moderated Re: OT - Accessibility of AT&T Cingular Flip IV

Rick Mladek

Does this phone have the option for dictation as with the IPhone? Where is this flip phone purchased and what is the cost?


From: <> On Behalf Of Richard B. McDonald
Sent: Monday, September 13, 2021 4:54 PM
Subject: Re: OT - Accessibility of AT&T Cingular Flip IV


Hi Tim and All!


Tim, in response to your below, below under the "* * *" I have pasted the text of the attachment mentioned.


* * *


The AT&T Cingular Flip IV (“Flip IV”) is a 4G flip phone.  It uses the KaiOS operating system.  A decent amount of helpful information for it can be found at AT&T’s help page.  The user guide (user manual) for the Flip IV can be downloaded from there as well.  This document will provide information about the Flip IV’s physical description, its initial setup and some basic operation aspects.  The focus here is on the Flip IV’s built-in screen reader app called “Readout” and the operation of the phone with Readout by blind users.


The Flip IV does not come with a SIM card.  Technically, it uses a Nano Sim card.  Nor does the Flip IV come “activated.”  You must go to an AT&T store to get the SIM card and activate the phone.  Whatever cell phone number you presently have will be transferred to the Flip IV upon activation.  That means that your old cell phone will no longer work.  The SIM card and activation are provided free of cost by AT&T.


However, you may first want to do the Initial Setup (below) and experiment with the phone before you activate it.  Beware, if you are moving from one phone to the Flip IV, you may not be able to go back.  Until you put a SIM card into the phone and activate it, you cannot make and receive phone calls nor send and receive text messages.  But, as explained below, you can fully explore the Flip IV and experiment with it.


Physical Description


The form factor of the Flip IV is a flip phone.  Holding the phone closed and with it facing you, on the front is an LCD display.  Just above that LCD display is the phone’s camera.  On the left side near the top is a 3.5 mm earbud jack.  A bit further down the left side is a micro USB port.  On the Right side of the phone near the top is a button to operate the phone’s camera.  A bit further down the right side is a volume rocker bar to raise or lower the volume.


Opening the Flip IV, the top half is the main LCD display.  The lower half is the keypad.  Following is a 3X7 table schematically laying-out the Flip IV’s keypad.


Menu L / Sft 1

Menu R / Sft 2



















The keys are reasonably large and tactile.  The “5” key has a small bump on it.  Pressing the “1” key rotates through various punctuation marks and symbols.  The “0” key inserts a space.  When in a field for alphanumeric entry, pressing the # key rotates around upper case, lower case and numbers.


When entering alphanumeric text, you must press the corresponding key the required number of times to enter the correct character.  For example, to enter the character “e” you must press the “3” key twice.  The actual number, such as “3” requires the “3” key to be pressed four times.  The foregoing is how characters are entered when in an alphanumeric field.  When in a numeric field, such as when entering an actual phone number, only the actual numbers occur when pressing the respective key.


Initial Setup


Unboxing the Flip IV, there is the phone itself, a battery, an adapter to plug into a wall electrical power socket and a charging/data cable.  There is also a printed quick start guide.


As noted above, the Flip IV does not come with a SIM card, nor is it activated.  However, after this initial setup, assuming you connect the phone to a WiFi network, you can get familiar with the Flip IV before actually activating it.  This is highly recommended.  Doing so will make the transition to the Flip IV much easier.


Although it may be possible to do blind, for the next initial setup steps sighted assistance is highly recommended.  It takes about 10 minutes for a sighted person to complete.  After that, sighted assistance is not needed.


  1. The battery must be inserted into the phone.  Here is a Youtube video for this.  The User Guide and Help Page also have instructions for this.  The battery should then be fully charged; which takes a couple of hours.
  2. Once charged, turn the Flip IV on by pressing and holding the “Send/Pwr” button for a few seconds.  You will feel the phone vibrate.  This then begins the phone’s basic setup function where language, WiFi, time and such options are chosen.  Legal and privacy notices are presented.  There is a step here to sign-in or to create a KaiOS account, which can be skipped for now and completed at another time, if desired.  Page 10 “Setting up your phone for the first time“ of the User Guide has good instructions for this step.
  3. The “Readout” app should be turned-on.  At the Help Page under Settings>Device>Accessibility you can find out how to do this.  A link to this is here.


