Apple HomePod Day – A blind man’s salute to Apple!

Today is Apple HomePod Day – Woo!… And if that’s not the saddest most geekiest thing you’ve heard in a while, then you probably need to reevaluate the kinds of people you are hanging around with, and possibly reconsider your job, or your marriage, or both – And stop reading things like this. It is released today, I have ordered one, and so mine will arrive at some point over the next twelve hours, although knowing my luck, probably bloody 7pm just as I have to leave for work.

Yes it is just a speaker, you don’t need to tell me that it is just a speaker, I know it is just a speaker, but it’s a speaker with a little Apple sign on it that will glow up in the dark, and even though I won’t actually be able to see it doing that, the mere knowledge that it is happening will make me feel warm and happy inside.

I am what you might call a bit of an Apple fanboy… an Apple whore… an Apple saddo – take your pick, I answer to all three. I do however have a wonderful knack for making it all sound rather worthy and romantic though, so if you do have a tiny violin to hand, I would suggest starting to play it now whilst reading the next few paragraphs or so.

Basically I have spent twenty years of my tech life having to blunder along with a whole cavalcade of various PCs and mobile phones, that have first required me to procure some ridiculously expensive software to either make the text on the screen larger when I could see a bit, or to speak everything out loud to me when larger just wasn’t large enough any more. Oh, and when I say expensive, I mean proper bloody expensive – often the software ended up costing more than the actual sodding computer did. For this there were always grants and schemes and charities and such, but it was all a proper pain in the arse With very mixed results.

My first mobile phone was actually a Panasonic, and apart from it beeping when I pressed the buttons, I had no further feedback from it that enabled me to use the thing beyond just typing in numbers out of my head. I couldn’t send text messages, and I couldn’t even use the contacts list to store numbers. This improved about four years later when software became available to make a Nokia phone talk, but if I remember rightly, this software cost 150 quid, and was never ever up to speed with the latest mobile phone releases, so that when your contract was up for renewal you more than likely couldn’t get the new cool one but had to settle for one that had been out for a while that the talkie software would actually work on.

Enter Apple to the game… in 2009 they released the iPhone 3GS, a phone with literally four buttons, and that on paper looked like a blind persons worst technological nightmare! But this is where the magic lay, as concealed a few levels down with in the phone’s settings was a feature called Voiceover, that when activated would make the phone not only talk, but pretty much completely useable to anybody that couldn’t see but that did have fingers.

For years the iPhone remained the only mobile phone that you could just wander into the shop, and walk out being able to use straight away if you were blind, depending of course that you had wandered into the right shop that is – the lovely staff at The Gap wouldn’t be much help in this department. Also, because the talkie feature is built in to the phone’s operating system, it means that the brand new sexy shiny models would become viable acquisitions on the very day of release, just like they were for everybody else, and for zero of my extra monies.

I know I joked above about having to have fingers, but such has Apple’s commitment to accessibility been, that not even this is a restriction to using their devices now, and their electronic wares can even be operated by simple clicking devices or even head nods for those with severe restricted movement.

It’s a phenomenal commitment from them to be honest, and one that stretches across the whole plethora of their devices, from the laptop and desktop computers, to the phones and iPads, to the watch and the AppleTV – all of them boasting a full suite of access features that pretty much allow the bloody dog to change the channel or bark out an email.

I have always been somebody that is excited by technology, and I do love new shiny things that are going to offer me some digital indulgence and joy until the next better version comes out – and my attitude for the past nine years has been that if Apple are prepared to put so much time and effort into making sure I can use all of their sexy stuffs, then I am going to bloody give them my money so that I can have a go.

So when I say I am looking forward to getting my new Apple HomePod today, don’t question whether I actually need it or not – I probably don’t – And don’t tell me that it’s just a speaker – it almost certainly is, but it also talks and probably smells really nice too – This is me simply investing back into the company that have invested in me so much. I mean, if I stop giving them my money, and they stop putting all of that effort in, how is the dog going to do his emails?

CMx

Apple HomePod Day – A blind man’s salute to Apple!

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About me...

I am a stand-up comedian from Liverpool. I am blind, and I live with my wife and young daughter in South West London.

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