Welcome to the October 2016 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 podcasts and blogs. 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
New Games from Kid Friendly Software (iOS, Free with In-App Purchases)
Classic Lemonade Stand (iOS, Free)
Remember the old text-based lemonade stand simulators? Now you can enjoy a modern take and run your own lemonade stand on your iPhone!
Buy cups, lemons and sugar to fill your inventory. Set your price and start selling cups of lemonade! Watch out for the weather which will affect your sales.
Other unexpected events may pop up randomly like bees taking your sugar or the neighborhood bully swiping some cash.
Current Version: 1.0 (March 14, 2016)
Congresswolf (iOS, Free)
Is the next member of Congress a werewolf? Can you survive a lycanthrope's bite? There's no silver bullet for winning an election!
“Congresswolf" is an interactive novel by Ellen Cooper, where your choices control the story. It's entirely text-based—140,000 words, without graphics or sound effects—and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.
“Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner." — James Bovard
When a werewolf murders your boss, you must step up to run a Congressional campaign all on your own. While werewolves, protestors, and worse—the media—lurk around every corner, you'll use everything you can to get your candidate elected.
Email servers? Tax returns? Who cares. Election-season secrets and October surprises are nothing compared to the possibility that your candidate might be a werewolf...or that you might become one yourself.
Current Version: 1.0.2 (October 28, 2016)
Creatures Such As We (iOS, Free)
"Creatures Such As We" is a philosophical interactive romance novel by Lynnea Glasser, where your choices control the story. It's entirely text-based—without graphics or sound effects—and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.
Living on the moon is lonely, and stressful, and exhausting. Video games have always offered you an escape to a better life. The easy, happy life you wish you had. Which makes it so frustrating when the game you've been playing ends badly. But you have a chance to figure it out, because the next tourist group is the designers. You can debate with them about art, inspire them with the beauty of outer space, get closer to any one specific designer in particular, and finally find out how to get the ending you always wanted.
Current Version: 1.1.0 (May 4, 2016)
Geek Quiz - The Number One Nerd's Trivia Question Game (iOS, Free with In-App Purchases)
Welcome to Geek Quiz, the number one trivia app around the world.
Put your nerd knowledge to the test with Geek Quiz. This app is full to capacity with interesting trivia and amazing facts from the world of technology, computing, science, space, video games and science fiction.
Play on your own or with friends; Geek Quiz supports up to 4 players buzzing in on the same phone.
Use the iOS app as a remote control for the Apple TV version of Geek Quiz.
See how you stack up against players around the world with the online leader boards.
Current Version: 1.6 (June 27, 2016)
Learning Ally Link (iOS , Free)
Learning Ally Link for mobile is an educational reading app, designed for learning through listening. Learning Ally provides more than 80,000 human-narrated audiobooks and audio textbooks for dyslexic, blind and visually impaired readers. The Learning Ally library offers bestsellers, classics, textbooks and more. In addition, it offers the VOICEtext format that includes on-screen highlighted text synced with the audio narration.
Learning Ally membership is required to use this app. School memberships include access to Link and can use this educational reading app for students who have print disabilities. Parent or Adult memberships require providing Learning Ally with proof of a print disability.
Learning Ally is a national nonprofit serving students with learning & visual disabilities. We provide resources for parents; training and technology for teachers and schools; and audio textbooks for K-12 and higher ed. Together it’s possible.
Current Version: 1.0 (September 4, 2016)
QuizBang (iOS, Free)
The quiz that generates new questions on the fly for a new experience each time!
QuizBang creates questions on the spot from it's massive database of movies, actors and question types for almost endless variety. The database is also kept up-to-date with the latest content automatically! So sit back and enjoy the chance to prove your superior knowledge.
Play on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple Watch, or Apple TV!
Current Version: 1.8 (April 21, 2016)
TuneClash (iOS, Free)
Play against your friends to see whose music knowledge rules. Pick a genre, then try to name the tunes faster than your friends. Guess the most songs correctly to win.
- Think you know Country? Are you a boss at 90s music? Is your Indie Rock wisdom untouchable? Test your knowledge at any genre. There's so much music it never gets old.
