Amazon has announced a handful of new updates to its universal Kindle app for iOS, designed to make it easier for blind and visually impaired users to navigate their way through the app.
While the update is hitting the iOS app first of all, Amazon says it will be landing on other devices in the future.
Kindle gets VoiceOver support
Version 3.7 of the Kindle app taps Apple’s VoiceOver tech to introduce a new read-aloud feature for more almost 2 million titles in the Kindle Store.
Just to recap, VoiceOver is a so-called screen reader feature that was first popularized on Apple Macs, and went on to become a standard iOS feature on iPhone 3GS and later. It’s essentially a gesture-based screen reader, enabling users to interact with their device even if they can’t see the screen.
So, instead of memorizing tonnes of keyboard commands, or pressing arrow keys to find things, VoiceOver lets users touch the screen to hear a description of the item under their finger, then gesture with a double-tap, drag or flick to take control.
In terms of the Kindle app, this has big implications for how users will be able to interact with the on-screen content. For example, some of the activities users will now able to do include; navigate within their library or within a book; navigate to a specific page within a book and sort books in the library by author or title; read character-by-character, word-by-word, line-by-line, or continuously; and search for a book within their library.
Users will also be able to tap other features such as X-Ray, as well as sharing to Facebook and Twitter, and looking up words in the built-in dictionary and on Wikipedia.
And, crucially, they’ll be able to change the font, text size, background color and use other accessibility features such as Zoom and Assistive Touch.
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