#iACast 31 – Celebrating 10 Years of iPhone

In this episode of the , which was recorded on January 11, 2017, join Michael, Daniel, Ashley, Jason, and Matt as they discuss the impact Apple’s iPhone has had on the world, and on their lives.

A Note about Capacitive Touch Screens

There was some confusion about how capacitive touch screens work. Touch input on the iPhone has nothing to do with body heat; instead, capacitive touch screens can work with anything that holds an electrical charge, including human skin. When you touch your iPhone’s screen, an electrical circuit is completed, and then the coordinates of that touch are translated by the iPhone. For more information, check out this helpful article: Okay, but how do touch screens actually work?

Jessica’s iPhone Story

In this episode, everyone explained how they found out about the iPhone, and their journey as it relates to smartphones. Since I, Jessica, was not on the podcast, the group asked me to detail my experiences in the show notes.

When I first heard about the iPhone, I thought people were silly for running out and paying a bunch of money for a slab of glass. I couldn’t understand how anyone would want to use a touch screen phone, much less someone, like myself, who is low vision. I figured it would register a bunch of accidental touches, and that I would struggle to see the interface. I only knew one person with the first iPhone, and I had a brief experience with it when she showed me some pictures. As I swiped through the pictures, pinching to zoom in and out as needed, I briefly considered it as an option. However, that thought quickly vanished when I remembered how expensive the phone was, and that it was not available on Verizon. So, I continued for nearly 4 years on my quest to find a cell phone that would meet my needs as a low vision user. I constantly looked on Verizon’s website for new phones, and watched phone reviews on YouTube, looking for what might be my dream phone. I had flip phones, and messaging phones, and I even owned a couple of Windows Mobile smartphones. They all fell short. In 2009, when I heard the iPhone had a screen reader, I was blown away. I still couldn’t see how anyone who was low vision or blind would want to use it, but I was intrigued. I hunted down some podcasts, and listened to some demonstrations of people using VoiceOver. It seemed neat, but typing seemed slow and time consuming. Nevertheless, I purchased a 3rd Generation iPod Touch in November of 2009. I was slow to catch on, but by the end of 2010, I carried it with me everywhere. Then, it happened – Verizon got the iPhone in 2011, and I immediately upgraded to the iPhone 4. I’ve had an iPhone ever sense, and it has, without a doubt, changed my life. Thanks to zoom and VoiceOver, I can easily use my phone for anything and everything a fully-sighted person can do. I text, take pictures, send and receive email, use social media, and so much more. It is amazing! It has also made the world around me more accessible. I use it as a magnifier, to read my mail and cooking instructions, and I even use it to set my thermostat. I can use it to see things that are far away from me, and if I need some help seeing something, family members and friends are a FaceTime call away! The iPhone is a game changer for those of us with disabilities, and for the world as a whole.

iPhone Announcement

Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone at Mac World on January 9, 2007. He said it was a phone, an iPod, and an internet communication device. Check out that announcement below.

As always, thank you for checking out ! We hope you’ve enjoyed this episode! Please share it with friends, and come back to iAccessibility.net for more of your accessible technology needs!

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