AppleVis Unlimited: What's New and Noteworthy for May 2017

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Welcome to the May 2017 edition of AppleVis Unlimited, our monthly series which aims to highlight what's new and noteworthy on the AppleVis website. Below, you'll find a selection of the best content posted to AppleVis - from new app entries, to app updates, to the latest news and podcasts. For easier navigation, the major sections of this post are at heading level 3, and each individual item is at heading level 4.

New and Noteworthy App Entries

Blackbox - think outside the box (iOS, Free With In-App Purchases)

Frustrating, fun, and full of surprises… There’s more to Blackbox than meets the eye. Can you find all the meta challenges?

HINTS: Every challenge has been tuned to be on the cusp of maddening but always solvable. Some challenges take time, perseverance, and perspective to understand, but if you’re really stumped rest assured there are hints. To enjoy the game to it’s fullest, only use them as a last resort!

LEVEL PACKS: Blackbox is jam-packed with 50 free challenges. Get far enough and you'll get the option to pay to unlock more advanced challenges and support the game's future development (and keep it ad free)!

Current Version: 1.3.10 (May 29, 2017)

Read Blackbox's AppleVis iOS App Directory entry for more information
Read the forum thread where the developer introduces Blackbox and asks for accessibility feedback and suggestions
Visit Blackbox's App Store page

Blindfold Games (iOS, Free With In-App Purchases)

Kid Friendly Software has released the following new games this month:

Blindfold Clues
Blindfold Word Search

OCR -converts the characters in the photo (iOS, Free)

OCR recognition of ultra- high quality !

Converts the characters read in txt, you can send by e-mail .

Handwriting also OK !!

Current Version: 1.03 (October 3, 2016)

Read OCR -converts the characters in the photo's AppleVis iOS App Directory entry for more information
Visit OCR -converts the characters in the photo's App Store page

ParcelTrack - Package Tracker for Fedex, UPS, USPS (iOS, Free with In-App Purchases)

ParcelTrack – One App to track all of your packages and shipments

ParcelTrack integrates all of your shipments from over 50 delivery services into a single app. Free Push-Notifications keep you up to date with your delivery status. The ParcelTrack Inbox makes it even more convenient to track your packages.

  • Push notifications - ParcelTrack sends free push notifications, so you know when your package is being delivered.
  • Delivery forecast – For all delivery services that support this service, ParcelTrack lets you know when your delivery is scheduled. So far DHL, DPD, Fedex, and UPS provide delivery forecasts.
  • Live tracking: Keep track of the delivery van via GPS in real time. (Premium)
  • Who has my package: If your shipment has been left with your neighbor, ParcelTrack tells you who has your package. (Premium)
  • Automatic carrier detection – When you enter a tracking number ParcelTrack automatically detects the delivery service associated with this number, making it even more convenient for you to keep track of your delivery.
  • ParcelTrack Inbox – No need to enter long tracking numbers by hand: Each ParcelTrack user is assigned a random user ID and an email inbox. When you send an email to your inbox, our server conveniently extracts the tracking ID contained and adds the parcel to your account. Simply forward delivery notifications from online shops like Amazon to your ParcelTrack Inbox. ParcelTrack will add the respective shipment to your ParcelTrack account keep you up to date the progress of your delivery.
  • ParcelTrack Archive: Store all delivered packages in your ParcelTrack Archive which gives you an overview of all your delivered shipments.
  • Push notifications: Organize your push notifications to according to your preferences. ParcelTrack lets you decide how you wish to be notified. (Premium)
  • Barcode Scanner: Shipping your own packages? Simply scan the barcode of your shipment to add it even faster and more convenient to your ParcelTrack account. (Premium)
  • Synchronization: With ParcelTrack-Sync you can easily synchronize ParcelTrack between on all of your iOS devices. Use ParcelTrack on your iPhone and keep tracking your parcels at home on your iPad. (Premium)
  • Delivery Services: So far we have integrated over 50 delivery services worldwide, and we are adding more and more services every week.

