AppleVis Unlimited: What's New and Noteworthy for June 2018

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

AppleVis Unlimited: What's New and Noteworthy for June 2018

Welcome to the June 2018 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

AirRead, listen to flying text (iOS, Free)

Would it be amazing if somebody reads aloud articles for you?

If your answer is "Yes", AirRead is for you.

You can "read" web pages, news, and books while waiting, walking, driving, exercising ...whatever!

AirRead reads aloud text for you.

Listen to web pages

  • in-app browser for reading aloud web pages interactively
  • skips advertisements and menus while playing
  • one tap to play multiple linked articles inside a web page
  • save web pages and read aloud later in offline mode
  • select web pages first and later on play them all together

Listen to books

  • create your own audio books (on iPhone/iPad or PC/MAC)
  • convert ePub, PDF, text, rtf, doc files to audio books

Listen to news

  • speak aloud news article one-by-one automatically

Listen to text

  • type and speak

Copy and play

  • Copy a web address or text onto pasteboard and speak it aloud

Other features

  • designed for fragmented-time operations
  • supports Apple Watch
  • one tap to continue last reading

Current Version: 8.2.3 (June 24, 2018)

Read AirRead, listen to flying text's AppleVis App Directory entry for more information 
Visit AirRead, listen to flying text's App Store page 

Lazarillo - Accessible GPS (iOS, Free)

Lazarillo App: the GPS for blind and people with low vision, lets you explore the world around you and set up routes.

Lazarillo is a specialized GPS app that brings mobility tools for the blind people. Using audio messages, Lazarillo will tell you about nearby places, the street you are walking on, street intersections in your way and more! Like a radio, Lazarillo will announce the things around you while you are moving. This app was designed and implemented with active feedback from blind people.

The GPS resource is used even if the App is in the background. This allows the user to keep using the app without active usage of the screen, so they can still enjoy the features of Lazarillo even when their phone is in their pocket or when using other relevant apps.

This app allows you to use its accessibility functions for free, just requires mobile data or a Wi-Fi connection.

Current Version: 3.2.12 (March 8, 2018)

Read Lazarillo - Accessible GPS' AppleVis App Directory entry for more information 
Visit Lazarillo - Accessible GPS' App Store page 

Seconds Interval Timer HIIT (iOS, Free With In-App Purchases)

LOOK NO FURTHER, you have just found the most advanced interval training timer on the App Store. Seconds has been downloaded over 4 million times, and has over 13,000 5-star reviews. Other interval timers don't even come close when it comes to quality, features and ease of use.

BEFORE YOU DOWNLOAD:-

Seconds is a paid app that you can trial for free. Non-paying users may only use the timers they create one time. If you do not mind the inconvenience of recreating your timers each time you need them, you can use the app for free for as long as you want. Alternatively, by upgrading you can use your timers as often as you like, and you will also be supporting the continued development of the app.

SECONDS AT A GLANCE:-

  • Apple Watch
  • Large clear display
  • Templates for HIIT, Tabata, Circuit Training and more
  • Custom timers to create any intervals imaginable
  • Bluetooth heart rate sensor support
  • Speaks your interval names in your language
  • Loud or soothing alerts
  • Coordinate music with intervals
  • Universal app, works on all devices
  • External display and AirPlay Mirroring support
  • Runs in the background
  • Supports iOS 8 and above

Current Version: 3.7.3 (June 6, 2018)

Read Seconds Interval Timer HIIT's AppleVis App Directory entry for more information  Visit Seconds Interval Timer HIIT's App Store page 

Six Ages: Ride Like the Wind (iOS, US$9.99)

Life between myths. Clans, cows, choices.

The spiritual successor to King of Dragon Pass, Six Ages combines interactive stories and turn-based strategy. Your small clan’s survival depends on its relations with the warring gods and their followers. Play involves actions such as improving pastures, exploration, trading with your neighbors, and raiding. You can even travel to the Otherworld to visit your gods. You also need to deal with crises ranging from marauding dinosaurs to diplomatic requests to illicit love. Your choices have a politico-economic impact, but some consequences might not be obvious for decades.

