Ludicrous Software

New Version of the Nokia 6682 Available From Rogers…

…and if you’re a Flash Lite developer you’re probably asking yourself why you should even care. The 6682, after, is a few years old now. As a device that runs the S60 2nd Edition operating system, you could download and install the Flash Lite player from Adobe and the 6682 was a fine testing device. I think it can also run the 2.1 version of the player, so it definitely still has its value - if you’re just starting out in Flash Lite development and on a tight budget, you could probably do worse than pick up a 6682 from eBay..

But why should a new version of the 6682 be of interest to Flash Lite developers? Because it’s the Nokia 6682RVI, a handset designed specifically for customers who are visually impaired. The device features TALKS, a text-to-speech program that can read out screen text to the user. My bet, without doing one bit of Googling about this, is that TALKS does not read out the text in a Flash Lite document.

What this means is simple: developers who want to include Flash Lite content on their web pages designed for mobile users must address the same accessibility issues facing developers who use Flash on the ‘non-mobile’ web. Flash Lite allows for a much more immersive and rich multimedia web experience for mobile users than, say, a WAP site. But it’s important to remember that using Flash Lite on your mobile web site without providing a non-Flash alternative may make your site inaccessible to many mobile users out there.

And even if you feel that’s a trade-off worth making, remember this: Google likes plain text. Flash Lite content will be as invisible to the Googlebot as it will be to many people who use phoneslike the 6682RVI. So even the people you are targeting with your site could have a hard time finding it.