bag, less than a month ago, that's right, an item that's been kicking around since early stone age man (or more likely woman) figured out how to connect one big piece of hide with another big piece of hide using a sharpened bit of bone and a long thin bit of hide.

          Good Gods, Crapple couldn't even be original with touch screens, the IBM Simon I think had one, and I know for sure the Ericcson R380 did cos there's mine sitting in the bedroom drawer!

          Stop reading apple propaganda and start learning for yourself, you will find like the rest of us in reality that Apple is a company that would have happily employed Joseph Goebbels (aka the poison dwarf) in a flash but for the inconvenience of him being dead, because there is and was no one better at disseminating bullshit.

          Although I still think it was a little nasty to kill heydrich with a botulinum grenade for basically giving Czech workers extra food and shorter hours.. British Leyland could have used him after the war.. After all the US government used the people responsible for the A4 (better known as the V2)to start NASA (too soon?).

          1. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: @ successcase

            Good Gods, Crapple couldn't even be original with touch screens, the IBM Simon I think had one

            It did indeed, but having been launched in 1992, was "preceded" by the Apple iPhone in 2007. Well, according to the fanbois at least...

            Have an upvote for being able to distinguish between fantasy and reality.

            [IBM's Simon could be used for] receiving and making phone calls, it was also able to send e-mails, faxes and messages.It also featured very useful applications like calendar,appointment scheduler, calculator, world clock,electronic notepad, address book etc.,

            *The rest of this post has been deleted following legal advice*

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: @ successcase

        Symbian could also announce the caller while ringing (a bit too much like Stephen Hawking than people expect today but it did the job). That and auto-answer were great for disabled people and Mondeo driving salesmen... I don't believe iOS and Android can do that out of the box 9 years later.

        Does anyone in Silly Valley sit down and think about how things are going to be used?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @ successcase

          > ... announce the caller while ringing ... auto-answer ...

          There is probably a patent or a dozen covering that functionality that have found their way into the hands of a troll^H^H^H^H^H non practising entity and Apple and Google probably don't want to deal with that sh!t anymore than they have to.

      3. Mikey

        Re: @ Jemma

        Oh sweet merciful $DEITY, someone else who has one of those excellent little phones still! they were amazing, were they not? I still have mine knocking around for when I inevitably find a way to break my (now 6th) N900, and it still feels like a decent phone after all this time. It's such a shame Nokia created some wonderful and unique form factors, and then ignored them for the bland and boring 'candybar' format.

        Still, a big thumbs up from me!

    3. Blitterbug
      Facepalm

      Re: I find it hard to believe this feature could possibly be missing due merely to oversight

      So... sheer bloody-mindedness, then?

    4. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. AndyFl

        israel_hands:

        Well said!

        The only problem for me is you have now put an image in my head that I can not remove. My (mental) eyes!!!

    5. Richard Jones 1

      That is Why I Still Use an Elderly Nokia

      @ SuccessCase Because my elderly Nokia can do the hands free that I NEED it is still in service and because these horrible touch me, look at me, love me phones are next to useless to me they remain in an untouched, unlooked at after the first few looks to check and unloved by me state. Perhaps you also use hammers to drive in screws, (I am not saying you actually do so by the way) others use screwdrivers. If you need a tool you need it to do the job you need done, otherwise it might as well be just a lump of sandy stuff and other minerals.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      >Apple pioneered accessibility features and pushed the accessibility before any other phone manufacturer.

      No (unsurprisingly) that was Nokia - you'll still find more blind people use feature phones rather than iPhones - they primarily want a usable phone - a few more want basic text-to-speech, most want buttons. Monolithic touchscreens are difficult for many - 80% of blind people for instance are over 65 and spent their working lives sighted - they don't have the 'superpowers' of spatial awareness you probably associate with (the comparatively small number of) people who have spent their life blind (and almost half of them are also hearing-impaired). Similarly <2% of blind people read Braille, <10% use screenreaders to access the internet and so on.

      The trend is similar with other disabilities - the vast majority of disabled people have become disabled later in life - the focus of accessibility tech is on those who are born disabled or become disabled young. This is understandable and not an inherently bad thing - but it leads to fundamental misconceptions about disabled people's use of technology and the exclusion of most from standards like WAI/WCAG or HIG.