It’s set in Glorantha (the world of the games RuneQuest, HeroQuest, and 13th Age), where the laws of physics are subordinate to the whims of the gods and spirits.

Six Ages is immensely replayable, thanks to over 400 interactive scenes with multiple outcomes. Short episodes and automatic saving mean you can play even when you only have a minute or two. The built-in saga writes down the story for you. And advisors with distinctive personalities help you track your cows.

Current Version: 1.0.1 (June 28, 2018)

Read Six Ages: Ride Like the Wind's AppleVis App Directory entry for more information  Visit Six Ages: Ride Like the Wind's App Store page 

Travelear: Listen to the World (iOS, Free)

Travelear promises to take your ears on an adventure like never before! You can finally go to a variety of destinations and environments with a pair of headphones and the click of a button. With Travelear you can hop across the pond and experience the hustle and bustle of London's famous Flower Market or even take a trip down to New Orleans jazz-filled streets. If you're not in the mood for a new city sound then you can always get up close and personal with forest wildlife or simply sit back and relax on your porch as a summer thunderstorm passes by. Let our sounds immerse you into an environmental narrative and make you feel like you are actually there.

Features:

  • 3D experiences created exclusively for Travelear
  • Organic recordings designed to tell a story
  • Captured with the latest in 3D microphones
  • Recorded and composed by Professional Audio Engineers
  • HD sound quality
  • HD images provide a visual for the experience
  • Map View allows you to choose your destination

Take a break from your day, go somewhere fun. Sit back, relax, and choose your destination.

Current Version: 1.2.3 (May 25, 2018)

Read Travelear: Listen to the World's AppleVis App Directory entry for more information 
Visit Travelear: Listen to the World's App Store page 

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

iOS
Mac
Apple Watch
Apple TV

Notable App Updates

Bard Mobile (iOS, Free)

CARRY A LIBRARY IN YOUR POCKET

Access more than 100,000 books, magazines, and music scores in audio and braille formats, with new selections added daily.

Current Version: 1.2 (June 14, 2018)

Changes in Version 1.2
  • Adds “My previous downloads” and “Most popular books” to Get Books
  • Browse magazines by title
  • Braille autoreflow (lines of braille break to match your display length)
  • Beep-free mode
  • VoiceOver actions added to bookshelf items
  • Dynamic sleep timer (matches the jump-by level)
  • Adheres to system-wide type size setting (Dynamic Type)
  • Total reading time or number of braille volumes added to summary listings
  • Automatically reloads next 50 items as you scroll (no more tapping “Load more”)
  • Error message refinements
  • Double-tap gesture to reset speed/tone

…along with bug fixes, stability improvements, and performance enhancements.

Read Bard Mobile's AppleVis App Directory entry for more information 
Visit Bard Mobile's App Store page 

FlickType Keyboard (iOS, Free With In-App Purchase)

Does it feel familiar? It’s because it is! Using the standard QWERTY layout and 3 simple flick gestures, FlickType is the fastest available typing method for blind and low-vision users, ever. You don’t need to learn a new way to type. Just tap where it feels natural and FlickType’s powerful algorithms will get it right, almost every time!

No more spacebar or other control keys to hunt for. Simply flick right for space. To delete, flick left. Not the right word? Flick down for alternative suggestions.

An extremely fluid typing experience, and with enough additional functions to satisfy the book writer in you, FlickType will turn the chore of typing into something you may actually enjoy!

Current Version: 2.0.2 (June 30, 2018)

Changes in Version 2.0

A brand new app and custom keyboard that you can use inside all apps, packed with emoji, improved dictionary management, 3D Touch support and so much more!

Read FlickType Keyboard's AppleVis App Directory entry for more information  Visit FlickType Keyboard's App Store page 

Huboodle (iOS, Free With In-App Purchases)

Fully accessible so the sighted and visually impaired can compete on a level playing field!

With EIGHT fun games, chat functionality, and 100% voiceover accessibility, Huboodle sets the standard for social gaming. Advance your level by playing any one of the eight games and then share (or taunt) your results with friends using the in game chat!

