Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Best Web Sites For Learning iOS With Voiceover

Introduction

Below are web sites that I have found helpful in learning about my iPhone and iPad as a VoiceOver user. This content will be presented at the CNIB Calgary iOS User Group meeting on 2016/05/10.
To browse web sites on my iOS device, I use the Safari web browser. It is the default browser on Apple devices and has been included in iOS devices since the iPhone was first introduced.
A Safari tutorial is beyond the scope of this presentation but I will include tips for using VoiceOver to access the web sites I'll be discussing. I recommend that you read the user guide for your particular iDevice to learn more. For example, go to the first page of the Safari chapter in iPad User Guide or the first page of the Safari chapter in iPhone User Guide. Though this chapter of the user guide was written for sighted users, it is still beneficial to read to give you an overview of the features.
I will use an iPad Air 2 for my demo that runs iOS 9.3. The iPhone Safari app interface has a few differences but you'll find the same set of features. The gestures referenced in this article are VoiceOver (VO) gestures.

iOS Device User Guide e.g. iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple TV, Apple Watch

In my Best iBooks For Learning iOS With Voiceover presentation, I mentioned that the user guide for your iOS device is the first resource you should consult to learn about your device's features. I recommend reading the entire user guide and then using it as a reference (always consult the user guide first to understand a feature as Apple has designed it).
Finding the User Guide
You can read the user guide as an iBook or in Safari. To read the user guide in Safari, select the Show Bookmarks button, then select the iPad (or iPhone) User Guide bookmark. If you don’t find a bookmark, go to help.apple.com/ipad (or help.apple.com/iphone).
  • To add a bookmark for the user guide (in case it was missing): select the Share button, select Add Bookmark, select the Location, select the Save button
  • To add an icon for the user guide to the Home screen: select the Share button, select Add to Home Screen
Table of Contents Navigation
  • To view the Table of Contents, you may need to select the Show Table of Contents checkbox located in the upper left of the user guide
  • Flick right/left to move through the chapter titles in the Table of Contents. Three-finger flick up/down to move to next/previous page. Each chapter title can be expanded to view its section titles. If a section has sub-sections, it won't be a link. Double-tap any link within the Table of Contents to go to that page.
Page Navigation
  • Use the standard VO gestures to read the page e.g. flick right/left to move by a "unit"; two-finger flick up to read from beginning, two-finger flick down to read from current position
  • Rotor: use Links to navigate and activate links, use Headings for overview of content
Search Within User Guide
  • The Search "checkbox" is located in the upper right; double-tap to open search combo box into which you type search terms
  • Search results display below combo box and include: Section or Sub-section title, Section title (if Sub-section), Chapter title
Safari Reader
Most web pages allow you to enable Safari Reader. This causes the page to redisplay without page clutter such as advertisements and navigation link groups for easier reading and navigation. If this feature is available, you’ll find the Reader button to the right of the Bookmarks button in the left-most area of the address field. To return to the normal page view, select the Reader button again.

Apple Support

The user guide for your device contains a good overview of all iOS features but sometimes you’ll require more information. The Apple Support web sites should be the next resource you consult. Since you’ll have a particular topic in mind, a search is the best approach. I recommend using a single web-based search engine such as Google for all of your online searches. The reasons include:
  • consistent search interface (versus having to learn how to search and navigate results on a particular Web site or with a variety of search engines)
  • support articles may appear on a variety of Apple sites e.g. www.apple.com, support.apple.com
I’ll use Google to demo how I search Apple Support as follows:
  • Type site:apple.com followed by a good set of search terms
  • Use rotor to select Headings to browse search results
  • Flick right to read link, date updated, text snippet containing search terms
  • When reading support page, browse by heading; use 2-finger flick down to read from current position
Siri
I prefer using Google Search within Safari versus Siri for searching the web if I am doing serious research and think there might be several results I’ll want to explore. My reasons include:
  • Siri uses the Bing search engine which is not my regular search engine.
  • The search result is read as one unit i.e. I can’t read Headings separately from links, text, etc.
  • If I ask Siri to "search apple.com for icloud backup", the results include other sites anyway
Phoning Apple Technical Support
If the online resources fail to answer your question, phone your local apple store to connect with a technical support representative. You will need to give your iDevice serial number which is located in Settings, General, About.