To turn the Flip IV off, press and hold the “Send/Pwr” key for a couple of seconds.  A context menu opens with options to “power off,” “restart,” etc.


Basic Operations


Once the above initial setup has been completed, sighted assistance is not necessary.  When you turn the Flip IV on, Readout will start.  If no SIM card has been inserted at this point, a splash screen (“Operator Message”) appears about AT&T “prepaid” accounts.  Pressing the “Menu L/Sft 1” key closes this and gets you to the home screen.  From the home screen, pressing the “OK” key takes you to the “Apps Home” Screen.  You will not hear anything at that point, but you are in fact there.  Press the “OK” key up/down navigation keys and you will hear “Apps Home,” “all apps.”  From there, you can navigate around the phone’s features.


Following are some useful tips:


  1. Under Settings>Personalization>Input Method, turn off a) “Use predictive” and b) “Next Word Suggestion.”  These settings interfere with entering and editing text such as text messages, contact information and notes.
  2. When creating a text message, there are two fields: a) the recipient field and b) the message body field.  The recipient field is not labeled, and thus is not spoken by Readout.  The message body field, however, is spoken.  Since there are only two fields, and since the message body field is spoken, it is obvious that the other field is the recipient field.  Use the “OK” button’s up/down navigation keys to move between these two fields. 


-----Original Message-----

From: <> On Behalf Of Tim Ford

Sent: Monday, September 13, 2021 9:05 AM


Subject: Re: OT - Accessibility of AT&T Cingular Flip IV


Hello Richard,


I want to thank you for wanting to share with us the benefits of your work.  Unfortunately, there was no attachment to your email.  I do not know if attachments are allowed, if not, can the list moderator send it out to us?  The other option is for you to place the text into an email to the list.


Thanks again,




-----Original Message-----

From: [] On Behalf Of Richard B. McDonald

Sent: Monday, September 13, 2021 3:56 AM


Subject: Re: OT - Accessibility of AT&T Cingular Flip IV


Hi Tim and All!


Indeed, no one knows anything about it, and there is no information on the Internet about it.  So, I have had to figure things out myself.  Attached with this email is a file called " AT&T Cingular Flip IV Accessibility Guide.docx."  it is what I have learned so far.  I am not sure if this list allows attachments.  Let me know if it does not come through.


There are a number of things I should like to learn more about.  They include things like reading and editing of text, "quick keys" (e.g., say the battery, signal or other status) and other things.  I am about 75% of the way assessing this phone.


Only because I must change my phone am I exploring this phone.  My current phone is 3G.  I use my phone only for basic things like calls, texts and contacts.  More than that and I turn to my laptop and JAWS.  I do not need a smart phone.  To be sure, this phone is rudimentary.  But, if it works for my basic needs then I can save hundreds of dollars!  This phone is free. 


I hope you and any others will be able to learn more about this phone, and share it with me.  I intend to expand on the guide attached here.  If the phone is usable, I will put this guide out on the Internet for the world.





-----Original Message-----

From: <> On Behalf Of Tim Ford

Sent: Saturday, September 11, 2021 6:48 PM


Subject: Re: OT - Accessibility of AT&T Cingular Flip IV


I am stuck in the same situation.  I took it to an AT&T franchise location, and they told me they knew nothing of this phone and I needed to go to a real AT&T store.  That is a long drive.  I am stuck with a phone that I cannot even figure out how to turn on and off. 


Tim Ford

> From: Richard B. McDonald

> Sent: Saturday, September 11, 2021 8:42 AM

> To:

> Subject: OT - Accessibility of AT&T Cingular Flip IV

> Hi!

> I was sent the “AT&T Cingular Flip IV” cellphone recently because my

> old cellphone is soon to be incompatible with AT&T’s network.

> Apparently, this phone’s OS is “KiaOS” and it has an accessibility feature called “Readout.”

> Does anyone know about this cellphone’s accessibility?  Does anyone

> know where I can find information about “Readout?”  Does anyone know

> if there is a listing somewhere of key commands (a.k.a., shortcuts)

> that can be used for various functions (e.g., time, status, etc.)?

> Thanks,

> Richard























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