AppleVis Unlimited: What's New and Noteworthy for October 2020
Welcome to the October 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
Accessible Hangman (iOS/iPadOS, US$2.99)
Want to play Hangman with cool sound effects and 1st class accessibility?
This game is for you!
Play in English and Spanish and change the language of the words in the game;
8 difficulty levels;
- Feel your success and mistakes as your device vibrates, responding to your gameplay;
- Save your game and continue playing where you left off the last time;
- Listen to cute sounds as you progress through the different levels;
- Earn lives to keep playing and don't let them fall to 0;
- Fully accessible with voiceover for the blind and low vision users.
Current Version: 2.5 (October 1, 2020)
COVID Coach (iOS/iPadOS, Free)
The world as we know it has changed and we are living in unprecedented and uncertain times. COVID Coach is designed to help you build resilience, manage stress, and increase your well-being during this crisis. The app is free, secure, and helps connect you to important resources for coping and adapting during the COVID-19 pandemic. Customized tools are available to help you cope with stress, stay well, stay safe, stay healthy, stay connected, and navigate parenting, care-giving, and working from home while social distancing, quarantined, or sheltered in place. You can track your mood, visualize your progress, and find resources to seek additional help and support. No account or password is required and user data is not collected.
Current Version: 1.4 (September 28, 2020)
GoldWave (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
Take your creativity with you or work wherever you are. GoldWave is a professional digital audio editor you can use on-the-go. Do everything from the simplest recording and editing to the most sophisticated audio processing, restoration, enhancements, and conversions. It is easy to learn and use.
Play all your favourite songs. Watch real-time visuals. Listen to the audio while fast-forwarding or rewinding. Change the playback speed to hear your music in a whole new way, or to learn a song by ear, or transcribe dictation.
Record new audio. Recording audio through the device's microphones to capture your own music, speeches, or reports. Set a timer to start recording at a certain day and time. Use level activated recording to continue and pause recording automatically whenever the signal is above or below a given level.
Edit audio with all the familiar commands. Includes Cut, Copy, Paste, Trim, Replace, and Overwrite. GoldWave's fast virtual editing means you can slice, dice, and merge large audio files in seconds. Mix and Crossfade songs together with just a few taps. Combine audio for podcasts, radio spots, presentations, or music for dance programs, figure skating, gymnastics, and aerobics.
Analyze audio with real-time visuals. View spectrograms, bar graphs, waveforms, level meters, and other useful graphs. Instantly see any audio problems during recording and playback. Isolate that high pitch whine or low rumble by sight, making filtering much easier. Demonstrate engineering and mathematical concepts, such as filters, Fourier transforms, and signal processing. Analyze human speech, bird song, whale song, engine noise, and other interesting sounds.
Current Version: 1.0.40 (October 1, 2020)
Soccer Boss: Football Game (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
Take on the role of a football manager in this realistic soccer strategy game.
You are a young, promising football manager at the start of your career. A handful of small clubs are prepared to gamble on your potential and make you their manager. Choose one and take it from the bottom league all the way to European glory. Or will you ditch them when other jobs become available at bigger and better clubs, working your way up to managing one of the giants of European football?
There are 750 clubs to manage across 9 European countries including England, Spain, Germany, Italy, France, Russia, Portugal, Turkey and the Netherlands. Each country has realistic league and cup competitions, meaning there are 64 trophies to compete for in total – how much silverware can you win?!
Current Version: 1.1.6 (October 19, 2020)
Sullivan+ (iOS/iPadOS, Free)
Sullivan + is a visual-aid app provided by TUAT Inc. to enhance the accessibility of the visually impaired and low vision users and informs users who need visual aids about information perceived via the smartphone camera.
- AI mode
- Text recognition
- Face recognition
- Image description
- Color recognition
- Light brightness
Current Version: 1.3 (September 10, 2020)
All recent app entries posted to AppleVis can be found at:
Notable App Updates
Dice World® 6 Fun Games (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
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!
The fun going viral around the globe! Join in and meet new people while playing new dice games!
Includes Farkle, Yatzy, Pig, Threes, Balut and 1-4-24! Easy tutorials for all games!
Current Version: 19.02 (October 6, 2020)
Changes in Version 19.01
- iOS 14 support and stability fixes.
- 24 Vs Computer.
- Pig Snort sound now available as 'bank' sound in Pig.
- Accessibility external keyboard settings for Farkle.
- Accessibility fixes for various iOS 14 bugs.
Jay – Tweet from your Watch (watchOS, US$3.99)
Jay brings Twitter to your Apple Watch.
