[games_access] Switch access on Android

Ian Hamilton i_h at hotmail.com
Thu Nov 6 04:10:35 EST 2014


Android have now included some rudimentary OS-level switch support in their latest version, Lollipop, which means that the majority of mobile devices will now be switch accessible by default. Quite a leap considering that only just over a year ago the idea of OS-level switch support was still a bit of a crazy dream.
In case anyone hasn't been following accessibility on mobile, it has become a bit of an arms race, trying to trump each other to be the most accessible. 
It's not just Apple Vs Google either, the various flavours of Android all make their own additional efforts.. such as LG's multitouch disabling, Samsung's colour inversion & correction, and HTC's multi level text size.
>From what I understand it is driven in part by competing for lucrative corporate and government procurement contracts, which have internal or legal accessibility obligations. But it's also a nice example of what happens when the competition trumps you with a new feature. 
So if either Sony or MS were to make a serious gesture towards accessibility, it wouldn't be long before the other one copied them.
Take the one real accessibility consideration that they've made so far, highly detailed customisation of how subtitles/captions are displayed (for PS3/4 it affects videos only, for XB360/1 the settings are actually available for game devs to access, although no dev has ever used them). That's quite an unusual thing to have implemented given the general lack of accessibility everywhere else. 
I'm not sure which console did it first, but as even the fine details of the feature are pretty much identical across both PS and XB, one clearly copied the other.
Ian 		 	   		  
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