The 26th EBU Access Cast is now online!

28.10.2020

Welcome back to this month's edition of the EBU Access Cast, as always packed with the latest assistive technology news and gadget discussion. Our content in written form is in our transcript

We started this one off with Mario telling us all about his brand-new phone, the Samsung Xcover Pro (External link) , the latest in the famous line of rugged, durable smartphones made by Samsung. This experience gives us a chance to discuss what to watch out for when choosing the right Android smartphone, including some less obvious characteristics, and how to make sure you will not need to return your purchase days after bringing it home.

Not only Mario had an interesting device to present, as Paweł got a hold of Feelspace Navibelt (External link) , an aid in form of a belt worn around the waist that makes independent navigation easier.

We broke off the path of new hardware to point at a survey (External link) opened by the EDF where the opinion of disabled citizens is asked regarding the accessibility of public sector websites following the deadline of the 23rd of September which is when the Web Accessibility Directive should be met by all of the EU member states.

Our discussion of new devices carried on to the news section as well, as we discussed the latest Google event (External link) which, short as it was, introduced us to a slew of new speakers, smartphones and even a much smarter Chromecast streaming device. Beyond the event, Google surprised us all, with a little help from Ubisoft, by presenting the feature of alternative audio tracks for youtube (External link) videos. Will audiodescription become the new norm on the world's most popular video sharing platform and how easy is it to find the new option?

As is often the case with us, we also took a moment to check out what is new with the most essential pieces of software, the screen readers. While NVDA 2020.3 (External link) introduces system keys' emulation and changes for touch screen users, JAWS 2021 (External link) beta greets us with Sharky, its brand-new voice assistant, and some more image recognition news.

We also had to share an unfortunate piece of news regarding Samsung's Voice Assistant. Beginning with One UI 3.-, Samsung's Android experience based on Android 11 (External link) , the company has decided to retire its own screen reader in favour of Google's Talkback. Does Talkback have any real competition at the moment and how easy is it to bring a new screen reading experience to the Android platform? What were your memories connected with the Voice Assistant?

Should you have any questions or queries, do not hesitate to contact us using our email or Twitter

Stay tuned and, most of all, healthy and safe in these difficult times!