- When playing with friends, everyone uses their iPhones to guess tunes. You can also play alone on either Apple TV or iPhone.
- All of your games are saved in your history. Go back to buy all of your favorite tunes from iTunes or stream them on Apple Music.
Current Version: 1.0 (December 19, 2015)
Zombie Exodus: Safe Haven (iOS, Free)
Zombies rise again at the dawn of Apocalypse! In this companion to the smash-hit "Zombie Exodus," can you survive the first few days of the zombie outbreak as the dead rise, society collapses, and the living struggle to survive? 40% off until Nov 1!
“Zombie Exodus: Safe Haven" is the first part of a series of thrilling interactive survival-horror novel by Jim Dattilo, where your choices control the story. It's entirely text-based--without animation or sound effects--and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.
Customize a character using a variety of professions, backgrounds, special challenges, and skills to survive in a brutal and chaotic city as the Zeta virus spreads. Will you be an honorable soldier, searching through neighborhoods to aid survivors? Or will you be a ruthless bandit who loots and robs others for needed supplies? How about a paranoid hacker, psychopathic con artist, pragmatic scientist, or idealistic teenager? Dozens of options allow you to play the character of your choice.
Set in the "Zombie Exodus" world, the first part of "Safe Haven" focuses on the first few days of a viral outbreak which changes the infected into mindless zombies. Explore the changes to society at the start of the pandemic. Board your house, gather supplies, meet over a dozen other characters, and survive encounters with the living dead and even other survivors. Scavenge numerous locations, craft items, and use a variety of skills to survive the many challenges of the apocalypse.
Current Version: 1.0.0 (October 28, 2016)
All recent app entries posted to AppleVis can be found at:
Notable App Updates
Audio Memos - The Voice Recorder (iOS, US$0.99)
Audio Memos is a professionally made audio recorder. It has an amazingly intuitive interface, which is easy to use and full of powerful features. Use it in interviews, lectures, music session, briefings, ... and simplify your recording tasks.
- Best quality - adjustable to fit your needs.
- Amazingly loud - hear your recordings.
- Background recording - multitask at will*.
- iCloud - access your memos everywhere.
- Email your recordings.
- USB file transfers.
- Append audio to existing recordings.
- Search / Sort / Filter your recordings.
- Variable speed scrubbing.
- Send recordings to a computer using WiFi.
- Records when your device is in sleep mode.
- Pauses automatically on incoming phone calls.
- No time limit on recording length.
- Application lock code.
Current Version: 4.7.1 (October 26, 2016)
Changes in Version 4.7.1
- Improved VoiceOver navigation in list of memos.
- Improved volume boost filter.
- Option to remove audio controls from lock screen.
- Support for the dock on Apple Watch.
- Many other improvements.
BlindSquare (iOS, US$39.99)
BlindSquare is pioneering accessible navigation both indoors and outdoors. Know where you are, know where you're going, travel with confidence.
BlindSquare is a new solution that combines the latest technology to help the blind with their daily lives. It has been developed in collaboration with blind people and carefully field tested. You need either an iPhone or an iPad to get started. It also supports some additional accessories to enhance the experience.
How does it work?
BlindSquare uses GPS and the compass to locate you. It then gathers information about the surrounding environment from FourSquare. BlindSquare has some unique algorithms to decide what information is the most relevant and then speaks it to you with high quality speech synthesis. “What's the most popular café within 200 meters radius? Where is the post office or the library?”
You can control BlindSquare also through voice commands. The Voice Command feature is a premium service requiring purchase of credits for continuous use.
Current Version: 4.04 (October 24, 2016)
Changes in Version 4.04
- New: BlindSquare now supports the new voices of iOS 10. Please note that BlindSquare can only use voices that have been downloaded onto your device. To download new voices, go to your device settings, General, Accessibility, VoiceOver, Speech.
