The AppleVis Community Names Seeing AI and Dice World as its Golden Apples of 2019

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

We are pleased to announce the winners of the eighth annual AppleVis Golden Apple Awards.

Since their launch in 2012, the AppleVis Golden Apple Awards have afforded blind and low vision users of Apple products the opportunity to recognize and acknowledge the hard work and dedication which developers have put into making and maintaining great and accessible applications over the given year. The response of past nominees and winners to this recognition from blind and low vision users shows how winning an AppleVis Golden Apple has become a tremendous honor.

The 2019 AppleVis Golden Apple Awards consisted of awards for Best App and Best Game. Voting was held between December 9 and December 14, 2019. Voting was open to all blind and low vision users who are not employed by any of the shortlisted companies.

To be shortlisted for this year's Golden Apple Awards, apps must:

  • Be fully accessible to blind and low vision users;
  • Have been launched or significantly updated during 2019;
  • Be from a developer with a strong, demonstrated commitment to full accessibility for all blind and low vision users; and
  • Be best-in-class in terms of design, functionality, and operation.

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all the developers who were shortlisted for an award. Without exception, all of the shortlisted apps were worthy nominees - as demonstrated by the significant number of votes each received. All of the developers showed a strong commitment to improving the lives of blind and low vision users in 2019, and our appreciation for their efforts cannot be overstated.

Below are the winners of the AppleVis Golden Apple Awards of 2019:

Best App: Seeing AI

Beginning life as a research project to explore ways in which artificial intelligence (AI) could be used to enhance the lives of people who are blind or visually impaired, Seeing AI harnesses the power of AI to describe text, objects and people.

Launched to the public in 2017, Seeing AI has now won a Golden Apple in three consecutive years - demonstrating how much users value the tools that it offers.

In 2019, Seeing AI gained support for Siri Shortcuts, allowing users to launch a particular channel with an assignable command. Seeing AI also now allows a user to explore photos by touch; simply select "Explore Photo" from the Scene channel, photo browser, or when recognizing photos from other apps - and then move your finger around the screen to hear how recognized objects are arranged in the photo. Other changes and new features rolled-out in 2019 include the ability to customize the order of channels to match your use case and support for 5 additional languages.

From the App Store:

Seeing AI is a free app that narrates the world around you. Designed for the blind and low vision community, this ongoing research project harnesses the power of AI to open up the visual world and describe nearby people, text and objects.

Optimized for use with VoiceOver, the app enables you to recognize:

  • Short Text - Speaks text as soon as it appears in front of the camera.
  • Documents - Provides audio guidance to capture a printed page, and recognizes the text, along with its original formatting.
  • Products - Scans barcodes, using audio beeps to guide you; hear the name, and package information when available. (works with iPhone 6 and later)
  • People - Saves people’s faces so you can recognize them, and get an estimate of their age, gender, and emotions.
  • Scenes (early preview) - Hear an overall description of the scene captured.
  • Currency - Recognizes currency notes. (Requires iOS 11)
  • Color - Identifies color.
  • Handwriting - Reads handwritten text like in greeting cards
  • Light - Generates an audible tone corresponding to the brightness in the surroundings.
  • Images in other apps - Just tap “Share” and “Recognize with Seeing AI” to describe images from Mail, Photos, Twitter, and more.
  • Photo browsing experience - Describes photos on your phone

Seeing AI is built to help you achieve more by leveraging the power of the cloud and artificial intelligence. As the research progresses, more channels may be added.

Read the AppleVis iOS App Directory entry for Seeing AI

Best Game: Dice World

Dice World first won a Golden Apple in 2014, and it has been a constant favorite with the AppleVis community for even longer. In 2019, Dice World gained an all new look and feel; customization options; support for multitasking and split screen on iPad; and significant accessibility upgrades.

From the App Store:

6 great dice games in a friendly gaming community for everyone to enjoy!

As always it is completely accessible to the visually impaired, allowing EVERYONE to play on a level playing field! #everyoneplays!

Dice World is going viral around the globe! Join the fun and meet new people while playing great dice games!

Includes Farkle, Yatzy, Pig, Threes, Balut and 1-4-24! Easy tutorials for all games!

Play friends, play tournaments, play funny computer players, play online or off, play however and whenever you want. On YOUR schedule!

Read the AppleVis iOS App Directory entry for Dice World

We would like to extend our congratulations to the winners of the 2019 AppleVis Golden Apple Awards. We wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season and a prosperous 2020.

The complete list of all apps shortlisted for the 2019 AppleVis Golden Apple Awards is available here; and here is the list of all past Golden Apple winners.

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22 Comments

Just goes to show

Simple games seem to rule the blind community with an iron fist.

Agree

Can not understand why someone who is a developer can not create a US football game or baseball game I would pay for that. Simple games simple minds

Oh boy

I'm a Windows app developer, and I can tell you this, snapping your fingers won't produce what you want. You must put work into it, code your butt off to get it right, not to mention fixing errors and bugs all through.
But for some reason, some of you think the most graphical and most difficult things can be made within months. I don't know why.

