An apple iphone key-board for blind individuals will certainly be ceased, according to the application’s designer, that affirms that “Apple has thrown us obstacle after obstacle for years while we try to provide an app to improve people’s lives.”
FlickType consists of an Apple Watch key-board and also the apple iphone key-board meant for blind and also low-vision individuals of VoiceOver, an Apple innovation that can talk the secret a customer picks. FlickType’s Apple Watch key-board will certainly proceed, a minimum of for some time, however the apple iphone key-board will certainly be handicapped.
“It’s with a heavy heart today that we’re announcing the discontinuation of our award-winning iPhone keyboard for blind users,” the FlickType account on Twitter wrote yesterday. FlickType is created by Kosta Eleftheriou, that lately submitted a claim declaring that Apple utilized its control over apple iphone application circulation to cause him to market FlickType to Apple at a discount rate. He claims he rejected to market the application.
Apple “incorrectly” declined application upgrade
The straw that broke the camel’s back for FlickType’s key-board expansion came recently when Eleftheriou “submitted an update that fixes various iOS 15-related issues & improves the app for VoiceOver users,” FlickType created. “But Apple rejected it. They incorrectly argue again that our keyboard extension doesn’t work without ‘full access,’ something they rejected us for THREE years ago. Back then we successfully appealed and overturned their decision, and this hadn’t been a problem since. Until now.”
FlickType stated it called Apple 9 times recently “with no success. At this point they seem to be ignoring our attempts to contact them directly, despite previously explicitly telling us to ‘feel free’ to contact them if we need ‘further clarification.'”
The application’s key-board expansion will certainly quit working after future updates. “We wish to keep providing the last working version that includes the keyboard extension, but Apple makes it impossible to stop automatic updates for individual apps. So unless you stop automatic updates for all your apps, you will soon lose the FlickType keyboard extension,” FlickType created.
The application’s App Store listing claims, “FlickType keyboard is designed to be as accessible as possible on both iPhone and Apple Watch, featuring large keys, high-contrast colors, prominent visuals, and effective VoiceOver feedback. FlickType can speak back to you for a completely eyes-free writing experience, enabling people who are blind to type just as fast as everyone else.”
The American Foundation for the Blind’s AccessGlobe magazine created a post in October 2018 concerning just how FlickType resolves an irritating trouble for blind individuals. “When I first began to use a smartphone, I found that the most cumbersome aspect was the touchscreen keyboard,” AccessGlobe Editor-in-Chief Aaron Preece created. “Finding the correct key is fairly simple, but the delay as you wait to hear the name of the focused key adds a surprising amount of time to the act of typing.” Preece located that “FlickType is much more fluid to use than the default keyboard” which when “FlickType predicts what I have typed correctly, I find it increases the speed of my typing around 30 percent or so.”
A National Federation of the Blind short article called FlickType “a much faster experience than the standard iOS keyboard.”
Keyboard functions without complete gain access to
Apple declined the application upgrade on August 13, sending out Eleftheriou a note that claims, “We noticed that your keyboard extension does not function when the ‘Full Access’ setting is toggled off. To resolve this issue, please revise your app to ensure that your keyboard extension is fully functional with or without full network access.”
Eleftheriou revealed Ars the message from Apple, which included a screenshot of the FlickType key-board that asks individuals to “please enable full access for FlickType under the iOS Settings app.”
Without complete gain access to, “FlickType supports regular touch typing where you explore the keyboard and then lift your finger to enter the desired character,” an assistance web page claims. Enabling complete gain access to opens “tap typing,” in which blind and also low-vision individuals can “lightly tap where you think each letter is, and FlickType’s powerful algorithm will correctly guess the right word almost every time.”
Tap keying “allows users who are blind to not have to wait for feedback for each key, effectively allowing them to type as fast as anyone,” Eleftheriou informed us. He mentioned that key-boards, such as the Microsoft-possessed SwiftKey, additionally request for complete accessibility to make it possible for additional capacities.
“Requiring full access for certain additional features is nothing new,” he informed Ars.
Apple’s App Store customers do not appear to understand that the apple iphone key-board functions without complete gain access to as long as VoiceOver is allowed, Eleftheriou informed The Verge. “They’d have to try it as a VoiceOver user, something that they don’t seem to bother doing. I’ve had several rejections in the past because the reviewer didn’t know anything about VoiceOver,” he stated.
Eleftheriou claims Apple need to quit “developer abuse”
When asked if he would certainly proceed giving the apple iphone key-board if Apple turns around the upgrade denial, Eleftheriou informed Ars that “Apple would need to do more than just reverse their decision. I’ve already gone to great lengths over the years to personally convince them to reverse dozens of their wrong decisions in the past. They’d need to at least admit that they’ve been treating me and thousands (millions?) of other developers unfairly and unreasonably for years. Admitting this would be the first step towards them actually reducing, and eventually stopping, this developer abuse.”
Eleftheriou stated he isn’t certain how much time he’ll maintain creating the Apple Watch section of the application. “I’m still going to try to provide the watch keyboard, for now at least,” he informed Ars.
Developers’ grievances concerning the Apple App Store have actually reverberated with some legislators, as Congress is thinking about regulations that would certainly compel Apple to allow individuals sideload applications and also gain access to third-party application shops.
We gotten in touch with Apple today and also will certainly upgrade this short article if the firm addresses our concerns.
Eleftheriou’s legal action versus Apple
This is not the initial public disagreement in between FlickType’s designer and also Apple. Eleftheriou calls himself a “professional App Store critic” and also has actually functioned to determine rip-off applications that fool individuals right into paying that could or else most likely to reputable applications.
Eleftheriou’s California-based firm, Kpaw, filed a claim against Apple in March, declaring that the apple iphone manufacturer “threw up roadblock after roadblock” to make it hard to obtain FlickType onto the App Store.
Apple was shopping FlickType from Eleftheriou and also obviously “thought plaintiff would simply give up and sell its application to Apple at a discount,” the legal action declared. The issue, which was submitted in the state remarkable court in Santa Clara County, proceeded:
Once complainant ultimately obtained its application to market, complainant’s application rose to the top of the App Store’s sales worldwide. Then, imitator and also rip-off applications appeared, driving down complainant’s sales. What’s even worse, these fraudsters rose to the top of sales in the App Store by sending phony testimonials to boost themselves in Apple’s system. Plaintiff grumbled to Apple and also, in reaction, Apple did nothing, regardless of its stated plans restricting this specific sort of unreasonable competitors. While Apple attracted complainant to establish and also release applications available for sale in the App Store based upon Apple’s pledge of a “safe” atmosphere, Apple does not as a matter of fact authorities its App Store, unquestionably since it benefits enormously from widespread designer transgression and also customer fraudulence. By this legal action, complainant looks for to recoup its losses as outcome of, and also give an end to, Apple’s illegal and also unreasonable methods.
Last week’s app-update denial “is the tip of the iceberg,” Eleftheriou informed Ars. “The big picture is the years-long pattern of rejections as well as the extremely poor 3rd-party keyboard APIs.”