Accessible Apple: The 12 Requests of Christmas - Day 11

This is the eleventh post in a 12-part series covering the accessibility features we would like to see Apple bring to its products in the coming year. This series is being written with the help and input of my two best friends, Jessica and Jocelyn Gladysz.

For the eleventh request of Christmas, we ask Apple to give to us:

11. Accessibility Ratings in the App Stores

Apple has long had ways for users to rate apps in a general manner. This implementation, which uses a 5-star rating system, allows most users to determine whether or not they wish to invest time and money on an app. For users of Apple's accessibility features though, the generic app ratings are not always good indicators of an apps accessibility. A 5-star app may be functionally great and visually pleasing, but offer no support for VoiceOver or Switch Control.

We are asking Apple to add an accessibility icon to App Store, Apple TV Store, and Mac App Store pages that would open a new page showing accessibility-specific ratings for the accessibility categories relevant to a device. These would include: VoiceOver, Zoom, Greyscale, Inverted Colours, Switch control, Assistive Touch, etc. Such ratings could help users of Apple's accessibility features to make more informed decisions on what apps to get. As a bonus, developers could gain valuable insight into what parts of their apps need accessibility improvements.

1. Accessibility Preference Syncing Via iCloud

2. Inverted Colors That Don't Affect Images

3. Pronunciation dictionary for iOS

4. Offline and Advanced Dictation for iOS

5. Siri for Mac

6. Hey Siri Activated Dictation

7. An Expanded Siri for watchOS

8. Siri Support for 3rd-Party Apps

9. Custom Ringtones and Vibration Patterns that Sync Across Devices

10. Scripts Store

The Christmas season is upon us and the spirit of giving is in the air. Writing articles for the Accessible Apple column takes time and energy. If you enjoy Accessible Apple articles and would like to see them continue into 2016, please consider making a donation to Camp Bowen, a summer camp for the visually impaired and blind that promotes independent living, education, and the fostering of creativity. A few dollars can go a long way towards ensuring the project can continue to serve generations to come.