Games included:

  • Ludopalooza
  • Simon Says
  • Trivia Trail
  • Pirate Poker
  • Barracks Blackjack
  • Battle Cats
  • Word Builder
  • Hangman

New games added all the time!

Current Version: 3.1 (June 20, 2018)

Changes in Version 3.0
  • New game Hangman!
  • New Word Builder levels
  • New Battle Cats categories
  • New friends functionality with filters, game challenges, and wall posting!

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

Microsoft Soundscape (iOS, Free)

Soundscape will place audio cues and labels in 3D space such that they sound like they are coming from the direction of the points of interest, parks, roads and other features in your surroundings.

You will need a pair of stereo headsets that you feel comfortable wearing outdoors. For example, bone conduction headsets, Apple AirPods and in-ear open headphones have proven to work well.

Soundscape is designed to live in the background and provide you with effortless ambient awareness. Therefore, feel free to use it in conjunction with other apps such as podcasts, audio books, email and even GPS navigation.

Current Version: 1.6.0 (June 17, 2018)

Changes in Version 1.6.0
  • We have added two new Soundscape voices – a male and female English-US voice. The previous English-UK voices will still be available but if you are interested in trying a new voice, you can go to Settings – Voice in the Soundscape menu.

  • Feet and miles – Yes, we heard the feedback. Soundscape will now use feet and miles to call out distances instead of yards.

  • We have continued to improve the overall experience through various bug fixes.

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

Recent News and Views

What? No Internet? Again? Living with Limited Data

By Nicholas | June 26, 2018

I may have sporadic internet use for the next several months. My wife and I are moving back to our little cabin in the woods, on a remote island in the middle of Lake Michigan. Its a place we both love, in a cabin we rebuilt ourselves. After living there for thirteen years, we had moved down to lower Michigan hoping for a better economy. We also had moved closer to family from both sides. However, after pursuing plans in the fast-paced world of a "better economy" and our cost of living actually increasing, we have decided to return to the north country for a while. We will miss our families being farther away, but we can still come down and visit. Plus, when they come up to visit on vacation, we will have them all to ourselves.

Life on Beaver Island

The Island is a thirty-two mile trip out into Lake Michigan, about sixteen miles west of the Mackinaw Bridge. We must take our vehicle across on a three hour ferry ride, then drive a mile and a half inland on a dirt road to reach our cabin. Or when our car is already on the island, we can fly across in a six-seater plane in about twenty minutes. Then we usually find a ride from the small airport out to our cabin. Everyone gives a friendly wave as they drive by. Gaggles of ducks and wild turkey often block the road. The northern woods cover much of the island, which is mostly dirt roads.

We sit on our deck during a warm summer morning. My Mac laptop sits on the deck table, waiting for me to finish my coffee break. Large trees loom over the small front yard, casting shade while we wait for the sun to rise over the nearby woods. The quiet of natural surroundings fills the scene. The distant sound of waves pulverizing the sand, accented with the shrill cry of seagulls, drifts through the trees. A songbird warbles from several blocks away as the scent of warming pine filters through the area. Just then, a pair of mated loons fly directly over our cabin, twilling their song as they head out to the big lake. Far beyond the shoreline and the rolling surf, miles out onto Lake Michigan, a freighter's horn booms softly from beyond the horizon. Then two squirrels chatter at each other from somewhere in the wooded back yard, as the church bells in town over a mile down a gravel road, begin quietly ringing in the day.

So what could possibly cause an issue in such an idyllic setting? We currently have cell phone service for another four months after the move. We both have iPhones, which has been a huge improvement for my sight adaptation, but we also have something of which we must be leery. The (Gulp!) "Limited Data Plan."

Read More: “What? No Internet? Again? Living with Limited Data”

App Store Magic: The Best English Usage Guide is Accessible

By Amir | June 9, 2018

If you are like me (I mean if you have an iDevice, are a logophile and have a vested interest in English regardless of whether or not it's your first language), you always look for accessible reference-oriented applications on the App Store. You might even cringe as soon as you notice moderate to serious accessibility issues in an app you just finished installing, and the very thought of asking Apple to refund your purchase, though simple and straightforward, might disgruntle you. However, the App Store hosts a cornucopia of monolingual and bilingual dictionaries and usage-oriented apps, and Apple's macrocosm treats us with unexpected surprises from time to time.

