moderated Re: android vs ios.

Sean Murphy

There is many levels you can look at the differences of Android VS Apple. The underlying Accessibility model, the SDK model, the user interface, the fragmentation of the market of versions, how different models work. As I use both for testing and as an user. Let me touch upon both. I am not going to say which one is better. As this comes down to your own personal usage and needs. Some users find Android or Apple is better for their needs.



  • Android TalkBack is a separate program. If you use Samsung, then you have to install Talkback. As Voice Assist is the default screen reader and as far as I am concern. Has not kept up to the changes made to the underlying accessibility framework. Talkback is better then Voice Assist.
  • Software version control in my opinion is not as fragmented as the Android market. Any statistics out there will demonstrate that majority of Apple phones are using the latest OS which is supported for their device. Apple does force the upgrade. But users can opt out of this. Android also does force upgrade. Due to the larger number of models of phone. There is far more variation of OS versions out there.
  • All iPhones work with your finger. Android devices cannot claim this at all. In fact, one of the Android devices I am using, you cannot use your finger correctly with the keyboard. You might be wanting to enter in a letter ‘I”. But a different letter is enter. If you use the stylist which comes with the phone. Then you don’t have the issue. This is all related to the touch size area. Not all Android phones have this issue.
  • You have far more flexibility with Android than you do with Apple. Android has launch pads which you can change. I had to do this with one of my Android models to make TalkBack work correctly when using the angle gestures.
  • Android permits you to navigate by control, header, link, paragraph, line, word and char plus the default. Apple does not. Apple only provides char, word, line, header. I am referring here to native apps which are not web based.
  • All the Apple phones I have used, the gestures work  without any issues. I started with the iPhone 4 and now I have an iPhone 11. I cannot say I have had the same experience on the Android. I have used the Google Pixcel II and Samsung Note 10 with the same problem where the phone does not automatically detect my finger. I have to muck around for a while before it occurs.
  • Android has better keyboard support. Apples isn’t bad, but not quite there. Android you can use the tab key to navigate any app. Apple this does not always occur.
  • I find the apple apps as a whole are far better to use with VoiceOver than Talkback. I used Audible on both platforms. I found a lot of issues with the Android app compared to the Apple version. This also applies to other apps.
  • Someone mention having TalkBack as a separate app is a good thing. I don’t think this is the case. A lot of the things I don’t like about TalkBack and Android is due to this fact. VoiceOver is at the OS layer. Hence the interaction is far better. An example is on the Pixcel II using Android 8.1 and still exist in Android 10. Navigating using the left and right swipe. The focus to the next item can jump to a unexpected location. This does occur if you are scolling. I have never seen this in Apple using the same gesture in their settings app to scroll through the items. Apples good interaction is all due to the screen reader being a part of the OS.
  • Drag and drop on the Apple is far nicer than Android. Apple you get an action option. This allows you to select an item to drag, then append another item to the drag and finally choose if you want to placed the dragged items before or after where you want to drop it. You are guided at each point of the interaction. Android you have to perform a double tap and hold. Then drag your finger to the location. I find this method harder.
  • Apple gesture are easier to remember. This is because I learnt the apple first. I don’t like the angle methodology at all by the way. I have got to used to it. But it is very hard to remember. I have been using it over 6 months now regularly. If you struggle in memory which angle gesture does what, then it is a poor user experience. This is because you should not have to think to use it. This is where in my mind apple for the basic gesture you use everyday is easier. Left, right, up and down swipe, double tap and the router. You can do everything just about on the phone.
  • The default TTS on apple is better than Android. Android you can use different TTS. Apple you cannot.



The biggest issue all both mobile platforms have is the range of object (controls) available in the SDK. A control/object is an edit, button, link, ETC. In the accessibility  world they call them roles. Android calls them types. Apple call them trades. An example where a role is  missing is lists box or list views. In an email program, you never know if you are on message 25 of 100. Windows and Mac you get this information. Another example is radio buttons. Doesn’t exist on mobile. These are just two examples.


End of the day, you need to really spend some time with both devices to see which one works for you. This is the hardest bit to do. Statistically in Australia majority of Low vision and Blind users use Apple. It is over 60%. I think Android has about 17%. That is the other consideration. I don’t know if this is the same case in other countries.



  • From: <> On Behalf Of JM Casey
    Sent: Sunday, 28 June 2020 7:34 AM
    Subject: Re: android vs ios.


I am pretty happy with Android but I don’t honestly use my phone all that much. I’ve thought of trying to connect my braille display but haven’t bothered, especially now that I have a laptop…everything I’ve heard so far suggests that it can be done but that it’s quite a painful process, and I’m not that patient. I’m not a fan of Apple as a company so I will probably never acquire one of their products (though they made my first computer in the 80s, an Apple Ii E, they were a different company then…)



From: <> On Behalf Of Randy Barnett
Sent: June 27, 2020 1:58 PM
Subject: Re: android vs ios.


No one has mentioned the breill support on the android is no where as good as the I Phone. Jonathon Moson still thinks the Android phones are behind in both the screen reader and the breill support.

On 6/26/2020 11:23 PM, Patrick Murphy wrote:

hi folks,


i know that this is not the forum for this question, but maybe one of you good people might have some ideas as to where i should go.

currently, i have an old nokia phone about 300 years of age.

i have decided to take the great leap into the unknown and start using a modern tap screen phone.

i have a samsung android phone with talkback on it, but it is proving to be somewhat of a trouble.

i would say, that it is just because i am new to it, but web sites offering training tips seem to be non existent.

also, the braille keyboard seems to be a bit of a pain. i also dont want to have to attach a keyboard to it, as this defeats the purpose of having a phone you can carry around with you.

on the other hand, i have heard, that apple's voice over is much better.

again, training seems to be the problem. i should be able to get my hands on an ifone.

any thoughts?

anyone prefer one over the other?




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