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

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Welcome to the October 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

Audio Duel (iOS/iPadOS, US$1.99)

Audio Duel is a simple online audio game featuring a squares board combat system where your goal is to defend your position from enemy attacks while at the same time trying to execute attacks on the enemy.

Listen where the sounds of your enemy attacks are coming from, point your finger at the same position to defend yourself from the attack. Choose the position where you want to attack and move on. Sharpen your sense of hearing and try to get ahead of your opponent by scoring higher and winning.

Features:

  • Multi-directional combat system featuring the possibility to attack and/or defend from many positions.
  • Play online and put your skills to the test against audio duelists on the Internet.
  • A beginner tutorial to get you through in the game.
  • An offline mode to let you practice your skills, get acquainted with the mechanics and learn what it takes to win the game.
  • Visuals so both blind and sighted people can play alike.

Current Version: 1.1 (October 27, 2021)

Read Audio Duel's AppleVis App Directory entry for more information 

Visit Audio Duel's App Store page 

e-Sword LT: Bible Study to Go (iOS/iPadOS, US$3.99)

e-Sword® — the world's most popular PC Bible study software is now available on the world's most advanced mobile operating system! e-Sword LT is the little brother of e-Sword HD for the iPad, but has many of the same powerful features in a slimmer design for the iPhone. e-Sword LT is feature rich and user friendly. As your Biblical library grows you will appreciate the intuitive layout and synchronization of resources. e-Sword LT is so easy to use you may never need to read the Tutorial!

EVERYTHING NEEDED to study the Bible in an enjoyable and enriching manner. All Bibles, commentaries, dictionaries, … everything is just a tap away!

  • POWERFUL SEARCHES that are simple to use. Enter as many words you want to search for and select the settings. You can even search on Strong numbers!
  • STRONG'S DEFINITIONS are just a tap away and presented in a popover.
  • SCRIPTURE REFERENCES too are just a tap away and presented in a popover.
  • COMPARE BIBLES quickly to see how the different versions translate a verse.

Current Version: 11.5.2 (October 14, 2021)

Read e-Sword LT: Bible Study to Go's AppleVis App Directory entry for more information 

Visit e-Sword LT: Bible Study to Go's App Store page 

GoodMaps Outdoors (iOS/iPadOS, Free)

GoodMaps Outdoors is a fully accessible turn-by-turn GPS app for iPhone. It has all the outdoor navigation features you expect plus unique offerings you cannot get anywhere else, including extra verbosity for blind users.

Features

  • Four main tabs are easy to access at the bottom of the screen: Routes, Location (Default), POIs and Settings.
  • A unique GoodMaps Outdoors feature: Record a route using breadcrumbs, called Waypoints. No other accessible app has this. You can add these waypoints with the add button or you can shake the phone to create a Waypoint. It also automatically records a point after you have gone a certain distance. These Waypoint routes can be saved for future use.
  • The Lookaround Wand in the top right tells you what is around.
  • The More Info button gives the altitude and speed.
  • Create your own POIs and share your POIs with others or keep them private with a shortcut on the Location page or from the POIs page.
  • POI categories are announced with search results and make finding your destination easier.
  • Audio tones and vibrations give feedback throughout the app, letting you know about upcoming turns, critical intersection information, and when search is loading.
  • A robust route menu includes multiple methods of choosing a destination, from starting with a POI, an address from your contact list, your route history, and many more!
  • Settings include many customization options like: vibrations, vision contrast, color settings, and distance units.
  • There are announcement options like right, left, clockface or both.

Current Version: 4.0.0 (October 3, 2021)

Read GoodMaps Outdoors' AppleVis App Directory entry for more information 

Visit GoodMaps Outdoors' App Store page 

Hell Hunter: Anti Nomen (iOS/iPadOS, US$4.99)

HELL HUNTER: ANTI-NOMEN is a horror action-narrative RPG audiogame with a wide variety of immersive environments.

Elyon’s story is about to be told…

In our days, in a world where technology has spread worldwide, mankind can’t even imagine that vampires and all the creatures of the night exist.

Elyon is a dhampir and a vampire hunter and you, blood seeker, will help him to hunt Dracula, the lord of darkness.

Explore modern Transylvania and survive the chase of an unbeatable creature… How long can you last?

