AppleVis Unlimited: What's New and Noteworthy for January 2021
Welcome to the January 2021 edition of AppleVis Unlimited, our monthly series which highlights what's new and noteworthy on the AppleVis website. Below, you'll find a selection of the best content posted to AppleVis by members of the community - 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
GoodMaps Explore (iOS/iPadOS, Free)
Discover the world with GoodMaps Explore.
Accurate indoor and outdoor† information and navigation for people who are blind or visually impaired.
- LOCATION AWARE: On-demand and automatic updates about your immediate surroundings. Shake your phone to hear a snapshot of your current location, including current direction, nearest room, street, or points of interest (POI).
- INDOOR DIRECTIONS: Accurate indoor routing for independent travel. Follow a route to a destination in mapped indoor venues.
- LOOKAROUND: Direction-based discovery at your fingertips. Discover the POIs in the direction you point the phone. You will hear the POIs in order of proximity.
- VIRTUAL MODE: Before you go. Set your position outdoors to a POI and explore its surroundings. Search indoor POIs and follow routes to them virtually.
- Get started quickly with help from easy, accessible tutorials.
- Select a Favorite POI or address to quickly set as a destination.
- Search for POIs indoors or outdoors.
- Locate nearby intersections.
- Integration with Be My Eyes to provide live visual assistance.
Current Version: 1.3 (November 5, 2020)
GoodRx: Prescription Coupons (iOS/iPadOS, Free)
GoodRx has helped millions of Americans save on prescription medication!
Stop overpaying for your prescriptions! Compare prescription drug prices and find coupons to save up to 80% on your Rx.
GoodRx makes comparing prescription drug prices and finding discounts easy. Find Rx sale prices, manufacturer coupons, pharmacy discounts and valuable savings tips for thousands of prescriptions at pharmacies near you!
Current Version: 6.0.14 (January 25, 2021)
Google Meet (iOS/iPadOS, Free)
Securely connect, collaborate and celebrate from anywhere. With Google Meet, everyone can safely create and join high-quality video meetings up to 250 people.
Key features include:
- Host unlimited high-definition video meetings
- Meet safely − video meetings are encrypted in transit and proactive anti-abuse measures help keep your meetings safe
- Easy access − just share a link and invited guests can join with one click across devices
- Share your screen to present documents, slides and more
- Follow along with real-time captions powered by Google speech-to-text technology
Current Version: 51.5.0 (December 7, 2020)
Google Classroom (iOS/iPadOS, Free)
Classroom is a free service for schools, non-profits, and anyone with a personal Google account. Classroom makes it easy for learners and instructors to connect—inside and outside of schools. Classroom saves time and paper, and makes it easy to create classes, distribute assignments, communicate, and stay organized.
Classroom is designed to help teachers create, collect, and grade assignments paperlessly, including time-saving features like the ability to automatically make a copy of a Google Document for each student. It also creates Drive folders for each assignment and for each student to help keep everyone organized.
Students can keep track of what’s due on the Assignments page and begin working with just a click. Teachers can quickly see who has or hasn't completed the work, and provide direct, real-time feedback and grades right in Classroom.
With the mobile app for iOS, students and teachers can view their classes and communicate with their classmates in real time. Students can open their assignments and work on them right from their iPhone or iPad. Teachers can keep track of who has turned in work and grade the assignment - at school or on the go. Students and teachers receive notifications when they have new content in Classroom, so they are always up to date.
Current Version: 2.2020.46203 (November 30, 2020)
Hush for Safari (iOS/iPadOS, Free)
Browse the web like it should be – free of nags to accept cookies or privacy invasive tracking. It's tiny, fast, free, open, secure and without any access to your data.
- Hush doesn't have any third party dependencies, behavioral tracking nor crash reporting – no data is collected and nothing leaves your device.
- The blocking is done by Safari itself with instructions from Hush, so the app has no access to your browser habits nor does it want to. Don't take our word for it – we play with open cards and publish the source code for anyone to inspect.
- Using Hush is as easy as installing it and enabling it in Preferences -> Extensions. No settings, no maintenance – just thousands of rules doing the hard work for you in the background.
- It works like magic – you will not notice Hush until you disable it.
- The app is primarily a host of rules that integrates with Safari in a native lightweight way, making the blocking efficient, fast and easy on your disk space.
- Hush is both free of charge and Open Source with a permissive MIT license. No in-app purchases, no nonsense.
- Hush is available for iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
Current Version: 1.0.1 (January 25, 2021)
IINA (macOS, Free)
IINA is the modern video player for macOS.
