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Old 05-01-2013, 10:21 AM   #1
Loosheesh
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Amazon Bringing New Accessibility Features to Free Kindle Reading Apps

I don't see anything about this posted yet. Not sure if here is right place for it, so mods feel free to do whatever.

Quote:
New accessibility features of the Kindle app enable blind and visually impaired customers to:

Read aloud over 1.8 million titles available in the Kindle Store using Apple’s VoiceOver technology. Over 300,000 of these books are exclusive to the Kindle Store. Over 900,000 books are less than $4.99; over 1.5 million are less than $9.99.
Seamlessly navigate within their library or within a book, with consistent title, menu and button names; 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, as well as move forward or backward in the text.
Search for a book within their library or search within their book and navigate to specific text.
Add and delete notes, bookmarks, and highlights.
Use customer-favorite features like X-Ray, End Actions and sharing on Facebook and Twitter.
Look up words in the dictionary and Wikipedia.
Customize the reading experience including changing the font, text size, background color, margin, and brightness.
Use iOS accessibility features like Zoom, Assistive Touch, and Stereo to Mono, as well as peripheral braille displays.
More here.
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:20 AM   #2
Jessica Lares
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This is great news! VoiceOver is not for the casual user though, so it's not really good for us that just want Kindle Keyboard like text-to-speech. It makes using the device a nightmare. But good for those that REALLY need it!
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Old 05-01-2013, 12:18 PM   #3
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Great news. Amzon must have started making use of features from Ivona then. Hope they release it for Android app soon.
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Old 05-01-2013, 12:42 PM   #4
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Interesting; the Android app got carousel navigation and the iOS app got accessibility.
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Old 05-01-2013, 06:41 PM   #5
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Interesting. I wonder how the Authors Guild will react; some might recall that the Guild freaked out when the Kindle 2 came with text-to-speech features.
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Old 05-01-2013, 07:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessica Lares View Post
This is great news! VoiceOver is not for the casual user though, so it's not really good for us that just want Kindle Keyboard like text-to-speech. It makes using the device a nightmare. But good for those that REALLY need it!
So very true! I tested it and didn't keep it on for more than five minutes, it was that annoying. But big hurray for the people it's meant for.
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:31 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by tubemonkey View Post
Interesting; the Android app got carousel navigation and the iOS app got accessibility.
They can keep that damn carousel far away from the iOS app IMO. I hated it on the Fire. Folder navigation would be nice, but apparently Bezos has folderphobia.
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Old 05-02-2013, 01:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninjalawyer View Post
Interesting. I wonder how the Authors Guild will react; some might recall that the Guild freaked out when the Kindle 2 came with text-to-speech features.
Well, to be honest, there are some audiobooks that are shockingly bad. Jim Dale is brilliant, Simon Vance is also great, and the books they gave out when Whispersync for Voice was first introduced are great listens. However, the guy who narrated Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson was awful. There are a few audiobooks and textbooks I had to listen to in school where the narration was just as poor, if not worse.

I like the version of Jane Eyre I got with the Whispersync promo. I wish that it had come out a year earlier so I could have it for my senior year in high school when I had to read it. The audiobook I got then went slow, REALLY slow. I even had to speed it up just so I wouldn't fall asleep listening to it.

So in the case of bad audiobooks, you should have the option of using text-to-speech. Otherwise you're just wasting your money. You're not paying $9.99+ for just a plain readout, you're paying for the experience, from someone who knows the book front front to back, and who is enjoying it as much as you are.
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Old 05-02-2013, 02:50 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by din155 View Post
Great news. Amzon must have started making use of features from Ivona then. Hope they release it for Android app soon.
VoiceOver is a feature of iOS itself, so I doubt we'll see it on Android.
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Old 05-02-2013, 05:27 AM   #10
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This is good news for the blind, but what I wanted was the ability to use Vista's Speech Recognition program to control the KindlePC app. Once you have to book open it works fine to tunm the pages and to open and close the program but it cannot open the books by saying something like "Open War and Peace". There doesn't seen any way to select books using only your voice and not the mouse.
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Old 05-02-2013, 11:49 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessica Lares View Post
This is great news! VoiceOver is not for the casual user though, so it's not really good for us that just want Kindle Keyboard like text-to-speech. It makes using the device a nightmare. But good for those that REALLY need it!
It is not that bad, you just need to make it easier to turn VoiceOver on and off (i.e. don't leave VoiceOver on all of the time):
- go to Settings, General, Accessibility, Triple-click Home
- set Triple-click Home Button option to 'VoiceOver'

Then when you want a TTS-ish experience in the Kindle app (or iBooks or whatever), open your book and triple-click the Home button to turn VO on. With VO on, double-tap does what single tap used to. Single tap reads out a single line. Two-finger swipe down initiates continuous reading. Then to turn off VO and return to 'normal' navigation, triple-click Home. (for iBooks continuous reading, you need to set the Theme text option to 'scrolling text')

Compared to Kindle TTS, there is a slight pause and a little squeeky sound at page turns (to audibly confirm page turns), and you cannot lock the screen and have it continue to read the text.

You can adjust reading speed and home button click speed in the Accessibility settings.

It will read out text in any language iOS supports, but you need to set the device Language to match the text language (Settings, General, International, Language).

It works with all (reflowable) books without regard to whether TTS is enabled for that title.

The Author's Guild is not going to complain about this, since the primary focus of VoiceOver is making the device accessible, this is an iOS feature, iBooks does it, etc. They will run afoul of ADA (American Disability Act) watchdogs and look like big bullies if they do make a stink. They'll be fighting Apple as well as Amazon and the US government (ADA).

Last edited by tomsem; 05-02-2013 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 05-02-2013, 07:09 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by jswinden View Post
They can keep that damn carousel far away from the iOS app IMO. I hated it on the Fire. Folder navigation would be nice, but apparently Bezos has folderphobia.
I hate it too. That's why I put ADW Launcher on my Fire. I gotta have folders.
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Old 05-03-2013, 02:20 AM   #13
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I already have AssistiveTouch as my triple-click tomsem as I have a hard time with the buttons since they're on the right side and I can't use my right hand, otherwise I would do it.

I know you can set multiple settings for it, but it makes using it even slower, and VoiceOver is slow as it is already like I said.
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Old 05-03-2013, 03:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessica Lares View Post
I already have AssistiveTouch as my triple-click tomsem as I have a hard time with the buttons since they're on the right side and I can't use my right hand, otherwise I would do it.

I know you can set multiple settings for it, but it makes using it even slower, and VoiceOver is slow as it is already like I said.
Yeah, it seems a bit cruel that triple click is an Accessibility feature. It is not very accessible.
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