AppleVis

Web address: applevis.com
About
  • AppleVis is "a community-powered website for blind and low-vision users of Apple's range of Mac computers, the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple TV and Apple Watch."
  • "AppleVis strives to empower the community by offering multiple pathways to access and share relevant and useful information. As a community, we seek to encourage and support people in exploring the many ways in which these mainstream products and related applications can offer opportunities to the vision-impaired for personal enrichment, independence and empowerment."
  • "AppleVis also offers resources and mechanisms for raising awareness of the accessibility of Apple products and related applications, and for promoting further advancement in accessibility."
Major Site Sections and Navigation
  • Login, Register, and Submit Content links are for registered users that want to submit new content or comment on existing content
  • Apps: directory of apps that are accessible to blind and low vision users; "From this page, you can browse and search our directories of iOS, OS X and Apple Watch apps; see what apps others are recommending; see which iOS apps our community has inducted into our Hall Of Fame; and check to see if there are any promotions on accessible apps."
  • Forum: 11 topics; to navigate list, go to the Forum table using the rotor Tables setting, then use rotor Links setting
  • Blog: browse latest posts by Heading; right navigation bar: Browse Blog Posts By Tag is a Heading and Landmark but use List rotor setting to navigate to first tag in alphabetical order e.g. Accessories, Advocacy, Apple, Apple TV
  • Podcasts: contains same content as iOS Podcasts app; right navigation bar: Browse All Podcasts By Tags (similar to Browse Blog Posts By Tag)
  • iOS & OS X Accessibility Bugs: links to 4 pages for Active and Fixed bug lists
  • Guides: browse latest guides by Heading; right navigation bar: Browse By Tag (similar to Browse Blog Posts By Tag); this is a significant resource e.g. 101 guides have an iOS tag while 96 have a VoiceOver tag
  • Accessory Reviews: browse latest reviews by Heading; right navigation bar: Browse Reviews By Category (similar to Browse Blog Posts By Tag)
  • Links: link located in bottom navigation bar; navigate to via Landmarks rotor setting. Links page contains 16 categories of links to other online resources e.g. Mailing List, Podcast
  • Search: located at top of page following AppleVis logo; first section on search results page is the Filter Search Results list containing each site section and number of hits; browse Search Results by Heading

Cool Blind Tech (CBT)

Web address: coolblindtech.com
About
  • Cool Blind Tech’s tagline is "Podcasts for the blind, by the blind."
  • Its mission statement is: "Cool Blind Tech strives for universal design of products, environments, programs and services to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design, not excluding assistive devices for particular groups of individuals with disabilities where this is needed. Cool Blind Tech endeavours in maximizing the independence, productivity and participation of the blind and low vision community, to empower the blindness community through the acquisition and enhancement of skills in using adaptive technologies."
  • Though CBT covers a broad range of technology including Windows, Linux, and Android, Apple technology is a major focus.
Major Site Sections and Navigation
The purpose of the web site is to give you access to podcasts no longer available in the iOS Podcasts app, and allow you to find podcasts in various ways. The site sections support this and include:
  • Subscribe To Podcast: links to various subscription methods
  • Register: required to Submit Content
  • News: text-based articles; updated infrequently
  • Site sections that categorize podcasts: Shows (e.g. CSUN, VIP, Spotlight Interview), How To, Apps, Reviews, Community (submitted by community member vs CBT Team)
  • Browse By Category: dropdown menu with more podcast categories e.g. Apple TV, iOS, Mac; find via setting rotor to Form Controls
  • Search Site: find via setting Rotor to Form Controls

Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Web address: hadley.edu
About
  • Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired is a U.S.-based non-profit corporation that is the world’s largest provider of distance education for people who are blind or visually impaired.
  • On this web site you can access Seminars@Hadley, the school's free webinars for people who are blind or visually impaired and blindness service providers. They are organized into topics including Accessibility and Technology which contains the iFocus series of tips and training for iDevice users.
Major Site Sections and Navigation

