Reactions to WWDC: What Was Announced and What are My Views?

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, often shortened to WWDC, took place from Monday 6 – 10th June, with the keynote lasting for nearly 2 hours.

Many videos were released throughout the days following the conference, but in today’s blog, I’m going to outline everything that Apple announced, and give my thoughts on how accessible the next version of iOS is going to be.

iOS 16

The next instalment of iOS will include a redesigned, customisable Lock Screen, as well as improvements to the Messages, Maps and Home apps, new sharing and personalisation capabilities, and more.

The Lock Screen, Notifications, and Focus

The new, fully customisable Lock Screen allows users to edit numerous design elements, including type styles, colours, and whether or not you want to include emojis. As well as this, you’re also able to create multiple Lock Screens, which you can easily switch between by swiping.

The Notifications in the next version of iOS will roll up from the bottom of the screen, but they also come with another new feature. To make room for your new customised Lock Screen, Apple now allows its users to hide their notifications, allowing more space for further customisations.

Focus has been a big hit since it was released by Apple in 2021, and I’ve personally found it useful when working. 

In iOS 16, Apple plans to enhance Focus even more, with users now able to tie specific Focus modes to your customised Lock Screens, as well as applying Focus filters to get less notifications from distracting apps, such as Messages, Twitter and Calendar.

New Features for Messages

The new version of Messages will now include the ability to edit or delete sent messages, as well as allowing users to mark a message as unread.

As well as this, you’ll also be able to send SharePlay sessions (put simply, links that let you watch / listen to the same content as friends in different locations), directly in the Messages app, which will be activated right away.

Dictation, Siri, and Live Text

The new dictation experience keeps the keyboard open when speaking, allowing those who use it to use a combination of speech and typing, while also automatically adding punctuation and emojis into your messages, which you can also use with Siri.

IOS 16 will also see Live Text expanding to video, allowing users to select the text in playing videos. And as well that, Live Text will also be making its way to the Apple Watch, so all the WatchOS users will have an extra way of calling numbers if they need to.

There’s also been improvements made in relation to Visual Lookup, with users now able to pull out subjects and to drag them elsewhere.

Apple Pay and Wallet

Numerous features have been added to the Apple Pay and Wallet app, starting with the ability for you to share virtual keys via message.

As well as this, Apple also announced their Apple Pay Later service, which allows users to pay for purchases in four instalments over six weeks, with zero interest and no fees.

And we’re also getting an Apple Pay Order Tracking feature, making it easier to track purchases from retailers.

Enhanced Changes to Apple Maps

More and more countries and cities have already been added into the Maps app in recent years, which has seen a 2D and 3D design being added, and even more are to be added in the coming months.

But adding to Apple’s support for multitasking, they’re now adding Multistop Routing, which will allow users to plan up to fifteen stops ahead of time. You can start your plans on Mac and continue it across other iOS devices, as well as having the option to add other stops using Siri.

The included Transit feature also allows Apple users to see the costs of a journey while you are planning, with Transit Cards being even heavily integrated into the Wallet app.

Sports

Sports fans will be in for a treat, because the Apple TV app can now display information about sport games via live activities.

Family Sharing

Although Apple has made Family Sharing and kids accounts easy to manage in the past, they will be introducing a couple of new features.

The next version of iOS will include quicker ways to set age appropriate restrictions, from Quick Start, to Screen Time requests in messages, a Family Checklist feature and more.

Safety Check

The new Safety Check feature will be available in settings, and allows its users to quickly turn off the access that others have to your location and information, which will be a welcomed feature for many people.

Home App

The Home App has been completely redesigned in the next version of iOS, with a new main tab view to see your entire home in one place.

As well this, we’re also getting access to new dedicated categories such as Climate, security and more, and distinctions tiles which will make accessories more recognisable.

Other Announcements

Apple also announced improvements for Spatial Audio with AirPods, QuickNote coming to the iPhone, new Mail features, Rapid Security Response, Spotlight in the dock, additional Memoji customisations, the Fitness App coming to iPhone without the need for an Apple Watch, MacOS Ventura, and more.

I’m not going to be able to cover all of these in this blog, but tell me if you’ll like me to do some posts about any of them in future, and I’ll see what I can do.

M2 Macs

Along with all the features in iOS 16, Apple also announced the move from the Mac’s M1 Chip to the M2 Chip.

