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Accessibility

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nolan
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Last seen: 11 years 8 months ago
Joined: 07/04/2010 - 12:30
Accessibility

Hello. I recently purchased DoggCatcher and think that it's great. I'm having a few issues, though, and am hoping that these features might maake the next release, or until then, that folks can tell me if I'm missing something.

I'm blind, and find some aspects of the UI are either confusing, or are inaccessible via the keyboard. I develop Android apps myself, including Spiel (the only non-Google Android screen reader) and a few others not yet released, so I can field more developer-oriented questions on how to resolve these issues if desired.

1. In the items view, there appear to be unlabeled buttons on top and bottom of the list. What are these for, and can they be labeled in the next release? If you're using ImageButtons that don't have text, you can set an android:contentDescription property in your layout XML to add a label that won't be displayed on-screen but will be picked up by screen readers.

2. I'm trying to import podcasts from an OPML file exported via my desktop. When I get the screen listing available feeds, is there any way to select feeds via the keyboard? I've tried clicking with the d-pad, long-clicking via same and using the menu button, but nothing seems to work. As a temporary measure, I've been randomly tapping at the screen, trying not to hit the preview button. Via this method I've managed to add a small handful of podcasts, but it is time-consuming and error-prone. Here is how I suggest fixing this if it isn't yet possible:

Please either make the feed items checkboxes, with a context menu that provides keyboard access to the feed preview option. In this way, the UI remains mostly unchanged but the preview option becomes accessible in a way that is unobtrusive. If you don't want to make the feeds checkboxes, then calling setContentDescription("selected") or something similar on feeds once they're clicked should also work--once their onClickHandler is overridden, that is. Also, it might help to add a menu with "select/deselect all" options for the common case of exporting a bunch of feeds and wanting to sync them.

3. When I long-click a feed and access the feed options screen, I don't know which field I am on. This is a limitation in the Android platform, as it is impossible for screen readers to introspect the UI and determine which UI elements might match up with which labels. Again, android:contentDescription is your friend. You can, for instance, set that on various checkboxes and text input areas, using as its value the same string ID used for your labels. In this way, the label text is easily associated with the UI element in a way that never has to be updated separately.

4. When I enable media buttons, where do they appear, and are they keyboard-focusable/labeled? I typically use DoggCatcher to stream podcasts since I don't have a large SD card, but once a podcast is streaming I can't seem to figure out how to control it. I wonder if the media buttons I've set to "small" are a part of that puzzle, but damned if I can find them. :)

Thanks a bunch, and do let me know if you have any further questions. I have to admit to worrying about dropping money on an app which I didn't even know would be accessible, but so far it's very nice. These changes should only take a few minutes, and will go so much further toward making DoggCatcher a killer podcatcher for blind users.

eric
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Last seen: 2 years 3 months ago
Joined: 11/06/2008 - 22:02
Accessibility

Firstly, thanks for taking the time for such a detailed post.

As you say most of these are pretty simple changes, and I should be able to get them into a release not too far away. What I would really like to do is bring you into the beta group so that as I'm making changing in the app that may affect accessibility, you could catch problems before they make it into the market release. This will give us a much quicker turn around on these types of issues because it will be unlikely that I'll be able to catch them. If you are open to this, let me know and I'll set up your account.

Is spiel in the google market? I couldn't find it there.

Let me go through the issues one by one.

Button missing labels - there are buttons at the top for navigation and buttons at the bottom for playing media. I just turned on some accessibility options to see how it presents the app (I've never done this before). There's no indication at all what these buttons do. It sounds like the contentDescription will help here.

Adding feeds - I have since replaced the buttons with text labels that you can click on. But I just realized that there's no way to get to them with the dpad. I'll need to make them focusable so you can get to them with the dpad

Feed option fields - Yep, I get what you are saying. I'll add the contentDescriptions there.

Media buttons - There are four buttons on the bottom of the screen but when I move the focus over them with the dpad, nothing is spoken so it's probably another case of missing contentDescriptions. There's also a seekbar below the buttons that could benefit from the same.

I created a mantis issue for these which I can probably get released soon, but if you come into the beta, you'll get it a bit sooner.

Thanks once again for posting.

Eric.

http://mantis.snoggdoggler.com/view.php?id=559

nolan
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Last seen: 11 years 8 months ago
Joined: 07/04/2010 - 12:30
Hey, sorry it took me a while

Hey, sorry it took me a while to notice this. Sure, I'm open to betaing accessibility changes, thanks.

Spiel isn't yet in the market, and won't be until it hits 1.0. You can get a build of a post-0.8 version at http://tinyurl.com/aspiel, though if you've enabled TalkBack already then you're likely getting the same feedback re: accessibility issues.

Yeah, adding contentDescriptions will help lots with the unlabeled buttons. Thanks a bunch for enabling accessibility to test things out for yourself. :)

Is there any way to be notified via email when forum posts are replied to? In any case, I'll reload this page more often as to spot replies more quickly.

eric
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Last seen: 2 years 3 months ago
Joined: 11/06/2008 - 22:02
No problem

I added you to the beta, you should be getting an email shortly about it.

I have it on the todo list to add email notifications to the forums. It's a bit of a pain to keep current without it.

eric
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Last seen: 2 years 3 months ago
Joined: 11/06/2008 - 22:02
Some work is done

I did the work that we spoke about and it will be in the next beta, you should be signed up and ready to go. If you run into any problems let me know.

Here's the mantis issue that describes the changes a little bit.

http://mantis.snoggdoggler.com/view.php?id=559

Also, you can now subscribe to articles on this site, there's a subscribe link in each post where you can turn on email alerts based on different criteria.

The next beta should be released towards the end of this week, thanks for helping me out with this.