I finally got around to writing my review of the Apple Watch and its accessibility features. When I first got it, I deliberately held off, figuring that anyone could write an article saying that the Apple Watch rules. I wanted to write something more thoughtful. After two months wearing the watch, my opinion has not changed, and I should have just written it then. Apple has described it as their most personal device and I agree. They have created the first accessible wearable and I love it.
I recently celebrated Towel Day, a day to honor the life of Douglas Adams, author of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The book sells so well because it has “Don’t Panic” on the front in large friendly letters. It inspired me to make a Don’t Panic alarm for my Mac. Sorry I don’t know how to do this in Windows, perhaps someone can leave instructions in the comments.
A few weeks ago I participated in EvoHaX, an accessibility hackathon which happened as part of Philly Tech Week. Ather Sharif of EvoX Labs did a wonderful job organizing it. I had other commitments during the main coding day, so we compromised and made me a judge. I also gave a little speech poking fun at their prize of a Google Chromebook. I enjoyed the experience and feel glad they have already said they will do it next year.
As I detailed at great length, I have FIOS, Verizon’s fiber optic internet service. I have never liked using stock firmware mainly for accessibility reasons, but also because we just don’t know what it may contain. For a while I used Tomato, but have decided to switch to OpenWRT. I thought I’d have an easy time porting over my network’s settings and that I could then continue on my merry way. I thought wrong.
Check out this talk I gave at Philly Cocoa, a meetup for Mac and iOS programmers. It covers what we know about Apple Watch’s accessibility (not much) and shows how to build an Apple Watch extension in RubyMotion. For more information check out Apple’s WKInterfaceObject reference. I also released a new version of Motion-Accessibility with initial WatchKit support.