Tag Archives: Single finger double tap

My AppleWatch Experience, Watch 3.0 and how it affects VoiceOver users

Watch 3.0 has been out for a couple of days now, I initially thought it’d just be another update that I’d install only to find it didn’t really change much for me as a VoiceOver user. But I have to admit I was wrong.

 

I’ve been a fan of the AppleWatch since its release last year and despite a lot of the media gripes about it under performing, not having it’s own cellular connectivity, being too expensive etc, I still think it’s a great device that will evolve into something that many people will end up using. Although I doubt that will be the case for several years, I do feel that the AppleWatch is absolutely fantastic for those of us who are visually impaired or blind and use VoiceOver. It was an absolute revelation for me to finally have a watch that talked in a voice that was clear and understandable, that gave me the ability to adjust its speech volume on the fly and that actually had the potential to be of genuine use on a daily basis. One of the biggest reasons I took the plunge was the ability to check emails and messages etc whilst I’m on the road or with clients. The fact I can do so extremely quickly makes life much easier. I often check these things throughout the day and much of the time my assistant isn’t even aware I’ve done so. This for me is great because it means I don’t need to dig out my iPhone and do so in front of clients at a louder volume.

 

So getting down to the point of this blog, what’s the release of Watch 3.0 done for VoiceOver users in particular? Well, put simply it’s massively improved the usability of a device that was already pretty damned usable. Let’s be honest about it, Watch 1.0 introduced VoiceOver users to the AppleWatch and made it mostly accessible, Watch 2.0 refined that accessibility  a little more and made using the watch a more pleasurable experience. What Watch 3.0 has done is not only refined accessibility considerably more, but has boosted the overall performance of the watch in a big way and this of course has had a significant, positive impact for AppleWatch owners, including those using VoiceOver.

 

I’ve installed Watch 3.0 on my first generation AppleWatch so obviously I can only really comment on what has changed on it. Those who purchase a second generation AppleWatch will of course find additional differences in standards of performance etc.

 

The first thing you notice once you’ve installed Watch 3.0 is just how much faster everything is. This may sound a bit of a vague statement, but with Watch 2.0 apps would take around three seconds on average and sometimes as long as five or six seconds to open. Doesn’t sound long I know but believe me, if you’re trying to do something on the move it feels like an eternity. With Watch 3.0 opening an app is almost instantaneous,. The other thing connected to this is the speed at which the watch switches from the clock face screen to the apps screen when you press the digital crown, as again it’s pretty much instantaneous. These two improvements are brilliant for VoiceOver users as you no longer get that horrible lag between when you double tap on an app or press the digital crown and when the app actually opens or the screen switches.

 

There are some new additions to Watch 3.0, only two of which I’m going to focus on here. The first is Emergency SOS. This function allows you to choose up to three people from your contacts who will be messaged in the event that you call the emergency services. The way it works is that if you need to call the emergency services you hold down the side button on your AppleWatch and the watch makes the call for you. Whilst you’re on the call the watch sends your current location to the emergency call operator so they can find you. In the meantime any contacts you’ve added are sent a message informing them that you’ve called the emergency services and also sends them your current location. I think this is a brilliant addition to the AppleWatch and can imagine that many people could be helped by it in the future.

 

If you wish to activate the Emergency SOS function on your AppleWatch go to the AppleWatch app on your iPhone, then go to General and finally go into Emergency SOS.

 

The next addition, or perhaps I should say change, is the removal of the Friends list to be replaced with the Doc. Where on Watch 1.0 and 2.0 you could press and release the side button to go to a list of friends you had allocated to a list of your most contacted, pressing and releasing the side button on Watch 3.0 opens the Doc. Just like on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch where you have a Doc in which you can place up to four apps that you use most often and/or want to get to quickly, the AppleWatch now has the same. The Doc on the AppleWatch has two additions however, you can place up to four apps in the Doc just as you can on iOS devices. Below those apps the Doc displays the last app you had open so you can go straight back to it. Then below that there’s a “Now Playing” option. Single finger double tapping on the “Now playing” option opens a player controls screen that displays the name of the song, audio book or pod cast you’re listening to as well as allowing you to Play/Pause, skip backwards, skip forwards and adjust volume. I think the addition of the Doc will be welcomed by most VoiceOver users, not only because it works well, but because by using it in conjunction with Digital Crown Navigation the whole process of using it is a pleasurable experience rather than the more frustrating experience we had on Watch 1.0 and 2.0.

