A bit back RIM released a slick new free accessibility app called the BlackBerry Screen Reader. The app does a really nice job of making BlackBerrys more accessible to users with visual impairments. One of my main complaints about the app is that the app was only available for the Curve 9350, 9360, & 9370 at launch. RIM’s accessibility team has now expanded that a tiny bit further with support for the Curve 9220 and 9320 in the latest update. I am not sure what the hold up is for adding this to the higher end BlackBerry 7 devices like the 9900 but I hope they are working hard on it. I want some talking caller ID action on my Bold 9900!
RIM also threw in a bunch of updates to the Screen Reader app in the latest release:
- Basic Browser Support – BlackBerry Screen Reader is now revised adding the ability to have a loaded webpage read to you.
- Help Menu – Through BlackBerry Screen Reader settings, you can now access an English help menu to provide you with additional assistance.
- Additional Shortcut Features – Previously, the application shortcut (Right Convenience Key + Send) only supported email messaging. The updated shortcut is now designed to allow you to re-read a loaded webpage without refreshing your browser; it also allows you to easily read SMS and BBM messages, from the most recent to least recent message.
- Additional Caller ID Screen Support – The first version of the BlackBerry Screen Reader would only read the number that was calling. The functionality has now been extended to the caller ID screen to also identify the contact’s name (if available).
- Unified Inbox improvements – The unified inbox feature has been updated and now identifies Facebook® and Twitter® messages. You can now differentiate between your e-mail and social media messages.
- BlackBerry Screen Reader Demo – If you’ve been wondering what the application is all about before giving it a try yourself, check out the video below, which includes a walkthrough and some tips to help get you started:
Check out the demo video of the app below:
If you have one of the supported devices you can pick up the latest version of BlackBerry Screen Reader at: www.blackberry.com/screenreader