A new adventure with 100 new maps in 10 different scenarios! Over 7 hours of gameplay.

Do you have the courage to follow Elyon during his hunt for Dracula?

Current Version: 1.0 (October 28, 2021)

Read Hell Hunter: Anti Nomen's AppleVis App Directory entry for more information 

Visit Hell Hunter: Anti Nomen's App Store page 

Jack’d - Gay chat & dating (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)

Diverse. Inclusive. Fun! This is what distinguishes Jack’d from all other queer dating apps. With 5 million people spanning 2,000 cities in 180 countries, we’re proud to be the most inclusive dating app for QPOC.

Jack’d is an independent, LGBTQ+ owned and operated company, and we use the app we build. We believe in the power of technology to create community and to connect with each other. Whether you’re looking to chat, make friends, find love, or keep it casual, you’ll find it on Jack’d.

Current Version: 6.5200.0 (October 26, 2021)

Read Jack’d - Gay chat & dating's AppleVis App Directory entry for more information 

Visit Jack’d - Gay chat & dating's App Store page 

Maestral (macOS, Free)

Maestral is a lightweight Dropbox client for macOS and Linux. It provides powerful command line tools, supports gitignore patterns to exclude local files from syncing and allows syncing multiple Dropbox accounts.

Features

The focus on “simple” file syncing does come with advantages:

  • Smaller App bundle than the official macOS Dropbox app (40 MB vs 420 MB).
  • Universal binary which runs natively on Apple Silicon.
  • Less memory usage: 100 MB for a medium sized Dropbox on macOS vs 500 MB). The memory usage will depend on the size of your synced Dropbox folder and can be further reduced when running the daemon without a GUI.
  • Supports syncing multiple Dropbox accounts by running multiple instances in parallel.
  • Does not count towards the three devices limit for basic Dropbox accounts.

Current Version: 1.5.1 (October 20, 2021)

Read Maestral's AppleVis App Directory entry for more information 

Visit Maestral's website 

Mimestream (macOS, Free)

Made for Mac, optimized for Gmail

As a native app written in Swift, Mimestream leverages the full power of macOS to deliver a lightning-fast and instantly familiar experience. Instead of using the IMAP protocol, Mimestream utilizes the Gmail API to enable an enhanced set of features that let you work with ease.

Rise above the noise and focus on the work that matters most. Mimestream makes it easy to keep your inbox organized with confidence.

Current Version: 0.30.0 (October 25, 2021)

Read Mimestream's AppleVis App Directory entry for more information 

Visit Mimestream's website 

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

iOS/iPadOS
Mac
Apple Watch
Apple TV

Notable App Updates

Backpack Studio (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)

Create professional sounding podcasts and radio from anywhere using only an iPhone or iPad.

With backpack studio, Your show is automatically mixed and mastered while it’s being recorded. Focus your time and energy on being creative, instead of doing post-production work and editing on a PC.

Backpack is the successor to bossjock studio, from the original developer, and based upon years of refinement and user feedback. A must-have app for podcasters and radio DJs - both beginner and pro.

Features:

  • Record your voice while triggering sounds live - intros, background music, and sound effects. Sounds automatically adjust volume in real time. No need for multitrack or post production software. Recording your show becomes a creative live performance!
  • A powerful soundboard with unlimited pages of soundpads. Scroll pads to the left and a new empty page appears - ready to go! Reposition sounds, or pin sounds to a specific pad to appear on each page. Configure the size, color, and behavior of each pad as needed. Swipe the pads vertically to live mix the volume.
  • Import sounds into the soundboard from anywhere - iCloud, dropbox, google drive, your music library, email, even import directly from other apps.
  • An optional subscription package, "Backpack Live" with extra cloud services for recording remote guests, live streaming, soundboard storage, and more!
  • Turn your podcast into a creative video using animations, text, and photos. Great for promoting your show on social media!
  • Find the perfect eq filter for your voice. Noise gate to lower background noise. Studio quality compression, limiting, and eq algorithms are automatically applied to your mix live for a loud, studio-quality mastered sound.
  • Create custom Siri Voice, external keyboard, and midi shortcuts to record and trigger soundpads.
  • Encodes to all popular formats, mp3, wav, m4a, aiff, and video.
  • Publish recordings directly to iCloud, dropbox, Facebook, youtube, an FTP, Libsyn, or open in any app on your phone that accepts audio or video.
  • Full VoiceOver compatibility for visually impaired producers.
  • Battery and cpu optimization. Records in compressed audio to save 90% of the drive space space of other mixing apps. (optional)
  • Inter-app audio and audiobus support allow you to stream to other apps.
  • Unrivalled hardware support. Backpack works with all usb / external mics like the Apogee Mic, IK Multimedia iRig Mic Cast and Blue Mikey. 4 channel usb mixer support for Focusrite mixers. Mix the left and right channels together or disable the iOS built in gain control (AGC) via the settings panel. We're always adding support for the latest iOS hardware.