The M2 Chip features an 18% faster CPU, a 35% more powerful GPU, and a 40% Neural Engine compared to the M1 Chip.

Supporting up to 24GB of LPDDR5 Unified Memory, and featuring four performance and four efficiency cores, it also supports 100GB of unified memory bandwidth, which is up by 50% compared to the M1.

As well as all these features, the M2s come with 10-core GPU, with two more cores compared to the M1. The peak performance is 87% of what you get from a 12-core PC, and you’ll also get an improved media engine that supports 8K, a ProRes video engine to playback streams of 4K and 8K video, Apple’s newest security technology, and a new image signal processor that delivers better image noise reduction.

The models of M2 Macs that were announced was the new 13-inch MacBook Air and a 13-inch MacBook Pro. You’ll be able to Preorder them starting tomorrow.

Final Thoughts

So what are my final thoughts on what Apple Announced at WWDC, and is iOS 16 the most accessible yet, or do the developers at Apple need to try harder?

While I find the customisable Lock Screen an interesting new feature, Apple will have to make sure that moving the elements you want to add around is easy for everyone to do, even if they are disabled and can only use one finger.

Likewise, I feel that the new Dictation features were a good thought on paper, but it does raise questions over whether or not physically disabled people could use it as well. But I don’t really use dictation for everything I do anyway, so I can’t really comment any further.

But as far as all the other features go, I think the next version of iOS is going to be incredibly useful, although it would be useful if Apple could bring back the ability to talk to Siri via a voice command for those who can’t double click the side buttons on the iPhone and iPad, and the same should apply for paying for and downloading apps, as the older ‘Confirm Using Face ID or Passcode’ option was just a lot more accessible, compared to the ‘Confirm Using Assistive Touch’ feature.

Turning to the M2 MacBooks, however, I think the MacBook Air is going to be extremely popular for production, but I have to admit, I would have preferred seeing it released in a bigger model, like the rumoured 15-inch.

As far as built-in cameras go, I just don’t see how the MacBook Pro on offer comes anywhere close to the M2 MacBook Air, although I’d be interested to see what happens as more of them come out.

Apple’s iPhone 13 Review: How Accessible is the Newest iPhone?

What’s up TR Fans and welcome back for another review here on Technology Reviews!

Apple released the iPhone 13 in 2021, with its advanced features being the one thing that was promoted. Coming with their most advanced camera system ever, durability that is front and centre, the a 15 chip with lightning fast functions that leaves competition behind, and a much larger battery, it has been described by Apple as being their most powerful yet.

But how accessible is the iPhone 13 for disabled users? In this blog, I’m going to go through all of its features, as well as the box it comes in, and make time to share my thoughts on its accessibility features as well.

So as mentioned, the iPhone 13 line up comes with an upgraded True Depth camera system, and a much bigger battery size, by an hour or more. For those who don’t like the notch, you’ll be glad to hear it has been reduced in size, and the rear camera module now sits at a diagonal. Adding the A15 chip, it helps bring more speed and efficiency to every task, a plus for anyone who wants to use their phone as a computer.

As well as adding speed, the A15 Bionic chip also improves photo processing. Although the camera uses the same f/1.6 aperture and 12MP sensor that it always has, the new wide lens has sensor-shift optical image stabilisation, which — according to Apple — captures 47% more light than before.

Another camera update that has been added, however, is the ultra-wide angle camera, with much improved low-light performance. It also shoots highly impressive night mode photos, as these photos shot on my iPhone 13 show.

The i13 also let’s its users take advantage of Apple’s advanced photography pipeline, by letting you create preset rules for the camera to capture a style of photo while shooting.

Other camera features that our new with the iPhone 13 is the new ‘Cinematic Mode’, which filmmakers will no doubt find interesting. It allows you to track a subject who is important in your film, as well as tracking when they turn away, and can even be adjusted after recording.

I don’t have experience using ‘Cinematic Mode’ at the minute, but I’m writing a short film for which I might use it later this year. If you would be interested in seeing that in a future review, please tell me in the comments, and I’ll see what I can do.

Other capabilities which the iPhone 13 comes with is that it’s MagSafe compatible — which I don’t have time to go into today but I will write about in future — as well as being capable of reaching 5G. I haven’t been able to use 5G when out yet, so I’ll give my thoughts on this at some point, but this is all there is to say about this section for now.