VIPhone Google Group

Web address: groups.google.com/group/viphone
About
The VIPhone Google group was originally created for visually impaired iPhone users but now covers all of Apple's iOS devices. It mostly focuses on VoiceOver but some discussions involve other access methods such as Zoom.
Access
  • Anyone can view content. The group is also searchable.
  • Anyone can apply to join. Select the Apply to Join Group button. You can request email updates (almost 2000 posts in April 2016 for 350 topics).
  • Only members can post.
  • Only members can view the list of members.
Tip: This group works best in a desktop web browser. In iOS Safari, the Search button is not accessible and the Apply to Join Group button does not display.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Best YouTube Channels For Learning iOS With Voiceover

Below are YouTube Channels that I have found helpful in learning about my iPhone and iPad as a VoiceOver user. This content will be presented at the CNIB Calgary iOS User Group meeting on 2016/05/10. If you are unfamiliar with the YouTube iOS app, please read my Using YouTube App With Voiceover blog post for an overview.
Note: In order to subscribe to a YouTube channel, you need to sign in with a Google account. You do not need to sign in to use some basic features of YouTube such as searching for and viewing videos.

HadleyInstitute

Author: Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired
How to find channel in YouTube app: search for "Hadley Institute"; since the channel doesn’t appear in the search results, select a video from the results, then select the channel name from the info area below the video player
Recommended playlist: iFocus Instructional Videos (this YouTube playlist is the best method for accessing the iFocus tutorials because each video addresses one topic and the video title clearly identifies the topic)

INDATAProject

Author: Easter Seals Crossroads
Description: A US federally-funded project designed to increase access and awareness of assistive technology.
How to find channel in YouTube app: search for "INDATAProject", select the channel from the results
Recommended playlists: Tech Tips for iOS, Tech Tips for Apps, Tech Tips for Vision

Luis Perez

Author: Luis Perez, Doctorate in Special Education from University of South Florida; "educator, author, presenter and inclusive learning consultant with a passion for accessibility and universal design"
Description: Video tutorials on accessibility and Universal Design for Learning
How to find channel in YouTube app: search for "Luis Perez iOS", filter search results by Channels, select the channel from the results
Recommended playlists: iOS 9 Accessibility, iOS Accessibility

Using YouTube App With Voiceover

Introduction

This content will be presented at the CNIB Calgary iOS User Group meeting on 2016/05/10. It will proceed a discussion of the Best YouTube Channels For Learning iOS With Voiceover. Furthermore, this is a summary of the YouTube app demo that I will give while presenting the YouTube resources. I also recommend that you read the help topics on the YouTube on iOS web page. Though they are written for sighted users, it is still beneficial to read to give you an overview of the features. You might also want to read Using YouTube with a screen reader if you also use YouTube on a desktop computer with a keyboard.
The YouTube app can be downloaded from the App Store. I will use an iPad Air 2 for my demo that runs iOS 9.3. The iPhone YouTube app interface has a few differences but you’ll find the same set of features. The gestures referenced in this article are VoiceOver (VO) gestures.

YouTube Channel Overview

According to the YouTube documentation, a channel provides a single place for a channel owner to organize their video content. It typically includes the following areas:
  • Home: landing page whose layout and content varies
  • Videos: list of public uploads often sorted by most recently added
  • Playlists: groups of videos on a particular theme / topic
  • About: description, contact info, etc.

About Subscribing

In order to subscribe to a YouTube channel, you need to sign in with a Google account. To sign in, go to the Account button at the top, then select Sign In.
Subscribing makes it easy to access the channel because it appears on your Subscriptions list. Another benefit is that new video uploads display on your Subscriptions feed. You do not need to sign in to use some basic features of YouTube such as searching for and viewing videos.