Current Version: 2.0.3 (October 13, 2021)

Changes in Version 2.0.3

Introducing Backpack Studio 2.0 Our largest update ever, featuring:

  • Backpack Live. A monthly subscription of extra cloud services for Backpack users. Record up to five remote guests or co-hosts in studio quality. Sync your soundboards and recordings to the cloud to access on any device. Live stream your show with a single click, and more!
  • A free sound library with over 1000 royalty-free bumpers, jingles, and sound effects to use in your show. We're working with artists to create the ultimate sound library for podcasters and DJs.
  • Dozens of performance enhancements and improvements, including new mic settings to get the perfect sound for your voice.

Read Backpack Studio's AppleVis App Directory entry for more information 

Visit Backpack Studio's App Store page 

BattleFruit (iOS/iPadOS, US$1.99)

More than 1000 levels, fruits of all sorts and shapes, and 5 types of kitchen utensils to catch all the fruits.

Based on the classic sea battle game but now with kitchen utensils and fruits, instead of bombs and ships. Original new rules, many more ways to locate your opponents' fruits, but remember not to hit the ice cubes, or you’ll be frozen one turn.

Ultra-fast games thanks to the variety of utensils. Locate the fruits with the spoons, cut them with the knives, crush them with the blenders or catch whole fruits with the tongs, just plan your moves to locate all the fruits before your opponent does.

Play against the machine and try to get three stars on the 1000+ recipes, no internet required. Or connect with Game Center and play with your family and friends, or with random opponents.

NO ADS, NO REGISTER, NO DATA GATHERING

Current Version: 1.211012 (October 13, 2021)

Changes in Version 1.211012

New release with many of your great suggestions and fewer bugs, including:

  • New chat for multiplayer game.
  • 5 new multiplayer recipes.

Read BattleFruit's AppleVis App Directory entry for more information 

Visit BattleFruit's App Store page 

Clew (iOS/iPadOS, Free)

Clew is an AR indoor navigation app that allows visually impaired or blind users to record, share, and navigate routes in indoor environments.

Current Version: 1.6.1 (October 22, 2021)

Changes in Version 1.6

This version of Clew adds an interactive tutorial and support for Siri Shortcuts.

Both features can be accessed through the options menu.

Read Clew's AppleVis App Directory entry for more information 

Visit Clew's App Store page 

Dolphin EasyReader (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)

EasyReader is a FREE accessible reading app for readers with dyslexia, low vision or blindness. Browse & download from the World's largest collection of talking book and newspaper libraries. Open your own DAISY, Epub or text books. Or copy text from anywhere on your phone & hear EasyReader read it back to you. Experience perfectly synchronized text & audio. Or for text only titles, EasyReader can add a human sounding voice of your choice. Boost comfort or contrast - choose colours, text size and highlights to suit your visual needs.

Current Version: 3.03 (October 18, 2021)

Changes in Version 3.01
  • DOCX files can now be sideloaded into EasyReader from other apps on the device.
  • Users can now add a title to any texts opened from the clipboard in EasyReader. Clipboard texts can now also be sortedby date.
  • A new text setting has been added to set the highlight to the centre of the screen.
  • CELA, Canada: A new category system has been added to search and browse the CELA library.
  • Bookshare, US: Members of Bookshare can now view their ‘Assigned Titles’ in EasyReader. Users can now also view cover images when browsing the available titles in Bookshare.
  • EasyReader now requires iOS 12.1 and later.
  • Various bug fixes and improvements.