The sound system — when you have your headphones off — is also brilliant.

But even then, there are a few bad things. One of these is that the Micro Photography feature is limited to the iPhone 13 Pro, so if you want to get into that style of photography, you’ll have to get the dearest model. Something else that is disappointing is that the accessibility features included in iOS Monterey has taken away the ability to enter your passcode if Face ID doesn’t work, and instead requires you to double click the side button, and your only other option is to change it to Assistive Touch, which I haven’t been able to change or to use.

It would be nice if the Micro Photography style wasn’t limited to the most expensive model, and equally it would be nice to have the option for Face ID from previous software upgrades — which didn’t have any problems — to come back.

So what do I think about the iPhone 13 overall? While the phone itself is brilliantly high tech and the top phone for anyone in the creative industry, the features included in the present iOS Software lets it down. Sometimes you don’t want to let other people know that you’re buying something, which — if you have a disability — is no different. If the option for the old Face ID option in previous updates was included in the more recent update, it would make the newest iPhone highly accessible. This problem also showed up on my iPhone X — so it isn’t just limited to just the 13 — but until Monterey is sorted out — it can’t be counted as completely accessible.

The Grand Opera House, Belfast, Accessible tourism review part 2

Happy 2022 everyone, and welcome back to Phoebs Lyle Journalism!

The Grand Opera House in Belfast is Northern Ireland’s most recognisable theatre, first opening its doors in 1895. For generations since, the Opera House has continued entertaining audiences, with it’s famous Christmas Pantomime being a favourite each year. In 2020, its much anticipated rebuild began, costing £12.2m, with the theatre opening for performances again last year. I did a review of the theatre’s rebuild back in October, but since then, I was invited up for a private tour, just before Christmas, where I had the opportunity to see round most of the building. So as promised, this is the follow up of my Disabled Tourism Review: The Grand Opera House’s Rebuild, and my full thoughts on the rebuild and how accessible it is, after getting to look round more of the building.

Starting off with the doors when you first arrive at the theatre, I was easily able to fit my wheelchair in. Although they aren’t automatic — which might not suit those who like as little assistance as possible — but it is extremely easy to get in, and the staff are very helpful if you need anything.

‘The Grand Opera House, Belfast, Reception at Christmas’ © Phoebs Lyle

The reception is gorgeous — and having went on this tour slightly before Christmas — the decorations made it even better. Although I don’t use stairs, I couldn’t help but admire their look from the reception and later up the stairs, — so for anyone who’s just generally interested in architecture — whether they’re disabled or not — it is overwhelmingly gorgeous. The way they were built really fits into the overall rebuild — although it doesn’t help with promoting the idea with letting disabled people use lifts — which might be a problem for you, depending on how you view that.

‘Wheelchair Person Fitting in Lift’ © Phoebs Lyle

Turning to the lifts, the lifts in the new rebuild are definitely big enough for a disabled person and their carer. I fitted in with one of my carers — with the other one going up after with my equipment and our tour guide — and I didn’t face any difficulties.

On the night I went up to see ’School of Rock: The Musical’ I had to use one of the downstairs disabled bathrooms, due to bad weather and to make it easier for me to get suction (for those of you who aren’t that aware of what that means, it’s just getting secretions you’d normally cough up getting sucked out of my trachea). When my two friends and I finally got in there, we found that the space was considerably small, which was slightly confusing giving that it was a disabled toilets room, and I’ve heard others voicing similar problems.

‘Grand Opera House Disabled Bathroom’ © Phoebs Lyle

But when I was shown the upstairs disabled bathrooms as part of my tour — which are directly next door to each other — we all found they were they were different altogether, meaning a lot more spacious. While this is good, I was told that it would probably not be possible for them to knock the two rooms into each other when I brought up an idea for disabled changing places room. This is something I’ll hopefully have the opportunity to talk to the Oprah House about later this year, so I’ll be able to give more details then.

Everything else I got to see as part of the tour was an exhibition which the rest of the public will get to see hopefully this year (if Covid behaves itself), as well as the different levels of seating, and where actors and crew would chill out or rehearse a performance. I didn’t get to see the stage, so I can’t give any information on that, but maybe that will change in future.

