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Re: New Browser for Cell Phones


From: John Foliot - Stanford Online Accessibility Program
Date: Jul 22, 2008 1:40PM

Mike Burks wrote:
> Does anyone know anything about these new browsers being
> created for phones, whether they are accessible or not?
> Eg. the new Opera Browser for Iphones? See at
> http://telephonyonline.com/wireless/news/opera-mobile-95-
> beta-0717/

Knowing a little about the Standards Chief at Opera (Chaals McCathieNevile -
http://my.opera.com/chaals/about/) who was a former W3C/WAI guru (he was
directly involved with the writing of WCAG 1) and generally a huge and well
informed accessibility advocate, I would be surprised if it wasn't...

As a small point of correction, I do not believe that the Opera Mini has
been ported to the iPhone (see: http://www.operamini.com/download/pc/all/),
although I did play with an earlier version on my former AT&T Nokia cell
phone, and was impressed. Since it's free, I highly recommend anyone
interested to point your cell phone browser to: http://operamini.com, or
fire up your desktop browser and go to: http://www.operamini.com/download/
NOTE: you will need to have a Data Plan with your service provider. Chaals
has previously mentioned to me that in many parts of Europe and Asia, the
Opera Mini is the #1 mobile browser for the market ("Used by more than 44
million people - Opera Mini just keeps getting better."), and that features
such as the ability to easily toggle images on or off is a key factor when
you pay for access by the minute.

Accessibility of these devices will likely always be tricky, since you are
dealing with some issues that are hardware/software specific: for example I
do not think that there is any text-to-speech software for cell phones today
(does anyone know differently?), and of course screen real estate
is/will-always-be an issue that rests with the appliance, not the software -
zooming in a 3 inch screen will only get you so far if you are a low-vision
user. Given the portability of these devices, and the need to keep them as
small as possible, key pads are considerably smaller than standard keyboards
(mobility impairments), and many of the phones rely on T9 keyboards as
opposed to QWERTY, which again can be an issue for both mobility impaired
users as well as some cognitively challenged users.

AFAIK, most of these mobile browsers do not as yet support Flash either, so
using *flash only* in a mission critical function is a doomed procedure
(hear that Pandora? (http://www.pandora.com)

Was there something else specifically that you were thinking of Mike?

====================================John Foliot
Program Manager
Stanford Online Accessibility Program
Stanford University
Tel: 650-862-4603

SOAP is a program directed by the
Vice Provost for Student Affairs


-----Original Message-----
[mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Michael R. Burks
Sent: Tuesday, July 22, 2008 11:38 AM
To: 'WebAIM Discussion List'
Subject: [WebAIM] New Browser for Cell Phones

Mike Burks

919 870 8788 - Office

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