IBM helps mobile apps meet accessibility guidelines

The Mobile Accessibility Checker flags potential accessibility issues with mobile apps

When creating new mobile applications, developers all too often forget taking the few additional steps to make their programs usable for those with disabilities.

Now, IBM offers a testing tool for customers to ensure mobile applications are useable to the one billion people worldwide with disabilities, such as people with visual or auditory impairments. The checks are also good for ensuring the app can be used by the world's growing elderly population.

More than 60 percent of the world's population now uses mobile devices, IBM has estimated. Making a mobile app accessible for everyone not only ensures the largest possible user base, but also strengthens the overall design of the product.

The Mobile Accessibility Checker reviews programs written both for Android and Apple devices.

The tool checks, for instance, that the app can be navigated through using only voice commands, which would aid the blind. It can check that the color of the text is sufficiently different from the background. It can check to see if the font size, command buttons and spacing between elements are large enough for those with visual impairments.

The checker, developed by IBM Research, ensures that the mobile app complies with government regulations and accessibility standards overall. It can provide corrections to common problems, and gives the developer with an overview of the work that needs to be done.

To further aid accessibility development, IBM is collaborating with accessibility tool vendor SSB Bart Group, to build a platform for managing accessibility features on mobile platforms.

In addition to the resources offered by IBM, developers can use the documentation and standards offered by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to make their apps available to the broadest possible user base.

IBM did not reveal the price of the Accessibility Checker.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Development toolsapplication developmentIBMsoftware

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joab Jackson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?