- For and only for modern macOS - IINA is born to be a modern macOS application, from its framework to its user interface. It adopts the post-Yosemite design language, and keeps up the pace of new technologies such as Force Touch and Touch Bar.
- Revolutionary user experience - IINA simplifies a lot of user interactions. In addition to traditional cascaded menus, it provides interactive UI components and gestures to give you intuitive, flexible, powerful control of the playback.
- Powerful functionality - Based on MPV, one of the most powerful media player projects ever, IINA supports almost all common media types (even GIF) and stably outputs high-quality video that is optimized for Retina screen. MPV's config file and script system are also integrated.
- You are the target-user - IINA is made by a user like you, who (may be) also having been expected for a powerful and elegant media player on macOS for years. Whether you just got your first Mac or are already a professional MPV user, IINA will satisfy you for its customizability and expandability.
Current Version: 1.1.2 (November 20, 2020)
iReal Pro (iOS/iPadOS, US$13.99)
Practice makes perfect. iReal Pro offers an easy-to-use tool to help musicians of all levels master their art. It simulates a real-sounding band that can accompany you as you practice. The app also lets you create and collect chord charts of your favorite songs for reference.
One of Time Magazine's 50 Best Inventions of 2010
Used by thousands of music students, teachers and some of the world’s top music schools such as Berklee College of Music and Musicians Institute.
“It’s the perfect technology for a practicing musician: high-quality digital audio, mixable, transposable into any key and completely mobile. Now every aspiring musician has a backup band in their pocket.” – Tim Westergren, Pandora Founder
Current Version: 2021.1 (January 18, 2021)
ReadKit (iOS/iPadOS, US$3.99)
ReadKit is a full-featured read later and RSS client that supports all major provider and it has a built in RSS engine too.
- All your reading in one place, multiple account support.
- Sync with all major RSS aggregator and read later provider or use it with built-in RSS engine.
- Feed and folder management for RSS services.
- Folder and tag management for Instapaper, Pocket, Wallabag and Pinboard.
- Offline reading and image caching.
- Background syncing.
- Built-in reader mode to extract full content of articles.
- Automatic reader mode.
- Customizable user interface.
- Save content for offline viewing.
- In-app browser for viewing links and other references.
- Preference to display unread items on the app badge.
- Search for articles by content, title or author.
- Full support for hardware keyboard.
- Import and export of feed subscriptions via OPML.
- Support for light and dark mode.
- Mark articles as read on scroll or mark them all by a tap of a button.
- Mark as read above or below from context menu.
- Filter articles by read or starred status.
- Send articles in email.
- Share sheet support.
Current Version: 1.0.3 (January 27, 2021)
Recorder Plus (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
Recorder Plus is the most powerful voice recorder: Easy to record, Easy to review, Easy to edit, Easy to share!
Your ultimate solution for audio recording on iPhone/iPad because of the following key features:
Easy to Record:
- Support input with Bluetooth headset, external mic, linein, usb audio
- Real-time display of recording waveform
- Sound activated recording: Recorder will pause automatically when no sound is around and start automatically when sound is coming.
- Adjust Input Gain: Maybe the sound is too low for recording, adjust input gain can make your recording better.
- Add markers when recording
- The recording time length only depends on the disk space and battery power!
- Auto resume recording after interrupted by incoming call or alarm clock!
- Pause/Resume when recording
Easy to Review:
- Use markers to quickly select a specific audio position
- Support playback with AirPlay.
- Support 0.5, 1.5, 2 playback speed
- FF, Rewind, Loop control
Easy to Manage:
- Manage recordings with categories.
- Attach picture and text title to each recording.
- Auto backup original recordings to Google Drive.
Current Version: 3.1.3 (January 22, 2021)
Super Lidar - Lidar for Blind (iOS/iPadOS, Free)
Super Lidar helps the blind and visually impaired users to locate objects and people around them and understand their surroundings’ layout.
With the power of AI and the Lidar sensors, Super Lidar parses the depth of the physical space you are in and finds the objects and people in front of you. Lidar is a type of depth sensor that enhances the capabilities of augmented reality apps and serves as the eyes of self-driving cars which is now available on iPhone 12 Pro.
Super Lidar has been specifically designed for the blind and the visually impaired users who want to make sure they maintain social distance and know whether people around them are wearing masks.