So overall, I think the architecture of The Grand Opera House’s rebuild is stunning. It was very exciting seeing all the places that the public wouldn’t necessarily know about, the bar is gorgeous, and when the restrictions are finally lifted, the Heritage Exhibition about the theatre’s history is well worth a visit — no matter what age or ability you are. However, even with all the beauty, I’m still going to give out some facts on the bad side. While there is no way a changing places bathroom could be fitted into the disabled toilets downstairs, the two upstairs ones which are next door to each other definitely have enough space. If they were knocked into each other, they’d make the perfect changing places room, even if not all disabled people weren’t a fan of all the key equipment. Yes; this would also throw up other problems, such as if lifts would still work in the case of fires, and issues surrounding the dignity of disabled people if any situation of toileting while something dangerous happens occurs. But the fact this didn’t come up when the new building was being built is ridiculous, as it could have easily been sorted out.

Skullcandy Venue Active Noise Cancelling Headphones: Are These the Best Wireless Headphones Ever?

The Skullcandy Venue Active Noise Cancelling Headphones are Bluetooth Wireless Headphones developed and sold by Skullcandy Inc, and which did cost £100 on Amazon a couple of months ago, but now cost £79.99 on Amazon. I bought them with one of my pay checks while completing a couple of work experiences this year when they were selling at the more expensive price point, but were they worth the money?

The bag that the headphones came in said “Let today be the start of something new” and when I got the box out of the bag, you could really see how glossy the box was.

On top of the box you get the usual Skullcandy logo, along with the words: ‘All Music. No Noise.’ followed by the word ‘Venue’. Below that, you have some more information on what all the Skullcandy Venues offer, including on how much charge the headphones give you depending on how long they charge for, and to give you just an idea of how good these are, just 5 minutes of charging will give you five hours of usage.

The case that the headphones are very Beats-like, but probably bigger and in my opinion, better looking.

The case is easy to open, and inside it, you get the headphones, the charger, some more information about the headphones and how to set them up, and a couple of wires.

There is some more information about the headphones around the back, but there’s nothing more to say about them other than that.

It’s easy to connect your headphones to whatever phone you have, and as soon as I put them on, I couldn’t hear anything, not even anyone talking to me. The Active Noise Cancelation is extremely good, and I haven’t even found myself listening to stuff as high as I normally would with my Skullcandy Uproar Wireless, with which I had to put my volume up fully. The charge is amazing – especially given that my older headphones (which I had used every day) had started losing charge, but it works well at the minute when I use them side by side.

I haven’t been able to test the Tile feature yet, which lets you track where your headphones were are, but you also get a monitor mode, as well as the Activate Assistant mode. But as someone who has wanted these headphones for years and has just been able to buy them recently, I’m very happy with what I got.

Disabled Tourism Review: The Grand Opera House’s Rebuild

The Grand Opera House in Belfast is Northern Ireland’s most recognisable theatres. Open since 1895, it is known for staging musicals, comedies and pantomimes — making it an all round family favourite venue — and with its much anticipated rebuild now complete, the theatre is now back!

But how accessible is it if you’re a family with a disabled person, or if you’re a disabled person wanting to go out for the night with your friends? In this article, I will be reviewing how easy it was getting into and around the Grand Opera House on my recent visit, as well as my opinion on where the theatre falls short, based on the information found out by the wider disability community about the lack of disabled changing places within the theatre. I didn’t get to go all the way around the theatre, however, so another part of this review might come out in a couple of weeks after I go to see another show, when I will have time to go and look at other parts. But this is my review of the Grand Opera House, Belfast’s rebuild, an accessible tourism review!

Getting to the Theatre

The lead up to going to the theatre was exciting but stressful, mainly because of the new guidelines for attending events. Yes; I’m talking about the Covid Vaccine debate here — and it isn’t that I don’t want to get a covid passport — as someone who is physically disabled, I do — but the website to apply for one just isn’t accessible enough for me, because there was no ‘upload photo’ option for a proof of identity. There were various other problems as well as just the one I’ve mentioned — but without getting away from the story, after talking to the Opera House I was told I’d be allowed in if I showed evidence of a negative Covid test taken at least 24 hours beforehand. I was able to get in and see the show in the end.