Read Dolphin EasyReader's AppleVis App Directory entry for more information 

Visit Dolphin EasyReader's App Store page 

Home Quest - Idle Adventure (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)

Build your Town: You find yourself in an unknown place. Unsure of what these lands might hold, you decide it’s best to grow your settlement. Provide housing and farms for your people. Create workplaces, military facilities, and more.

Recruit an Army: Once settled in, eliminate threats, fight your enemies, conquer the lands, and expand your reach. Choose between different units and army compositions.

Manage your Economy: Keep an eye on your resources, assign your workers, and fine tune your production chains. Expand your settlements to acquire rare resources.

Current Version: 2.0.12 (October 28, 2021)

Changes in Version 2.0

Home Quest 2.0 is here! Play through the next chapter in your saga in this brand new, reworked and reimagined version of Home Quest!

  • French Translation now included.
  • Renaming the Evergarden will now also update all story references.
  • Building Que limit for the Evergarden is increased by 2.
  • Increased Vineyard and Cocoa Farm max limits by 10.
  • Fixed increased font sizes causing some UI elements to not be reachable.
  • Fixed building monuments not queable.
  • Fixed loading screen sometimes needed to be tapped.
  • Various Voice Over improvements, including labels for many button, army unit counts, and the status bar.

Read Home Quest - Idle Adventure's AppleVis App Directory entry for more information 

Visit Home Quest - Idle Adventure's App Store page 

Letter Rooms (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)

Letter Rooms is wonderfully simple word game. Each puzzle shows you a hint and a set of letters to create the desired answer. Initially you have to rearrange the letters, but later you'll have to master on-off and mutli-letters to succeed. The 270 different puzzles will challenge your knowledge of things like animals, pop culture, sports or food! But don't despair if you don't know the answer - you can skip any level without consequences.

Features:

  • Play the first 40 levels for free!
  • Solve 300 puzzles from 12 different topics, like animals, pop culture, sports, or culinary
  • Kids mode with 180 puzzles made for kids from age 9-11
  • Collaborative Multiplayer via SharePlay
  • Accessibility features like the dyslexic font and support for VoiceOver and VoiceControl.
  • Plus: Widget, GameCenter, ...

Current Version: 1.3.3 (October 27, 2021)

Changes in Version 1.3

So, this update is a big one. Let's start with the Collaborative Multiplayer. This will allow you to solve levels together with friends via FaceTime (SharePlay). When you're on a call, just click pause and then "Play Together". This will send a notification to others on the call through which they can join the game.

Now lets talk about puzzles - 30 new have been added in this update, bumping the total count to 300 standard puzzles. More will come in the future! If you have any suggestions, please reach out to me :)

Last but not least, this update changes Letter Rooms from a premium title to a freemium game. This means that the first 40 puzzles are available for free to everyone, but the full game has to be unlocked via In-App purchases. If you bought the game before this update, you do not have to purchase anything. You will always have access to the full game. If this is not working, please contact me immediately!

Read Letter Rooms' AppleVis App Directory entry for more information 

Visit Letter Rooms' App Store page 

Sonar Islands (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)

Sonar Islands is a MULTIPLAYER ONLINE game, where all relevant events happen in your ears.

On various islands you explore and discover, seek hidden TREASURES and conquer OBSTACLES. Every new island has a special atmosphere and a different gameplay. Do your best to fortify your islands and be clever enough to take the gold from your opponents.

  • Visit the ancient TEMPLE island, the ancestors built, where snakes are biting and down falling parts may block your way.
  • Take a trip to the JUNGLE island, watch abandoned lions on your way, but be aware of the tree traps, set up by the natives. You can go up, but there is no coming down.
  • The FUN FAIR island is a happy place to be. You can shoot toys coming towards you. Some carry a treasure, some carry a bomb, that's the risk.
  • The VOLCANO island is a chilly place, for some too hot, especially if you step near the lava flows. Ash and stone rain down due to the eruptions of terraforming, raise your shield to protect you.
  • In the MACHINE HALL you will meet the friendly robots from Feer, but this time you carry a stun gun to short-circuit their brains, at least for a while, till their self-repair is complete.
  • On PING island you will get a sonar device for orientation, send out a tone and the echo tells you, where to go. That’s good, because you may discover, this island is a labyrinth.
  • High up on the TREETOP island you have to deal with wind and mosquitos. The wind is really disorientating, leaves are rustling, while the mosquitos chase you. And don't fall, while balancing on the twigs.
  • On the ELECTRO island you face the invisible power of ELECTRICITY. Tesla coils sparkle round their high voltage, better shoot some metal confetti to divert the current. The nice thing here are catapult plates, they make you fly all over the island. A pity, that you don’t know where you will end up.