 

To reorder the apps in your Doc go to the AppleWatch app on your iPhone then go into the Doc settings area. Once you’re in there the four apps that are in the Doc by default are displayed at the top of the screen in a list. Below that list there’s a “Do not include” list. You can easily change which apps are in your Doc by single finger double tapping on the Edit button found at the top right corner of the screen. Once you’ve done this a “Reorder” button appears alongside the name of each app up the right side of the screen. Simply single finger double tap and hold on the “Reorder” button of the app you wish to move and drag your finger up or down the list. VoiceOver will announce where you’re moving the app to. For example. “Messages moved below Maps”. You can move apps into or out of the Doc list using this method. Once you’ve finished moving the apps simply single finger double tap on the “Done” button found in the top right corner of the screen.

 

There are also reported to be battery life improvements with Watch 3.0, but as I’ve only had it for a couple of days I can’t really comment much about that, but time will tell.

 

In summary, I think that anybody who owns a first generation AppleWatch and uses VoiceOver would benefit from installing the Watch 3.0 update, it’s faster, smoother and I feel more user friendly than its predecessors.

How to slow down the double tap speed when using VoiceOver on devices running iOS 9.1

I’ve been waiting for the option to slow down the speed of double tapping when using VoiceOver for quite some time and now with iOS 9.1 it is here!

 

Several of my clients struggle with the speed at which they previously had to single finger double tap the screen to activate buttons, open apps, open links etc, not to mention two finger double tapping to answer or end calls coming in on their iPhones. I’m really pleased that Apple have made this option available as I think it will make the devices that we know and love that little bit more accessible to those who experience difficulty with their dexterity or who simply can’t double tap quite as quickly as other people.

 

You must have iOS 9.1 installed on each of the devices you wish to slow the double tap speed on for this to work. The steps below are exactly the same for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The slowed down speed also works when two finger double tapping to answer or end calls on the iPhone.

 

Step 1: Go to settings.

 

Step 2: Go to General.

 

Step 3: Go to Accessibility.

 

Step 4: Go into the VoiceOver area of Accessibility settings.

 

Step 5: Scroll the screen up as the setting you are looking for is off the bottom of the screen. You are looking for something that says “Double tap time out.” Go into it.

 

Step 6: You will now be presented with a text box that displays 0.25 seconds.  This is the amount of time allowed by VoiceOver so that two taps in quick succession are recognised by the device as a double tap to open apps, click on buttons etc.

 

Delete the numbers out of the text box and type in 0.50, this is the new speed that two taps in succession will be recognised by the device as a double tap.

 

Step 7: Now you’ve done this you can simply return to the main settings screen by repeatedly using the “Back” button found at the top left corner of the screen then pressing and releasing the home button in the bottom centre of the device to return to the home screen.

 

 

Note that you can only increase the time to 0.50 seconds. Although this doesn’t sound very much it is surprising how much extra time it gives you to execute that all important double tap. It is effectively doubling the amount of time previously required to do so.

 

Give it a try and see what you think.

Tick tock, my Apple Watch experience, using the Friends button on Apple Watch 2.0

Using the Friends button on the Apple Watch:

 

This blog post refers to Apple Watches running Apple Watch 2.0 software.

 

Easily one of the best features of the Apple Watch is the ability to access contacts quickly and make calls using the watch itself. There’s something wonderfully sci fi about talking at your wrist and having a two way conversation through it.

 

One of the easiest and quickest ways to get to some of your favourite contacts is to use the Friends button found below the Digital crown on the right side of the watch. This function is really useful as you can choose up to 12 people from your contacts list on your iPhone to create something called the ‘Friends Circle’ on your watch. To create your friends Circle do the following:

 

HOT TIP: First go to the Contacts setting in the Apple Watch app and make sure that ‘Mirror my iPhone’ is selected. This will mean that your entire contacts list from your iPhone will also be available on your Apple Watch. It will also mean that any contacts on your iPhone contacts list that are blocked will also be blocked on your Apple Watch.

