seense blog

seense and Accessibility

All started this week with the Mac Geek Gab Podcast 604 from The Mac Observer. John F. Braun & Dave Hamilton mentioned MenuBar Stats during their podcast. Thanks to them by the way for this.

Few hours later, a podcast listener Scott contacted me about the possibility to add VoiceOver to MenuBar Stats .

As I’m always open to new suggestion to improve my apps, I was ready to have a look.

I honestly, never looked at this Apple feature by the past, and didn’t know what to expect. I was busy with the next release of The Clock, and I needed a break. So I started to poke around and play with VoiceOver. It looked quite interesting and powerful. I then tried VoiceOver with MenuBar Stats , and of course it was not working.

Ok, let’s Google it, StackOverflow it, and try to find the basic concept for the VO programming. Few hours later, I started to have a fairly basic idea of the inner working of VO.

It was time to open MenuBar Stats source code to see what was possible to be done. Lucky me, the brand new coding of MenuBar Stats from version 2, was perfect to implement VO easily. After few hours of coding and testing the first version was ready. I sent it to Scott for testing. I was on the right track. Almost everything was now accessible by VO. Good. Let’s finalize the last remaining missing things, some back and forth for testing and after 1-2 days the final MenuBar Stats version with VO was ready.

This experience revealed to me that my leading apps The Clock and MenuBar Stats are not VoiceOver friendly, and this could be improved. So the next release of The Clock and MenuBar Stats will be VoiceOver ready to improve the Accessibility of my apps.

As of today, I’m proposing a special version of MenuBar Stats with VoiceOver implemented. This version is the exactly the same as the current release but with VoiceOver. I’m not making an official upgrade of the regular MenuBar Stats yet. I will merge this new feature with the regular MenuBar Stats on the next release of MenuBar Stats.

For the people out there interested by an Advanced System Monitor app with Voice Over fully implemented, you can get MenuBar Stats at