Games

Yes they are but I can not believe after so many years of iPhone releases there are no games like US football. I knew a friend who did one base in sounds for windows and it was good but I lost it and lost track of him. To bad GMA does not do games for iPhone.

Nothing wrong with simple games!

Hi! I can understand people wanting complex games to give them a challenge when they play them, but there are plenty of people out there who want to play something uncomplicated to relax, or to have something which won't tax their brains around a busy life using those brains. That's probably why Dice World is so popular, people with any level of intelligence can play it. Playing simple games doesn't mean that the player has less intelligence: obviously, we're all different, with different preferences when it comes to games, and that's perfectly normal. There's a place for all kinds of games out there, and if you prefer complex games, that's fine, but please don't look down on those who prefer something simpler.

simple games

I'm sorry but yes, their is something very wrong with simplistic games. it makes us look very simplistic, and really not wanting to expand beyond simplistic junk. I'm sorry but I would rather have a dev work on something even if it takes a while to get right and play that verses something like we see from companies like blindfold games which i'm sorry to say are very simplistic, and quite frankly get really old. and yes, I agree with the first poster. you hit it right on the head, and prove what i've been arguing for several months about simplistic junk.

i have a great idea.

How about you non-simplistic blind people pool your resources together, and create a game instead wining like little bitches.
Want a complex game?
Make one, or pay someone to create one for you!
Otherwise, stop with the bullshit.
People play these games, the applevis community voted.
Maybe you don't like it, but put your money where your mouths or fingers or toes are instead of sitting here crying.
I'm so sick of people not happy with anything.

While simple games are not my

Club AppleVis Member

While simple games are not my cup of tea, it’s not fair to bash developers who actually make something accessible.
As previous commenter suggested, go build your own game. I guarantee you’ll learn what limitations currently exist.
Alienating developers will only make them retreat and abandon. That doesn’t mean to not fight for more, but with civilized dialogue. Not the temper tantrum of a toddler.

I Had Little Doubt...

I had little doubt that Seeing AI would make the cut again this year. I've been honing my scanning abilities, and I have to say that this is one heck of an app. A sighted neighbor friend had me over to his place again a couple nights ago, because I asked if I could scan some things outside my apartment. I'd say I faired pretty well with the product scanning, and he's very impressed with this app too. I'm still a bit confused by the varying degrees of lighting, but recommend Seeing AI in a heartbeat to everyone. As far as the game that won this year, I have not played it so can't comment.

I believe post 1 is miss-understood.

It wasn't meant to bash anything or anyone. Rather, it was simply meant to point out the irony of the situation we find ourselves in. These last couple of months, we've seen and heard allot of Criticism of text, card, word and dice games, As well as complaints over lack of strategy, audio And other console quality like games. Now it's golden apple time and guess what? A text game won. Not only that, but it's an old timer who got this award before. I guess you can't really blame a guy for asking what gives? A congratulations is definitely in order, but given what we've heard and seen, it's definitely a surprise And I couldn't help but laugh a little.

Congrats dice world

Even though I didn't vote for this game I'm kind of glad they won. I had a really good laugh at all the people complaining about the simple games. Well, they won. And I do believe if some people really want a complexed game try making one for your self an play it. Wonder how long it will take.

Winners

Dice world is a good game congratulations. İ understand that seeing ai is a good app,but you could give this award to an app that available everywhere.

comment seven

to the person who posted coment number seven get out from your rock and go read a main stream game review. sorry but you don't see simplistic stuff in the main stream community. I hate to break that to you, but people like me aren't whining, we just want an equal gaming experience as our sited counterparts. why should we settle for less. you may want to settle for simplistic stuff, but I don't. so do like i said and go and do some research and read a main stream review, they don't kiss up to game devs if someone doesn't like a product.

Thank You!

App Developer

Thank you so much AppleVis community! We are very humbled to have received this award. There was a complete overhaul of Dice World this year, and I am so happy that the new version is so well accepted.

2019 has been a challenge, as our small company has gotten even smaller and it is now down to about 1 person (Lee had to take a full time job, but is still supporting when he can). That being said, the focus on accessibility remains the same.

Some of the comments above are a bit inaccurate I think, as I believe Dice World is more than "simplistic junk". The game has grown over the years from being a basic 3 game dice game, to what is now a full social network where people regularly connect and make friends from around the world. We have even had a few couples meet through the game and get married!

Also, the comment above that says it makes blind people seem simple... keep in mind that this is not a 'blind' game. This game is designed for the general public. Only 40% of our players are blind, and most players are unaware of who is blind and who is sighted.

The idea behind Dice World is to allow everyone to play together. Everyone has friends and family who are sighted, visually impaired in some way, or have other accessible needs. The goal for Dice World is to be fun for all, and make the gameplay and social aspects of the game seamless and effortless, keeping everyone on a level playing ground.

