“This is ny first iPone status”
I composed that famous sentence nearly 10 years ago, on September 23 2012 from a relatively warm bonus-room sort of set up in my mom’s PineBluff home. It took me a mind-boggling 45 minutes to peck at that keyboard, double tapping on each letter I wished to enter and, I suppose, with no auto correct to help me. Yet I felt a sense of pride at having managed to at least get some sort of status up for my friends to see.
As told in previous posts, I’d acquired said iPhone two days prior, as I knew I would be relocating away from the city and wanted to have some sort of connection available. Little did I know at the time, but this old phone in its myriad versions has become so much more than I ever could have expected. (And as an aside, Itypedmyfirsttextwithnospacesinitatall. I am surprised the recipient was able to interpret that message’s intended meaning.)
That was way back in the days of the iPhone 4, when one’s cell company would allow them to be had free with contract. My poor self would likely not have entered this rarefied world of tech for another couple years otherwise, especially as I had no job at the time. And yes the main thing to which I had to acclimate was that small keyboard on the smooth glass screen.
With As my skills improved in typing and actually performing other gestures, the phone became a portal to the world around me in ways I could not have imagined. I probably have six GPS apps onboard, all of which give me slightly different information about things. One of my favorite things to do nowadays is to build a more robust mental map of city and country layouts by looking up the actual GPS coordinates. This even makes reading certain books, such as one I recently read about an Alaskan cruise, more fun.
I of course do more mundane but equally important tasks with this device, such as managing my credit card and bank account, paying bills, and the like. Hey, I can remember a time when blind folk would have needed visual assistance simply to complete those tasks, so I do not take their easy availability for granted. I know too that such things don’t come without risks, as I recently had to close a card because of some fraudulent nonsense, but sadly that’s just part of the price if one wishes to use electronic transactions in this way. You just secure yourself to the extent possible, and keep an eye on things.
I don’t really know how much more they can make this technology do, but I have recently downloaded iOS 16. I like it, but had chosen to get it being well aware that the earliest version would likely have some bugs. The main one I notice is that notifications don’t seem to clear from the Notification Center as quickly as they should. Usually I just have to do some swiping around though and the message will disappear. I also notice that VoiceOver, the iPhone’s text-to-speech reader, seems to pronounce some words more correctly than it had before and some less so. But then it’s likely near to impossible to ever get all of these pronunciations right, and it’s generally not a big deal for your average blind reader.
Probably the biggest reason I decided to get iOS 16 quickly is so that I could play with the new Eloquence voices, which are the same voices that many of us blind folks have used on Windows with JAWS and NVDA. I did try listening to these voices in the phone, but I suppose it will just take some getting used to. I know these voices are typically more discernable for me with my hearing loss on the PC, but they don’t seem to confer the same advantage for me in the iOS environment. This may have more to do with my having gotten used to the Samantha voice I’ve been using with VoiceOver since that long-ago 4.
And those are some random, varied thoughts I’m having as I celebrate ten years in possession of the iPhone. The models I’ve had over that time are: 4 (2 of them), 4S, 6 (2 of them), 7, 8, and 12 Pro. I do not plan to get another one until this I have now is no longer supported.
“This is ny first iPone status”