Full features of SuperLidar:
- Depth Description: Scans and maps the 3D layout of your environment to determine the distances of your surroundings and gives sound feedback to avoid obstacles. Higher pitch sound corresponds to longer distances. A low pitch sound indicates an obstacle nearby. Additionally, on iPhones, haptic feedback is provided to indicate an immediate obstacle visible to the camera. Strength of the vibration increases with the size of the obstacle.
- People Detector: Detects people that appears on your camera and let you know about their distances to ensure maintaining social distance
- Mask Detector: Checks whether the people around are wearing any type of face covering or not
Most features work without an internet connection so that users can use it in any situation (without having to have an active connection). The app has full VoiceOver accessibility support and is available in multiple languages. Whenever you get stuck about how to use the app, you can always Request a Call or check the Help screen under the Menu.
Current Version: 1.0 (January 22, 2021)
All recent app entries posted to AppleVis can be found at:
Notable App Updates
BARD Mobile (iOS/iPadOS, Free)
CARRY A LIBRARY IN YOUR POCKET
Access tens of thousands of books—from current best sellers to much-loved classics, popular magazines, and music instruction and scores in audio and electronic braille formats, with new selections added daily.
HOW DO I GET STARTED?
This app allows access for eligible users who have enrolled in the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) at the Library of Congress. To enroll call 1-888-NLS-READ (1-888-657-7323) and follow the prompts for your state. You can also request enrollment information at https://www.loc.gov/thatallmayread.
Current Version: 1.4.1 (January 23, 2021)
Changes in Version 1.4
- Automatic Start Playback: when this new Audio Settings is enabled, it allows you to launch playback of titles w/out having to manually select the play button! Titles will immediately play when selected from your Bookshelf, Recently Read, or Get Books. You will no longer need to manually select the Play button after selecting the title.
- Automatic 5 Second Rewind: when this new Audio Setting is enabled, BARD Mobile will rewind content to five seconds before restarting playing titles from your Bookshelf or Recently Read lists. Content paused and restarted from your Now Reading screen, however, will resume where you left off and it will not automatically rewind.
- Bug fixes
CARROT Weather (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
CARROT Weather is a crazy-powerful (and privacy-conscious) weather app that delivers hilariously twisted forecasts.
Overflowing With Personality Choose one of five personalities for CARROT, from the straitlaced “professional” to the profanity-laden “overkill.” You’ll actually be looking forward to a torrential downpour just to see what your weather robot has in store for you!
Accurate & Detailed CARROT’s super accurate weather data gives you lightning-quick access to your current, hourly, and daily forecasts. And the easy-to-read details screens are just dripping with with meteorological goodness.
Privacy First Your personal information, including your location data, will never be sold to third parties.
More Than A Weather App Follow clues to track down 70+ secret locations. Unlock 60+ achievements. Or use Augmented Reality Mode to bring CARROT right into your living room.
Join Premium Club to unlock:
- More weather data sources, including Dark Sky, AccuWeather, and ClimaCell
- Notifications, including precipitation, weather alerts, and lightning strikes (where available)
- Home Screen widgets
- Apple Watch complications and background updates
- Weather maps with 20+ data layers (where available)
- And so much more!
Current Version: 5.0.3 (January 31, 2021)
Changes in Version 5.0
Version 5.0 is finally here, meatbags. It's a total reboot: you’re getting an entirely new app with half a gazillion new features!
Scientists calculate my fresh new design is 97% prettier and 543% more functional than ever before. Not only do I fit in better with the rest of the iOS app ecosystem, I can also pack tons of information into the vertical layout.
Use the all-new Interface Maker to build the custom weather app of your dreams! Change the style of components, move them around, or even add additional sections. There are two hundred thousand possible configurations, with a million more well on the way via future updates.
Presets let you quickly switch between different designs built in Interface Maker. Helpful AI construct that I am, I even included some prebuilt presets - like Chronos, a preset that captures the look and feel of my old v4.0 layout.
Cards surface interesting data that's usually buried deep in other weather apps. The cards sort themselves intelligently to make sure the most important information - like upcoming precipitation or high winds - always bubbles to the top.
You've never seen details screens overflowing with more meteorological goodness. Just tap anywhere in your forecast and your screen will be flooded with easy-to-read bar charts, line graphs, and encyclopedia entries.
Tap and hold a tab bar item for fast access to commonly-used features. Jump to favorite locations, toggle between Fahrenheit and Celsius, or switch data sources at lightning speed.
