Balls

Last modified
Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Category

Description of App

Staff Favourite in the US App Store

Balls is a thing of beauty for your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch

Like windchimes, paint balls fall under gravity, rebounding off the walls and each other. As they collide, they produce harmonious sounds. As they glide, they leave colourful trails on your screen.

Use as a toy, invent a game or simply sit back and enjoy the tension relieving, continually changing melodies and images.

Controls:

  • Drag and throw balls with your fingers
  • Shake to clear screen and change chord / scale
  • Turn screen to see and hear the effect of gravity
  • Double tap to toggle settings menu button

Use the comprehensive settings menu to choose sounds, change the colour scheme, as well as many other options!

Version

1.4.2

Free or Paid

Paid

Apple Watch Support

Not Known

Device(s) App Was Tested On

iPhone

Accessibility Comments

For anyone who needs help with relaxation and stress relief this app is a must get. Imagine many beautiful coloured balls softly floating on a gentle updraft of air, they are always moving, they glide through the air, tap and touch each other and every now and then some will touch a wall, completely changing how everything looks. Each time balls touch they give off their own sweet chiming tone. Everything is in harmony, but always changing. When a wall is touched the chords and harmonies change. You can just sit and listen to the balls, or turn and tilt your device to make them move, or use a finger to play with them and see how it affects the sound. The sound quality is amazing, especially wearing headphones when you get full stereo. The effect is absolutely hypnotic and awesome. Once you launch the app the balls will start to play. To get best results you need to turn Voiceover off. There is one minor problem with this app. The extensive settings menu is very difficult to access, You need to turn off Voiceover and triple tap the lower righthand corner of the screen to access it. I am still having difficulty accessing the menu and tend to find my way into it rather by luck than good judgment. once there, however, everything is clearly labelled, accessible and easy to use. One thing in the tricky settings menu's favour is that you cannot accidentally hit something you shouldn't and stop the balls from playing as you can in so many many other musical apps. I am completely blown away by this app, one of the best relaxation finds I have ever made.

VoiceOver Performance

VoiceOver reads all page elements.

Button Labeling

All buttons are clearly labeled.

Usability

The app is fully accessible with VoiceOver, but the interface could be easier to navigate and use.

Recommendations

1 people have recommended this app

Most recently recommended by Lulu Hartgen 7 years 10 months ago

Options

Comments

Submitted by Ken Downey on Thursday, January 17, 2013

I recommend that the rating of the app be changed in the following ways. Voiceover reads all page elements and labels, and it is fully accessible with voiceover, with just one minor problem--and that is simply finging the settings screen. Once you're in settings, everything is completely accessible and easy to use. To get to settings, simply tripple tap the lower right-hand corner of the screen. The app runs in landscape mode, so make sure you know where the home button is before you turn off VO and do your tripple tap. Once you're in there it's smooth sailing. I really encourage you all not to be afraid, and to experiment a little. It took me about a minute to find the settings button. The actual button appears whenever you double tap the screen anywhere, but it's best to just tripple tap the lower right-hand corner. I'm not even going to do a podcast on this one unless you really want one done. It's that simple and, yes, accessible.

Submitted by rdfreak on Thursday, January 17, 2013

It's so amazing what one finds in the app store; i just downloaded this and could hear it all day. :)

Hi. Thanks so much for your hint about settings. I have actually been trying really hard to get into the settings menu and since seeing this I'm still trying but with absolutely no success. You say the app is in Landscape mode but on launching there is no way to know this as Voiceover doesn't say so, as it usually does with landscape aps. Another question is, which way should the home button be? I have apps in Landscape with the home button at the left and at the right, though left is more usual. I have tried both ways, double tapped with VO on and off and result is still the same. Frustrated? Me? Smiley. A little more help would be welcome as I do love this app and would like to experiment with the sound settings. Thanks so much.

Submitted by Clare Page on Thursday, January 17, 2013

In reply to by rdfreak

Hi! I just got this Balls app, and I love the sounds it makes: pleasant as it is to just listen while doing nothing with my iPhone, I also enjoy experimenting by swiping and tapping the screen and shaking the phone, to hear chord changes, extra notes, and so on. However, I have the same problem as Lulu concerning the settings: I can't find them anywhere, and I've experimented to find them in several ways, by double-tapping and triple-tapping every corner of the phone with VoiceOver both on and off. Nice as the default settings are, it's a bit frustrating not to be able to explore others, although my inability to do that so far doesn't make me regret buying this app in the least.

hi, clare, I did manage to find the settings, more by luck than judgment, the first indication I had was that my sounds changed. You definitely need VO turned off to activate them, and a triple tap is what you also need. I now have the Tibettan bells and I do like them as they don't shift key as much into minors, which I like as I find major keys more peaceful to listen to. Also, slowing down gravity and friction seems to have made the jarring you sometimes hear go away. I hope you can soon access the settings menu.