Happy vacation!

Current Version: 1.0.9 (October 22, 2021)

Changes in Version 1.0.9
  • we ship the New Island "Monastery",
  • we increased the number of obstacles on all islands,
  • we fixed some bugs (superloud explosion on Fun Fair),
  • we reworked the Tutorial (give you more time before the repetitive speaker)

Read Sonar Islands' AppleVis App Directory entry for more information 

Visit Sonar Islands' App Store page 

Space Wave Race (iOS/iPadOS, US$2.99)

Only the true heroes of space can become champions of Space Wave Race: the intergalactic championship that will take you to challenge the best pilots in the galaxy!

  • Fly through a myriad solar systems, space ruins, unknown engineering structures, asteroids and incandescent stars to win the battle. Be the first in this intrepid running race fighting your enemies. Prove what galactic material you are made of!
  • Enjoy the experience playing with different spaceships designed for battle. Unlock more spaceships by playing the game.
  • Includes several game modes with different complexities and gameplay: Championship Mode, Single Race Mode, Endless Galactic Mode.
  • Space Wave Race has been developed to be fully accessible, including modes for players with reduced mobility, visual and/or hearing impairment and dyslexia. Expressly created to enjoy the experience without losing a single detail in all conditions.

Current Version: 1.6 (October 6, 2021)

Changes in Version 1.6
  • Added warning to use headphones at the beggining of the game.
  • Added setup options to speedup the voiceover.
  • Added descriptions of all the modes and spaceships.
  • Updated option menu to read the current status of the selected option.
  • Added "Contact" menu option in order to send a email.
  • Trimmed silences in the voice clips.
  • Added a retry option at the end of a race.
  • Minor bugfixes.

Read Space Wave Race's AppleVis App Directory entry for more information 

Visit Space Wave Race'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?

Current Version: 5.10 (October 29, 2021)

Changes in Version 5.9-5.10

RELEASE GOAL: The goal of this release was to start introducing Player Homes. This will evolve over time following your feedback. Gem purchases were also added for those time-poor players that still want to be involved in Swordy Quest.

FEATURES:

  • Added Player Homes to the Game. Upgrade homes to get more convenient access to actions like Alchemy, Health regeneration, Water, etc.
  • A new Fan Fiction Chapter added and a new Poem added to Universities, thanks to Karine and Will.

ACCESSIBILITY:

  • Added new section navigation system on various pages including Crafting, Magic and Alchemy.
  • Added quick section navigation buttons to the Gem Store.
  • Increased minimum font size and button size in the marketplace, crafting, magic and other screens to help with usability for Blind & Visually Impaired Players.
  • Remain Fishing after you have defeated a shark you caught while fishing.

GAME BALANCE:

  • Added a gem option for all craft-able, magic & tradable items.
  • Added achievements around Home Ownership.

USER INTERFACE:

  • Updated Crafting icon from scissors to a more suitable anvil.

USABILITY:

  • Added new Homes section into the Hints page.

GENERAL:

  • Added Crashlytics to help reduce crashes experienced by Players in future releases.
  • Moved Player Customization into Player Magical Homes. Mirrors now provide full Stat Descriptions.

BUG FIXES:

  • Fixed bug where occasionally the Gather screen would load twice at once.
  • Fixed bug where selecting the Inventory button, when Battle Snacks ran out, didn't always work.

RELEASE GOAL: The aim of this Release is to introduce Dragon Weaponry and the dreaded Dragon Elite. Annual Events have also been increased to the same duration as weekly events.

FEATURES:

  • Added the Secret Dragon Hive location.
  • Added full sets of Dragon Weaponry and Armoury.
  • Added the new ultimate Dragon Elite nemesis.
  • Added Dragon Elite Blood as a new resource.
  • Added new Achievement for defeating the fearsome Dragon Elite.

GAME BALANCE:

  • Chance of fleeing from a dragon now increases each time you attempt to flee, in line with other enemies.
  • Refactored how each battle interaction is calculated to give more control going forward over impacts of future stat enhancements.