ParcelTrack Premium:

Some of ParcelTracks features are part of ParcelTrack Premium and make tracking your shipments even better. We do not display any third party advertisements within ParcelTrack. In exchange we ask ParcelTrack Premium users for a small contribution to support the further development of ParcelTrack. ParcelTrack Premium is only 2,99 USD as in app purchase.

Current Version: 2.1 (May 15, 2017)

Read ParcelTrack's AppleVis iOS App Directory entry for more information
Visit ParcelTrack's App Store page

Speedtest by Ookla (iOS, Free with In-App Purchases)

Use Speedtest for a quick, easy, one-tap connection speed test—accurate anywhere thanks to our global network.

Millions of users have made Speedtest the #1 app for testing Internet speeds, and it’s trusted daily by professionals throughout the industry!

  • Discover your Download, Upload and Ping
  • Real-time graphs show connection consistency
  • Troubleshoot or verify the speed you were promised
  • Track past tests with detailed reporting
  • Easily share your results

Go ad free! If you'd like to enjoy Speedtest without ads, we provide the option of removing ads from Speedtest for $0.99.

Current Version: 3.8.2 (May 4, 2017)

Read Speedtest's AppleVis iOS App Directory entry for more information
Visit Speedtest's App Store page

The Google Assistant -- get help anytime, anywhere (iOS, Free)

Meet your Google Assistant. Ask it questions. Tell it to do things. It’s your own personal Google, always ready to help.

Whether you need a reminder to pick up milk, help finding your travel photos or need to make a dinner reservation, your Assistant is ready to help. To get started, press the mic icon or start typing.

Some things your Assistant can help with:

  • Make quick phone calls (e.g. "Call Mom.")
  • Send text messages (e.g. "Text my bestie.")
  • Send emails (e.g. "Email your boss the latest TPS report.")
  • Set reminders (e.g. "Remind me to buy a birthday gift for Sarah.")
  • Set calendar events (e.g. "Set a calendar event for dinner with Charlie tomorrow from 7-9.")
  • Play music (e.g. "Play Jazz music on Youtube.")
  • Navigate to places (e.g. "Get me directions home.")
  • Ask it anything (e.g. "Will I need an umbrella today?")

Current Version: 1.0.609 (May 18, 2017)

Read The Google Assistant's AppleVis iOS App Directory entry for more information
Visit The Google Assistant's App Store page

What Happened Last Night? (iOS, Free With In-App Purchases)

A dark but occasionally humorous action murder mystery multiple-choice text-based game by Kie Brooks.

Current Version: 1.1.1 (March 3, 2015)

Read What Happened Last Night's AppleVis iOS App Directory entry for more information
Visit What Happened Last Night's App Store page

All recent app entries posted to AppleVis can be found at:

iOS
Mac
Apple Watch
Apple TV

Notable App Updates

iCatcher! Podcast Player (iOS, US$2.99)

Download, listen, watch and enjoy your favorite podcasts all from your device.

FEATURES

  • Subscribe to your favorite podcasts in the app and manage them in the app
  • Download episodes over WiFi or Cellular (on devices that have cellular).
  • Support for Password Protected feeds
  • Background Refresh
  • Download in the background
  • Download multiple episodes at once (up to 3 on WiFi and 2 on cellular).
  • Sync subscriptions, episode playback positions and playlists between your devices with iCloud
  • Universal App (iPhone/iPad)
  • Search in all views to find that podcast or episode you are looking for
  • Custom playlists with filtering options by podcast, episodes and more.
  • Support for continuous playback (toggle it on now playing screen just below time elapsed).
  • All device orientations supported with configurable option in the settings
  • You can unsubscribe to podcasts and still have them on your device. Use that for those less than stellar podcasts!
  • Full VoiceOver support

Current Version: 3.0.2 (May 30, 2017)

