At the end of each month the AppleVis Editorial Team take a look at all of the apps which have been posted to the site during that month - either for the first time or where there has been a significant update - and decide which of these we think is the most noteworthy.
Looking at the list of apps which we had to choose from this past month, you can only conclude that developers are either busy preparing for the release of iOS 7 or are simply enjoying summer vacations, as we weren't exactly spoiled for choice - new apps were mostly uninspiring, whilst updates were generally minor.
Fortunately, one significant exception was Ariadne GPS
, which saw a rather major update hit the App Store in August.
There's a good probability that you are already aware of Ariadne GPS, as it's an app that many blind users will have in their toolbox of iOS navigation apps. Besides letting you know your current position, Ariadne lets you use your fingers to explore the map and find out what's around you - just put your finger on the screen of your iOS device and as you move your finger across the map VoiceOver will tell you what street you are touching.
If you are planning a trip to somewhere that you are not familiar with, this feature - essentially a talking map - provides a great way to familiarize yourself with the area ahead of time. Just tell Ariadne where you are going, and let your fingers explore the area.
You can ask for information about your current position at any time or the app can be configured to periodically announce this information as you walk or travel. If you add your favorite locations to the app's database, you can be alerted when you get closer than a certain distance to one of these.
Ariadne is a great tool for the blind, and version 4.0 has only made it better. For that reason, it had to be our pick for August.
Another app that we thought noteworthy was Instabrowser
, an app that claims to be the fastest web browser for the iPhone.
Inspired by read-it-later apps like Instapaper and Readability, Instabrowser lets you 'read-it-now' by downloading just the HTML of a page and mobilizing it into a clean, one-column layout. The developers claim that this can cut data usage and load times by 90% or more, and is great for when you're on a slow 3G connection or viewing a webpage that doesn't have a mobile layout. It doesn't work with all web sites, so it's not a complete replacement for Safari, but it's an interesting and well-implemented idea,
The third and final app that we thought worthy of a mention is Team Stream
- simply pick the sports teams that you are interested in and you will receive real-time streams of news and alerts from all the best sources across the web – local papers, national websites, blogs, Twitter, & Bleacher Report.
Team Stream had already been fairly accessible, but the release of version 2.8 has explicitly addressed the previous problems and made this app a great choice for blind sports fans.
As always, we would love to hear of any apps that you think we have overlooked, so do please post a comment below to share your own personal picks or your thoughts on our choices.