Austin Seraphin got his first iPhone in June, and it changed his life. Seraphin is blind, and the iPhone's oft-unused feature, VoiceOver, which turns visual cues into voice feedback, enabled him to use the smartphone like no device he's ever used before.
Seraphin heaps a lot of praise on Apple, going so far as to say that the iPhone is the "greatest thing ever to happen to the blind." Since the iPhone doesn't just give voice feedback but combines the sounds with touchscreen input (specifically modified for the blind), VoiceOver adds a "whole other dimension" to other interfaces, he says. It's hard to imagine Android working as well.
The one problem with the experience is iTunes. While vague on details, Seraphin calls the iPhone's music app "virtually unusable" for the sightless. This seems like an odd oversight on Apple's part; why would it be so difficult to simply have a "blind mode" for iTunes?
In any case, you can bet it's not preventing Seraphin from loving his phone. It's hard not to be moved reading his experience with the app Color Identifier, which let him see colors for the first time. Holding the phone up to objects and hearing creative names for the colors (like "opium") of objects around him, Seraphin isn't exaggerating when he calls it life-changing. And, for everyone else, inspiring.