      For disabled technophiles and youngsters iOS is definitely leading now, partly as Google make them look good with a very disjointed 2 step forward 1 step back approach. Nonetheless most disabled people still struggle with technology and internet. Also important to remember these companies are now legally required to make their devices accessible in the US and elsewhere - and they're all doing pretty badly if you really get to grips with the demographics of disability.

  4. BoldMan

    If Andriod phones have the features you need to use, buy an Android phone and stop being a Apple fanboi.

  5. paulf Silver badge
    Alert

    Fork lift drivers

    "If you are a worker driving a forklift truck, or a warehouse worker, and your hands are busy and the phone rings then you might appreciate these features."

    No disrespect intended to the main topic of the article but I'll respond to this side aspect. If you're driving a fork lift truck or other form of plant machinery, I'd respectfully suggest that you either fully concentrate on what you're doing OR safely stop what you're doing then answer a phone call, rather than trying to do both with the real risk of injury/death. It's one thing to be taking a call hands free while driving on the motorway, but quite another when you're trying to navigate a large load carrying vehicle around the limited spaces in a warehouse while avoiding various squishy meat bags.

    1. Halfmad

      Re: Fork lift drivers

      Any forklift truck driver answering his phone whilst moving is liable to be sacked on the spot from my experience in warehouses. Gross misconduct.

      Heck I even know a few places where personal phones aren't allowed anywhere and staff are contacted via PA system or walkie talkie only.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fork lift drivers

      ermmm... let's forget about phone calls, you do realize I hope that a lot of fork lift drivers and warehouse workers around the globe use voice features on different terminals ? They have an earpiece connected to a terminal. Computer uses text to speech to tell them where to go next, they reply with basic commands. Works nicely, and allows them to focus on what they're doing, as opposed to looking at a screen every so often.

      1. paulf Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Fork lift drivers

        @AC "ermmm... let's forget about phone calls, you do realize I hope that a lot of fork lift drivers and warehouse workers around the globe use voice features on different terminals ?"

        The whole point of the article is the accessibility features (or lack of them) built into the iPhone, and how this impacts people with reduced motor functions to place/answer phone calls.

        The terminals used by warehouse operatives are normally custom designed devices (i.e. not sodding iPhones), they're not personal phones (as per @Halfmad's point), and they're using it as a necessary part of concentrating on their primary activity. That's a bit different to taking a phone call about going down the local later for a pint (Icon it's Friday), confirming what you want for dinner that evening or anything else equally distracting while you're dashing across the warehouse floor with a metric shitload of gubbins filled pallets.

    3. cray74

      Re: Fork lift drivers

      It's one thing to be taking a call hands free while driving on the motorway, but quite another when you're trying to navigate a large load carrying vehicle around the limited spaces in a warehouse while avoiding various squishy meat bags.

      Generally agreed, and the forklift drivers I've seen at my current employer are cautious and patient - they're always stopping for foot traffic, and I don't think I've seen them use a phone while driving.

      In fact, the one forklift accident during my 3-year tenure actually involved the meat bag paying too much attention to her phone and not to forklifts. Mistakes were made on both sides for this to occur - the driver should've been more cautious turning the corner - but the electronic distraction was on the pedestrian's side. (Because the forklift was laden with crates, the young woman escaped impaling and only suffered a concussion and some skinned surfaces.)

      Our forklifts now have cab-mounted lights that project blue patches on the ground ahead and behind them. The patches on the ground supposedly give a brief warning that one of our too-quiet forklifts is approaching a corner if, you know, you're not head down over a cell phone in the middle of a factory.

      1. MrZoolook

        Re: Fork lift drivers

        I normally blast the horn a few times on the approach to a corner, and similarly if some idiot is on the phone in my way regardless.

        "Oh, sorry, your grandmother had a heart attack due to the fright of a load horn over the phone while you were talking to her? The best way to avoid that in future is to fuck off to the staff room for non work related calls!"

        Problem? Solved!

  6. SimonL

    *shakes head*

    My late mother having had mobility issues in her latter years, I fully appreciate the issues faced by the disabled and fully support the notion of providing solutions to all their problems.