Scroll your timeline, like, retweet, search tweets, follow Twitter user profiles,
and, of course, Tweet!
Right from your Apple Watch!
Current Version: 2.7.10 (October 18, 2020)
Changes in Version 2.7.9
This update brings some improvements for VoiceOver users on watchOS 7
Microsoft Soundscape (iOS/iPadOS, Free)
Microsoft Soundscape uses 3D audio technology to enhance your awareness of what is around you, and thereby help you get around and explore your surroundings.
Soundscape will place audio cues and labels in 3D space such that they sound like they are coming from the direction of the points of interest, parks, roads and other features in your surroundings.
Switch between using Soundscape in the real world, or the virtual world, to help you build a picture of a place effortlessly.
Current Version: 3.0.1 (October 23, 2020)
Changes in Version 3.0.0
- You can now experience Soundscape from the comfort of your home! Use Soundscape Street Preview to explore your neighborhood, study a new area, or visit a faraway place. Choose a starting location by searching for a place, exploring nearby places or browsing your markers and select the "Soundscape Street Preview" button to start.
- You might notice some changes to the Soundscape home screen. You can now search for a location, browse places nearby and access your markers right from the home screen. Once you select a location, easily start the audio beacon, save it as a marker, preview the street layout at that location or share it with a friend.
- Easily share your current location with a friend so that they can find you using Soundscape. Just tap "Current Location" on the home screen and select "Share" to send it via text message or email.
- Starting from this version, all of your markers are automatically saved in iCloud and will be transferred to any device where you install Soundscape with the same Apple ID. Go and enjoy marking up your surroundings with Soundscape!
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: 1.4.0 (October 28, 2020)
Changes in Version 1.4.0
- We have added a new Explore screen to gather all physical space exploration modes together in one screen. For now you can access the Object Explorer and Find modes in the Explore screen but we’ll be adding more novel features very soon! You can switch between Read and Explore screens anytime by tapping the switch button on the top right corner of the scanning screens.
- A new Find mode is added to the Explore screen where you can pick a specific object from the list such as a door, a chair or a person and your device will start beeping and vibrating when it appears on your camera.
- Enhanced Object Explorer to recognize more items and increased accuracy
- Minor bug fixes and UI changes for a faster and more stable experience
Twitterrific: Tweet Your Way (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
Twitterrific is the award-winning, elegant Twitter client that’s easy to understand and a delight to use. Tweeting has never been simpler or so much fun!
Browse Twitter free from the clutter of promoted tweets. Easily search for the perfect GIF or meme when composing tweets. Use Muffles to hide tweets containing words, phrases, people and hashtags from the timeline that you don't want to see. Customize fonts, appearances, image thumbnails and more via the theme panel. Quickly respond to tweets, change accounts or view conversation threads with a minimum of effort using gestures. Rich media support means GIFs and videos play right in the timeline.
Robust VoiceOver support means Twitterrific is fully accessible. Extensive keyboard shortcuts make Twitterrific a breeze to use with an external keyboard.
Current Version: 6.2.1 (October 1, 2020)
Changes in Version 6.2.1
Added new media playback controls, improved VoiceOver control across multiple accounts, added a new custom app icon & fixed some iOS 14 bugs.
- New Custom App Icon:
- Improved display & playback of media in Twitterrific:
- New playback controls to easily scrub while watching videos
- Airplay icon to share media across devices quickly & easily
- Appearance of controls match the selected theme
VoiceOver & Accessibility:
- Support for performing actions from another account:
- Replying, quoting, or liking a tweet
Alt-text character limit increased to 1000 to match Twitter
CMD-Shift-O opens the selected tweet in your browser
- Improved handling of tweets in the timeline
- Selecting an action from the share sheet no longer dismisses popup view
- Fixed an issue preventing opening links in external browsers on iOS 14
- Fixed issues that prevented lists from opening when using the URL scheme
- Fixed a bug making it possible to input long location strings in user bios
Recent News and Views
Apple Adding Customizable People Detection Capability to LiDAR-Equipped iPhones and iPad Pro with Upcoming Releases of iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2
By AppleVis | October 30, 2020
In the upcoming releases of iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2, Apple is adding a new People Detection feature to its Magnifier app on liDAR-equipped devices that will enable blind and low vision users to determine the distance between themselves and nearby people.
With the introduction of People Detection, Apple is delivering the first example of how the LiDAR Scanner's ability to quickly and accurately scan and map nearby objects can be harnessed to offer significant added value to blind and low vision users of iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, and the 2020 iPad Pro.