How To Find a YouTube Channel

  • Select Search button on upper right, type search terms
  • By default, search filter is set to All; this can be changed to Channels or Playlists by selecting either of those buttons below the search field
  • If search results list the channel Home page, select it
  • If search results do not list the channel Home page, select a video, then select the channel name in the upper right (on iPhone, located below video player and info area)

How to Subscribe to a Channel

  • If you are on the channel Home page, select the Subscribe button located after the channel name, near the top of the page)
  • If you are playing a video (non-full-screen), select Subscribe button in the upper right (on iPhone, located below video player and info area)

Using the Video Player

If the video player is not in full-screen mode, it displays in the upper left on the iPad; on the iPhone, it always spans the width of the screen in portrait orientation while displaying in full screen mode when in landscape.
The different regions of the player contain these controls:
  • Top: pause and collapse video, add to (watch later / playlist), share, more actions
  • Center: play / pause, previous / next video for playlists
  • Bottom: track position (flick up / down to move forward / back), full screen
Below the video player you will find the info area containing: title, number of views, Expand Description button, Like & Dislike buttons, Comments (iPad only)

Browsing Channel Home Page

  • If you are playing a video (non-full-screen), select channel name at upper right
  • Home page top navigation includes: Home, Videos, Playlists, Channels, About

Browsing a Playlist

If a channel has many videos, it will be easier to find what you are interested in by browsing the playlists. These contain videos on a particular theme or topic.
  • Select Playlist from the channel Home page
  • Flick to review the list of playlists; VO will read the name and number of videos each contains
  • Select a playlist to browse its videos
  • Three finger swipe up / down for page down / up
  • Select Back button at upper left to return to list of playlists

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Best Podcasts For Learning iOS With Voiceover

Below are several podcasts that I have found helpful in learning about my iPhone and iPad as a VoiceOver user. This content was presented at the CNIB Calgary iOS User Group meeting on 2016/04/12. If you are unfamiliar with the Podcasts iOS app, please read my Using Podcasts App With Voiceover blog post for an overview.

Seminars@Hadley - Accessibility and Technology

Author: Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired, a U.S.-based non-profit corporation that is the world’s largest provider of distance education for people who are blind or visually impaired.
Description
  • Seminars@Hadley are the school's free, "just in time" webinars, sharing timely topics of interest to people who are blind or visually impaired and blindness service providers. They last 1-2 hours. This podcast contains seminars on the topic of Accessibility and Technology.
  • The iFocus series focuses on tips and training for iDevice users. It is often delivered by Douglas Walker, Hadley’s Access Technology Instruction Specialist and iDevice trainer.
How to find in Podcasts app: search for "Seminars Hadley Accessibility and Technology"

AppleVis

Author: AppleVis, "a community-powered website for vision-impaired users of Apple's range of Mac computers, the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The website is managed by a small team of volunteers. We do not have any affiliations with other organizations and receive no external funding or sponsorship."
Description
  • "AppleVis offers a wide range of podcasts covering topics of interest to blind and low-vision users of Apple Devices. Featured topics include walk-throughs and demonstrations of apps, tips on using iOS and Mac OS X, and accessory reviews."
  • The iTunes podcasts only lists the 100 most recent episodes. Visit the applevis.com website for the complete archive.
How to find in Podcasts app: search for "AppleVis"

Cool Blind Tech

Author: Cool Blind Tech, "Podcasts for the blind, by the blind."
Description: Mission Statement: "Cool Blind Tech strives for universal design of products, environments, programs and services to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design, not excluding assistive devices for particular groups of individuals with disabilities where this is needed. Cool Blind Tech endeavours in maximizing the independence, productivity and participation of the blind and low vision community, to empower the blindness community through the acquisition and enhancement of skills in using adaptive technologies."
How to find in Podcasts app: search for "Cool Blind Tech"

iSee - Using various technologies from a blind persons perspective

Author: David Woodbridge, Senior Adaptive Technology Consultant at Vision Australia
Description: Apple Accessibility for the Blind or low vision
How to find in Podcasts app: search for "iSee"

Maccessibility

Author and Description: "Maccessibility is devoted to connecting, compiling, and providing easy access to the best resources for blind, visually impaired, and other disability groups using Apple products. It is maintained by a dedicated group of visually impaired volunteers, who are Apple enthusiasts themselves. Maccessibility provides news and commentary, podcasts, and online communities, and more to low and no vision users of Apple products."
How to find in Podcasts app: search for "Maccessibility"

