Welcome to the April 2016 edition of AppleVis Unlimited, our monthly series which aims to highlight what's new and noteworthy in the accessible app landscape. Below, you'll find a recap of the best content posted to AppleVis - from new app entries, to app updates, to podcasts and blogs. 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
Audio Game Hub (iOS, Free)
Audio Game Hub is a set of eight experimental arcade video games that use audio as their primary interface – making them accessible for both sighted and non-sighted users.
Dive into a rich world of sounds and experience the unique collection of mini audio games. Close your eyes and let your imagination flow.
Play in the casino, attend the medieval archery contest, escape the dark labyrinth, fight the finest samurai warriors and improve your memory at the animal farm. Play it on your smartphone, tablet or computer.
- Slot Machines (Casino)
- Samurai Tournament (up to 4 player)
- Samurai Dojo (up to 4 player)
- Memory (Animal Farm)
- Blocks (Bejeweld)
Current Version: 1.1.3 (April 23, 2016)
Blindfold Games (iOS, Free)
Blindfold Games lets you start any of the games in the Blindfold Games series from one central menu.
Using Blindfold Games, you can keep all of your games in a folder, such as a folder named Blindfold Folder, and then keep the Blindfold Games icon on the screen. Whenever you want to play one of the games, just start up Blindfold Games and pick the game.
Current Version: 1.1 (April 13, 2016)
More from Kid Friendly Software
New titles have also been released this month in the ‘Blindfold’ series of iOS audio games:
Fallen London (iOS, Free with In-App Purchases)
"Thirty years ago, London was stolen by bats. Now, Hell is close and immortality is cheap, but the screaming has largely stopped…"
Welcome to a dark and hilarious Victorian-Gothic underworld, where every choice has a consequence from the style of your hat to the price of your soul. Fallen London, acclaimed literary RPG and winner of The Escapist's Best Browser Game award, has come to iOS!
For those who love to read and for those who love to play, Fallen London offers you a unique narrative which evolves with every choice you make. Define your destiny through the stories you embark on and the character you cultivate.
There's a whole world of opportunity waiting for you beyond the iron bars of New Newgate Prison. Who will you be?
Current Version: 1.2.1148 (April 22, 2016)
LastPass – Free Password Manager & Secure Vault with Private Notes & Passcode Generator (iOS, Free with In-App Purchases)
LastPass keeps you protected. Secure your passwords, sign in to your sites with TouchID or generate new, strong passwords. With LastPass, you only remember one password - your LastPass master password. Keep your passwords secret, and use LastPass to automatically fill out your logins, wherever you go.
Download our free app today and join millions managing passwords with LastPass – you’ll wonder how you lived without it!
Current Version: 4.0.4 (March 31, 2016)
The Invisible Puzzle (iOS, Free)
Are you ready to challenge your audio skills to their limits? In "The Invisible Puzzle" you must recognise drawings relying only on sound!
Still, you don't have to be an audio engineer; just touch the screen, move your finger, and enjoy the game!
You will play through seven chapters filled with many different puzzles, ranging from points to more complex drawings, such as objects and characters.
Will you recognise them all?
”The Invisible Puzzle" has been designed to be played by everyone and is fully accessible through VoiceOver.
Please be advised that "The Invisible Puzzle" collects anonymous usage data in order to support research on Accessibility and Image Sonification.
Current Version: 1.2 (April 6, 2016)
UK Bus Checker - Live Bus Times and journey planning for every stop: trains, tubes, buses & ferry - Free (iOS, Free with In-App Purchases)
Live bus times, journey planning and route maps for every stop in the UK, on your iPhone and Apple Watch.
UK Bus Checker™ is the number one travel app that works at every one of mainland UK's 300,000 bus stops to show you WHEN the buses are coming - and WHERE they're going. Plus there's live journey planning to help you get around by Tube, Rail, Overground, Ferry, Hovercraft.. ..however you roll, we've got it covered.
Current Version: 6.2.6 (October 13, 2015)
Voice Over Stopwatch (iOS, Free)
This app is a simple stopwatch with a vocal announcement. It can notify elapsed time each one minute during music playing and in background which use a local notification. A notification interval has five types, 10 minutes per 10-second interval, 15 minutes per 15-second interval, 20 minutes per 20-second interval, 30 minutes per 30-second interval and 60 minutes per 60-second interval. It is useful when you cannot see your iPhone.
- Presentation Mode - It can specify time from the first to the third bell like an academic presentation. You can change the mode if you swipe to left/right on the spinning wheel.
- Voice Type - English or Japanese, and male or female voice.
- Time Interval - You can choose a time interval of notifications.
- Records - This app records maximum 100 records of measuring results.
- Bell Test - It plays bell sound (SE by http://www.freesfx.co.uk) regardless of current time.
- App Information (i button) - It is written the app information.
Current Version: 2.3.4 (April 19, 2016)
All recent app entries posted to AppleVis can be found at:
Notable App Updates
Netflix (iOS, Free to download but requires subscription)
Watch TV shows and movies recommended just for you, including award-winning Netflix original series, movies, and documentaries.
Netflix has something for everyone. There’s even a safe watching experience just for kids with family-friendly entertainment.
No commercials. No hidden fees. Try one month free. You can cancel anytime.
Current Version: 8.3.0 (April 19, 2016)
Changes in Version 8.3.0
- Improved navigation for VoiceOver users
- Create, update, and delete profiles within the app
- Fixed a number of crashing issues
- Bug fixes throughout
Tweetings for Twitter (iPhone & iPod touch edition) (iOS, US$2.99)
Tweetings is a Twitter client for the iPhone. Reimagined for iOS 7 and fully supports iOS 8 & iOS 9, including iPhone 6 and 6 Plus screen sizes.