Moving Around After Covid Checks

After getting in, it was easy to show our tickets, to find the room where the show would be held, and to find our seats. We arrived when people were still coming in, so one of my friends went to get the program for me, while the two others stayed with me in case anything happened. The security staff were nice and helpful, and there was definitely no problem in communication if they needed to discuss something with us or vice versa.

How Accessible is the Grand Opera House, Belfast Overall?

Keeping in mind again that I haven’t been the whole way around the theatre, and I’m only commenting so far on my experiences two weeks ago, I think the majority of my feedback is overwhelmingly positive. It was easy to get in, it was easy finding where the show would take place and our seats, and the security — when we needed them — were brilliant.

But even with that, there is one problem.

The Grand Opera House was given £11 million in government money for its newest rebuild, for which they promised something great. Yet – according to top disability advocates and information friends gave me about the toilets, there was no disabled persons changing places.

If you take my case as an example, I would need a hoist to help get me out of my wheelchair, and a table or bench to lie on. Even if the table was a flip down one, it would be good enough, and although I’m not the biggest fan of overhead hoists, it would be a good enough way forward.

I wouldn’t bother with visiting a disabled persons’ changing places room if I was going to a short performance with no interval like ‘Six’, but in a couple of weeks I’m going to be going to see ‘School of Rock’, which I know will be a longer performance. It would be nice to have the option of going to the toilet during the interval, rather than being forced not to drink beforehand when out for a dinner with friends beforehand.

But despite this, the accessibility isn’t awful, and the Grand Opera House does have information on its website on how they can give you help if you have specific needs. In fairness to them, their attitude to disabled people attending the theatre has always been great, and they deserve a big applause for that.

So with this in mind, I will give the Grand Opera House’s rebuild ****.

Sources:

https://www.belfastlive.co.uk/news/history/grand-opera-house-belfast-through-15123479

Logitech G Xbox Adaptive Gaming Kit Review

What’s up TR fans and welcome back for another blog here on Technology Reviews! I’ve been taking a break from this for a while so I can concentrate on applying for jobs and writing my book, and for this reason, I’ve planned to only update roughly every two weeks, although updates will still be coming!

But now, let’s get into my review of the Xbox Adaptive Gaming Kit!

The Xbox Adaptive Gaming Kit By Logitech is a collection of high performance and durable buttons and triggers for the Xbox Adaptive Controller to further enhance adaptive gameplay. To develop a comprehensive set of controls for ultimate configuration and flexibility, Logitech G worked with different accessibility organisations, and in the months following Christmas when I’ve been playing around with them, I have to say I’m pleased with how professional these switches feel.

The Xbox Adaptive Gaming Kit by Logitech

The box that your switches come in has a green header with the Xbox logo on it, above a black header with Xbox One on it, although these switches will also work on the Xbox Series X and S or any other Xbox you have. Another Xbox Logo appears at the bottom, parallel to the blue Logitech G logo, and under the blue Adaptive Gaming Kit text, which has more information about it in 3 different languages. There’s more information about the switches and what’s included at the back, but I think I would have liked seeing a bit more about Logitech G on it, as it’s Logitech and not Microsoft who have developed the switches and put everything together, although you do see a bit of the Adaptive Controller at the side, which is by Microsoft.

The first thing you’ll see when you open the Gaming Kit is a guide to how you put everything together, and when you move that, you’ll see stickers and your sticky stuff, which you can stick to a tray or around your arm. You also get 3 tray mats, which you can put on any tray or your lap if you’d like to use them, and when you move them you’ll see all the different compartments which hold all your switches and a couple of bags.

As someone who is paralysed from the neck down, I think it’s brilliant that you get so much, but as I can use all the front buttons of a controller and only need help with the back buttons unless I’m playing something that requires more, I probably don’t need as much out of it.

The switches you get are 4 light touch buttons, 2 variable triggers, 3 small buttons and 3 large buttons, which all come with 3mm wires and can plug into the back of the Xbox Adaptive Controller.

After using them for a few months, my favourite thing about these switches is how professional they feel and sound, and to let you know what I’m talking about, here’s a video clip of me clicking one of the switches which I have mapped to a trigger.

