Adding VoiceOver To Apps

21 June 2015

The Iconfactory:

We’re not in this business just to make money: all of us at the Iconfactory hope that our products will make people’s lives better. We’ve worked hard to make Twitterrific work well with the accessibility features in iOS. Hearing that these efforts make things easier for customers with disabilities is rewarding beyond words. (Listen to the podcast file in that last link to get a great idea of what life is like for a VoiceOver user.)

But now there’s another incentive for thinking about accessibility: helping others also helps your downloads.

This is a bit disingenuous. The sales boost from this Apple feature is almost certainly temporary and there are no guarantees that Apple will do such a promotion again. Also note that most of the apps in the store with VoiceOver support were not featured in this lis and received no benefit at all from their investment here.

On raw monetary grounds, investing in VoiceOver support is hard to justify on a raw cost-benefit analysis. I haven’t seen it materially affect sales under normal circumstances. Luckily, very little work gets you very far with VoiceOver conformance. It’s a nice thing to do that makes your apps accessible to an even larger base of people. As a developer, taking some time to do this is incredibly rewarding in ways other than bottom line profit. I love getting feedback from blind users of my apps. It makes me feel good that I’ve helped someone. That’s what makes adding VoiceOver worthwhile.