AppleVis Unlimited: What's New and Noteworthy for June 2021

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Welcome to the June 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 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

Element messenger (iOS/iPadOS, Free)

Element is both a secure messenger and a team collaboration app that is ideal for group chats while remote working. This chat app uses end-to-end encryption to provide powerful video conferencing, file sharing and voice calls.

Element’s features include:

  • Advanced online communication tools
  • Fully encrypted messages to allow safer corporate communication, even for remote workers
  • Decentralized chat based on the Matrix open source framework
  • Secure file sharing with encrypted data while managing projects
  • Group Video chat with voice over IP and screen sharing
  • Easy integration with your favourite online collaboration tools, project management tools, VoIP services and other team messaging apps

Element is different from other messaging and collaboration apps. It operates on Matrix, an open network for secure and decentralized communication. It allows self-hosting to give users maximum ownership and control of their data and messages.

Current Version: 1.4.3 (June 25, 2021)

Read Element messenger's AppleVis App Directory entry for more information 

Visit Element messenger's App Store page 

Fury Driver (iOS/iPadOS, US$3.99)

Fury Driver is an action-thrilled audiogame with dangerous and engaging car races.

Fury Driver: Moonwalks follows the story of the undercover cop Vergil Hawk.

Moon City is corrupt to the core and only Vergil Hawk can do something about it.

Mr Sin has all the city’s crime in his hands and nobody knows who is behind the mask he always wears. Infiltrate the crime of Moon City, take part in the dangerous, clandestine races of the city and go as far as the boss goes. And if they force you to do things that go against what you believe in … how will you manage to remain a real hero?

Read Fury Driver's AppleVis App Directory entry for more information 

Visit Fury Driver's App Store page 

QR Blind (iOS/iPadOS, Free)

The autonomy of visually impaired people often depends on their opportunity of using custom labels, which allow to add informations to common objects for an easier recognition in everyday life.

The QR Code technology, combined with the objects labelling mechanism, is an innovative method for blind people to increase their autonomy in many fields.

QR Blind allows a complete and integrated management of the whole process of creation and use of labels with the QR Code: the app provides a set of tools to create a QR code with a custom text, single labels and to build A4 sheets, that can be shared as PDF files or printed using the AirPrint technology.

Current Version: 1.1.2 (May 8, 2021)

Read QR Blind's AppleVis App Directory entry for more information 

Visit QR Blind's App Store page 

Swordy Quest: An RPG Adventure (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)

Exclusive to iOS & from the creators of Fantasy Worldcraft comes their latest global app. Fully VoiceOver compatible.

Imagine waking up with no name, food or supplies. Where are you? Lake to the East, Mountains to the South. It doesn't matter now. YOU NEED TO SURVIVE. Set in a Fantasy and Living World, your goal is clear: Save humanity. Find water and food while fending off the habitants of the world. Gather, craft, hunt & cast magic for rewards and progression. Can you unlock the secrets of Swordy Quest?

FEATURES

  • Open World Environment - allowing you to explore grasslands, lakes, mountains & more
  • Enemies around every corner!
  • Weapon crafting - where finding the right materials is key to fending off enemies
  • Survival aspects - requiring careful resource management
  • Hidden items - finding them can mean the difference between life & death
  • Eye-catching graphics - transport you to another world
  • Intuitive navigation system
  • Advanced Player customization
  • Become a Wizard by unlocking
  • & much, much more...

Current Version: 4.2.1 (June 28, 2021)

Read Swordy Quest: An RPG Adventure's AppleVis App Directory entry for more information 

Visit Swordy Quest: An RPG Adventure's App Store page 

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

iOS/iPadOS
Mac
Apple Watch
Apple TV

Notable App Updates

Dark Sky Weather (iOS/iPadOS, US$3.99)

Dark Sky offers hyperlocal weather information. With down-to-the-minute forecasts, you’ll know exactly when the rain will start or stop — right where you’re standing. (It’s like magic.)

  • Dark Sky delivers forecasts for your precise location, giving you minute-by-minute predictions for the next hour and hour-by-hour forecasts for the next week.
  • The same technology that powers Dark Sky’s predictions also allows us to make beautifully smooth radar animations. These animations show you the path of the storm, including how it moved up to now and where it’s going next.
  • Dark Sky comes with advanced notification options. Receive up-to-the-minute alerts before it starts raining at your exact location, get notified of severe weather alerts (for events such as thunderstorms, flooding, hurricanes etc.) or even create your own custom notifications covering the next 24 hours for things such as temperature, wind, precipitation and more. Dark Sky will tell you what you need to know, when you need to know it.
  • The Dark Sky widget tells you at a glance what’s going to happen in the next hour or the next week, so you don’t even have to unlock your phone to quickly check the weather before going out.
  • Explore weather in the past or future. Choose a date and see historical weather data or future predictions based on seasonal averages.
  • Dark Sky looks great on your wrist. Get notifications and view the weather for the next week with the Dark Sky app built for Apple Watch.

