Accessible Phones

Phone accessibility.
I have been looking for ways to access basic functionality of a smart phone independently. I have been looking at both android and iOS (iPhone) devices after previously using Nokia phone tools and mymobiler/PocketPC software on Windows mobile devices.
For android I tried various screencast software, the majority of which would not allow full control of the phone for one reason or another. I also tried different VNC software (akin to Remote Desktop software, allowing the android phone screen to be shared with and controlled by a remote PC running a dedicated application or web browser). Androidscreencast was very promising but I could not work out to redirect mouse as well as keyboard. DroidVNC allowed full mouse control but I could not redirect keyboard input. I tried using these in combination with each other but they did not seem to like cooperating with each other and, starting the androidscreencast seem to result in the VNC server dying. Later on I then found Airdroid, a fantastic application that allows control of an android phone “desktop” through a web browser. Although fantastic with regard contacts, messaging and files I could not make a phone call.
On the iPhone, the first thing to note is that significant restrictions are in place due to apples stringent security policies and software lockdown. To get a VNC server running on the phone, the phone would need to be jail broken. Jailbreak is possible with iOS 5.1.1 but not with iOS 6 or the iPhone 5 (yet). Other possibilities include applications like myPhoneDesktop or iPhone PC suite or (my current favourite option) happy fingers. These applications are all paid, and offer differing functionalities with regard to messaging and making calls but require the user to confirm the action on the handset. Presumably these restrictions are made with the security of the phone owner in mind to restrict the possible actions of malicious software, nonetheless they are frustrating for someone who cannot perform these manual confirmations on the device. Hopefully a switch input converter e.g. Perrero will solve the problem of manually confirming “send” or “call” actions without actually having to touch the device.

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