Ok, this is an impromptu post as I got very excited about reading rumours of an iPad mini possibly hitting the shops in time for christmas.
For people with ataxia using mobile phones with tiny buttons can be a real challenge. Speaking can be difficult because of the effects of ataxia too and sometimes you go out and some peoples can’t understand you.
I have wanted an iPhone for years but when I tried the first ones I had problems with the qwerty keyboard in only portrait mode. At the time the Blackberry Storm offered the best option for me for texting with built-in word prediction and abbreviations and I now have a bluetooth keyboard also to help with longer texts and creating new templates so I can send a text just by hitting 2-3 letters.
Its a good solution but its a shame I couldn’t do it on an iPhone. The new OS4 allows connection to Bluetooth keyboards but the phone seems to have alot of issues for a phone costing over £400, so even though there is now an app which would do the word prediction etc and connect to a Bluetooth keyboard the reception issues worries me when I was dependant on emergency messages getting out!
After much pondering over whether I could manage Proloquo2go text-to speech on a smaller screen I decided it would be too much of a struggle for it to be worth paying over £400 for one.
I was originally disappointed when I heard the iPad would not have a phone SIM and is data only but now it seems there maybe another solution.
The 7″ iPad mini is rumoured to be aimed at business customers so would include a camera for video-conferencing as well as phone capabilities. The screen size is a few inches bigger than iPhone, enough to make a difference to how easy it was to use? but more compact than the original iPad with 9.7″ screen.
This would make it more compact to carry around, the next thing it would really need as a communication solution is a good case.
iMaingo make a case for iPod Touch and iPhone which includes built in speakers which boosts the volume when using it as a communication aid and also gives you more to grip onto.
This would be a good solution with a shoulder strap so could wear it across body for someone able to walk and also for wheelchair user who didn’t want a large device mounted onto their chair.
Personally I can’t wait for more news on this one, I’m keeping fingers crossed it keeps phone functions and you don’t need mini SIMS or expensive monthly contracts to own one. Ideally I’d love one I could just stick my existing PAYG sim in.
Watch this space, I’ll keep you updated…