But what do I think about the Xbox Adaptive Gaming Kit overall? I like the number of switches you get in the kit, how professional they feel when compared to the other switches I bought, and all the extra bits you get alongside them. However, the one disadvantage to it is the price. In the UK, you can get it for £89.99, which is even more expensive in American Dollars. Some households wouldn’t be able to afford it, and a lot of disabled people come from low earning households. Therefore, although I will give this 5 stars for everything you get in it and for the quality of what you get, for it being a good enough price for the background I’m from, and for the price being good giving I’d have to pay more for just one switch, if someone from an underprivileged background is watching, it might not be the best for you, and I’ll finish this blog saying it might be good for it to become part of the Black Friday market, or for it to be discounted at other times of the year, same as the Adaptive Controller.

Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Xbox Gaming Headset Review

What’s up TR fans and welcome back for another headset review with Technology Reviews! When I started this blog a year ago, I started it with a review of my Scullcandy headphones, but since then, I didn’t publish any more headphone reviews. That changes today with this review of the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Xbox Gaming Headset! This is going to be one of the last reviews I’m going to publish for a while because I’m going to be bringing you a few other technology stories based on stuff that’s been announced recently and ones that might help us deal with circumstances of this year (I know, 2020 sucks), and I’m very excited to bring this all to you! However, this will be one of the only ones getting a video on YouTube, which I will get round to updating again soon!

So now, let’s get into this review!

The Turtle Beach Stealth 600 is a wireless gaming headset for Xbox, which I’ve been using each time I’ve been gaming on Xbox this year. Rated “One of the best wireless headsets you can use on Xbox One,” by WIRED, it has full surround sound and superhuman hearing, which really impresses me as far as Audio goes. The one I have is for Xbox since that’s my preferred console platform from the accessibility point and compatible with PC, but there’s also ones you can get for the PlayStation and Nintendo Switch.

Xbox Wireless provides you with a best-in-class wireless gaming audio experience on Xbox One, by letting you connect your STEALTH 600 gaming headset directly to your console without an adapter, the same way you’d connect your xbox wireless controller. Xbox Wireless automatically configures the headset’s connection, so you just have to turn it on and start playing!

Glasses friendly with an all-day 15 hour battery, as someone who uses glasses depending on how much text is in a game and depending on where I’m playing, you won’t feel like they get in the way.

It also has a microphone.

When we get into the box, you’ll see your literature, and the headset itself will be in the green packaging. I like how the packaging, itself, shows off the Xbox colours, and the Turtle Beach engraving, but other than that, they also seemed easy to get out.

So what do I think about the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 overall? The audio on it is good, and the battery lets you enjoy hours of wireless audio fun. Most of my gaming at the minute is single player _ so I can’t comment much on how well the microphone works _ but I might be able to comment more on it in future if I get more into multiplayer. The only thing I’d like to say from the Accessibility view point _ like I said in my Skullcandy review _ is about the idea of voice activated headphones / headsets. There’s been times when I’ve turned the headset on that the volume is completely down, and voice activation would just allow me _ as someone who can only use her head _ to turn them up without having to ask someone to turn the volume up for me. But other than that, I love them.

Problems with Marvel Avengers Game: Accessible Game Review.1

Problems with Marvel Avengers: Accessible Game Review Part 1, now on YouTube. If you enjoy this video and would like to see more, please subscribe to Phoebs Does Technology Reviews!

I’ve been looking forward to the new Marvel Avengers game for a few months, ever since I began getting into the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies this Summer, and found I absolutely loved them. The game is available on Playstation and Xbox, and after my preorder of the game failed because I ran out of money ordering other things, I ordered an Xbox version of it shortly after it’s release date last week, along with the steelbook.

I didn’t get a chance to play it when it first arrived _ having had a lot of previous engagements _ but because I wanted to do some research for a blog that will be out on here tomorrow, I put it in and installed the game last night after work. I remained excited about it while it loaded _ having seen a few clips and photos of it in previous days _ and as is often the case when a game first loads _ found I was able to use the main controls. However, the problem then arose when I got to the laser tag bit, when I found that I was able to Aim in with Lt on my Xbox Adaptive Controller, but that I would have to hold it down while turning round, and then shoot with Rt.

I find it difficult to hold a button down for a long time while doing something else, which is why Toggle Options are so important to me. In most shooter games, new ones have included Accessibility Options like Toggle Aim _ meaning someone like myself could just hit Lt (or whatever button that game has for Aim) once to let us aim on an object, then move round, and to just shoot when we’re ready.