- New: The Speech History feature allows listening to previous announcements. When repeating announcements, distances and directions are updated to apply to your current location instead of the location you were at when the announcement was first played. You can activate Speech History mode by selecting it in the VoiceOver rotor. Swipe up or down to hear previous announcements. Alternatively, you can activate it through the music remote control. The Previous Track button will activate Speech History mode. As long as it is active, you can skip between messages using the Previous Track and Next Track buttons. If you press Play, shake your device, or wait for 10 seconds, Speech History mode will be turned off.
- New: You can now configure the Audio Menu. Go to Other, Settings, Audio Menu to select or deselect Audio Menu items.
- New: A list of all available Voice Commands can be found under Other, Voice Command Credits.
- Change: To request location information through a headset or music remote control, please press the Next Track button instead of Previous track.
- Fix: The map now works again under iOS 10.
- Fix: Release Notes now support more languages.
Sky News (iOS, Free)
Sky News - First for Breaking News
The Sky News app has been refreshed to bring you a brand new look and feel, better performance and a richer experience when viewing our content.
- Receive notifications of breaking news
- Watch Sky News live from anywhere in the UK
- View all the latest Top Stories or browse content by section
- Read in-depth content written by Sky News correspondents
- View the very best Sky News videos over WiFi and mobile network
- View image galleries in the app
- Share stories on social media
- Continue reading stories offline
Current Version: 4.3 (October 31, 2016)
Changes in Version 4.3
- Fixed: VoiceOver is working again.
- New: Introducing Digest, a summary of the main news stories delivered to your device twice a day.
- Fixed: Some bugs that caused crashes – we’re working on the rest.
Voice Dream Reader (iOS, US$14.99 With Further In-App Purchases)
Read with your ears! Voice Dream Reader is a widely acclaimed desktop-class app that reads articles, documents and books out loud. With advanced text-to-speech and a highly configurable visual layout, it can be tailored to suit every reading style and level.
Current Version: 4.1.0 (October 31, 2016)
Changes in Version 4.0.5-4.1.0
- Updated for iOS 10.
- Minor bug fixes and enhancements.
- iCloud Sync is more stable.
- “Save To Voice Dream” now supports text and URLs.
- Title is spoken after advancing to the next document.
- Fixed issue of deleted document reappearing.
- Several improvements for VoiceOver users.
- Other bug fixes and enhancements.
Great news! iOS 10 comes with many free, high quality TTS voices, including Siri voices. Go to iOS Settings, General, Accessibility, Speech, and Voices. Select the language you want to use, and you'll see all the available voices. The enhanced versions of the voices are higher in audio quality, but note that they use a lot more storage. After download is complete, go back to Voice Dream Reader. Go to the voice selection screen and tap on the Refresh button at the bottom. Newly downloaded iOS voices will be available for use.
Recent News and Views
October Software Releases
- Apple Releases iOS 10.1.1, Bringing a Fix for an Isolated Problem with the Native Health App
- Apple Releases iOS 10.1 with Portrait Mode for iPhone 7 Plus and Numerous Bug Fixes
- Apple Releases macOS Sierra 10.12.1 with Bug Fixes and Feature Improvements
- Apple Releases Software Updates for watchOS and tvOS
- Apple Releases iOS 10.0.3 to Address Cellular Connectivity Problems Experienced by Some iPhone 7 and 7 Plus Users
Apple Provides Some Limited Information on how the New MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar will be Accessible to Blind and Low Vision Users
By AppleVis | October 28, 2016
Apple has today confirmed to us that the Touch Bar on the new MacBook Pro models is accessible to users of VoiceOver, Zoom, and Switch Control.
This should come as no surprise when you consider Apple’s track record and the fact that the launch of the new MacBooks began with a video showcasing Apple’s commitment to accessibility and the announcement of a new Accessibility Portal on apple.com.
However, it’s good to have some idea of how Apple has implemented accessibility on the new Touch Bar and what this might mean for the use cases and workflow of blind and low vision users.
When VoiceOver is enabled, one can navigate and interact with the displayed information on the Touch Bar by using already-familiar iOS touch gestures. To enable or disable VoiceOver on Touch Bar-equipped MacBook Pro devices, hold down the Command key and triple-tap the Touch ID button.
