Using Samsung’s S-pen with Talkback: a case for the phablet


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No doubt the word phablet has entered every day vocabulary among the general population. The larger screen allows not only for more precise on-screen navigation, but also provides an opportunity for more content and video to be viewed. On some phablets, such as Samsung's Galaxy Note 5, a stylus is included which can detect not only precise finger movement, but also pressure in the form of greater line thickness. For professionals, artists, and general consumers alike, this provides the ability to write with handwritten notes or drawings. A picture's worth a thousand words, or so they say. What about other stylus advantages? Samsung has built a special "hover" gesture, which allows swiping and various screen actions without touching the physical phone. This is similar but very, very different from Apple's 3D touch. The reason we make this comparison is simple: Some air gestures can preview content or interact with it in contextual ways. However, it is worth "noting" that 3D touch requires a firm press on the screen, while this is the opposite, whereby you lift the stylus half an inch above it. What about accessibility? Lucky for us, Samsung has built in Talkback support for the stylus. While not ideal, it allows you to swipe around the keyboard, tap items or keys, and see a more "3D" overview of the screen. With a physical stylus, your entire wrist and hand are involved in the touch exploration process. Drawing might also be useful for those who have some vision, as you can create large-print notes for yourself. Join as the question is explored: Is the Note 5's stylus capability worth it for the visually impaired?

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