After discovering the problem, I paused the game, and started looking through Settings. Most of the settings the game had were for subtitles, volume, and ones that would help with colour blindness and regular blindness, but when I went over to controller, there was nothing other than showing the controller layout, but even when I went to Gameplay Options, there was nothing. Seeing this, I then decided to try and see what the Latchbox would be like with it, and set it up to work with Lt. When everything was set up, I placed the switch by my head, and hit it to see if it would work. Basically, the light to indicate it was toggled on came on, but hitting it did nothing.

The reason I include Accessible Game Review.1 in the title of this blog is because I still want to play this game, and I would hate to give it a bad rap overall, based only on accessibility options, cuz if the right Toggle Options were added as soon as possible, I could give the game the proper game review it deserves. Having options like subtitles, text size, and options for blindness and colour blindness is brill, but if you can’t invite everyone to play together with the options that are better for them, then do you really want your game to be widely played?

I truly hope Crystal Dynamics and SquareEnix _ the companies that developed Marvel Avengers _ can introduce Toggle Options to the game soon, because otherwise it shows ableism towards one part of the disabled community!

Belated Birthday Blog: Happy 22nd to Me / VR City Review

Hi guys and welcome back to Technology Reviews! First of all, thanks to everyone who’s read my post https://technologyreviews303589869.wordpress.com/2020/01/31/technology-through-the-years-how-technology-has-changed-2009-2019-2020/. Before writing it, I never expected it to get as many views as it has, so I’d like to thank you a lot.

Since getting that post out, I’ve also managed to set up a few more social medias for this blog. You can still follow me on my personal Twitter account: @Phoebslyle, or on my personal Instagram account: therealphoebslyle. But if you want to follow my business Instagram for here, it is: technologyreviewsuk, and the Twitter is @TechReviewsUK_. You may have also seen I’ve been starting work on a new Podcast for Technology Reviews, which you can find by searching for Phoebs Lyle on Soundcloud.

So if you’ve been keeping an eye on my personal Twitter account, you’ll have seen that on 8th January, I celebrated my 22nd birthday. As well as the Turtle Beach headset _ which was featured in my Christmas blog but was actually meant to be for my birthday _ I got a lot of other stuff, as well as a new Blue Snowball ICE to replace the one I thought I lost but only ended having lost the cable _ which I will review as soon as I get through a whole lot of other ones.

I got up at half ten, and then got a lift up to VR City _ where I was booked in for 12 o, clock. I had a brilliant time, and after I finished, I got a Subway for lunch, before coming back home for 4. My full thoughts on my day at VR City are below.

VR City is a Virtual Reality arcade at Cityside, Northern Ireland _ offering Single and Multiplayer games, and doing experiences for ages 7+. You have a choice of 8 VR Stations _ 4 VR machines _ including a VR futuristic bike; Spacepods; a shotgun and a race car _ or 4 VR Booths _ and over 280 games! They have accessibility options available, and great wheelchair access, as well as sensory options. But I think there’s a good amount of accessibility they still need to improve on.

You get a lot of different types of games, but how accessible these are, at the minute, depends on your level of disability. I spent most of my time playing the Roller Coaster games, which you get access to by the Spacepods. They include small and big Roller Coasters, and even a Ghost Train one where various ghouls jump up at your face, but what I liked about them is how I was able to control them by moving my head. These made them feel more realistic and more creepier.

Later on, I got to try a Shooter one, but I didn’t enjoy it as much, as there was no way for me to control it using accessible controls. This is where I feel that Virtual Reality in general needs to try harder in including disabled people, which should be becoming easier with the rise in popularity of accessible controllers. First of all, you need to install a hoist so that wheelchair dependent people can get from their chairs to whichever VR Machine _ even if it’s not an overhead one, but one on wheels _ which I would prefer. But you also need to research into accessible controls for those who come in and need accessibility options, because not every wheelchair dependent person can play games in the same way as their able bodied peers. Such options could include voice control, head controls, or even accessible switches, but I am more than happy to give advice on what all is out there and what would be easier.

Nonetheless, I was able to play a large variety of games for when I was there, and the staff were very, very nice. But with just a few more adjustments, it could be even better.

Either way, I enjoyed my time, and overall, I will give VR CityX ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.