    However, this article has me getting a bit grumpy with some people!

    When you have issues to overcome you select the right tool for the job. Money can also be tight for many disabled, especially when they are relying on benefits to help.

    So why on earth would they spend a premium on something that doesn't quite do the job they require? It honestly beggers belief that some are so darn brainwashed by brands like Apple that they are prepared to buy something that doesn't fill their needs (they are of course inteligent enough to check first, right?) then complain.

    Accessible/disabled friendly can tend to be more expensive, in the case of phones, it would appear the better option is probably the cheaper option!

    Why is this even an article? A paragraph in disabled media alerting fanbois that Apple products may not do everything would be all that's needed............

    Is this what the world is coming to? Vanity before well-being?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: *shakes head*

      eh? So there's no rich disabled people out there?

      No disabled people earning a good salary?

      Clearly the IPhone could be easily upgraded to provide the facility required and increase accessability.

      Imagine if you had the same argument for entrances to shops. Marks and Spencers don't need a ramp because disabled people should be shopping in Primark?

      1. AIBailey

        Re: *shakes head*

        Imagine if you had the same argument for entrances to shops. Marks and Spencers don't need a ramp because disabled people should be shopping in Primark?

        Totally different point there. Your argument is a legal requirement, the other is the whim of a manufacturer in a competitive market.

        This isn't about simply alienating rich disabled people, it's a comment about people choosing to buy a particular brand just because they want to and then complaining that it doesn't do what they need, rather than picking something suitable in the first place. As others have already pointed out, it's an odd way of thinking to buy a product that doesn't do what you want, then complaining that the manufacturer hasn't done anything about it. Surely 10 minutes of internet research, or 10 minutes in an Apple store, would have determined whether the phone was suitable for what was needed?

        It's like a wheelchair user buying a 2 seater sports car, then complaining that the manufacturer hasn't considered their needs because the car is too low, the seats too hard, and the boot too small for their chair.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: *shakes head*

          If there isn't a legal requirement then I can't see why there shouldn't be one. It's a mass market product.

          There are legal requirements for website accessibility. By developing this form of accessibility into the IPhone no one else is being disadvantaged. The cost of doing so is not prohibitive - so there's no reason why this section of disabled people should be refused use of the device.

          Let's also face it - all smartphones are shops in their own right.

          A 2 seater sports car is slightly different in that it is probable that with current technology you would end up with a completely different product in order to be able to produce it and cover all possible disabilities. It's not currently feasible (although that may change).

          Regardless of whether someone has bought one already or not it's not an unreasonable request for the device to be made accessible. Beyond legal requirements - it's surely the morally correct thing for such a company with the resources like Apple to do - they could have it out by next month and the costs would not even show up on their bank balance!

        2. Blitterbug
          Meh

          Re: complaining ... rather than picking something suitable in the first place

          What if the user likes the Apple ecosystem, use a Mac and have spent years tailoring their feature set and the way they get everyday things done between desktop and phone? Are they supposed to stop complaining and break their workflow by buying outside their favourite ecosystem which otherwise does everything they need? Bit harsh, don't you think?

          1. thesykes

            Re: complaining ... rather than picking something suitable in the first place

            Instead of buying a new iPhone 7 and then writing to Apple to ask for the feature, stick with your old phone and write to Apple saying that if they don't add it, you'll buy a Samsung and tell everyone you know to do the same. OK, they may not listen, but the threat of lost revenue is usually a thing that all companies listen to eventually.

            Try and get in there on launch day, raise the issue with national press. A headline of "New iPhone excludes disabled users" is not something Apple would appreciate.

            With all due respect to the author and The Register, complaining here about Apple is pretty pointless, they're not exactly best of buddies.

            1. Korev Silver badge

              Re: complaining ... rather than picking something suitable in the first place

              With all due respect to the author and The Register, complaining here about Apple is pretty pointless, they're not exactly best of buddies.

              An article like this is excellent to read as it provides insight into the problems that some people have using technology; it may mean that the devs and designers on here can design products so they accommodate this people with disabilities.

              A broken leg earlier in this year was a very rude awakening as to what it's like to struggle to do "normal" things for me; I'm pretty much ashamed to have not given this much thought before.