It has an extensive feature list including lists, push, geolocation and syncs your timeline with your Mac or iPad!
Follow your friends tweets, share your photos & videos, view conversations, who's nearby and find out what's trending at the moment.
Current Version: 2.20.3 (April 25, 2016)
Changes in Versions 2.20.0-2.20.3
- New accessibility preference to add and announce content descriptions for attached images. Descriptive text cannot be added to Gifs and Videos at this time.
- New 'Accessibility' settings menu screen
- When running VoiceOver and attaching a photo, you'll immediately be asked if you want to add a description to the photo, when enabled from Accessibility settings
- Keyboard shortcuts on timelines and tweet views to help navigate
- Tweetings for Apple Watch is now a native app using watchOS 2
- Sending a Tweet containing photos would fail if trying to send to multiple accounts at once so long as the primary account isn't protected
- Improvements to accessibility when user profiles load and notifications are received when in app
- Fixed a crash for VoiceOver users on some screens containing timelines such as user profiles and activity screen
Recent News and Views
Second Career: Putting retired iPhones back to work
By Morgan | April 12, 2016
I save soap. When I travel, I do not rip-off hotel towels, coffee cups or blankets. That would be wrong. However, I do collect little bars of soap. I generally find one bar at the hotel room sink and another on the side of the tub. I unwrap one to use, and then put the other in my luggage. Before the maid comes by the next day, I surreptitiously slip the moist and somewhat diminished bar into a plastic doggy bag and stash it in a drawer. When I return to my room, I find two brand new cakes of soap waiting for me. It is almost magical! I pack the new pair in my luggage and bring out the wet one. Repeat ad infinitum. By the end of every trip, I have a healthy supply of pristine soap for use at home. Never waste a resource.
I like to save money, too. I have chosen to live rather frugally, so that I can then purchase really good toys. I'm a serious geek. I hoard all unexpended funds and wait until the best-ever gadget comes along. My maxim is simple: Wallets and bladders should be emptied when full. When Apple announces a new product, or when I read of a new keyboard or headset on AppleVis, out comes my debit card and I go for it. Over these many years, I could have populated a small museum of aging, and formerly much appreciated, technology. Even so, unlike my cache of acquired soap, I seldom revisit and use my retired electronics.
Facebook Now Providing Automatically Generated Photo Descriptions to Blind and Low Vision Users on iOS
By AppleVis | April 5, 2016
Facebook has today officially launched it’s much anticipated tool for automatically generating descriptions of photos posted to its site.
Called Automatic Alternative Text (AAT), the tool has been developed by Facebook’s Accessibility Team and uses object recognition technology to identify the contents of a photo. With photos such a core part of Facebook, this could transform the user experience for blind and low vision users, giving them the opportunity to know what others are liking and sharing.
This Month in Podcasts
A Demonstration of Roger for iOS
According to the App Store, Roger's features include:
- A free walkie-talkie-style app available worldwide.
- Talk for as long as you want, as much as you want.
- Designed for voice communication.
- Easy to use—one tap to listen, one tap to reply.
- Replay for up to 48 hours.
- With Glimpses, see weather and time of day based on someone’s location.
- See status when people have listened.
- Works with anyone, even if they don’t have the app yet.
- You can talk offline too.
- High-quality audio that won’t eat up your data (it’s less than viewing a photo online).
- 3D Touch—Talk to your favorite people without opening the app.
The developers of Roger have made accessibility a priority, and there is an ongoing discussion about the app in the AppleVis Forum.
An Introduction for VoiceOver users to Microsoft Outlook 2016 for Mac
In this podcast, David Woodbridge gives an overview of Microsoft Outlook 2016 for Mac.
Topics covered include:
- Layout and navigation of the main screen
- Reading emails
- Composing a new email
- Replying to an email
- Forwarding an email
- Checking for new email messages
- Switching between the Mail, Calendar and People screens
- The layout of the Calendar screen
- Adding an email account
- Notification preferences
David’s aim for this podcast is to give you an initial feel for the layout of Microsoft Outlook; and the ease of navigation and use with VoiceOver.
AppleVis Extra #43: An Interview with the Developers of Vorail
AppleVis Extra #42: Fitness Edition
Spring has finally arrived here in the United States, and the AppleVis podcast team sat down to discuss the best ways to get fit and stay that way using a variety of hardware and software solutions. In this episode of the AppleVis Extra, Jamie Pauls is joined by Lisa Salinger, Mike Malarsie, and Alex Hall. The panel takes a look at every aspect of the day, from waking up to winding down. For your convenience, this podcast is divided into chapters so that you can navigate to or go back and revisit areas of particular interest. If you’re not sure how to take advantage of chapter navigation, check out this Quick Tip on how to navigate podcasts by chapter Using Downcast and Overcast for iOS.
AppleVis Extra #41: Matt King, Accessibility Specialist at Facebook
In this edition of the AppleVis Extra, Michael Hansen, Alex Hall, and Scott Davert are joined by Matt King, Accessibility Specialist in UI Engineering at Facebook. King tells us about Facebook's new automatic image description feature for blind and low vision users, as well as Facebook's overall accessibility strategy and how users can provide feedback about accessibility issues or suggestions.
MarsEdit: Easy and Accessible Blogging Software for Mac OS X
In this podcast, Mike Malarsie gives us a demonstration of MarsEdit - the blog editor for WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger and more.--an easy, accessible program for blogging on the Mac.
A complete list of all podcasts posted to the AppleVis website in the past month can be found at www.applevis.com/podcasts