Dark Sky is available in the US, UK and Ireland.

Current Version: 6.8.6 (June 22, 2021)

Changes in Version 6.8.6
  • Improved VoiceOver support
  • Complications on Apple Watch update more frequently
  • Addresses an issue that could prevent the moon phase from updating
  • Stability and performance improvements

Read Dark Sky Weather's AppleVis App Directory entry for more information 

Visit Dark Sky Weather's App Store page 

NetNewsWire: RSS Reader (iOS/iPadOS, Free)

NetNewsWire is a free and open source RSS reader. It’s fast, stable, and accessible.

NetNewsWire shows you articles from your favorite blogs and news sites — and keeps track of what you’ve read.

Features:

  • Direct feed-downloading
  • Syncing via iCloud, Feedbin, Feedly, BazQux, Inoreader, NewsBlur, The Old Reader, and FreshRSS
  • Multiple accounts
  • Dark Mode
  • Reader view
  • Share sheet
  • Starred articles
  • All Unread and Today smart feeds
  • Folders
  • Importing and exporting OPML feed lists
  • Background refreshing
  • Searching
  • Hiding read articles
  • Timeline customization
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • Context menus
  • Support for multiple windows
  • Special support for Reddit and Twitter feeds
  • Home screen widgets for today, unread, and starred articles
  • Share extension

Current Version: 6.0 (June 22, 2021)

Changes in Version 6.0
  • Sync via iCloud, BazQux, Inoreader, NewsBlur, The Old Reader, and FreshRSS
  • Share extension
  • Widgets for Today, Unread, and Starred articles
  • Special support for Reddit and Twitter feeds

Read NetNewsWire: RSS Reader's AppleVis App Directory entry for more information 

Visit NetNewsWire: RSS Reader's App Store page 

Prizmo 5 › Pro Scanner + OCR (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)

Prizmo is the most capable scanner app for iPhone & iPad to create stunning scans of documents or process business cards from photos. Prizmo offers an efficient capture workflow, powerful editing capabilities, a choice of highly accurate OCRs, text-to-speech & accessibility features, searchable PDF & DOCX exports, and comprehensive automation, all packaged in an elegant & intuitive user interface.

Current Version: 5.4.1 (June 10, 2021)

Changes in Version 5.4

Prizmo 5.4 is an important update that improves OCR processing & that brings an enhanced user experience and the most popular user requests.

NEW FEATURES

  • New destination for “PDF Upload” to export PDFs to a folder of Apple Files application, including third-party file services (Go to “Settings > PDF Upload > Files”, requires iOS 14).
  • Added an all-new settings panel available while shooting for easier access to camera-related settings. This view now gathers various settings like Page Detection or Camera Stabilization that were previously in various places.
  • You can now take pictures without being interrupted by the manual check interface (Go to “Settings > Scanning > After-shot Review”).
  • Added the ability to use the camera Autoshoot feature for VoiceOver users.
  • Prizmo can now automatically set the picture of a business card when it's processed (Go to “Settings > Scanning > Set Picture”).
  • Added support for multi-page input and output in the x-callback-url scheme (automation). When using the camera input mode, Prizmo now lets you take multiple pictures. When using the data input mode, you can now pass a multi-page PDF for processing.
  • Added a sample workflow for Apple Shortcuts app to let you discover Prizmo's x-callback-url scheme (Go to “Settings > Automation”).

BUG FIXES & ENHANCEMENTS

  • Fixed a bug where the selected JPEG compression could be ignored in some sitations.
  • Various smaller bug fixes and enhancements.
  • Fixed text layout issues that could occur when Apple OCR is used.

Read Prizmo 5 › Pro Scanner + OCR's AppleVis App Directory entry for more information 

Visit Prizmo 5 › Pro Scanner + OCR's App Store page 

Seeing Assistant Move (iOS/iPadOS, Free)

Seeing Assistant Move is an application developed by Transition Technologies S.A. in order to support blind and visually impaired people in everyday life. Application provides advanced geo-location and navigation features as well as current weather reports.

Seeing Assistant Move has been developed in close co-operation visually impaired people in order to address their needs as well as possible.

