Prospects for an accessible and open version of Android?
Linux for blind general discussion
blinux-list at redhat.com
Sun Jun 14 20:21:46 UTC 2020
Could that have been Bill Acker?
> On Jun 14, 2020, at 1:09 PM, Linux for blind general discussion <blinux-list at redhat.com> wrote:
> Hi, I’m passing this along to a blind and Arctic person. She runs android discuss a mailing list. I’ve already sent her a private note that essentially said this. About Lenox. I in an extremely small way mentioned to her that one of the list members in fact the person I’m responding to and I met vicariously through a late amateur radio operator. Who lived in Denver taught me a lot that I know of X. I was just sitting here getting about the past briefly. I said to the final vote that person is no longer with us. He is certainly not forgotten. Be well everyone.
> Sincerely Maurice Mines.
>> On Jun 14, 2020, at 10:35, Linux for blind general discussion <blinux-list at redhat.com> wrote:
>> I believe the reason there's no Orca on Linux is because the UI layer on
>> Android is based on Java, whereas Orca is a GNOME/GTK application.
>> So, yes, they both have Linux under the hood; but that's about the
>> extent of the similarity.
>> PS: Also lacking on Android is screen reader access to anything terminal
>> based. Talkback, being Java based and object oriented, isn't likely ever
>> to support terminal applications on Android. Yet, quite a few users
>> would love to bring up a bash prompt on their Android devices,
>> especially to ssh out to an external Linux.
>> Sp[eakup is unlikely to work well for that, as Google's Linux kernel
>> seems pretty specific to what they consider important, vis a vis
>> supporting all Linux kernel modules. Perhaps when Speakup finally exists
>> Staging and becomes part of the Linux kernel, this may be an option.
>> Far more practical, imo, is Fenrir. I have sometimes thought of putting
>> together an Android build environment to see whether I could get Fenrir
>> to run on Android--but I'd be perfectly happy should someone else get
>> there first! <smile>
>> Linux for blind general discussion writes:
>>> I've been doing some web crawling, trying to get an idea of the prospects
>>> for a blind-accessible, (mostly) open source OS for Android HW devices.
>>> The rest of this message is a mishmash of links and notes; if anyone can
>>> provide additions and corrections, I'd be most grateful...
>>> # Availability
>>> The Android application package (APK) is the Golden Path for distribution,
>>> but some Google Play apps aren't available to "rooted" Android phones:
>>> SafetyNet Explained: Why Android Pay and Other Apps Don’t Work on Rooted Devices
>>> It would be nice to have a Linux-friendly tool (e.g., APT) as an alternative.
>>> Meanwhile, some packages are available via microG (https://microg.org).
>>> # Accessibility
>>> ## Android
>>> The Golden Path for a11y seems to be the Android Accessibility Suite, available
>>> on the Google Play Store:
>>> More general information is available on the Android accessibility overview page:
>>> ## Celia
>>> This seems interesting, even though it (currently) only supports Chinese.
>>> However, it (and EMUI) are proprietary.
>>>> Celia is an artificially intelligent virtual assistant developed by Huawei
>>> for its latest Android-based EMUI smartphones that lack Google Services
>>> and a Google Assistant.
>>> -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celia_(Virtual_assistant)
>>> ## Screen Readers, etc.
>>> TalkBack and BrailleBack (both found in the Android Accessibility Suite)
>>> seem to be the Golden Path for blind-friendly Android support.
>>> Despite this title, there doesn't appear to be any APK version of Orca:
>>> Orca Download for Linux (apk, deb, eopkg, rpm, tgz, txz, xz, zst)
>>> More generally, I can't find any open source screen readers listed for APK:
>>> Search Results for "screen reader"
>>> # OS Family Tree
>>> TL;DR: There are lots of (all or mostly) free OS variants, but their a11y
>>> support is extremely limited. Also, many of them are only intended to be
>>> used on a single vendor's devices.
>>> Anyway, here is an OS family tree of sorts, with informational links.
>>> It's based on Wikipedia's "List of custom Android distributions"
>>> supplemented with information gleaned from assorted web sites (YMMV).
>>> Linux - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_kernel
>>> - AOSP - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_(operating_system)#AOSP
>>> - - ConquerOS - https://github.com/ConquerOS/manifest
>>> - - CopperheadOS - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CopperheadOS
>>> - - CyanogenMod - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CyanogenMod
>>> - - - LineageOS - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LineageOS
>>> - - - - CrDroid - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CrDroid
>>> - - - - Project Sakura - https://sourceforge.net/projects/projectsakura/files/Mido
>>> - - - - Replicant - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Replicant_(operating_system)
>>> - - - - - /e/ - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki//e/_(operating_system)
>>> - - DerpFest - https://derpfest.org
>>> - - Emteria.OS - https://emteria.com
>>> - - EMUI - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EMUI
>>> - - EvolutionX - https://evolution-x.org/#
>>> - - Flyme - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meizu#Flyme
>>> - - GrapheneOS - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GrapheneOS
>>> - - GSI - https://source.android.com/setup/build/gsi
>>> - - Havoc-OS - https://sourceforge.net/projects/havoc-os
>>> - - Ion OS - https://sourceforge.net/projects/i-o-n
>>> - - MoKee - https://download.mokeedev.com
>>> - - MIUI - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIUI
>>> - - MSM-Xtended - https://sourceforge.net/projects/xtended
>>> - - OmniROM - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OmniROM
>>> - - OxygenOS - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OxygenOS
>>> - - Paranoid Android - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paranoid_Android_(software)
>>> - - Pixel Experience - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pixel_Experience
>>> - - Realme - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Realme
>>> - - Smartisan OS - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smartisan_OS
>>> - - ViperOS - https://download.viperos.org/#
>>> # Starting Points
>>> My suspicion is that the LineageOS, Replicant, and /e/ flavors are the
>>> most promising starting points, but I could certainly be wrong. If you
>>> know of something you think is better, please let me know!
>>> Speaking of which, the definition of "better" is very context-dependent.
>>> If avoiding any and all proprietary software is your goal, Replicant may
>>> be the best choice. If you want instant gratification, you might want
>>> to purchase a phone that already has /e/ installed...
>>> Also, if you're only using Wi-Fi for connectivity, you can ignore some
>>> cell phone issues (e.g., CDMA, FDMA, and TDMA signal encoding).
>>> ## Replicant
>>> - https://replicant.us/
>>> - https://replicant.us/about.php#faq
>>> - https://replicant.us/freedom-privacy-security-issues.php
>>> - https://replicant.us/supported-devices.php
>>> - https://redmine.replicant.us/projects/replicant/wiki/DeviceStatus
>>> ## LineageOS
>>> - https://lineageos.org
>>> - https://lineageos.org/blog
>>> - https://wiki.lineageos.org
>>> - https://wiki.lineageos.org/faq.html
>>> ## /e/
>>> - https://doc.e.foundation/devices/
>>> - https://doc.e.foundation/what-s-e
>>> - https://e.foundation
>>> - https://e.foundation/about-e
>>> - https://e.foundation/about-e/#why-/e/
>>> Blinux-list mailing list
>>> Blinux-list at redhat.com
>> Janina Sajka
>> Linux Foundation Fellow
>> Executive Chair, Accessibility Workgroup: http://a11y.org
>> The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
>> Chair, Accessible Platform Architectures http://www.w3.org/wai/apa
>> Blinux-list mailing list
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