TheLiDAR Scanner on these devices sends out laser light and measures how long it takes to bounce back. Because light travels at a constant speed, the round-trip time can be translated into a precise distance estimate. By Repeating this process across a two-dimensional grid, a three-dimensional map of objects around you is generated.
By utilizing the power of on-device machine learning and ARKit, People Detection uses this data to identify people framed in the view finder and calculate the distance between the user and the closest person in the frame.
When your device detects that people are nearby, People Detection can let you know using sound, speech, and haptic feedback.
The iPhone 12 Pro: Why It Felt the Right Choice for Me, and Early Impressions
By David Goodwin | October 26, 2020
Coming away from Apple's recent “Hi, Speed” event, I found my thoughts travelling back ten years to being in line to buy my first iPhone, when the only decision needed before reaching the front of the line was whether I wanted the 16GB or 32GB model. With Apple releasing five new iPhone models this year - the SE, 12 mini, the 12, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max - it was hard not to feel some nostalgia for the purity and simplicity of that first iPhone purchase.
‘Simplicity’ isn't something that now comes to mind when shopping for a new iPhone, as Apple in 2020 offers the widest ever selection of iPhones at an equally wide range of price points.
Apple's new iPhone models offer potential buyers four choices of screen size. Colour choices are aplenty, and vary across models, as does storage capacity - where you can choose from 4 options across the model range. Four models offer Face ID, one Touch ID. Two iPhone models sport a LiDAR scanner for the first time. Battery life may be good for nearly two days of medium use on some models, on others you may struggle to last a single day. The regular iPhone 12 models have an aluminum frame , while the Pro models sport stainless steel.
Add in to the mix that Apple is still selling the iPhone 11 and iPhone XR, and you get even more size, feature, and performance levels to select from.
As for prices, a new iPhone will cost you from $399 to $1399. With so many models and their available storage capacity options fitting between those two prices, the price differences can feel so relatively small that it's easy to find yourself constantly looking up to the next model or configuration option.
Consequently, unless you simply want the cheapest or most expensive iPhone, you would now be well advised put lots of thought ahead of time in to what answer you will give when it's your turn at the front of the purchase line.
What follows is my own journey through the decision making process. In a break from my past posts about new iPhone models, I don't dig deep in to technical specifications or comparison of features. Instead, I share how I chose the iPhone which I believe to be the best fit for my personal circumstances and use case; share some early impressions of that iPhone; and hope that this insight assists you with your own decision making. I also hope that you will share your own decision making journeys and resulting experiences below in the comments section.
GarageBand Part 4: Recording a Podcast
By Paul Martz | October 19, 2020
#ICYMI, I recently posted my first AppleVis podcast. Go ahead, call me a wannabe podcast star. It's unlikely that singing the praises of the Audio MIDI Setup app will recruit thousands of rabid followers, and my vocal timbre probably qualifies me to work as a mime. Nonetheless, tips for recording and editing spoken audio in GarageBand might be useful for those of you who do have a future in podcasting. In this blog, I share what I've learned, with a specific focus on recording two tracks—myself, and either VoiceOver or someone I'm interviewing.
The AppleVis Podcast Submission Guidelines make it clear that you don't need fancy recording equipment. It's true, you can record with the built-in mic on your MacBook Air or iPhone. Yet I suspect some AppleVis readers own some moderate audio equipment, are driven by a desire for quality, and have enough recording experience to be dangerous. If that describes you, then read on.
When I set out to record a podcast, I had a couple goals in mind. I knew I couldn't recite a flawless soliloquy. That meant I'd have to edit out all my dead air and stammering. I'm also a bit of an audio geek. Even if I thought AppleVis would accept a podcast recorded through a tin-can-and-string telephone, I would still want multiple tracks so I could mix, master, and EQ VoiceOver and my own voice separately.
I learned a lot by just playing around in GarageBand, but this blog would not have been possible without the generous and detailed posts from @Bojingles found in two AppleVis forum threads, one with GarageBand spelled correctly and the other containing a space. I wish these threads could be merged somehow.
This blog covers:
- Recording two people, or one person plus VoiceOver.
- Recording to multiple tracks.
- Multitrack editing.
The information in this blog is accurate for GarageBand v10.3.5 running on MacOS Catalina 10.15.7.
Summary of Apple's "Hi, Speed" Event
By mehgcap | October 13, 2020
Today was Apple's second event this fall, named "Hi, Speed". The previous one, about a month ago, introduced new Apple Watch and iPad models, among other announcements. Notably absent that day was any mention of iPhone.