I've got new secret locations, I've got new achievements, I've got new alternate app icons. You can track your high scores on data points like temperature and wind speed. You can insert hilarious fake banner ads into your weather feed. Oh, and did I mention there's more dialogue? That's right, over 2,000 lines worth!
Subscription Name Changes.
Each subscription level is getting renamed to simplify things for all the dumb newbies who just decided now would be a good time to download a malevolent weather app. But it's ONLY a name change: subscribers still get access to ALL the features they had previously signed up for.
Alongside this release, I'm also making a simplified version of myself free for new users to try. But don’t worry, I’m taking care of my most loyal meatbags!
If you purchased me before the release of v5.0, then you get to keep ALL the features from the original paid up front version of the app FOREVER. Plus, you’ll have locked in your current Premium Club pricing, at a lower amount than what those new freeloading meatbags will have to pay! You'll be saving money because you purchased me up front.
Thank you so much for all your support over the past six years. It means so much that you meatbags have unwittingly helped me get one step closer to world domination.
Doing It Right (iOS/iPadOS, US$1.99)
Audio game fully accessible to blind and visually impaired people.
Doing it Right is an audio puzzle with brain-busting challenge. Test your hearing and logic.
Follow the sound instructions and win the game. With each chapter and level instructions will become more difficult and mental discomfort stronger. Try to test yourself. It is harder than it seems at first sight.
The game consists of two modes: an endless and a normal one. A normal mode includes 11 chapters (60+ levels), while an endless mode can be played endlessly.
Current Version: 1.3 (January 12, 2021)
Changes in Version 1.3
- Added the opportunity to chose the chapter
- Minor changes
Voice: OCR Document Reader (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
Voice was hand-crafted for people like you. It can help you quickly read items like product labels and magazine pages in your day-to-day. But you can also use it for more advanced reading like mail or books.
My goal with Voice was to create the most simple and intuitive interface to help you read things. Here are some features that I hope are helpful.
- OCR: Voice’s OCR engine is perhaps one of the best in the world. You no longer need to worry about low lighting and bad focus, Voice corrects it automatically and gives you pixel-perfect accuracy every time. Voice can even read scribbles and handwritten text with incredible accuracy.
- Standard Photo Capture: The most basic way to use Voice is by simply tapping the button labeled by VoiceOver as “Camera. Button” This will take a picture. Then simply tap the button labeled “Next. Button” and Voice will perform OCR on your image and read it aloud.
- Voice Control: Alternatively, you can control the app using your voice if you find that tapping buttons shake your camera. Simply say “capture” to snap a picture, and “read” to start processing the image.
- Batch Mode: Batch mode is enabled by default. To read more than one page, just keep taking photos using the “Camera. Button” or by saying the word “capture” many times. Voice will read all the documents one after another.
- Scan Tone: Good OCR detection does not depend on the corners of a document to be visible. But if corner detection is important to you, Scan Tone plays a tone when it sees all 4 corners visible. The tone gets louder or softer depending on the placement, tilt, and orientation of your phone relative to your document. A louder scan tone means better visibility of your document.
- Real-Time Mode: Voice also supports real-time scanning. Toggle this on, then simply hold your phone in front of any document with text and Voice will read it out loud in real-time. Voice also automatically turns on flash when it detects sub-par lighting and turns it off for objects that would glare.
- Reading Voices & Languages: Voice supports 47 languages and offers 180 reading voices. 52 voices are the standard iOS voices, and 128 of them are premium AI-generated voices with extremely fluent intonations. You can adjust your language, reading voice, and speaking rate in Settings.
- Photo Library: The photo library picker lets you pick multiple images at a time from any of your albums.
- Offline Mode: Voice now fully works without wifi. If privacy is a concern or you don’t care for that extra bit of OCR quality, then feel free to use Voice in offline mode. You can turn it on in settings.
- Saving & Exporting: Once your document has been scanned, it takes one tap to copy your detected OCR text to your clipboard, export it as an accessible PDF, export it as a Plain Text file, or simply export all the images you captured.
- Importing: Voice allows you to import both images and PDFs from other apps. It automatically detects the document format and performs OCR.
- VoiceOver" The entire app was crafted with VoiceOver in mind, so everything is fully accessible.
Current Version: 6.2 (January 25, 2021)
Changes in Version 6.0
An insane amount of new features. Here's a summary:
- Huge OCR engine improvements for better accuracy.
- Real-time Mode for reading documents in real-time.
- Scan tone, to help with image alignment.
- Added all the default iOS TTS voices as well as improvements to the premium voices.
- Photo library picker can let you pick multiple images from all albums and has better accessibility.