Changes in Versions 3.0-3.0.2

New

  • Local playback on Apple Watch.
  • When selecting to share an episode you now have the option to transfer to the watch
  • Within a playlist you select multiple episodes, tap the watch icon and send to watch
  • New watch complication (smaller complication) to jump to the app.
  • Within a podcast's settings under New Episodes there are two additional options. Download & Send to Watch, Stream + Download + Send to Watch. Both options will queue the downloaded episode to the watch.
  • Tip Jar added for those that wish to give a little extra to help fund the continued development
  • Higher playback speeds. See settings, playback, playback speeds.
  • Sleep Timer: when the volume starts to fade (last 30 seconds) if you turn the volume up or down any amount it will restart the sleep timer.
  • Emailing show notes often? New setting under settings tab and podcast defaults. Email To default. This is where you can set a default email address
  • New accidental play protection. iCatcher! will not start playing if the app is in the background and the volume for the output is all the way down. You will get a notification popup indicating that there was a play request, but that the volume is all the way down.
  • Added new playlist sort. Played/Changed Most Recent and Least Recent. If your playlist has all played episodes, then this sort should show you most recent played to least recent played.

Updated

  • Updated bookmark interface within the app. You can now adjust the playback position for the bookmark
  • Updated notifications for iOS 10+ devices.
  • Settings tab, Podcast Defaults, Keywords to Ignore/Include now has the option to select if you want those filters to apply to episode title or show notes or both.

Read iCatcher's AppleVis iOS App Directory entry for more information
Visit iCatcher's App Store page

Microsoft OneNote (iOS, Free)

Capture your thoughts, discoveries, and ideas and simplify overwhelming planning moments in your life with your very own digital notebook. With OneNote, you can plan that big event, seize that moment of inspiration to create something new, and track that list of errands that are too important to forget. Whether you're at home, in the office, or on the go, your notes are available to you across all of your devices.

Current Version: 16.0 (May 16, 2017)

Changes in Version 16.0

Experience the redesigned look and feel of OneNote: It's easier than ever to organize your notes with an improved layout. All of your notebooks, sections, and pages can be found in columns on the side of the app, efficiently navigable with screen readers, keyboards, and more.

Read Microsoft OneNote's AppleVis iOS App Directory entry for more information
Visit Microsoft OneNote's App Store page

Nearby Explorer (iOS, US$79.99)

Nearby Explorer is a full featured GPS app designed for use by people who are blind. Instead of just providing directions, it describes the environment in ways comparable to reading signage or observing road characteristics.

It uses onboard maps, so a data connection is not required, but if you have one, Nearby Explorer supplements the on board map data with crowd collected locations from Foursquare or Google Places. It includes complete maps for the United States and Canada which contain millions of points of interest. The onboard maps are over 4GB in size, so be sure the device you plan to use has enough available space before purchasing.

Nearby Explorer works by letting you select from several different location related options about what to announce as you move. These include both typical items like street name and address and specialized options like approaching streets, intersection configurations, and nearby places and the distance and direction to them. (All announcements are optional.) All of this information is shown on the home screen and is available at any time, but typical use is to adjust the level of announcements, then lock the screen and put the device away. This keeps both hands free and let's your preferred voice speak the characteristics of the environment as you move.

You may also use the devices position and orientation to obtain additional targeted details such as pointing the end of the device to scan for businesses, even in a moving vehicle, or tilting it vertically to function as a compass, including a listing of streets in the indicated direction. This all works with the device locked, so one need not fuss with the touch screen while moving. You may even mark a point, then use the position of the device to get haptic feedback about that point's location.

Nearby Explorer includes a transit feature that provides detailed mass transit schedules for over 60 metropolitan areas in the U. S. and Canada. It treats transit stops just like favorites and points of interest by announcing their name and relative position as you move, but in addition, transit stops add next vehicle stop time, direction of travel, and route name to the announcements. You can use the transit schedules to look up times or even follow a route.

You may virtually move to any area in the U.S. or Canada and explore the road network, search, or use the transit maps for that area.