That's what today was all about. We now have all the details on iPhone 12, which is seeing some changes to its line-up with the inclusion of a "mini" option. Of course, today's announcements covered more than just iPhone; we also got the details on the new HomePod Mini, a $99 HomePod speaker.
As mentioned, the iPhone line-up is changing a bit. The pattern we've gotten used to is still present: there's iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max. Now, though, there's a new addition in the form of iPhone 12 mini. This model is identical to iPhone 12, except for screen size. The mini is 5.4 inches to iPhone 12's 6.1 inches. The Pro variant is also 6.1 inches, while the Pro Max is a pocket-straining 6.7 inches.
Other Apple News
- Apple Releases iOS 14.1 and iPadOS 14.1 with VoiceOver Fixes and Support for New iPhone Models
- Apple Releases watchOS 7.0.3 for Apple Watch Series 3 with Fix for Unexpected Restarting Issue
- Apple Releases watchOS 7.0.2 with fixes for battery, ECG app
- Apple Releases tvOS 14.0.2
A Beginner's Guide to Using iOS with VoiceOver
By Tyler | October 12, 2020
If you’re new to or thinking about getting an iOS device, you may be wondering, as I did when I got my first one, “How, exactly, can a person who can’t see a screen use a device whose primary input surface is one?”
I would soon realize that it wasn’t nearly as crazy as it sounded, and that I could do things with it that I couldn’t have imagined that would increase my level of independence and improve my overall quality of life. However, if you’re just getting started, the level of information on the Internet can be overwhelming. That is why in this guide, I will provide a series of tips, organized by heading and subheading, along with links to more comprehensive guides and podcasts from across the AppleVis website.
Keep in mind that this guide is not intended to describe specific features, but rather to explain the central concepts of using iOS with VoiceOver. One quality that I’ve observed in my over ten years of learning and using iOS is that once I had a few things mastered, I could apply those skills to accomplish a wide variety of tasks in both first and third-party apps.
This Month in Podcasts
AppleVis Unleashed October 2020: Mister Buster Brown
In this month's edition of AppleVis Unleashed, Thomas Domville and Randy Rusnak discuss recent Apple news and other topics of interest. Topics featured in this podcast include:
- All the major announcements from Apple's iPhone 12 event
- iPhone 12 preorders twice that of last year's iPhone 11; Pro demand higher than expected
- iPhone 12 battery is smaller than iPhone 11, still just as good
- iPhone 12 Pro Max Has Smaller 3,687 mAh Battery According to Regulatory Filing
- iPhone 12 only uses 5G when necessary to save battery life
- 5G Drains iPhone 12 Battery 20% Faster Than 4G in Benchmark
- Apple Releases iOS 14.1 and iPadOS 14.1 with VoiceOver Fixes and Support for New iPhone Models
AppleVis Extra 78: Recapping Apple's "Hi, Speed" Event
In this edition of the AppleVis Extra, Dave Nason, Scott Davert, Thomas Domville, & Tyler Stephen get together to discuss Apple's Hi, Speed October 2020 event.
How to subscribe to the Apple One services bundle
In this podcast, Dave Nason shows us how to subscribe to the new Apple One bundles, which were announced in September and released on 30 October 2020.
Apple One allows customers to bundle services including Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple News+, iCloud Storage and more into a single monthly subscription at a better price than paying for each individually.
Quick Tip: How to Disable Contact Suggestions in the Share Sheet on iOS
In this podcast, Tyler Stephen shows us how to disable contact suggestions in the iOS Share Sheet, which can help declutter the view.
This month's podcasts from Thomas Domville
- How to share Apple Watch faces with family and friends on watchOS
- How to enable prominent haptics on watch OS
- Quick Tip: How to Force Quit Apple Watch Apps
- How to access iPhone carrier lock information on iOS
- How to Scan a QR Code on iOS
Hot AppleVis Content
Here are some of our forum topics which have got people talking in the past month:
- A week with an iPhone. Perspective from a former Android user
- iPhone 12 Pro! What's not to love?
- Fury Driver: races in a city full of crime (Demo) (Feedback appreciated)
- Please suggest responsive voices on iPhone
- would you buy an Apple self driving car?
- dating app for visually impaired people
- Weather Gods Price Increased to $24.99; subscription plans coming
- Weather Gods 2.5 Released - new weather provider!
- Could LiDAR on the new iPhone 12 Pro camera be a game changer for blind users?
- Apple Watch Series 6 or SE?
- Knight Commander public beta is out now
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