[games_access] iOS9 switch access

Ian Hamilton i_h at hotmail.com
Wed Sep 16 10:48:51 EDT 2015


Earlier in this year Barrie Ellis kicked off a bit of an awareness raiser about a possible addition to the switch functionality in iOS:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zlgmgBmqlA
The feature being asked for was the ability to nominate a point on the screen and then have all subsequent switch inputs repeat the same input and location. iOS9 is out today, and it includes the feature. 
Before iOS9, making an input then returned you to a menu to choose a new point and action. What was there was a huge innovation, but it meant quick repeat presses was impossible. 
Considering how many thousands of games there are on iOS that are one button games perfectly suited to switch, and considering that the vast majority of them are based on quick repeat presses, it meant bucketloads of potential not able to be realised. 
As of today's update, those huge swathes of mobile games that are already one button (Flappy Birds, Ski Safari, Jetpack Joyride etc etc) are accessible to any switch users who are able to hit their input quickly enough.
And not only that, Apple also extended it to gestures. So you can, for example, set up your switch to execute a swipe from left to right halfway up the screen, and use that repeatedly to play Fruit Ninja using only a single input.
All a very nice step forwards, it would have been a crazy pipe-dream a couple of years ago. All credit to Apple, great to see a big company willing to both take stuff like this onboard and prioritise it on their backlog simply because they agree that it is a good thing to do (i.e. rather than having to be forced to by CVAA).
I put up a post about it, can't grab demo videos yet but should have some up tomorrow of some of the above games being played with a single switch:
http://ian-hamilton.com/accessibility-for-motor-impaired-gamers-in-ios9/
Any other time it would be difficult to top this kind of news, but I'm hoping that Oct/Nov's console/service announcements will manage to. Good times!
Ian
 		 	   		  
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