Current Version: 1.05.00 (May 3, 2017)

Changes in Version 1.05.00
  • Updates the onboard maps to the first quarter of 2017.
  • Splits the onboard map into two separate maps -- one for the United States and one for Canada. The combined map may still be used if desired.
  • Adds map download progress to the report you get when shaking the device.
  • Improves support for roundabouts. The street name on which to exit is now given, and when walking, the direction the exit street heads is also given. The exit announcement should also trigger earlier in small roundabouts.
  • Adds a setting to set the turn-by-turn destination as the Watch when selecting a new destination.
  • Adds the Neighborhood item to the Home screen. This item is always empty when using onboard maps in the US, but other address providers will use it. As a result of this addition, all Home screen items will be unhidden. You will need to hide items again which you do not want to see.
  • Uses the correct vehicle type for transit stops.
  • Adds clock face support to the Watch point.
  • Fixes an issue where the states of certain options were reported incorrectly in Settings.
  • Fixes a bug where contacts with no type displayed "null" for the type.
  • Geobeam, Compass mode, and Shake to Repeat all now default to off.

Read Nearby Explorer's AppleVis iOS App Directory entry for more information
Visit Nearby Explorer's App Store page

Prizmo Go - Instant Text Capture (iOS, Free with In-App Purchases)

Aim at text. Shoot. It's yours! Prizmo Go lets you quickly grab printed text with the camera. After text is recognized in a blink of an eye, you can interact with it in many useful ways. Or just send it to other apps. And if you've got a Mac, you can even copy/paste it there (*). No more retyping. Feels like magic, just at your finger tips.

Additionally, Prizmo Go provides rich interactions with the captured text. After shooting, text from the original picture is revealed, and swiping through it allows fast and accurate text selection directly from the image. Selected text can then be read aloud, or you can tap to browse to any printed website address, call phone numbers, trigger Mail app from an email address, or even reveal physical address in Apple Maps and initiate navigation to that place.

Prizmo Go comes with enhancements specifically built for VoiceOver, in addition to spoken guidance prior to shooting. That, combined with its text-to-speech capabilities, make it a great companion in case you need help reading printed documents.

ACCESSIBILITY

  • Full support of VoiceOver and improved workflow for visually impaired and blind users
  • Text-to-speech output & speaking rate control
  • Specific image processing to handle unaligned text and reversed configurations
  • Spoken guidance prior to actual shooting
  • Deep integration with Dynamic Type for improved & customisable text appearance

Current Version: 1.0.2 (May 24, 2017)

Changes in May 2017 Updates

NEW FEATURES AND IMPROVEMENTS:

  • Added support for base64 image data input when using x-callback-url.
  • The scene description button (when VoiceOver is ON, in camera screen) now has a short label for easier discovery.
  • For VoiceOver users, the volume down (physical) button now triggers scene description while volume up button triggers shooting.
  • Added support for VoiceOver two-finger scrub gesture (Z shaped gesture) to go back to the camera screen.

BUG FIXES:

  • Fixed a bug that could prevent the app from using system language as default OCR language and that would use English instead.
  • Fixed a bug that could decrease the OCR accuracy when the camera stabilization was on.
  • Addressed an issue that could cause x-callback-url to fail, including clipboard input.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when entering application settings.

Read Prizmo Go's AppleVis iOS App Directory entry for more information
Visit Prizmo Go's App Store page

Weather Gods (iOS, US$2.99)

Meet the Gods: Fire, Ice, Water, Air & Moon delivering you the Weather as you have never experienced it before. Weather Gods redefines the weather app with painstakingly crafted data visualizations, procedural graphics and audio that enable you to literally see, hear and feel the weather. With no more weather icons to decode, the Weather Gods is simply the quickest, most engaging, most enjoyable way to get the accurate weather information you need.

The Weather Gods skillfully integrates premium weather data into an elegant, iOS Exclusive, easy-to-use interface that will delight casual users and weather enthusiasts alike.

With a wealth of rich weather data from the world’s most respected providers, the Weather Gods provide detailed site-based forecasts for over a million locations worldwide. Our advanced, next-generation notifications are easy to setup and bring you exactly the information you want right when you need it.

With 24 hour charts, observed weather, built in moon phase, widget, world clock and much, much more, the Weather Gods is a powerful personal time machine that lets you travel the world and visit the future. Please come join us on this exciting journey as we begin our mission to bring you the finest, most practical, most enjoyable weather app experience ever. We can’t wait to hear what you think!