So what is this latest surprise?

I was literally witness to one of those exhilarating moments few days ago as I read, via a Google search, on a blog titled The American Editor that the so-called best English usage guide is on the App Store. Of course, the post wasn't new (from January 2017 in fact); however, such apps don't receive extensive media coverage like, say, games or certain high-profile applications. As such, I didn't know that Garner's Modern English Usage, 4th Edition can be grabbed from the App Store. In case you haven't heard about it, Garner's book is one of the best, if not the best, and the most up-to-date usage guide for the English language. According to a quote from Los Angeles Times -- as mentioned on the Amazon page I linked above,

Any writing guide published today must compete with the work of Bryan Garner, whose Dictionary of Modern American Usage set a new standard.

Read More: “App Store Magic: The Best English Usage Guide is Accessible”

Recap of WWDC 2018

By Alex Hall | June 4, 2018

It's hard to believe, but it's already WWDC time again. We at AppleVis have watched--well, listened to--the keynote presentation, read the articles and tweets, and gathered the information. Now, it's time for me to tell you all about what we know, and suspect, about the next batch of software updates coming to your devices. Oh, and yes, I said "software" intentionally; Apple didn't announce any hardware updates at all this year.

iOS 12

This year's big new iOS update has few big features. It has a lot of smaller improvements, though, and some of the major features it does have are incredibly exciting. Others are a bit less, um, generally applicable, and may not be of much interest to many of you. In fact, let's knock those out first.

iMessages: Camera Effects and Animoji Updates

Apple is introducing camera effects for iMessages. For some time now, you have been able to tap the camera button to send a picture or video clip to the conversation. In iOS 12, you can choose from a range of filters, shapes, text, and other effects before sending the image.

On a related note, the Animoji feature that came out with the iPhone X last year has been expanded. There are four new characters (a koala, tiger, ghost, and t-rex) to play with. More impressively, Apple is letting users create their own characters. You simply choose a base, adjust its skin tone, eye color, and other attributes, then start styling it. You can choose hair styles, jewelry, glasses, and more. Finally, a new bit of face tracking has been added to the modeling of which animoji are capable: the tongue.

Read More: “Recap of WWDC 2018”

Markdown with Scrivener

By Paul Martz | June 2, 2018

Want to write professional-looking content for AppleVis? Most of the AppleVis editors and bloggers use Markdown, a simple language for generating HTML. To create Markdown content, familiarize yourself with Markdown syntax using this quick introduction to Markdown. That's all you need! Now just start using Markdown in your AppleVis posts and comments!

———

Wellcome back. By now, you've discovered that knowing Markdown isn't enough. Markdown syntax is pretty unforgiving, and your first Markdown post probably contained errors that you had to edit. Or you just gave up.

Perhaps the best single tool for creating Markdown content is MultiMarkdown Composer. This app is free for MacOS. The user interface consists of two panes. Enter Markdown content on the left pane and preview the output on the right. If you find any mistakes, go back and fix them in the left pane.

Read More: “Markdown with Scrivener”

Apple Releases macOS 10.13.5; Bringing Support for Messages in iCloud

By AppleVis | June 1, 2018

Apple has today released macOS 10.13.5 to the public, bringing support for Messages in iCloud.

First announced in June of last year, Messages in iCloud brings much improved message syncing - meaning that deleting a message on one device will also remove it from any other devices that use the same Apple ID. When setting up a new device, all of your existing messages will be available. Additionally, older messages and attachments are stored in iCloud rather than locally on your device, so should free up storage space.

Read More: “Apple Releases macOS 10.13.5; Bringing Support for Messages in iCloud”

This Month in Podcasts

AppleVis Unleashed June 2018: Laying Down on the Job

In this month's edition of AppleVis Unleashed, Thomas Domville, Mike Malarsie, and Randy Rusnack talk about recent Apple news and topics of interest.