At this time, it is still unclear how VoiceOver will handle commands that require use of the Function keys. As more information becomes available, we will update this post accordingly.
What We Got from Apple's October 2016 Event
By mehgcap | October 27, 2016
Today, Apple held a press event it called "Hello Again". The company announced a new accessibility website, a new Apple TV feature, and a long-awaited update to its MacBook computers. It may have missed the back-to-school shoppers, but today's announcements arrive just in time for the holiday shopping frenzy. There are some major changes to the MacBook line-up on the way, and while much of what you're about to read is awesome, you may not like all of it. But there's a great deal to like about the latest offerings from Apple, and I yell at articles to quit rambling in their intros and get on with it just as much as you do, so let's get on with it!
To my surprise, Apple started the presentation with a video highlighting accessibility features of its products. This led to Tim Cook's announcing a "whole new website" focused on Apple's accessibility efforts. As of the time of this writing, we haven't had a chance to fully explore this new website, but it's always great to see the spotlight shown on all the work Apple does to make their devices as usable, to as many people, as they can. It’s also great to see that the AppleVis Community is featured on Apple’s new Accessibility Portal as somewhere people should go to obtain more information and support. Thank you, Apple!
An Overview of Four iOS Text Editors
By Craig Werner | October 17, 2016
iPhone and iPad users have a bewildering abundance of plain text editors from which to choose. For projects not requiring complex formatting, there's really no need to bother with a word processor. Devotees of minimalism will revel in the files these editors churn out: text, just plain old text. The documents resulting from the manipulation by an iOS text editor may be good enough as they are, but if doctoring is required, they can be formatted to an extent using Markdown, a simple alternative to HTML, which two of the editors evaluated here support. If Markdown cannot deliver the desired results, the documents can be loaded into a full-fledged word processor and toyed with until results reach the very summit of desk-top publishing.
The possibilities for using a text editor are virtually limitless: composing reminder notes, memorable thoughts, diary entries, calendar items, blog posts, shopping lists, book or software reviews, poems, short stories--this is only a partial list. Documents can be stored on the user's iPhone or iPad and, if desired, synced to the cloud. All of the editors reviewed in this guide feature syncing which completes a mere seconds after a file has been closed. If an Internet connection is not present, files can be edited and saved offline for syncing when a connection is re-established. The four text editors reviewed here are the Notes app built into the iPhone and iPad, Notesy for Dropbox, Permanote (formerly Nebulous Notes), and AccessNote. All can be used on either the iPhone or iPad, and all work well with VoiceOver. Text can be entered from the iDevice's on-screen keyboard or an external device such as a Bluetooth keyboard. All offer some kind of syncing option (three to Dropbox and one to iCloud), and two integrate with TextExpander, an iOS utility that automatically transforms text abbreviations into their unabbreviated forms. Each offers some kind of spell checker (I suspect they all use the built-in iOS checker). While preparing this guide, I had occasions to email the editors' developers, and comments on their responsiveness are included with my evaluations. This guide does not lay claim to thoroughness and definitiveness. The field of iOS text editors has become much more diversified and technically complex since I wrote my article “An Overview of Five Text Editors” in February, 2014, and to do this burgeoning field justice would make for a too hefty article. In addition, I am far from an expert on iOS text editors. All testing was done on an iPhone 5 running iOS 9.3.4, and since the iPhone 5 doesn’t support ID Touch, I was unable to evaluate how well Permanote, the only editor whose description says it supports Touch ID, works with this feature. Finally, in an effort to limit the scope of this offering, I have omitted some more specialized and powerful packages, notably Ulysses, Scrivener, and Voice Dream Writer. I felt the present article was long enough with its discussion of four editors. Readers of my first offering will note that two editors covered in the original piece are missing from this version, and two have been added. The rearrangement was done in the interests of eliminating editors which I feel offer no clear advantages over more functional and/or better supported ones. I hope the revised article reflects a representative cross-section of current easy-to-use choices. I chose the products evaluated here after first reading about them and others on the VIPhone Google group email list and the AppleVis.com website, reading reviews in the Apple App Store, reviewing comments from the AppleVis community about my 2014 article, and finally taking the apps for test drives. I have not assigned an absolute numerical rank to each editor, and I hope my comments have not erred on the side of unrestrained opinion. I hope you find the information in this guide useful. If any of it is misleading or just plain wrong, please feel free to tell me by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Of course, I would also like to hear if you have found the guide helpful or if you have suggestions for its improvement. Remember that the article is an overview, not an exhaustive review. If you would like more information on a particular editor, search for its name in the iOS App Store, or enter the words “App Store” and the name of the editor into the Google search box, and you should easily find the entry for it in the App Store.
