Technology means different things to different people and this is why, there are millions of devices in the world that cater to different needs. In response to Tech Insider’s Tim Stenovec who wrote that the iPad Pro isn’t as versatile as a computer, a visually impaired tech reviewer says that the new iPad Pro is the most accessible computer Apple has ever built.
Just as technology means different things to different people, so is accessibility. For some people accessibility matters and for some it doesn’t. The problem is, if accessibility doesn’t matter to you, it hardly makes a difference to you, but if it matters to you, they can make a big difference. It can decide whether you can work or not. It can decide whether you can travel or not (in terms of infrastructural accessibility). It can decide whether you can use computers, laptops or smartphones or not.
The visually impaired tech reviewer on TechCrunch, Steven Aquino, doesn’t much discuss the accessibility features of the new iPad Pro to drive home the point that it is the most accessible computer Apple has ever built. He primarily focuses on the size, and his ability to bring iPad Pro as close to his eyes as possible. Although he does discuss a few features like Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard, he doesn’t seem to focus on the list of features, as would be spotted by an accessibility auditing committee or person with disabilities and an understanding of technology. To him, because he can bring iPad Pro as close to his eyes as possible, it becomes the most accessible computer Apple has ever built.
His problem with the conventional laptop (in his case it is the old MacBook) is that it’s very difficult to bring the screen closer to the eyes. As I can understand from this reviewer, he has to be really close to the screen in order to be able to make sense of what is there on the screen although physically I cannot imagine how close he has to be. Yes, the big advantage of an iPad is that you can practically touch the screen with your eyelids without having to slouch over the remaining part of the laptop or the computer. This is definitely a big advantage of using an iPad.
What would people with physical disabilities think? How accessible is iPad Pro when it comes to making it easier for a person, let us say, who cannot use his or her hands properly? As you may know, a person whose hands don’t function properly may find it difficult to pick up and iPad Pro because there is nothing to grip. Eventually you end up touching the screen and this will trigger one or another program or app. Touchscreen in this regard becomes a big nuisance.
Similar might be the case for hearing impaired. And so on.
So I think it’s very presumptuous to claim that the latest iPad Pro is the most accessible computer Apple has ever built. Instead, the reviewer should have said that he has found iPad Pro to be the easiest computer to use among whatever Apple has provided so far. Maybe it’s not easier for me to use iPad Pro. I certainly have a few friends who would find it very difficult to use an iPad because of the very touchscreen feature. With ever shrinking bezels it’s becoming more and more difficult to handle smartphones and tablets for physically disabled people.