I'm looking forward to 2020, and keeping the momentum going with more new features. Also, Game World has not been forgotten. I am having some issues dealing with Apple, as they want the game to be broken out into separate apps. I think it's lame, but you can't fight Apple. So when time permits, those will be coming out soon.

Another update: Alexa Dice World is still in the plan. I had a buddy working on it, but he decided it wasn't for him and gave up. Hopefully we can afford to hire someone to pick it up soon. Otherwise I will get working on it once everything is stable.

Again, thank you so much for this award! It is very much appreciated, and we promise to keep accessibility as the top priority in all of our games. I have met many great new friends in the blind community since this all began, and hope to meet many more going forward.

Have a great holiday season, and look for the new version coming in the next few days that fixes some of those annoying bugs!

-Nick

I would also like to congratulate Dice World

The subject line says it all. I have been playing since late 2014, and while I did take significant breaks from the app because of stability issues, I am pleased to report that everything is working perfectly at this end now and I am happy to continue playing. You are to be admired for the great work you do, now you are working on your own. Congratulations once again, and I look forward to new updates.

RE: Thank You

Hello Nick. First of all, congratulations on a job well done in 2019, despite the down-sizing in your company. I also wanted to say thanks for explaining that the dice game is so much more than just a game for blind people. It's nice to know that, in all reality, blind players are only 40% of the audience that uses this game. There are so many negative things in this world, and some are never satisfied, but I wanted to give you my personal congratulations, in hopes that you will be encouraged to keep on pressing on. Does the blind community need more complex games? Sure! I will be one of the first to pick those up. However, I really enjoy having a game that is easy to play and something you don't have to work at, if someone just needs a break from life. Please, please keep of the great work in this game. It is much appreciated.

First off, congratulations to

First off, congratulations to the winners!

Secondly: What's your deal, commenter #6? What, exactly, do you hope to achieve? Instead of whining and putting down devs who prioritize accessibility, why don't you code a game you like? Your comment that the sighted community has no "simplistic", as you call them, games, is also quite inaccurate.
Personally I don't play dice world, but I appreciate when a dev is committed to accessibility. Your comment does nothing to encourage devs to incorporate accessibility, but rather the exact opposite.

thoughts

Not surprised that Seeing AI won app of the year. I love the Siri shortcuts.

Also not surprised that Dice World won, but I can see both sides of this. On one hand, it winning a golden apple 3 times is a testament to its popularity. How many games have come and gone and Dice World is still one of the most popular games in our community? I commend the devs for that. Otoh, it does kind of show the glaring lack of games we have to choose from.

I kind of hoped CMR would have won, although I didn't vote for it because I haven't played it. It's not the kind of game I enjoy. Here's someone who said hey, a game I like got taken away, maybe we can make another one like it, and maybe even make it better. That can't have been easy; I know I couldn't have done that. A lot of people here were really critical of it during development, and I do have to say I was a little bit skeptical. But glad their hard work paid off for them.

Weather Gods

I vote it for it. I do have Seeing AI and is nice.

Regarding the Winners

I am one of those folks who has been critical of Dice World in the past. Seeing AI is definitely deserving of the award it got, but in my opinion, Dice World is not. It's fully accessible, but that isn't saying much I do not think.
And... its third win, I feel that speaks even less of us.
I know I'm inviting the "make your own game" comments and all that, and believe me, if I had the knowledge base to do so, I would. But I don't, and I imagine even fewer of us do.
But my issue with Dice World is the fact that the app, however well designed, is simple in itself.
Simplicity in a game can be a good or a bad thing depending on the context. For Dice World, which is, as its name suggests, a series of dice games, the simple UI works in its favour. Where simplicity is damaging however, I feel comes in the fact that we have whole series of games, mainly the blindfold games, which fill a painful majority of what we are able to play. And thus, those like myself have I would say only two or three real contenders when it comes to games which meet our needs, mainly a level of detail which DW cannot hope to match.
I am of course referring to Six Ages, King of Dragon Pass and Timecrest.
I also understand that those are a different genre of game entirely, but my point here is that those games have simple interfaces, which is good. But the mechanics at play are not that simple. There is story, there is adventure.
I am rather disappointed, I must admit. I don't like the fact that we, as blind people, have become this complacent. This just be grateful and accept what you're given attitude is somewhat damaging, and would seem to imply that what we're getting is all that we deserve, and we don't deserve the same, more mainstream types of games that are available to the public. Action games, sci-fi games, adventure games. I feel we, as a community, need to push harder for equal, more complexed gaming opportunities, but we aren't.
TL:DR
Congrats to Seeing AI. Sad to see DW won again. Games with simple, intuitive interfaces are good, but this many games with simple concepts is not. The market is overcrowded but we're not doing anything about it, and that makes me sad.