Current Version: 1.3.1 (May 31, 2017)

Changes in Version 1.2-1.3.1
  • New notification engine for push notifications. You no longer need to keep the app in the switcher!
  • NEW: Full support for iPad in landscape
  • NEW: Sunset notification
  • NEW: Combined Weather Wheel charts
  • NEW: Show device status bar
  • UPDATE: Voiceover; current temperature in timeline
  • UPDATE: Voiceover; fix for day high and low temperatures
  • UPDATE: Voiceover now uses a picker for the volume control in settings

Read Weather Gods' AppleVis iOS App Directory entry for more information
Visit Weather Gods' App Store page

Recent News and Views

The AppleVis Community Inducts Timecrest The Door and Nearby Explorer into its iOS App Hall of Fame

By AppleVis | May 20, 2017

We are pleased to announce that the 2017 inductees into the AppleVis iOS App Hall of Fame, as chosen by the AppleVis community, are Timecrest: The Door and Nearby Explorer.

First opened in 2011, the AppleVis iOS App Hall of Fame is one of the ways in which the AppleVis community seeks to recognize and showcase developers of accessible iOS applications. Apps in the Hall of Fame can be liberating and empowering; life-changing; provide access to information that sighted users take for granted; or, in some cases, they can just be good fun!

In short, the iOS App Hall of Fame represents the best of the best in accessible iOS applications, as decided by the AppleVis community.

Voting for the 2017 iOS App Hall of Fame induction was held from Friday, May 12 to Friday, May 19, 2017 with nine apps shortlisted. Without question, this was the most closely contested vote to date in the six year history of the Hall of Fame; with all of the shortlisted apps gaining significant support and the outcome uncertain right up to when the poll closed.

The two apps which ultimately received the most number of votes - and which will be inducted into the AppleVis iOS App Hall of Fame - are Timecrest: The Door and Nearby Explorer.

Read More: "The AppleVis Community Inducts Timecrest The Door and Nearby Explorer into its iOS App Hall of Fame"

On Global Accessibility Awareness Day, the Message is a Simple One; Good Design is Accessible Design

By AppleVis | May 18, 2017

Today is the sixth annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD); when people are encouraged to talk, think and learn about digital access and inclusion. Our own message today for everybody involved in designing and developing software for Apple platforms, is a simple one: Make accessible design a core part of your development philosophy and practice - not just because it is the right thing to do, but because accessible design is synonymous with good design.

GAAD was created as a mechanism to reach out to the people who “build, shape, fund and influence technology and its use”; raising awareness of both how and why they should be striving to ensure that technology is accessible to all its potential users.

It seems fitting that GAAD coincides this year with when our community is [in the process of choosing the newest inductees into the AppleVis iOS App Hall of Fame.

Read More: "On Global Accessibility Awareness Day, the Message is a Simple One; Good Design is Accessible Design"

Apple Releases a Series of Videos Showcasing Real People Using the Accessibility Features of its Products

By AppleVis | May 17, 2017

In addition to the previously announced Apple Store sessions and updated App Store collections, Apple has now released a series of seven videos on its YouTube channel to mark Global Accessibility Awareness Day on 18 May.

The videos are intended to showcase how real people make use of Mac, iOS and Apple Watch accessibility features and some of the third-party applications which build upon these.

Amongst those featured is Patrick, a radio DJ and music producer who is shown navigating Logic Pro X with VoiceOver and using TapTapSee to prepare meals in his kitchen.

Also featured using VoiceOver is Carlos, the lead singer and drummer of metal band Distartica; who is shown arranging transportation, taking photos and posting social media updates as part of his PR responsibilities for the band..

Quoted in a Mashable article about this video series, Sarah Herrlinger, senior manager for global accessibility policy and initiatives at Apple, says:

We see accessibility as a basic human right ... we want more and more people out there to not only see the work we're doing, but realize the importance of accessibility in general.

The Mashable article also includes interviews with a number of the people featured in the video series

Read More: "Apple Releases a Series of Videos Showcasing Real People Using the Accessibility Features of its Products"

DeafBlind Individuals Now Have a Way to Use Text Relay on iOS With Braille

By Scott Davert | May 16, 2017

On May 8, Sprint released a new update to the Sprint IP Relay app. While the description only states that there are "Miscellaneous bug fixes", one of those bug fixes is very significant... it restores access for braille users. Until now, braille users have not had a reliable solution to access relay via their mobile devices.

