Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple Inc. had this to say to us, the developers and his company at the end of the keynote address at this years Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) “Only Apple could make such amazing hardware, software and services. We are so proud of these products as they are perfect examples of what Apple does best and ultimately its why people choose to come to work at Apple and with Apple. To do the very best work of their lives. To create products that empower people to do great things. To make a difference in the lives of so many people around the world. The products we make, combined with the apps that you create can fundamentally change the world and really I can’t think of a better reason of getting up in the morning.”I personally have had several interactions with Apple in the years as a user, developer and as a consultant and I must say that this mindset has been embedded in Apples’ DNA for years. As a blind person coming from a Windows world and trying to navigate my new Mac for the first time it really brought me joy to see some subtle nuances that made a world of difference in the way I compute now verses when I was a Windows user.
Steve jobs would say that you must paint both sides of the fence when creating a product or service and this attention to detail is one of the reasons the products look amazing both inside and out. Making even what the person doesn’t see beautiful just shows that detail is important. As a blind person using all of Apples’ products in my business and knowing that we have a company that stands behind us is wonderful and having the confidence that they care about our needs and acts on them is even better.
Accessibility in the Mac and iOS is not just for the blind. They have included autism and the hearing impaired as well. What is most realized is the cost we pay for this tremendous access. Would you care to know that you can get all of Apples’ products with accessibility built right in, not bolted on for exactly $0? When you hear a CEO speak about changing the world and then see the world changed in front of your face you can appreciate the product they produce allot more.
Apple opened up the keynote with a video of a blind person using Ariadne GPS. This is the first time in history that I know of that a non-blindness related company has made such a bold statement about their support for all. Think of what an endorsement that was for the developer that, by the way is blind. Think of what it means to be displayed first in the video at a worldwide keynote and think of what developers took away from that public display of heartfelt care for all. You can download the full keynote here, but don’t take my word for it. Chime in with your comments and tell us what your thoughts on the keynote are and what you experience when using a product from Apple.