Tablet and E-Book Reading Devices

The DRC is currently working to evaluate a range of current tablet and e-book reading devices for accessibility.  While we certainly can not possibly test all available devices, we will try to stay up to date on at least the devices available in the UALR Book Store.  If you have any questions, suggestions, or would like us to test a particular app, feel free to contact Justin Hicks at jxhicks@ualr.edu.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook is an Android 4.4.2 tablet with a 7″ screen.  It has 8GB of internal storage and is expandable through a microSD card slot.  Overall the tablet itself works well with the built in screen reader or magnifier.

The screen reader allows you to navigate through all clickable items on the screen by swiping left or right and then double tapping the screen once you reach the item you desire.  The on screen keyboard works well with the screen reader, voicing the key when you move your finger over the key, and typing the key when you pick up your finger from the screen.

The magnifier works well, though it does reset itself whenever an app is launched.  It is easily relaunched by triple tapping the screen.

Apps

Nook: The built in Nook app is different than the version of the app found in the Google Play store.  I found that it is not as accessible as the generic version of the app.  Unfortunately, the Play store does not allow installation of the generic Nook app on this device.  The screen reader will read the text of a book, but navigation is a problem.  It is difficult to change pages, and even when you do the screen reader seems to keep reading from the previous page.  Magnification works well and the app has built in font options.

Kindle: The Kindle app found in the Play store works well with the screen reader.  You can have books read automatically or manually, and navigation is not a problem.  If you have a Amazon Kindle account setup, you can also use the Mail to Kindle feature to email documents to your Kindle app to be read just like a book.  It supports a variety of formats such as MS Word, RTF, and PDF.

Google Play Books:  The Play Books app found in the Play store works much like the Kindle app.  Books can be read automatically or manually, though navigation is not as simple.

Web Browsing:  The Galaxy Tab 4 Nook comes with both the Chrome web browser as well as the standard Android Internet browser.  Both work decently with accessibility features, but there were some navigation issues.  Using the screen reader, I found larger, more complex websites were harder to navigate.  On the default Samsung homepage I could not seem to navigate away from the menu bar.

Email: The Gmail mail client worked well and is compatible with UALR email accounts.

 

Trio Stealth G4

The Trio Stealth G4 is an Android 4.4.2 tablet with a 7.8″ screen.  It has 8GB of internal storage and is expandable through a microSD card slot.  The screen on this device is not very good at all making reading difficult.  The touch controls are also not consistent making navigation difficult.

Apps

Nook: The Nook app downloaded from the Play store is different than the one that comes with the Samsung Galaxy above.  This is the generic version of the app, and therefore is a little more accessible.  There are still some navigation issues, which are exacerbated due to the Trio’s poor touch control, but the app does work better with the screen reader.  It now has an auto reading function that makes things easier.

Kindle: The Kindle app functions much as it does on the Samsung above.

Google Play Books: The Play Books app functions much as it does on the Samsung above.

Web Browsing: The Trio comes with the standard Android Internet browser.  Because of the poor touch controls, I found it to be barely usable with the screen reader due to navigation difficulties.

Email: The Trio comes with the standard Android email client.  Again, because of the poor touch control it is difficult to use with the screen reader.