What is Text Relay Anyway?

For those unfamiliar, text relay allows a deaf or DeafBlind person to access the phone system through a relay operator, who is a hearing person that can relay the message from the deaf or DeafBlind user to a hearing person on the phone. The deaf or DeafBlind person can type messages from a mobile device or computer, which a hearing operator will then read to the caller. The Relay Operator will then type back to the deaf or DeafBlind person what the hearing person on the phone has said.

Many deaf individuals, who are native sign language users, utilize video phone systems to communicate with the hearing world via telephone through a relay operator. For more information on Video Phones, see this article. However, this is not possible for an individual who does not have enough residual vision to see the person signing to them. Until last week, no such service was available on a mobile platform that worked reliably for braille users with a text interface. This meant, for example, that a totally DeafBlind person trying to access the phone system did not have a reliable way to do so. Calling 911 was not an option. While iOS 10 introduced a TTY Mode reviewed in the above linked article from a braille user's perspective, it had some issues.

Read More: "DeafBlind Individuals Now Have a Way to Use Text Relay on iOS With Braille"

Apple Releases macOS Sierra 10.12.5, watchOS 3.2.2 and tvOS 10.2.1

By AppleVis | May 15, 2017

Today has seen another round of software updates from Apple. In addition to the release of iOS 10.3.2, there have also been updates for the Mac, Apple Watch and fourth-generation Apple TV.

The release notes for macOS 10.12.5 report the following changes:

  • Fixes an issue where audio may stutter when played through USB headphones
  • Enhances compatibility of the Mac App Store with future software updates
  • Adds support for media-free installation of Windows 10 Creators Update using Boot Camp

At the time of posting, full release notes for the watchOS and tvOS updates are not yet available. However, we are currently unaware of any outward-facing changes of note; with Apple's focus for these releases seemingly being on making the typical mix of bug fixes, security patches, and under-the-hood performance improvements.

We have been able to carry out some very limited testing of macOS Sierra 10.12.5 prior to today’s public release, and our experience suggests that blind and low vision users are likely to find no accessibility-related changes in this release.

Read More: "Apple Releases macOS Sierra 10.12.5, watchOS 3.2.2 and tvOS 10.2.1"

Apple Releases iOS 10.3.2; Fixing a Problem with 3D Touch Shortcuts for VoiceOver Users

By AppleVis | May 15, 2017

Apple has today released iOS 10.3.2 to the public.

At the time of posting, release notes are not yet available. However, as a minor 10.x.x update, there are unlikely to be any significant changes to outward-facing features—with the focus of this release being on bug fixes and under-the-hood performance improvements.

For blind and low vision users, our testing indicates that Apple has made only limited progress towards addressing the accessibility bugs present in iOS 10.3.1 in this release.

The one change that we are currently aware of, is that the unreliable behavior of 3D Touch shortcuts introduced in iOS 10.3 appears to be fixed in this release.

With the first beta release of iOS 11 expected in early June, there are only likely to be further updates to iOS 10 if there are critical bugs or security issues that need to be addressed. So, we may need to accept that we will see no further accessibility-related changes or fixes until the release of iOS 11 this Fall.

Read More: "Apple Releases iOS 10.3.2; Fixing a Problem with 3D Touch Shortcuts for VoiceOver Users"

Apple to Mark Global Accessibility Awareness Day with Special In-Store Events and Updated App Store Collections

By AppleVis | May 15, 2017

To mark Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), Apple stores all over the world will be hosting accessibility-related sessions on May 18, 2017—providing people with an opportunity to explore the built-in accessibility features of Apple products.

You can check here to see if your local Apple Store is participating. And, if so, book a place.

Apple will also be updating two of its curated App Store collections:

These collections are intended to showcase just some of the iOS apps which Apple believes are "helping make the world better for all."

Also of note is that just last month, Apple Stores started offering new Field Trip sessions for teachers and their students focusing on Skoog, which is described by Apple as "a powerful, fun and inclusive music interface for iPad that opens up a world of music to everyone" and "an accessible, tactile cube that makes musical and social interactions fun and inspiring."