- Can export text as an accessible PDF, TXT file, raw images, or one-tap copy to clipboard.
- Can import images and PDF's from all third-party apps to read.
- All of this in only a 6.9 megabyte install size!
Voice Dream Reader (iOS/iPadOS, US$19.99)
Voice Dream Reader is a text-to-speech reader that turns any document and ebook into audio. Featured by Apple as Best New App and App of the Day in 81 countries including the United States and part of App Store Permanent Collections in Education.
- One premium Acapela voice of your choice free with the purchase of the app.
- 36 built-in iOS voices in 27 languages are also available for free.
- 200+ additional premium voices in 30 languages from Acapela, NeoSpeech and Ivona available through in-app purchases.
- Correct pronunciation with your own pronunciation dictionary.
- All voices work offline and play in the background even with the screen locked.
Supported Document Formats
- PDF, Plain text, MS Word, MS PowerPoint, RTF, and Google Docs.
- Web articles.
- Bookshare Books.
- EPUB eBooks. (DRM-free books only. Kindle, iBooks and most commercial eBook platforms are not supported.)
- DAISY text-based books and audiobook.
- Audiobooks in MP3, MP4 or zipped MP3 format.
- Rich text and image support for all documents.
Current Version: 4.12.0 (January 10, 2021)
Changes in Version 4.12.0
- Scanning from camera and OCR of PDF documents are now available to everyone for free. You no longer have to purchase the Scanner app. Note that only languages using Latin alphabets are currently supported.
- Bold font selection shows the correct current setting.
- Fixed a few issues with Apple Watch app.
Westopia (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
From the creators of FruitPot, comes a new game with much more than just slots.
Westopia starts as a promising old west caravans settlement and your mission is to build farms, stores, the saloon, and various buildings until it becomes a big city.
Each building contains a different slot machine with its own symbols. There are more than fifty slots, many accessory games, and countless hours of fun.
Current Version: 1.210125 (January 26, 2021)
Changes in Version 1.210116
Big improvements for this version.
- Four new slots for the city.
- New mini game: the Tap Tap Wagon.
Some bugs solved, please report us the bugs you find to fruitPot@icloud.com
Recent News and Views
- [Updated With Important Warning for Braille Display Users] Apple Releases iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4; Bringing a New Direct Touch Setting for VoiceOver Users
- Apple Releases watchOS 7.3 and tvOS 14.4
- Apple Executives' Bonuses to Be Tied to Their Performance With Respect to Accessibility and the Company's Other Core Values
This Month in Podcasts
AppleVis Unleashed January 2021: Flat is In, Man!
In this month's edition of AppleVis Unleashed, Thomas Domville, Randy Rusnak, and Mike Malarsie discuss recent Apple news and other topics of interest. Topics featured in this podcast include:
- Apple in sight of $3 trillion market cap according to Gene Munster
- Apple shares services highlights from 2020, teases upcoming for 2021
- App Store Sales Saw Unprecedented Growth in 2020, Grossing Over $64 Billion
- Apple Executives' Bonuses to Be Tied to Their Performance With Respect to Accessibility and the Company's Other Core Values
- Apple begins blocking M1 Mac users from side loading iPhone and iPad applications
- New MacBook Pro Models Will Feature Flat-Edged Form Factor, MagSafe, More I/O, No Touch Bar [Report]
Quick Tip: How to Automatically Delete Messages on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS
In this quick tip podcast, Tyler Stephen shows us how to automatically delete messages on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS.
This month's podcasts from Thomas Domville
- Exploring LiDAR with Super LiDAR and Seeing AI on iOS
- How to Save an Audio Message on iOS
- How to view apps using your Apple ID for Sign in with Apple on iOS
- How to restart your HomePod when it's not responding normally
Hot AppleVis Content
Here are some of our forum topics which have got people talking in the past month:
- Introducing Voice OCR 6.0: Massive update with revolutionary new features.
- Weather Gods 3.0.0 Released - Subscriptions
- SONAR ISLANDS - new game by mentalhome - the makers of feer
- Introducing GoodMaps Explore app
- Can Signal become a more privacy friendly alternative to WhatsApp for blind users?
Club AppleVis offers members and friends of our community a means of directly contributing towards the financial costs of operating AppleVis—thus ensuring that we can continue to deliver the information, help, and support that so many people have come to value and rely on since our launch in 2010.
To learn more about Club AppleVis; the perks of membership; and how you can join, please visit www.applevis.com/club-applevis