The official iOS e-reading app of Barnes & Noble has just received a major update that is mostly aimed at “leveraging Apple assistive technology.”
Nook for iOS now fully supports screen magnification and, more important, VoiceOver. This effectively makes the app more accessible to users who have low vision or are altogether blind.
When you launch the updated app for the first time, you will be prompted to view a tutorial concerning the new accessibility features of Nook for iOS. These include VoiceOver controls, navigation gestures, and automated reading.
I put these features to the test using my Nook e-book of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice,” from which the famous “It is a truth universally acknowledged” first line comes. And I must say that I am quite impressed with the app’s overall accessibility.
Which is far more than I can say for Amazon’s Kindle for iOS, which is yet to support iOS accessibility. Kobo for iOS and Apple’s iBooks, for their part, have long supported accessibility features similar to those of Nook for iOS.
Nook for iOS is available in the App Store for free. Requiring iOS 4.3 or later, the app is compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPad, and iPad mini.
The updated app also features iPhone 5 optimization, U.K. Nook books and magazine integration, and language support for British English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish.