Simple and accessible IM app so I can stay in touch with my wife?
August 29, 2014 6:24 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for an iOS messaging app that is specifically aimed at the visually impaired or senior citizen, but am having trouble locating them in the App Store. Any suggestions? (snowflakes inside)

My wife has low vision that's makes it very difficult for her to message to me during the day from her iPad (my job is such that she can't just telephone, but I can check messages frequently and answer within a half hour if routine or seconds if an emergency). Simply put, she can't use the iPad's built-in Mail or Message apps, even with VoiceOver and contrast turned up, nor can she text on her iPhone -- there just isn't enough contrast or workflow in some areas. I am guessing that apps that are designed with the visually impaired in mind (i.e. iBlink Radio is a big favorite), or apps that are designed for seniors (or small children, we're not proud) might have that combination of visual clarity and baked-in workflow that would help, so I'm here looking for recommendations.
posted by Mogur to Technology (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Have you tried increasing the font size and contrast in Settings > General > Accessibility?
posted by michaelh at 6:40 AM on August 29, 2014

Have you tried the larger dynamic option under accessibility? I just tried it on my phone, and it makes things pretty big...
posted by rockindata at 6:42 AM on August 29, 2014

Thanks! Yes, we love the iOS accessibility features, and have all of them turned on. The problem is more in the control surfaces (i.e. in the Messaqe app, it's not at all obvious to someone with low vision where they are supposed to tap to enter text because the dividing lines are still pretty thin -- it's too easy to tap in the message display area just above, or the thread display area to the left). I'm looking for something with large, obvious control surfaces, I guess. A big red button that says 'Talk to Mogur' would be ideal.
posted by Mogur at 6:56 AM on August 29, 2014

Has she tried to use Siri? I can click and dictate a long text message to my husband without looking at the screen. I think you can have the message read back to you with VoiceOver activated to check for typos but it's good enough to text my husband.
posted by viggorlijah at 7:19 AM on August 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

OK. I can't believe I'm recommending this app for someone to use at work, but there's Frankly Chat. It's geared towards kids and teens, but it's brightly colored, you can make the texts as big as you like and set the foreground/background color, and the texting area looks easier to find. There are probably other, similar apps geared towards young people that might work, too.
posted by bluefly at 8:00 AM on August 29, 2014

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