AppleVis Unlimited: What's New and Noteworthy for July 2020
Welcome to the July 2020 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
Bright Guide - messenger (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
Bright Guide is a convenient messenger designed specifically for blind people and working with the Voice Over screen access program. The Bright Guide application allows you to send text and voice messages, images and documents, as well as subscribe to popular channels in Telegram.
In the interface of the Bright Guide application, all the buttons are conveniently located, there are no extra headers and not always necessary notifications, which are often found when using Voice Over.
We also thought out and added some convenient features that can please users:
- In order not to return to the "Back" button every time, you can double-click on the screen of the phone with two fingers. This activates the "Back" button in all places of the application
- By sending a voice message, you can always listen to it before sending it, overwrite it or simply delete it
- Being in the chat with a user, scrolling up or down, you can select the function you need for further action
- We also developed a special search system “Alphabetical Index”. It allows you to search quickly through your contacts by the first letter of the name or surname with Voice Over. For example, choosing the letter "B", you activate the search for users whose first or last name begins with the letter "B"
Current Version: 1.1.2 (May 31, 2020)
Nicolas Eymerich - The Demon (iOS/iPadOS, US$5.99)
Dear brothers and sisters! The wait is finally over... The Inquisitor is BACK! Immerse yourself in this roguelike-inspired RPG and follow the last adventure of Nicolas Eymerich.
An exciting game mechanics in 8 different scenarios: haunted woods, caves invaded by monstrous creatures, crypts full of secrets and the Final Clash with the Evil One.
An innovative audio-navigational system to explore maps in the most remote corners. From the village of Calcares to the dungeons of the Abbey.
A brand-new combat mechanics in which you will control both Eymerich and Jacinto Corona. You will use the strength, the spirit, and the power of the Faith, to banish the Evil!
Dialogues in which to discover precious clues or the demonstration of the Lie of the Heresy.
Enigmas to solve with the ingenuity of divine intuition.
An accessible audio game for the visually impaired, enhanced with hand-drawn graphics and also playable in video mode.
Current Version: 1.3 (July 14, 2020)
All recent app entries posted to AppleVis can be found at:
Notable App Updates
FlickType Keyboard (iOS/iPadOS, US$1.99)
FlickType is the practical keyboard for your Apple Watch. It's also a fully accessible iPhone keyboard for visually impaired users.
- FlickType's universal design makes typing easy, fast, and comfortable — even on your Apple Watch!
- Don't slow down or try to be accurate. Just tap where it feels right and FlickType's unique algorithm will find the correct word from the pattern of your taps.
- Delete or change entire words with a single flick of your finger. On Apple Watch you can also use the Digital Crown to change words, punctuation, or emoji.
- FlickType users type up to three times faster compared to the standard keyboard, Scribble, or even dictation after edits. Emoji, text shortcuts, and deep customization options make typing fluid and fun, just as it should be — even on your Apple Watch!
- FlickType keyboard is designed to be as accessible as possible on both iPhone and Apple Watch, featuring large keys, high-contrast colors, prominent visuals, and effective VoiceOver feedback. FlickType can speak back to you for a completely eyes-free writing experience, enabling people who are blind to type just as fast as everyone else.
Current Version: 2020.2 (July 27, 2020)
Changes in Version 2020.2
Watch keyboard changes:
- Brand new look & feel
- Long press for precise character selection
- Added setting to disable Auto-Correction
- Other bug fixes and improvements
This update also contains important stability improvements and is recommended for all VoiceOver users on iPhone and iPad.
Nearby Explorer Online (iOS/iPadOS, Free)
Nearby Explorer Online is a free outdoor and indoor location app designed for use by people who are blind. It supports onboard maps from OpenStreetMap, and can optionally augment these maps with online data from Google Places or Foursquare.
The app works by letting you select from several different location related options about what to announce as you move. These include typical items like street name, address, and nearby places as well as the distance and direction to them. (All announcements are optional.) All of this information is shown on the Home screen and is available at any time, but typical use is to adjust the level of announcements, then lock the screen and put the device away. This keeps both hands free and lets your preferred voice speak the characteristics of the environment as you move.
You may also use the devices position and orientation to obtain additional targeted details such as pointing the end of the device to scan for points of interest or tilting it vertically to function as a compass. You may even mark a point, then use the position of the device to get haptic feedback about that point's location.
Current Version: 1.41.00 (July 23, 2020)
Changes in Version 1.41.00
Added Approaching intersections to the online version using OpenStreetMap. Note: Adding the Approaching Streets option required a new internal map structure, therefore, the app will need to update any download maps for the feature to work correctly.
Added performance improvements to search results
Seeing AI (iOS/iPadOS, Free)
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
Current Version: 3.5 (July 30, 2020)
Changes in Version 3.5
- Updates throughout the app to increase readability
- Wider field of view on the Product channel
- Plus, various bug fixes under the hood
Supersense AI (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
Supersense is the smartest and simplest scanner app made for the blind and visually impaired users to read any text format, currency or product details from a barcode independently.
With the power of AI, Supersense automatically figures out what you are trying to scan, guides you on how to point the camera, and reads the content in the right format. Its unique design minimizes the time and frustrations of scanning and reading text for a blind and visually impaired user.