Assistive Technology Update with Wade Wingler

Author: Wade Wingler, Vice President of Technology and Information Services and Security Officer at Easter Seals Crossroads in Indianapolis
  • Easter Seals Crossroads has been providing assistive technology solutions in Indiana since 1979. In 2007, Easter Seals Crossroads partnered with the State of Indiana, Bureau of Rehabilitative Services to establish the Indiana Assistive Technology Act (INDATA) Project. The INDATA Project is one of 56 similar federally-funded projects designed to increase access and awareness of assistive technology.
Description: "A weekly dose of information that keeps you up to date on the latest developments in the field of technology designed to assist people with disabilities and special needs."
How to find in Podcasts app: search for "Assistive Technology Update Wade"

Using Podcasts App With Voiceover

Introduction

This content was presented at the CNIB Calgary iOS User Group meeting on 2016/04/12. It preceded a discussion of the Best Podcasts For Learning iOS With Voiceover. Furthermore, this is a summary of the Podcasts app demo that I gave while presenting the podcast resources. I also recommend that you read the user guide for your particular iDevice to learn more. For example, go to the first page of the Podcasts chapter in iPad User Guide for iOS 9 or the first page of the Podcasts chapter in iPhone User Guide for iOS 9. Though this chapter of the user guide was written for sighted users, it is still beneficial to read to give you an overview of the features.
The Podcasts app is pre-installed on your iDevice as of iOS 8. I used an iPad Air 2 for my demo that was running iOS 9.3. The iPhone Podcasts app interface has a few differences but you’ll find the same set of features. The gestures referenced in this article are VoiceOver (VO) gestures.
The dictionary definition of podcast is "a digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or portable media player, typically available as a series, new installments of which can be received by subscribers automatically." However, you’ll find that within podcast software, the series is typically referred to as a podcast while the individual recordings are called podcast episodes.
Note: Choose an iDevice with enough storage if want to download a lot of podcasts, and tend to keep them for a while before listening and deleting.

Podcasts App Overview

The bottom tabs / buttons allow you to navigate to: Unplayed, My Podcasts, Featured, Top Charts, Search.

How to Find a New Podcast

  • To search for a podcast: select Featured (or Top Charts / Top Authors), type search terms into Search field (upper right)
  • select Podcasts button to limit search results to podcasts (Podcast Episodes otherwise appear first and are time consuming to navigate through)
  • select podcast from search results, select Subscribe button
  • dismiss pop-up window on iPad with scrub gesture

How to Find a Subscribed Podcast

  • select My Podcasts button
  • flick through podcasts list
  • double-tap to select (displays episodes on right-hand side on iPad, opens episode list screen on iPhone)

Podcast Episodes Navigation

  • select filter: Unplayed, Feed (all), Saved (only if you have saved an episode)
  • flick through vertical list of episodes
  • Tip: If the show notes contain HTML code, VO will read it in the episode list. To avoid this, select View Full Description in More menu on right-hand side of Mini-player or Now Playing screen (see below).

Playing

  • Mini Player: above bottom toolbar; Rewind, Pause / Play, Fast-forward, episode and podcast title, Up Next, More
  • select episode and podcast title to open Now Playing screen
  • Now Playing screen: Dismiss, episode and podcast title, track position (swipe up/down to move a few minutes forward/back), speed, Rewind, Pause / Play, Fast-forward, Up Next, Sleep Timer, volume, Share, More
  • can use VO two-finger double-tap gesture to pause / play

Settings

  • set Download Episodes to Off (defaults to Only New)
  • set Delete Played Episodes to On (default)

Finding Episodes on a Topic in My Podcasts

  • Use Search My Podcasts search field at top of podcasts list
  • Search results don’t speak podcast name; get this info from mini-player while episode is playing
  • Playing podcast episode from search results does so within search results window; on iPad, use scrub gesture to dismiss; on iPhone, select Cancel button (upper right); navigate to mini player to access controls, podcast name and episode title, etc