Features:

  • route planning
  • support for LoadStone and OpenStreetMap POIs text databases
  • advanced neighborhood scanner with world directions
  • searching for location
  • where am I functionality
  • route recorder
  • sharing points
  • entering text by voice
  • Dropbox integration

Current Version: 2.5.3 (June 23, 2021)

Changes in Version 2.5.3
  • A new tool for generating the turn by turn navigation has been introduced - Valhalla. We have created a unique on a scale of the world mode for calculating TBT routes, taking into account particularly important information about the points on the route for the blind persons - Additional instructions.- We have improved the way of navigating to the points of the routes.
  • A new function has been introduced - exploration of monitored points.
  • More detailed information about the above Functions can be found inside the app on the "More" tab in the section "Description of last changes" button.
  • Bug repair
  • Other improvements

Read Seeing Assistant Move's AppleVis App Directory entry for more information 

Visit Seeing Assistant Move's App Store page 

Recent News and Views

Apple News

Lessons Learned from Lockdown

By Lysette Chaproniere | June 30, 2021

It was a Thursday morning, and I was teaching a seminar to first year undergraduate students. I divided the students into three groups, then sent each group into a separate room to spend fifteen minutes discussing the material. Ten minutes later, I was still in the main room. My usual practice was to visit each room in turn, to listen to the students' discussion, answer any questions, and prompt them if everyone was a little too quiet. On this occasion, however, I couldn't find the entrance to the rooms. I'd never had this problem before. At this rate, the time would run out before I'd had a chance to check on any of the groups. I could only hope that the students would be too engrossed in their discussion to notice that I hadn't visited them. What could I do? Each seminar had three of these discussion sessions. Would I be able to find the secret entrance before the next one? Had the students locked me out because they had treasure they wanted to keep from me? Or was it a secret weapon? Were they plotting to take over the university? The world?

Just before the time was up, I found the way in. It occurred to me that the "5 participants" button might in fact be the button that had previously been labelled "join breakout room 1". Sure enough, when I activated it, I was prompted to join breakout room 1. All was well, and I, and the students, lived happily ever after. I did wonder why the Zoom developers couldn't have retained the more informative button labelling, but I suppose they didn't want to make my quest too easy.

I have learned many things navigating through these strange rooms. I learned to use Zoom, first on the iPad, and then, when the iPad app couldn't do everything I needed, I got up to speed on the Mac. I committed many of the Zoom keyboard shortcuts to memory, and tried not to mix them up with the keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Teams.

Read More: “Lessons Learned from Lockdown”

Psst! Wanna Buy some Crypto?

By Paul Martz | June 24, 2021

I was sitting in my office. The lease had expired, the air conditioner was broken, and a fly crawled across my arm. I slapped him with the open palm of my hand and sent him out of the game.

Someone knocked at the door.

“It’s open,” I said.

I heard a dog’s claws on my linoleum floor, then a lady in high heels. She smelled pretty as a rose, and her dress swayed like tall grass in a cool summer breeze. The dog led her to a chair. She sat.

“I’m lookin’ for somebody to help me find something,” she said.

“Yeah?” I said. “I can find a thing or two. What is it?”

“I’m not sure, exactly.” She crossed her legs high, almost knocked my eyes out. “I hear about it all the time, but no one knows what it is. They call it a … blockchain.”

“Give me a little background. Talk to me, lady.”

“You can start by getting some crypto. It’s gotta be accessible. See a guy named Eddie Mars.” She got up and her dog led her to the door.

Read more: “Psst! Wanna Buy some Crypto?”

This Month in Podcasts

AppleVis Unleashed June 2021: Sound Effects and AirBiscuit Galore

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:

  • Be My Eyes and Voice Dream Reader Among Winners of 2021 Apple Design Awards
  • Summary of Apple's 2021 Worldwide Developers Conference Keynote Presentation
  • Apple Music activates Spatial Audio and Lossless Audio content
  • HomePod and HomePod mini to Gain Support For Apple Music Lossless Audio in Future Software Update
  • AirPods to gain lossless streaming capabilities via software update, says leaker
  • Apple's Spatialize Stereo option creates 3D-like sound from stereo audio
  • More

Listen to “AppleVis Unleashed June 2021: Sound Effects and AirBiscuit Galore”

AppleVis Extra 82: Discussing Apple's WWDC 21 Keynote

In this edition of the AppleVis Extra, Dave Nason, Thomas Domville, and Tyler Stephen discuss some of their highlights from Apple's WWDC 21 keynote presentation.

Listen to “AppleVis Extra 82: Discussing Apple's WWDC 21 Keynote”

Quick Tip: How to Read Articles Out Loud With the Google iOS App

In this podcast, Kushal Solanki gives us a quick demonstration of the Read Aloud feature of Google's iOS app that will read a single or a number of articles aloud.

The app offers playback controls that allow you to pause or skip around in the “article.” Further, other articles can be added to the queue to create a playlist of articles.

Listen to “Quick Tip: How to Read Articles Out Loud With the Google iOS App”

Also by Kushal: Exploring iLehra, a Lehra / Nagma player for iOS that Provides Accompaniment for Tabla Solos

This month's podcasts from Thomas Domville

Hot AppleVis Content

Here are some of our forum topics which have got people talking in the past month:

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We wish you all good health and happiness.

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