 

1. Go to the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and go to Friends.

 

2. Once in the Friends setting area you will be presented with 12 spaces in which to add contacts of your choosing. The way Apple have done this is very clever and very easy for those of us who are blind or visually impaired to imagine. Basically the screen displays a list laid out as a watch face numbered 1 to 12 going around in a clockwise direction. It displays, “Add friend, 12 o’clock on friends circle”, “Add friend, 1 o’clock on friends circle” and so on until all 12 hour positions on a clock face are accounted for.

 

3. Single finger double tap on the clock face position you want to add a contact to.

 

4. Your contacts list will open on your iPhone to allow you to select who to add. Simply find the person you want and single finger double tap on their name. That person will then be added to the Friends Circle position you selected.

 

It is in theory possible to reorder the contacts around the clock face in your friends circle, however I have found it very awkward to do as it is no longer as simple as moving the contact up or down a list as it was in Apple Watch 1.1. In Apple Watch 2.0 VoiceOver will tell you to swipe up or down to reorder the person when you highlight their name with your finger tip. In practice this is very difficult to achieve as VoiceOver doesn’t seem to recognise what your doing. My best piece of advice regarding this would be to add the person in the clock face position you want them in the first place to avoid having to try and reorder them. This is a shame because I think the method of doing this in Apple Watch 1.1 was far more user friendly for those of us using VoiceOver.

 

Deleting contacts from your friends circle has also changed in Apple Watch 2.0. I’ve found that the easiest way to remove contacts is to do the following:

 

1. Single finger double tap the contact name and a Remove button is announced by VoiceOver.

 

2. Single finger double tap anywhere on the screen to activate the Remove button.

 

3. An alert will pop up and will be announced by VoiceOver displaying a Remove Friend button and a Cancel button. Single finger left or right swipe on the screen to navigate to the button you wish to use and then single finger double tap anywhere on the screen to activate it. If you activate the Remove Friend button then obviously the contact you selected will be removed. The contact will be removed from your Friends Circle but will remain in your iPhone contacts list. If you activate the Cancel button the contact will not be removed and you will be returned to your Friends Circle screen.

 

4. Repeat steps 1, 2 and 3 for each contact you wish to delete from your Friends Circle. Then, once you’ve finished single finger double tap the My Watch button found at the top left corner of the screen under your phone’s cellular signal display.

 

 

Now you’ve created your Friends Circle here is how you can use it .

 

1. Press and release the Friends button on your Apple Watch to display your Friends Circle.

 

2. Use Digital Crown Navigation or a finger tip on the Apple Watch screen to move around the names of contacts in the Friends Circle.

 

3. Single finger double tap on the name button of the person you want to call or message. A new screen will be displayed giving you options to call, message, digital touch or send a tap. Note that the digital touch/tap option button will be greyed out/dimmed if the person does not have an Apple Watch.

 

4. Use Digital Crown Navigation or a fingertip on the screen to move around the option buttons and do the following :

 

Single finger double tap on the person’s name button to send a digital touch.

 

Single finger triple tap on the person’s name button to send a tap.

 

Single finger double tap on the Phone button to call the person.

 

Single finger double tap on the Message button to send the person a message.

 

You can also single finger double tap on the Back button found at the top left of the screen to return you to your Friends Circle list.

 

5. If you wish to switch your Apple Watch off, press and hold the Friends button for 2 seconds. A new screen will then be displayed giving you 4 options. You can single finger swipe left or right to find Cancel, Power off, Power reserve and Lock device buttons. Simply single finger double tap on the button for the action you want to perform.

 

6. To switch your Apple Watch on, press and hold the Friends button for 2 seconds. The watch will take approximately 90 seconds to boot up. It will then ask you to enter your watch passcode.

 

 

In my next blog I will be talking about adding and removing third party apps from the Apple Watch.

Tick tock, my Apple Watch experience, using the Friends button on the Apple Watch

Using the Friends button on the Apple Watch:

 

This blog post refers to Apple Watches running Apple Watch 1.1 software.

 

Easily one of the best features of the Apple Watch is the ability to access contacts quickly and make calls using the watch itself. There’s something wonderfully sci fi about talking at your wrist and having a two way conversation through it.