Full features of Supersense:
- Smart Scanner: The app automatically detects whether you are trying to quickly read a piece of text, a long document, a currency or a barcode.
- Smart Guidance: The app guides you on how to point the camera and finds the best angle to have the most accurate results
- Quick Read: Instantly read the text presented in front of the rear camera
- Document: Read longer documents with the assistance of smart guidance. Once the text has been recognized, use VoiceOver commands to navigate through the recognized text and share it to other apps.
- Currency: Recognize currencies and hear the value of a banknote
- Barcode: Scan barcodes to hear the name and brand of the products with additional information
- Import: Read and explore text from the photos in your camera roll. Also you can send them directly from any other apps with using "Supersense Image" tool in your share menu.
- Read History: Display your text recognition history in a single screen so you can navigate through the recently recognized text and share it to other apps
Current Version: 1.3.4 (July 24, 2020)
Changes in Version 1.3.4
- PDF recognition is added to the features menu. Now you can import PDF files and recognize the text on it. You can also share PDF files directly from any other app by using your iPhone's share tool and selecting Recognize with Supersense.
- PDF export is added to the Share menu. Once you scan a text in document mode, you can save it to your device as a PDF from the share button on the lower right corner of the text viewer screen. You can also copy and paste the recognized text to any other apps from the same menu.
- Euro and British Pound are added to currency mode. Make sure to select the desired currency under the settings menu!
- Fixed bugs and made some UI changes to provide a better experience.
Recent News and Views
Seeking Experienced iOS Users to Join our Pilot Bug Identification and Tracking Team
We are seeking experienced iOS/iPadOS users to join our pilot bug identification and tracking team.
Over the last several years, one of the AppleVis Editorial Team's primary efforts (besides managing the day-to-day operations of the website) has been the identification; reporting; and tracking of bugs with vision accessibility features in Apple software . We do this work with the hopes that fellow blind and low vision users will be able to be better informed about accessibility changes in Apple software releases, as there is generally no easy way to downgrade once an update is installed; and users of accessibility features can be adversely affected if a particular feature they rely upon does not work as expected.
As both the number of Apple devices and use cases continues to grow, we feel our testing and reporting to the community is not as complete as it could be. To try and bridge this gap, we are launching a pilot project to work with a very small number of experienced iOS and iPadOS users to help contribute to our efforts.
Currently, our areas of greatest need are in evaluating low vision accessibility and braille support, and thus priority will be given to people who are primary users of either low vision features or braille. With that said, we welcome applications from all blind and low vision iOS/iPadOS users who are both experienced in accessibility testing and who want to contribute their expertise to our efforts.
The iPhone SE 2020: A Review From A VoiceOver and Braille User's Perspective
By Scott Davert | July 11, 2020
As the number of active Apple devices increases, so too do the different choices that the consumer has. The latest offering from Apple is the new iPhone SE 2020. This iPhone is a mix of the old and new: it retains the build size of the iPhone 8, but has the new A13 Bionic chip offered in the iPhone 11 series. It offers Bluetooth 5.0, but retains the Home button, which also includes Touch ID. The following review is written from the perspective of a braille and VoiceOver user.
There have been many reviews in the mainstream media already. Some examples include this positive review from Tech Crunch, a less- enthusiastic review from Wired, and this review from the Verge. What these examples all point to are that photos are not quite as detailed as what you find with the iPhone 11; the design is old-school; but that it is a great price for a budget phone. They all also point out that the iPhone SE lacks Face ID in favor of Touch ID, has a shorter battery life than the iPhone 11, and that it supports fast charging.
- Apple Releases iOS 13.6 and iPadOS 13.6; Bringing Additional Options for Software Update Downloads, New Features to the News and Health Apps, and More
- Apple Releases macOS 10.15.6, watchOS 6.2.8, and tvOS 13.4.8
Guides by Zoe Victoria
- how to publish a story/work to AO3 with voiceover on mobile
- How to publish a story on fanfiction.net using voiceover on iPad
This Month in Podcasts
AppleVis Unleashed July 2020: Your Digital Mommy
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:
- Announcing AppleVis 2.0: The Second Decade Edition
- Club AppleVis
- Apple Releases iOS 13.6 With Car Key, Toggle to Turn Off Automatic Update Downloads, Audio Apple News+ Stories and More
- Apple Previews New Emoji Coming in 2020 Like Ninja, Piñata, Bubble Tea, Dodo, Tamale and More
- First benchmarks surface for Apple's ARM-based Developer Transition Kit
- Apple announcing Q3 2020 earnings results on July 30
This month's podcasts from Thomas Domville
- How to Use the Download Feature in Safari on iOS
- Making it Simple and Easy with Telegram with the Bright Guide messenger for iOS
- How to Customize iOS Automatic Updates
- How to Automatically Share your Medical ID When Making a Call to Emergency Services
Hot AppleVis Content
Here are some of our forum topics which have got people talking in the past month:
- Jumpy Cat - a free, inclusive Fitness Coach app that designs personalised workouts
- a list of Bluetooth speakers that currently allow routing Voiceover audio to iOS device
- Seeking beta testers for bird song app
- New app for vocalizing text in images
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
We hope that everybody in our community, your families, and loved ones continues to remain safe and healthy in these difficult times.
The AppleVis Editorial Team