Lost In Space: Canes, Dogs and my iPhone GPS Apps
By Morgan | October 13, 2016
The first contractions started around 2am, early that morning in late January. My wife gently nudged me into a semi-conscious state to share the news that our first child was actively on the way. In my stupor, I thoughtfully suggested that since the contractions would likely take a few hours to pick up steam, we could go back to sleep. I did just that. She did not.
A restful night is difficult when your better half keeps reminding you that she is about to give birth. I finally got up, and like any good computer nerd, I rushed into my study, fired up my Macintosh II and printed out a spreadsheet where I could log the time, duration, and intensity of each and every contraction. To the guy-side of my brain, this seemed like a perfectly good idea.
I have often imagined the utility of knowing exactly where I was, especially when traveling alone in different cities. In 2010 and 2011, I was traveling more than ever and periodically found myself paying wildly divergent fares for identical trips. Since I was always accompanied by my iPhone 4S, I decided to hunt for a GPS app that might tell me in real time exactly where I was en route.
Yo, Human! Accessing Life with Adaptive Technology
By Nicholas | October 12, 2016
Voice in the Machine: A dialogue with my Mac, based on actual events from 2012-2013, circa Mavericks.
The blobby, glowing, white-on-black magnified letters are smudging together again. I blink several times, only now realizing I am squinting. I lean back from my MacBook Pro, a dull thudding beginning behind my eyes. It seems like it's getting to that point, my ability to read and write is rapidly disappearing. Gently rubbing my eyes, I decide to take a break.
Almost instinctively, my hand reaches forward and presses the listening key. "Computer?" I say directly to the screen. A soft thunk indicates that it's listening.
“What time is it?" I ask while adjusting my sunglasses with my other hand.
Thunk. "It is approximately 4:20:38 AM." the soft voice responds promptly.
This Month in Podcasts
Beginners’ Guide to the iPhone: Powering Off your iPhone and Some Possible Fixes for if your Device Becomes Slow or Unresponsive
Generally, iOS and VoiceOver are very stable and you should encounter few operational issues. However, there may be times when your device and/or VoiceOver do not seem to be as responsive as usual or in some situations may lock up or freeze while you are using an app.
In this episode of his introductory series, Thomas Domville discusses and demonstrates a few methods that may possibly quickly return things to normal. These include simply restarting your device and a few ways which are believed to clear the memory cache on iOS.
Beginner’s Guide to the iPhone: Managing Apps on your Home Screen
In this episode of his introductory series to iOS, Thomas Domville takes a look at managing apps on your device. Topics covered include:
- Changing the location of app icons on your Home screen
- Creating folders on your Home Screen for grouping apps
- Deleting apps from your device
Quick Tip: Moving Apps Around Your Home Screen With a Braille Display
In this podcast, Scott Davert demonstrates how to move apps around your various home screens with a braille display only using iOS 10 and higher. The process is the same for all displays that have a Perkins style keyboard paired with an iDevice. Moving apps to different pages, in to folders, and out of folders are covered.
Awaken Your Mind With World Documentary
Join with AnonyMouse as he explore the World Documentary - collection of famous, awakening & mind-boggling documentaries from all over the globe. Categorized in clear n simple manner for an easy use. Get enlightened with past and have thrilling vision about future with this vast collection documentaries.
Read more on the World Documentary's AppleVis App Entry at www.applevis.com/apps/ios/entertainment/world-documentary.
A complete list of all podcasts posted to the AppleVis website can be found at www.applevis.com/podcasts