Apple, Accessibility, and Innovation

Great piece here by Steven Aquino on Apple’s dedication to improving the accessibility features of its products.

Purely by dint of being what they are, accessibility features are probably useless1 for the overwhelming majority of iOS users, but can be make-or-break for some. It’s nice to see that Apple still cares and devotes its – rather precious, given the way it operates – resources to making sure that its products remain easy to use and enjoy for one and all despite going through rapid cycles of iteration and redesigns.

It is rather sad, though, that even though we live in a world that’s being eaten by software, our conceptions of “real innovation” are limited to hardware. Not just plain-old hardware too; all we seem to care for is a new product category . Sure, we all lust might over Touch ID and the 64-bit A7 chip on the iPhone 5s, and how the iPad Air maintains the remarkable battery life of it’s predecessors while not skimping at all on power and retaining that gorgeous display, but the blogosphere and pundits still rabidly clamour for new product categories, not settling for anything else.

Innovation can take various forms. Innovation can be found in business models, input methods, software, and so on and so forth. As it stands now, ‘innovation’ might as well mean ‘money-maker’. This needs to change.

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1: With the notable exception of Assistive Touch, which I anecdotally see many people using so as to not wear out their devices’ home buttons.