G3ict is the Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs

G3ict: The Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs
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This G3ict white paper business case series report highlights the features of Adobe PhoneGap, a free open source framework that allows developers to create mobile apps using standardized web Application Program Interface (API) for cross-platform development, avoiding each mobile platforms' native development language and ensuring that all versions of the same app are accessible.  

Atlanta, Georgia. 04/02/2015

PhoneGap / Cordova cover imageG3ict, the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies, is pleased to announce the publication of a highly resourceful white paper that draws attention to a much-needed, critical feature of mobile app development – cross platform development, including automated coding for accessibility features. 
Researched in collaboration with Adobe, the 16-page document, ‘PhoneGap/Cordova: A key to apps portability for all users,’ underscores the importance of considering the needs of diverse user groups, including persons with disabilities and senior citizens and the requirement to develop apps compatible with the accessibility features of multiple operating system platforms. 

Presently, several operating systems share the market for smart phones and tablets: Android leads internationally, iOS Apple is the leader in the U.S., while Microsoft Windows and BlackBerry share the remainder of the market. Each operating system has its own family of tens of thousands of applications, a number growing every day as users spend more and more time - and money - on apps, according to the most recent Nielsen study on adults 18 and older.

This G3ict white paper highlights the features of Adobe PhoneGap, a free and open source framework that allows developers to create mobile apps using standardized web Application Program Interface (API) for cross-platform development, avoiding each mobile platforms' native development language and ensuring that all versions of the same app are accessible. The PhoneGap Mobile Accessibility Plugin works by providing developers access to each mobile device’s built-in accessibility features, allowing them to build apps that can be compiled to run on any given operating system.

Mobile operating systems have their own accessibility APIs available to developers to report whether a specific accessibility feature is engaged, so it can communicate what’s happening on the device when it’s running, and stay idle when it’s not. PhoneGap, published by the Apache Foundation under the name Apache Cordova, made it possible to add this sweeping new functionality quickly, test it within the accessibility community, and deploy and update the module without waiting to publish on PhoneGap’s release cycle. This same process allows PhoneGap to add new accessibility features, as each operating system evolves and improves. With this new functionality, Adobe PhoneGap/Cordova is able to help improve the accessibility of thousands of apps built using PhoneGap technology.

Featuring testimonials from technology and mobile accessibility experts, including Christian Allen, CTO of Crumbdrop, Erik Zetterström, Owner at ‎Sweden-based ICT Enablers, and acessibility expert, Victor Tsaran, the report goes on to provide examples of how the PhoneGap plugin fetches critical indicators of a mobile phone’s accessibility features. These include, but are not limited to:
• Is a screen reader currently running?
• Is closed captioning enabled at an operating system level?
• What level of text zoom has the user selected?
• Has the user chosen inverted colors for higher contrast?
• Has the user chosen mono audio instead of stereo?
• Does the user prefer exploring the screen by touch, rather than navigating sequentially?
• Has the user limited certain buttons or areas of the screen from being activated?
The report discusses how PhoneGap/Cordova is a fast, open source tool to develop apps no matter what the platform is and how adding the mobile accessibility plugin ensures that all apps can detect the specific settings of a particular user, and immediately adjust to them, a great benefit to users for a better experience.
Axel Leblois, Founder and President of G3ict, said, “App developers face the increasingly crucial task of designing mobile apps that are accessible, user-friendly and adaptable to any mobile operating system. PhoneGap/Cordova is a win-win solution since it allows to expand the number of accessible apps for persons with disabilities while reducing the workload for developers who can reach all users with a single interface."
PhoneGap Mobile Accessibility plugin is available for download on Github: https://github.com/phonegap/phonegap-mobile-accessibility
This white paper was released at the 2015 CSUN Conference Adobe Session on 'PhoneGap Accessibility' under the track 'Employment & Workplace,' presented by Michael Jordan and Matt May of Adobe.
You can download this report for free from our Publications & Reports page. A hard copy of the report is available for purchase at MagCloud.

The G3ict White Paper Business-Case Series documents innovative accessibility solutions and good practices with real-world case studies for users and organizations seeking to improve the accessibility of their information technology, applications and services.
For more information, please contact: Francesca Cesa Bianchi, VP Institutional Relations, G3ict at fcesabianchi@g3ict.org.
About Adobe Systems Incorporated
Adobe is the global leader in digital marketing and digital media solutions. Their tools and services allow customers to create groundbreaking digital content, deploy it across media and devices, measure and optimize it over time, and achieve greater business success. Adobe helps customers make, manage, measure, and monetize their content across every channel and screen. For additional information, visit http://www.adobe.com
About G3ict
G3ict – the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies – is an advocacy initiative launched in December 2006 to promote the ICT accessibility provisions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in cooperation with the Secretariat for the CRPD at UNDESA. Its mission is to facilitate and support the implementation of the dispositions of the CRPD promoting digital accessibility and Assistive Technologies. Participating organizations include industry, academia, the public sector and organizations representing persons with disabilities. G3ict produces jointly with ITU the e-Accessibility Policy Toolkit for Persons with Disabilities, as well as specialized reports which are widely used around the world by policy makers involved in the implementation of the CRPD. For additional information, visit http://www.g3ict.org.