Yes, you read correctly: An accessible touch screen device! This morning, I went to a retail store carrying mostly Apple products and had a look at the new iPhone 3G S that was released in Germany on Friday. Apple revealed during the WWDC keynote two weeks ago that it would have a built-in screen reader named the same as is included in Mac OS X: VoiceOver. This is a feature not available on the regular iPhone 3G, as its hardware capacity is insufficient.
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If you’re one of those types who likes to visually twist, rotate or tweak some text, in previous years the only real choice was to use pictures to achieve such visual effects. However, thanks to CSS3 transforms, supported in Firefox 3.5 and later, Safari 3 and later, and Opera 10 beta, it is now possible to use plain text and rotate, twist and tweak its looks via CSS. The big advantage: Screen readers will still read the text OK because their reading order is not influenced by the visual appearance of the text. So even text rotated by 45 or 90 degrees will appear correctly in a screen reader’s virtual buffer.