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Monday, September 6, 2010

Version 2.0 of Ideal Web Access Just Released

Steve Jacobs of the Ideal Group posted the following press release to the Eyes-Free Google Group:


We've just released version 2.0 of IDEAL Web Access. This update offers significant enhancements. When you upgrade to v2.0, you will automatically get another app called IDEAL Web Reader.


As the name implies, IDEAL Web Reader is a self-voicing browser for Android. After our initial release of IDEAL Web Access plug-in we received a lot of user feedback regarding Web Vox. As a result, we felt that we could better serve our users by creating a dedicated self-voicing browser that takes advantage of Android's touch-screen gestures. Since this update comes with the IDEAL Web Reader browser bundled, it also removes the need to install a separate apk file, thus greatly simplifying the setup process.


With IDEAL Web Reader you can navigate forward and backwards by different levels of granularity - chunk, sentence, word, and letter. If you are over actionable content (link, form, etc), you can perform an action (click on the link, enter the form to start typing, etc). To stop speech at any time, tap the screen.


We have several easy to remember gestures already defined, such as swipe from left to right to read the next piece of content, drawing a counter clockwise circle to read all content, etc. The application's settings enable users to easily remap all gestures.


For more information on how to use IDEAL Web Reader, please see the tutorial at:


Or you can just install the update and launch IDEAL Web Reader since it will start up on the tutorial page.


All of the JavaScript for controlling the page navigation logic can be found on your SD card under ideal-webaccess. As an advanced feature, for anyone who is interested in fully customizing their experience, we have provided the ability to load your own set of scripts. All you have to do is make a file called "ideal-loader_custom.js" and put it in the same /sdcard/ideal-webaccess/js/ directory as the other scripts. If that file is there, then IDEAL Web Reader will load and run your file instead of the standard loader script.


This work is supported in part with funds from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, U.S. Department of Education, grant number H133E080022 to the University of Wisconsin Trace R&D Center. Users of IDEAL Web Access should not assume endorsement by either the Department of Education or the federal government.


Also, we want to give special thanks to T.V. Raman and Charles Chen, from Google's accessibility team, for their early review of this application and their valuable feedback. THANK YOU!!


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