Anyone interested in learning more should reach out to their local Apple Store and request a Skoog Field Trip: http://www.apple.com/retail/fieldtrip/

Read More: "Apple to Mark Global Accessibility Awareness Day with Special In-Store Events and Updated App Store Collections"

Yo, Human! Mac Dictation, a More Verbal VoiceOver: Accessing Life with Adaptive Technology

By Nicholas | May 5, 2017

A Verbal Prehistory

In an earlier stage of my eyesight I did a lot of zooming in on the screen. My set up was such that the magnified portion of the screen followed the mouse cursor most of the time. I would use Control-2-finger scroll on the trackpad to zoom in and out. While this worked fine, it forced me to use both hands to accomplish the maneuver. Ugh! I felt like a caveman, having to set down my coffee just to navigate with two hands. :-)

I had already been tinkering with Speakable Items and had created several sets of verbal commands using AppleScript, to help automate my tasks. I saw no point in repeatedly setting down my morning nourishment between each on-screen session, just to zoom in or out like some prehistoric creature.

I quickly made a "Zoom in" and "Zoom out" set of verbal commands. After trying them several times, they were still not working the way I expected. I discovered the problem, it was me. Apparently, I sometimes 'talked' like a caveman as well. I renamed the two commands to better fit the way I actually spoke and they finally started working. My "Zoo, min" and "Zoo, mout" commands worked nicely and I happily rejoined this current century.

Back to the Present

Flash forward four operating systems. The Speakable Items and Dictation features have been melded together. This new implementation has a few drawbacks compared to the older methods, but brings both into a more usable interface at the same time. It also makes the process of creating customized commands much more obvious and accessible to the end user. The dictating and editing of text is much more advanced, and continuously blended with the verbal commands of old.

Now-a-days, VoiceOver has entered my digital world. While continuous Dictation mixed with verbal computer commands may work well for a sighted user, it has one major drawback for VO users. VO cannot make any sound while the Dictation mic is listening. The action still takes place, but is not announced. That being said, I figured there were still many ways that the Dictation service could be of help.

Read More: "Yo, Human! Mac Dictation, a More Verbal VoiceOver: Accessing Life with Adaptive Technology"

A new Braille Display is Coming, with Specialized Features for iOS

By Scott Davert | May 4, 2017

In what could soon be coming as the first of its kind, Humanware appears to be developing a new braille display and app for synchronizing notes with iDevices. In late April, an app hit the App Store called Brailliant Sync. According to the description by Harpo, the app is designed "for synchronizing notes between Gmail, IMAP and similar servers and Brailliant 14 Braille devices."

Read More: "A new Braille Display is Coming, with Specialized Features for iOS"

This Month in Podcasts

Get OCR Results On The Go With Prizmo Go

In this podcast, Thomas Domville gives us a demonstration of Prizmo Go - Instant Text Capture, an iOS app (free with in-app purchases) which allows one to quickly and easily scan printed text and have it read aloud. From the App Store:

Aim at text. Shoot. It's yours! Prizmo Go lets you quickly grab printed text with the camera. After text is recognized in a blink of an eye, you can interact with it in many useful ways. Or just send it to other apps. And if you've got a Mac, you can even copy/paste it there (*). No more retyping. Feels like magic, just at your finger tips.

Additionally, Prizmo Go provides rich interactions with the captured text. After shooting, text from the original picture is revealed, and swiping through it allows fast and accurate text selection directly from the image. Selected text can then be read aloud, or you can tap to browse to any printed website address, call phone numbers, trigger Mail app from an email address, or even reveal physical address in Apple Maps and initiate navigation to that place.

Prizmo Go comes with enhancements specifically built for VoiceOver, in addition to spoken guidance prior to shooting. That, combined with its text-to-speech capabilities, make it a great companion in case you need help reading printed documents.

Listen to "Get OCR Results On The Go With Prizmo Go"

A complete list of all podcasts posted to the AppleVis website can be found at www.applevis.com/podcasts

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