Monday, April 25, 2016

Best iBooks For Learning iOS With Voiceover

Below are four iBooks that I have found helpful in learning about my iPhone and iPad as a VoiceOver user. This content was presented at the CNIB Calgary iOS User Group meeting on 2016/04/12. If you are unfamiliar with the iBooks iOS app, please read my Using iBooks App With Voiceover blog post for an overview.

iOS Device User Guide e.g. iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple TV, Apple Watch

Author: Apple
Description: Definitive guide to all the features of your iOS device. Read the entire guide, then use as a reference. Always consult the user guide first to understand a feature as Apple has designed it.
Version / Date: always download or update to latest version e.g. 9.3
How to find: search iBooks for the guide for your particular iOS device and version e.g. enter "iPad user guide 9.3" as your search terms (the name will actually be "iPad user guide for iOS 9.3")
Format: EPUB

Zoom In

Author: Luis Perez, Doctorate in Special Education from University of South Florida; "educator, author, presenter and inclusive learning consultant with a passion for accessibility and universal design"
Description
  • "This book will empower you to make the most of your remaining vision with the help of Apple products such as the iPad, the iPhone, the Apple Watch and even the Apple TV. The book addresses three components of accessibility for low vision users of Apple devices: Zoom, VoiceOver and other built-in accessibility features, apps, and accessible content. Anyone with low vision can benefit from step by step tutorials that are supported by more than 25 closed-captioned videos."
  • Chapters include: Built-in Accessibility on iOS and OS X, Apple TV and Apple Watch, Apps, Accessible Content, Accessories
Version / Date: 1.4; January 8, 2016
How to find: search iBooks for "Zoom In"
Format: IBA, 129 pages
Price: This book was free when I purchased it last year but now it is $6.99 CAD.

iPad Tips & Tricks V5: With a focus on Accessibility

Author: Jeanette Davies, Inclusive Technology Support at Catholic Education Office, Wollongong, Australia
Description
  • "Step by step guide for those who are a new iPad user or wish to explore their iPad further. It covers the basics as well as a few little known tips. The iPad has made a big difference to anyone with a disability, so I have devoted a Chapter which explores the Accessibility features of the iPad such as VoiceOver, Switch Control, Guided Access."
  • "Other Chapters focus on the following areas: Keyboard, Safari, Mail, Photos, App Support, Siri, Organisation, Control & Notification Centres, Security, Settings."
Version / Date: 5; January 1, 2016
How to find: Search iBooks for "iPad Tips Tricks Jeanette Davies"
Format: IBA, 125 pages
Price: Free
Comments
  • Steps for completing a task are described in two ways: gallery of annotated images on left page, text only on right page
  • Will be beneficial to iPhone users though there will be interface differences
  • Contains video and audio files

iSee: All You Need to Know on Getting Started with Apple Products from a Blind Perspective

Author: David Woodbridge, Senior Adaptive Technology Consultant at Vision Australia
Description
  • "Out of the box, Apple has a commitment to accessibility and have built in so many options and support. Many people don’t know that. There is nothing worse when you get your new Apple device, to have to work out where the ports and buttons are, what they do, how you turn it on, how to activate accessibility, and how (finally) you can possibly start using it."
  • "iSee helps you from a blind persons perspective with all of the above covering the iPod nano, iPod shuffle and the Apple TV, iOS (iPhone, iPod touch and iPad), and OS X (Macs). In addition, you’ll find VoiceOver gestures/keyboard commands, operating system keyboard commands, useful software (apps) and hardware (such as Airplay speakers), considerations for choosing your iOS device, and useful resources."
  • Chapters 3 - 8 focus on the Mac
  • Chapters 9 - 13 (favourite apps) focus on iOS
  • Chapter 14 - Hardware Bits and Pieces
Version / Date: 1.2; December 20, 2013
How to find: Search iBooks for "iSee"
Format: IBA, 199 pages
Price: Free
Comments: not as up-to-date as the other iBooks but worthwhile reading if you have the time.

