This time next week I should be installing Tiger, Mac OS X 10.4, on my Powerbook. I haven’t studied the list of new and enhanced features but Web Teacher pointed out the spoken English descriptions of what’s on screen, using VoiceOver. I already use the facility for speaking what’s under the cursor (System Prefs – Speech – Spoken User Interface – Other spoken items – Text under the mouse). I don’t know why, except I like it.
VoiceOver takes this further though and provides the full voicing we hear when someone is demonstrating a screen reader (and, it seems, with the same crummy voice). I’m hoping we can use the Victoria or Vicki voices instead.
I’m shortsighted and have been wearing glasses for the last 40 or so years. In the last week I’ve cranked up the default text size in my web browser. I’m expecting my eyesight to continue to slowly deteriorate as the years go by but hope I won’t be relying on technology such as VoiceOver for several decades yet, if ever. this is undoubtedly a useful feature though and I’m looking forward to experimenting with it.