        3. tiggertaebo

          Re: *shakes head*

          "Imagine if you had the same argument for entrances to shops. Marks and Spencers don't need a ramp because disabled people should be shopping in Primark?

          Totally different point there. Your argument is a legal requirement, the other is the whim of a manufacturer in a competitive market."

          And the reason why it's a legal requirement? Because leaving it up to "the whim of a retailer in a competitive market" (to paraphrase) could lead to people like the author being excluded from shops that didn't want to spend the time/money/effort to make their premises accessible to people with restricted mobility. Obviously you can't feasibly make all products and services accessible to all but IMHO all reasonable efforts should be made, and while in the majority of cases the extra custom from mobility impaired customers won't come anywhere near paying for the cost of the adaptions that doesn't make it acceptable and that's where the laws come in.

          I'm not necessarily saying there should be a law in this case but leaving this, relatively simple feature out is pretty poor form for Apple and it's absolutely right for people like the author to highlight that. Saying she should "just use Android" instead is pretty weak really.

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: *shakes head*

            >It honestly beggers belief that some are so darn brainwashed by brands like Apple that they are prepared to buy something that doesn't fill their needs (they are of course inteligent enough to check first, right?) then complain.

            Eh? It is clear that for this user, the iPhone does things an Android can't, else he would be using an Android phone. The reason he is railing at Apple to provide a feature found on Android phones - instead of railing at Google et al to provide features found in iPhones - is that iPhones work well with his Mac (as he said).

            1. Pompous Git Silver badge
              Trollface

              Re: *shakes head*

              It is clear that for this user, the iPhone does things an Android can't, else he would be using an Android phone.

              Yep! An iPhone is a fashion accessory and an Android isn't. End of story.

            2. MrZoolook

              Re: *shakes head*

              Quote: It is clear that for this user, the iPhone does things an Android can't, else he would be using an Android phone.

              It's clear that an Android phone does things he wants that he can't do in an iPhone... yet he buys the product that doesn't suit his needs.

              I'm curious why your defending his stupidity in buying products he can't use?

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: *shakes head*

          >the other is the whim of a manufacturer in a competitive market.

          No it's not - smartphone accessibility is a explicit legal requirement (US/FCC) - albeit one linked to accessibility standards which set a very low bar. UK law is not as explicit and a case could well fail, but it's certainly arguable here too.

  7. kmac499

    Add a third party gadget to your wheelchair ?? Err Some of my wheelchair using chums have more than one chair, indoors, outdoors urban use and the occassional rufty tufty off road job. (Which; if youre listening Fiona; I would love to have a play with btw)

    But that's the crApple attitude again, as they have thought of and 'designed' the absolute best experience (til' next year) anything or anybody outside the reality distortion field is a heretic and doesn't really matter.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I really don't see the problem with the Apple attitude

      As others have noted above, you're not forced to buy the things. You can't fix a roof rack on a Boxster, so if you need to transport ladders and planks you probably don't buy one for during the week.

      The only real problem with mobile phones is that phone calls and text messages are linked to phone number. If only everything was routed over IP, it would be easy to swap from phone to phone (and carrier to carrier) according to need. Maybe in ten years.

      1. thesykes

        Re: I really don't see the problem with the Apple attitude

        If only everything was routed over IP, it would be easy to swap from phone to phone (and carrier to carrier) according to need.

        Really? Take your sim out of old phone, put it into new phone. Job done.

        Need a different size sim? Go to shop, ask them and (in my experience) they'll sort that out while your there.

        Moving network? Buy your new sim, tell them you want to port your number, all sorted in a couple of days.

        Need more than one network due to coverage problems? Buy a dual sim phone.

        There are many reasons that swapping phones can be a pain, moving your number isn't one of them.

        1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
          Pint

          "Take your sim out of old phone, put it into new phone. Job done."

          I've had mobile phones since forever. Not once have I ever been able to transfer a SIM card from one phone to the next.

          Often the size of the card has shrunk, again and again.

          Or we're changing carriers at the same time.

          Or, just when think it might work this time, the new phone needs an LTE version SIM.

          I know that it's possible, but I've never done it. Not once.

          And yes, I now have a SIM cutter and size adapters on standby.