Using iBooks App With Voiceover

Introduction

This content was presented at the CNIB Calgary iOS User Group meeting on 2016/04/12. It preceded a discussion of the Best iBooks For Learning iOS With Voiceover. Furthermore, this is a summary of the iBooks app demo that I gave while presenting the iBook resources. I also recommend that you read the user guide for your particular iDevice to learn more. For example, go to the first page of the iBooks chapter in iPad User Guide for iOS 9 or the first page of the iBooks chapter in iPhone User Guide for iOS 9. Though this chapter of the user guide was written for sighted users, it is still beneficial to read to give you an overview of the features.
The iBooks app is pre-installed on your iDevice as of iOS 8. I used an iPad Air 2 for my demo that was running iOS 9.3. The iPhone iBooks app interface has a few differences but you’ll find the same set of features. The gestures referenced in this article are VoiceOver (VO) gestures.

iBooks App Overview

The bottom tabs / buttons allow you to navigate to: My Books, Featured, Top Charts, Top Authors, Purchased.
How to Find an iBook
  • To search for an iBook: select Featured (or Top Charts / Top Authors), type search terms into Search field (upper right)
  • Select Get or Update (if new version available) button to download
  • Select Read button to open
How to Update an iBook
  • To update, select Purchased, Updates, select book’s Update button; updated book will replace previous version
  • If update occurred on another device, delete download (Library, Select, Delete, Remove Download) and re-download (Download from iCloud)
Search Within an iBook
  • Search button in upper right, left of Bookmark button
  • Search results display below search field; include: Chapter, text containing search term, page number
Finding Book in Library
  • Select My Books (or Library when reading a book), ensure in List View (button will say Grid View), ensure in Books Collection (or the custom collection you created), flick through list to locate book
The iBook resources I’ll be presenting are in one of two formats: EPUB or IBA (iBooks Author Document).

EPUB format e.g. iDevice User Guide

iBook User Interface
  • iBook initially opens at the beginning: iPad displays 2 pages: cover page, table of contents (vertical list); iPhone only displays table of contents
  • Top toolbar buttons: Library, Resume, author, book title, Share
  • Contents page has 3 view options: Contents (default), Bookmarks, Notes
  • Contents: vertical list of Chapter titles and page number
Page User Interface
  • Main area contains the content which VO starts reading as a "single unit"
  • Described images are read in lower voice
  • Top toolbar buttons: Library, Table of Contents, author, book title, Appearance (font size, etc), Search, Page Bookmarked
  • Bottom controls
    • Page Chooser: swipe down/up (next/previous page); double tap and hold, then drag right/left to scan quickly
    • Footer: go back to page link, current page number of total, number of pages left in chapter
Page Navigation
  • Rotor: use Links to navigate and activate links, use Headings for overview of content
  • When reading a page, 3 finger flick left/right to move to next/previous page

IBA format e.g. Zoom In, iPad Tips & Tricks, iSee

IBA format is for iBooks created with the iBooks Author program. Such iBooks have different navigation controls than EPUB format. They may also contain multi-media such as video and audio. On the iPhone, IBA format works best in Portrait orientation (Chapter Navigation does not display in Landscape).
iBook User Interface
  • Top toolbar buttons: Library, Table of Contents and Glossary, Notes, chapter title, Font Size and Brightness, Search, Bookmarks
  • select Table of Contents button to display Chapter Navigation, Page Thumbnails and first page in chapter; if optional Glossary is present, select Table of Contents from dropdown list that displays
  • Chapter Navigation footer: swipe up/down (next/previous chapter); VO reads chapter number (may not match chapter number assigned by the author)
  • Page Thumbnails: small image of each page in horizontal row; VO reads page number; double-tap thumbnail to display page
  • First page in chapter contains chapter title, optional section title links (double-tap to display section)
Page User Interface
  • When reading a page, Chapter Navigation and Page Thumbnails are removed; select Table of Contents button to redisplay them
  • Main area contains the content which may contain multiple units that you can access via flick right/left
  • When focus is on the page content, you can use 3 finger flick left/right to move to next/previous page
  • Movies: double-tap to play, flick right to access controls e.g. pause, track position
  • Rotor: use Links to navigate and activate links; Headings are not available but Lines usually work