Topics featured in this podcast include:

Recap of WWDC 2018
There's Still No Sign of Apple's AirPower Charging
Apple AirPower Qi charging mat headed for September landing
Apple is Allowing Free App Trials for Non-Subscription Apps
MarsEdit developer lists 8 problems with Apple's approach to free trials of iOS
AppleVis Extra 56: Recapping the WWDC 2018 Keynote
Apple Releases iOS 11.4; With Messages in iCloud, AirPlay 2 and Stereo Pairing for the HomePod
New USB Standard Aims to Make it Easier to Use Braille Displays Across Different Operating Systems and Hardware
Apple acknowledges faulty MacBook and MacBook Pro keyboards with new repair program
AppleVis Extra 57: Sarah Herrlinger, Director of Global Accessibility Policy and Initiatives at Apple
Travelear: Listen to the World
Explore the World in 3D Sound With Travelear for iOS
Six Ages - Ride Like the Wind
Introducing the brand new system-wide FlickType keyboard
Tip: How to turn on Apple's new Messages in iCloud
Tip: How to remove suggested contacts in Mail

You can contact the Unleashed Team with feedback or questions at unleashed@applevis.com.

Listen to “AppleVis Unleashed June 2018: Laying Down on the Job”

Explore the World in 3D Sound With Travelear for iOS

In this podcast, Scott Davert gives us a walk-through and demonstration of Travelear: Listen to the World, a free iOS app that provides access to a selection of 3D soundscapes.

From the App Store description:

Travelear promises to take your ears on an adventure like never before! You can finally go to a variety of destinations and environments with a pair of headphones and the click of a button. With Travelear you can hop across the pond and experience the hustle and bustle of London's famous Flower Market or even take a trip down to New Orleans jazz-filled streets. If you're not in the mood for a new city sound then you can always get up close and personal with forest wildlife or simply sit back and relax on your porch as a summer thunderstorm passes by. Let our sounds immerse you into an environmental narrative and make you feel like you are actually there.

Features:

  • 3D experiences created exclusively for Travelear
  • Organic recordings designed to tell a story
  • Captured with the latest in 3D microphones
  • Recorded and composed by Professional Audio Engineers
  • HD sound quality
  • HD images provide a visual for the experience
  • Map View allows you to choose your destination

Take a break from your day, go somewhere fun. Sit back, relax, and choose your destination.

Listen to “Explore the World in 3D Sound With Travelear for iOS”

How to Play Fun Audio Games with Google Assistant

In this podcast, Khalfan Bin Dhaher demonstrates how you can play games from within the Google Assistant app for iOS. The Google Assistant app includes a variety of audio games. Available types of games include:

  • Audio Games: Lucky Trivia, Are You Feeling Lucky?, Mad Libs, World Greatest Word Game, Lucky Trivia Sports
  • Chat Games: Emoji Riddle, Answer Riddles with Emojis, Emoji Movies, Guess the Movies Titles, Emoji Party, and Party with these Emojis.

Google Assistant on the App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-google-assistant-get-help-anytime-anywhere/id1220976145?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D8&at=11l4LS

Listen to “How to Play Fun Audio Games with Google Assistant”

Also by Khalfan: Workout When You Want, Where You Want, the Way You Want with Aaptiv Audio Fitness for iOS

AppleVis Extra 57: Sarah Herrlinger, Director of Global Accessibility Policy and Initiatives at Apple

In this episode of the AppleVis Extra, hosts Dave Nason and Thomas Domville are joined by Sarah Herrlinger, Director of Global Accessibility Policy and Initiatives at Apple.

Topics covered in the discussion include Sarah's role at Apple; the importance of accessibility in the world of technology; Apple's own culture of creating inclusive technology; how Apple works with 3rd party developers to ensure the accessibility of their apps; and Sarah's recent election to the National Board of the American Foundation for the Blind.

Listen to “AppleVis Extra 57: Sarah Herrlinger, Director of Global Accessibility Policy and Initiatives at Apple”

AppleVis Extra 56: Recapping the WWDC 2018 Keynote

In this podcast, Dave Nason, Thomas Domville, Tyler Stephen, and Stuart Lawler discuss the announcements made at Apple's WWDC 2018 Keynote.

Listen to “AppleVis Extra 56: Recapping the WWDC 2018 Keynote”

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

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