The all-bold option on Kindles isn’t the only great news on the accessibility front.
Until now, at least if you were using both the Chrome and Safari browsers, the iOS Gmail app would call up only Chrome when you clicked on a link in a message. No luck if instead you preferred Safari—which offers an accessibility mode with such options as a bold font.
But the Gmail app’s new 5.0.7 update lets you choose Safari instead as the default program for the app to call up. That’s a godsend for this of us who click on links from news sites and other text-heavy ones and find the type less than optimally readable.
Safari’s accessibility mode also gets rid of intrusive ads. You see the ads when you call up a site, but not after you click on the four lines at the left of the address bar, the switch for the accessibility mode.
Within iOS Gmail, you can toggle in Safari as the default browser by tapping the three lines on the upper left, then scrolling down to Settings (gear icon). Then choose Google Apps and specify your preference.
If your Gmail doesn’t reflect the change yet, just wait—it should come soon if you’re running a recent iOS. Also, you can click on the updates section of the App Store and make sure your iPad has downloaded the new version of Gmail.
Don’t know how to switch on Safari’s accessibility features? Just click on the Settings menu from the home screen and within Accessibility try out such options as Larger Text and Bold Text. Not all apps have accessibility features. But Safari does. Would that the Kindle iOS app offered all the accessibility options available.
Beyond the browser-selection option, the new Gmail also lets you make a few other app-related choices, such as the preferred map program.
If you’re using Android rather than iOS, you can still change which Web browser the Gmail app calls up. Just go to Settings, then Applications, and look for your preferred browser on the app list. Set it as the default browser.
Needless to say, a big questions arise. Why is iOS Chrome is so crummy compared to Safari, from an accessibility perspective? In fact, in general, Chrome badly lags Safari on the accessibility front despite add-ons such as High Contrast. Time for Google to catch up!
In other ways, too, the iOS Gmail could be better—just check out the user reviews on the related app store page. Alas, the Mail app isn’t that terrific either despite improvements. It’s too slow for my tastes.