Iwas wrong about landscape mode. The app can go through all orientations. Just hold your phone in portrait mode or whatever mode you like to use when changing settings and tripple tap that lower right corner. If it's not hugging the corner it's very close to it. Try a quarter inch away, but it's right around that area. I never miss it unless the orientation is off, so just put it in portrait mode or whatever for about three seconds before you do your tripple tap. I'll give you a list of the variables on the main screen and discuss how they affect the sound. First is volume. No info needed. Next is the ball size. The smaller the balls, the less often they collide and therefore the slower the chimes come at you. Gravity is not the gravity of the real world but the artificial rotation gravity they put in to make sure that even when the device isn't being tilted the balls still move. Zero gravity means that the balls slow almost to a complete stop after just a few minutes, depending on the friction variable which is next. Friction determines how fast your balls slow down. High friction means little movement except that determined by the gravity. The balls slider is the number of balls. Each has a distinct note, and you can have up to seven. Balls on the upper half of the screen play an octave higher than balls in the lower half by default. Then there is a trails variable for the sighted person. The higher it's set, the longer the balls' trails remain on screen. Then there is a sound settings button. The balls can be given a number of sounds to play, and a sound is also selected to play when chords and scales change, either by shaking the device or when some other event occurs. I don't yet know what the other event is. You can get a visual feel for where the balls are, because if you touch one you hear its note. Push it against a wall and the note repeats over and over. You might start with just a ball or two to get the feel of the layout, but that gets boring fast. It's best overall to set the number of balls to seven, their size to 0 %, the gravity to 10%, and the friction to about 10%. That way you control how the balls move. Also in the sound settings you can adjust things like tuning and temperament. Thanks for telling us about this app. It's one of the nicer I've seen. I think I like it as much as Monolith Loops already in a way.

Submitted by Deng on Thursday, January 17, 2013

Remember, iPhone5 users, that when trying to find the settings button on the bottom of the right, to go and touch higher a long the screen a little bit more. Because the app does not support the five's screen yet. So there for, you will have those 2 black bars on the top and bottoms of the app while its running. HTH.

Submitted by Lulu Hartgen on Thursday, January 17, 2013

In reply to by Deng

hi everyone, I've just had a chat by Email with Dan Sayers, the developer of this app. Here is the text of his reply to my initial Email in which I brought the slight trickiness of getting into settings to his attention. Text begins: Subject: Re: Access to Balls Settings with Voiceover. Hi Louise, Thanks for your email - I'm very glad you like Balls, even without the visual aspect. I must confess, I hadn't even considered it might be enjoyed by a blind person, and I was not familiar with Voiceover. I tried turning on Voiceover, and I see the problem. The normal way to access the settings is by first double tapping the screen, and then tapping a button which appears in the bottom right corner. What I have found is that if you manage to turn the settings screen on without Voiceover on, and then turn Voiceover on, and then return to the app, you can then use Voiceover to adjust the settings. However, it's not ideal, as the labels for the fader controls are supposed to change briefly to the numbers given by the faders - and this doesn't seem to work very well with Voiceover. But it's a start. I will certainly look at making the app more accessible for visually impaired people, now you have brought the issue to my attention. I can't promise I will be able to make it as good as it could be, as I don't yet know how much work it will involve, and Balls doesn't bring me much in the way of income. In fact I was thinking of making it free starting with the next upgrade. Thanks for saying you will recommend it to applevis.com - that's much appreciated. And thanks again for your feedback. All the best, Dan. Text ends. This is another example of how accommodating developers can be if we contact them and politely ask for help with an app we enjoy. I've since had more word from Dan in which he says he is also going to be bringing in support for the tall screens, so even if we do still have to triple tap, finding the right place with an iPhone 5 will be easier soon. All this can only be good news for all of us who are growing to love the sweet sound of the musical ball!

I just got this app last night. It's now at version 1.4.3, and is now free. Here are the changes in this release from the App store page: What's New in Version 1.4.3 - iPhone 5 screen compatibility - iOS 6 compatibility - improved VoiceOver support - improved stereo field

Submitted by LadyMunch on Saturday, September 12, 2020

Looks like the developer of this didn’t take it further. It’s still in the iPad app store, but unable to redownload (I had this app years ago) and not in the iPhone store at all for me. I’m guessing this is another victim of the change from 32 bit architecture to 64 bit that happened a couple of years ago.

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