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: "Take your sim out of old phone, put it into new phone. Job done."

            >If only everything was routed over IP, it would be easy to swap from phone to phone (and carrier to carrier) according to need.

            >>Really? Take your sim out of old phone, put it into new phone. Job done.

            That really is a sub-optimal solution. A better situation would be being able to just grab whichever phone is most suitable for your activity as you leave your house - a cheap simple phone for drunken night out or walk in the woods, a bigger screened phone for a long train journey so you can pass the time reading TheReg, a lightweight simple phone for jogging.

            What you outline is akin to having assorted footwear, but only a single pair of laces that need to swapped between your walking boots, your trainers and your black Oxfords every time you go out.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Agree, but please ..

    .. only ever as an option.

    I sympathise with the author, but let's not forget that phones may have voice recognition, but they don't have voice authentication (which is why I'm not that keen on the whole Home Kit stuff yet) and I don't want a random stranger say "Siri, answer" when my phone rings (or "Siri, wipe and reset this phone" but I suspect that won't work anyway - I must try this after a backup :) ).

    It's also putting temptation right in front of the few remaining drivers who do NOT answer their phone when driving - I have stopped taking calls in the car (even with bluetooth) because it's just too distracting, when it gets complex you'd have to stop anyway. I rather ring back when I'm parked somewhere.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Scraping the Apple whinge barrel?

    Really? It's just an expensive(ish) phone. Without Steve Jobs, Apple isn't particularly going anywhere. Why not take a look at other tech companies? Elon Musk seems to be the new visionary these days...

    Oh and accessibility is a regulatory/government thing, not a feature request. I suggest you write to the regulator about mandating voice answer. Probably Apple had 't thought about it, rather than picking on you.

  10. PassiveSmoking

    Depends on the disability

    I'm visually impaired to the point where I'll never be able to drive.

    For me, the iPhone is by far the most accessible phone I've ever had. Apple put a lot of thought into the needs of the visually disabled with features such as full screen zoom, screen colour inversion, etc, all of which work even if the writer of a given app didn't give a toss about disabled people (most apps have hard-coded font sizes, for example, and ignore the font size you specify in settings).

    Prior to getting my first iPhone (An iPhone 4) I had an android device (HTC Desire). That didn't have any accessibility features at all. Nothing. I don't know what the state of play is nowadays with android and accessibility but given that Apple were prepared to cater for my needs long before android were (assuming they've bothered to actually fix their lack of accessibility features) I don't really care. Apple catered for my needs, so they get my custom.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Depends on the disability

      > I had an android device (HTC Desire). That didn't have any accessibility features at all. Nothing.

      The HTC Desire certainly did provide accessibility options - they've been there since Android 1.6 - it shipped with 2.x.

  11. Simon Rockman

    Thank the AARP

    Mobile phone manufacturers, in the main, are very poor at all kinds of features to help those who struggle with technology. What we do have usually comes from the FCC mandating features and that only happens because the US senior citizens group AARP, has lobbied for them.

    ARRP is like a cross between Saga and Age UK, it used to stand for the American Association of Retired Professionals until the organisation realized (sic) that most of its members were no retired.

    1. Alumoi

      Re: Thank the AARP

      Mobile phone manufacturers, in the main, are very poor at all kinds of features to help those who struggle with technology.

      I beg to differ. They are dumbing down everything they can so even those people can use them.

  12. Evil Auditor Silver badge
    FAIL

    Colin Hughes, I think you are mistaken on a few points. I absolutely agree that an ethical company would want to help disabled users. I'm a bit confused though - you didn't attribute "ethical company" to Apple, did you? I mean, we're talking about Apple here. At best it's a company that strives to show an ethical facade. And do you seriously believe that Apple wants to be associated with cripples? Young, dynamic, healthy, idiotic, rich. That's their user archetype. If their staff is anything to go by (check their average age!) I might replace the latter with "white".

    I'm off to order a OnePlus and see if it's any better. Luckily I don't have any other Apple stuff to integrate with.

    (icon for Apple, not the article)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm a bit confused though - you didn't attribute "ethical company" to Apple, did you? I mean, we're talking about Apple here. At best it's a company that strives to show an ethical facade.

