As often happens, the newest version of an app doesn’t work well with Voiceover. The August 12 update of Trivia Crack randomly bounced you out of the app if you used Voiceover, as blind users must.
There are not a lot of mainstream games on the iPhone that blind people can play, so this one is very popular with us. Since it’s also a very popular game with sighted users, it gives us a common bond. I admit I’m hooked; I’m at level 155. I regularly play about ten people, eight of whom are sighted. My opponents range in age from eighteen to eighty.
When version 2.2 installed itself and then crashed every time I opened it with Voiceover on, I sent a comment through their website and got back an automated response that they’d be in touch soon. I checked applevis.com and several other blind Trivia Crackers had experienced the same problem. I found Trivia Crack on Twitter and tweeted them. Then I Facebooked and asked Trivia Crackers, whether they use Voiceover or not, to complain.
I also sent the message to several lists of blind people and sent story ideas to wired Magazine and the BBC’s and NPR’s tech programs. I wanted to raise a mighty chorus! Apparently it wasn’t a story that tech magazines or tech shows found compelling. I think it’s hard for sighted people to realize how few choices of games we have since they’ve never had to think if a game is accessible. Users of Apple apps can’t go backward to the last version that was accessible.
No word came from the developer–not surprising to this cynic. In desperation, I called Apple Cares line and lodged a complaint. The gal I talked to thought if they get a lot of complaints they might reach out to the developer. I updated my lists and Facebook page with this message: “Call Apple Cares to complain. Their number is 800-275-2273. You’ll have to go through giving them your IMEI number and your phone number, etc. It takes about five minutes. Maybe if we work together we can stir up interest in fixing this.”
After two weeks I contacted a lawyer who specializes in disability rights, access issues, etc. and said I might be willing to pay for a couple hours of his time to write a letter to the developer. I’d think a legal letter would be worth paying attention to. After I found out it would cost me $400 to nudge them about access, I decided to wait. And wait… Stay tuned!