 

One of the easiest and quickest ways to get to some of your favourite contacts is to use the Friends button found below the Digital crown on the right side of the watch. This function is really useful as you can choose up to 12 people from your contacts list on your iPhone to create something called the ‘Friends Circle’ on your watch. To create your friends Circle do the following:

 

HOT TIP: First go to the Contacts setting in the Apple Watch app and make sure that ‘Mirror my iPhone’ is selected. This will mean that your entire contacts list from your iPhone will also be available on your Apple Watch. It will also mean that any contacts on your iPhone contacts list that are blocked will also be blocked on your Apple Watch.

 

1. Go to the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and go to Friends.

 

2. Once in the Friends setting area you will be presented with 12 spaces in which to add contacts of your choosing. The way Apple have done this is very clever and very easy for those of us who are blind or visually impaired to imagine. Basically the screen displays a list numbered 1 to 12 and starting from the top going down the list it displays, “Add friend, 12 o’clock on friends circle”, “Add friend, 1 o’clock on friends circle” and so on until all 12 hour positions on a metaphorical clock face are accounted for.

 

3. Single finger double tap on the clock face position you want to add a contact to. Note that you can reorder the position of contacts in your Friends Circle once you’ve filled some or all of the available spaces.

 

4. Your contacts list will open on your iPhone to allow you to select who to add. Simply find the person you want and single finger double tap on their name. That person will then be added to the Friends Circle position you selected.

 

To reorder contacts that you’ve added to your Friends Circle do the following:

 

1. When in the Friends screen in the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, single finger double tap on the Edit button found at the top right corner of the screen under your phone’s battery percentage display.

 

2. There will now be a “reorder” button down the right side of the screen next to each contact you’ve added to your Friends Circle. Single finger double tap and hold on the reorder button next to the contact you wish to move and wait for the popping sound.

 

3. Now move your finger up or down the list. VoiceOver will announce where you are moving the contact to. For example “Moved above Bob” or “Moved below Sarah”.

 

4. Lift your finger off the screen and repeat step 3 for each contact you wish to reorder.

 

5. Once you’ve finished single finger double tap on the Done button found at the top right corner of the screen under your phone’s battery percentage display.

 

To delete contacts from your Friends Circle do the following:

 

1. When in the Friends screen in the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, single finger double tap on the Edit button found at the top right corner of the screen under your phone’s battery percentage display.

 

2. There will now be a “Delete” button down the left side of the screen just after the name of each contact you’ve added to your Friends Circle. Single finger double tap on the delete button.

 

3. A “Remove”  button will now appear on the right side of the screen next to the contact you selected the delete button on. Single finger double tap the Remove button and the contact will be removed from your Friends Circle but will remain in your iPhone contacts list.

 

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for each contact you wish to delete from your Friends Circle. Then, once you’ve finished single finger double tap the Done button found at the top right corner of the screen under your phone’s battery percentage display.

 

Now you’ve created your Friends Circle here is how you can use it .

 

1. Press and release the Friends button on your Apple Watch to display your Friends Circle.

 

2. Use Digital Crown Navigation or a finger tip on the Apple Watch screen to move around the names of contacts in the Friends Circle.

 

3. Single finger double tap on the name button of the person you want to call or message. A new screen will be displayed giving you options to call, message, digital touch or send a tap. Note that the digital touch/tap option button will be greyed out/dimmed if the person does not have an Apple Watch.

 

4. Use Digital Crown Navigation or a fingertip on the screen to move around the option buttons and do the following :

 

Single finger double tap on the person’s name button to send a digital touch.

 

Single finger triple tap on the person’s name button to send a tap.

 

Single finger double tap on the Phone button to call the person.

 

Single finger double tap on the Message button to send the person a message.

 

You can also single finger double tap on the Back button found at the top left of the screen to return you to your Friends Circle list.

 

5. If you wish to switch your Apple Watch off, press and hold the Friends button for 2 seconds. A new screen will then be displayed giving you 4 options. You can single finger swipe left or right to find Cancel, Power off, Power reserve and Lock device buttons. Simply single finger double tap on the button for the action you want to perform.

 

6. To switch your Apple Watch on, press and hold the Friends button for 2 seconds. The watch will take approximately 90 seconds to boot up. It will then ask you to enter your watch passcode.

 

 

In my next blog I will be talking about adding and removing third party apps from the Apple Watch.