Mobile Assistive Technology Gesture References

During a recent consultation on a mobile project, I broached the topic of gestures that are used by assistive technology on various devices. I gathered links to resources for my client and figured I’d share them here as well.

Example of a gesture. I also found some cheat sheets that are a bit more visually clear (making it easier for someone like me to quickly review) for both iOS and Android. Interactive Accessibility makes them available as three PDF files (one includes details on using the iOS Bluetooth keyboard with VoiceOver, so no Narrator doc): iOS & Android Screen Reader Gesture Reference Cheatsheet

Finally, please bear in mind that HTC devices use HTC Sense and Samsung devices use TouchWiz, both of which are custom UIs that live on top of Android and can break some or all of TalkBack. Consider this when testing.

Of course, if you are writing an app and you want to make some custom gestures (a la Tinder with its swipe right becoming so popular it has entered the non-tech vernacular), you should read this article: Why Implementing Swipe Gestures Causes A Mobile Accessibility Issue

If you go so far as to make a custom gesture that doesn’t conflict with one already in use by assistive technology, don’t be a jerk by patenting it. That’s not cool.

3 Comments

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This is great! Thank you!

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hi Adrian and thanks,
Do you know why iOS and android don’t use two fingers gestures swiping right or left?

Zachary sigal; . Permalink
In response to Zachary sigal. Reply

Zachary, I genuinely have no idea. Is there some reason you are asking, some expectation set elsewhere?

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