      Err, no, it actually does a couple of sensible things for a very simple reason: its customers are sensitive to it. For a US company, there's no better motive. Of course, the competition does not, so as soon as Apple has found something that needs correcting it gets trumpeted as something that Apple did wrong rather than something that Apple is correcting, but others are not (because those others rather prefer not to have that under the spotlight).

      There are enough things that Apple does which need improving, but that is precisely NOT one of them - it's ahead there.

  13. Mage Silver badge

    Apple unsuited?

    Why buy an iPhone at all? Apart from a better touch interface than almost all others in the first year, they have always been overpriced, poor performance, hyped and at least since iPhone 4 or 5 no advantage over the cheaper, better performance competition.

    I use a Sony Ericsson Xperia Z1 bought S/H for €50. Had it for ages now.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_Xperia_Z1

    It has a real phone jack, micro USB, micro SDHC (32G card plugged in), Micro HDMI, nice FM radio and good enough camera.

    I have for comparison a 32G iPhone 5 I was given, much inferior. I used it a few days and went back to the far better Z1

    The new iPhone 7 sounds dreadful for nearly £600! No earphone socket, no SD card slot, worse battery life than iPhone 6 (which was already poor).

    Loads of far cheaper far better phones out there.

    The "eco system" argument is bogus. A Mac user can use any brand of phone and MacOS != iOS and also any OS Laptop can use an iPhone (I was surprised I can connect iPhone 5 to Linux and browse / read/write all the files, no iTunes installed, I doubt that works on Windows or Mac).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Apple unsuited?

      The "eco system" argument is bogus. A Mac user can use any brand of phone and MacOS != iOS and also any OS Laptop can use an iPhone (I was surprised I can connect iPhone 5 to Linux and browse / read/write all the files, no iTunes installed, I doubt that works on Windows or Mac).

      No, it isn't bogus. Their integration works. I can cut on a Mac and paste it on the adjacent iPhone. I can start an email on my iPhone, and continue work on it on my Mac. I can sync wirelessly. If the iPhone rings I can pick it up on my iPad or even on my Mac which will become a speakerphone for the duration (and the reverse, I can dial from the Mac and the PSTN call gets routed via the iPhone whilst my Mac acts as a speakerphone).

      It does actually all work. I've even began testing their "Live" things and the beta sharing of mostly Keynote (don't use anything else although Pages might be used later too if we find it's OK for low security collaborations) - so far, it works fine on iPad and MacOS but it requires the use of iCloud which means we won't use it for anything confidential (it wouldn't pass our compliance audit as it's US hosted).

  14. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    Apple - not as smart as they think they are

    Re. Apple iPhone 7. No headphone socket (except via stupid Lightning adapter).

    Apple Fanboi settles down for his 15-hour flight. Enjoying his newfangled wireless Apple Earbud iThingies.

    Flight Attendant taps him on shoulder, and reminds him that *all* wireless devices and functions are still banned on this airline.

    Flight Attenant says, "Please turn off *all* of your iPhone's wireless functions, including Bluetooth, and including your obviously wireless earphones. They're wireless and thus not permitted. Turn them off. Thank you, enjoy the rest of your flight."

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Apple - not as smart as they think they are

      The Lightning > 3.5mm adaptor works in 'Airplane' (all radios off) mode. That you can't use wireless headphones on planes is already an issue that affects buyers of wireless headphones from Sennheiser, Bowers and Wilkens, Bose, Sony... anyone who makes wireless headphones, in facSome models will work as wired cans, but only with an extra cable, obviously, a solution no different to a dongle.

      As an Android user, it doesn't affect me... and it doesn't affect you either.

      1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Apple - not as smart as they think they are

        Dave "As an Android user, it doesn't affect me..."

        I recall when Google Nexus starting omitting the SD Card slot. So many had assumed that sort of idiocy was only an Apple affectation.

        A safer assumption is that phones are some sort of battle ground. And the users' interests don't figure in the OEM's calculations.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Apple - not as smart as they think they are

          Since when users' interest had anything to do with $big_corporations?

  15. Alan Denman

    A case of..

    the right hand iUser not knowing what the left hand iUser is saying.

    It was never really A Tittle & Tattle.

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