USER INTERFACE:

  • Clarified that Hammers are in fact War Hammers.
  • Updated look & feel of the Section navigator along the top of craft, magic and other pages.
  • Updated Neverdora Forests to be Neverdora Jungles following a very loyal Fan's request.
  • Updated name of Wet Room to more suitable Drinks Room.

USABILITY:

  • Players are now informed on the Actions HomePage what next section when it's their turn on an outstanding PvP battle.

BUG FIXES:

  • Fix implemented to help reduce crashes caused by in-game audio.
  • Fix implemented to reduce crashes on the Fight screen.
  • Fix implemented to reduce Gather screen crashes.
  • Fixed bug where Dragon owners without a raft could not fly across the ocean.
  • Fixed bug where players wouldn't ever get knocked unconscious while trying to flee.
  • Added additional error logging for player saves to reduce future crashes.

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

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

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: 6.3.5 (October 19, 2021)

Changes in Version 6.3.5

Quicker navigation to My Tweets via a new sidebar item, fixed a host of keyboard commands, visual bugs, and VoiceOver issues on iOS/iPadOS 15+.

IMPROVEMENTS

  • Added a new shortcut for "My Tweets" to the sidebar

BUG FIXES

  • Fixed broken keyboard navigation of the timeline on iOS/iPadOS 15+
  • Fixed the CMD-Return keyboard shortcut for sending tweets and DMs on iOS/iPadOS 15+
  • Removed extra padding of some interface elements added by iOS/iPadOS 15+
  • Fixed a VoiceOver navigation issue when Always Show Sidebar was enabled
  • Fixed a bug that sometimes caused the status bar to switch to the wrong color
  • Fixed some visual bugs on the list editing screens

Read Twitterrific: Tweet Your Way's AppleVis App Directory entry for more information 

Visit Twitterrific: Tweet Your Way's App Store page 

Recent News and Views

What Apple Unleashed at the October Event

By mehgcap | October 18, 2021

Today was Apple's second big event in as many months, this time entitled "Unleashed." Instead of iPhones and Apple Watches, as were the focus in September, this was all about the Macs. Well, Macs and AirPods. If you are one who wants the power of a true pro-level MacBook, and the M1-powered models already available just didnt' do it for you, you're going to love this. If you're a fan of AirPods, but have wished for a refreshed version, you will also find something of interest. There was even a small Apple Music surprise, and new colors for the HomePod Mini smart speaker. Oh, and we found out that macOS Monterey will arrive on October 25.

The first M1 Macs are great. A good screen, long battery life, cool operation, and more all make M1 MacBook Airs pretty cool little machines. But it's no secret that the pro variant wasn't exactly, well, pro. There were some improvements, sure, but the ram topped out at 16GB, the USB capacity was limited, the screens were brighter, but not too different from what the Air had... For a lot of users, the M1 MacBook Pro felt more like a slightly improved Air, rather than the truly professional machine its users wanted. It even had the same chip as the Air, just set to run a little faster.

Well, no more. Apple loves its pro users, as it so often says, and today it showed those people just how much it cares. The new MacBook Pro, in 14- and 16-inch sizes, is completely reimagined. The speed is way above the M1, the screen is far better, the IO is much improved, and MagSafe has finally made its triumphant return to the MacBook lineup.

Read more: “What Apple Unleashed at the October Event”

Other Apple News

A Review of the Orbit Reader 40

By Scott Davert | October 21, 2021

In January of 2018, I reviewed the original Orbit Reader 20 From Orbit Research. It was “intended primarily as a braille display for reading braille files and for connecting to external devices. With a much lower price point than other 20-cell displays, the Orbit Reader 20 does not have onboard translation options, Cursor Routing Buttons or many of the other features found in braille devices that cost thousands of dollars more.” Fast forward to 2021 and Orbit Research has a new device that is a 40-cell display, featuring Cursor Routing Buttons, built in translation options, connectivity for up to 5 Bluetooth devices and much more. This was done while maintaining the idea of developing a solid braille device while still keeping the price far below other comparable options.

The Orbit Reader 40 is a 40-cell display which also has a Calculator, Clock, Calendar, Alarm, Word Processor, File Manager and Book Reader. It further has the ability to give both auditory and vibratory feedback. One of the compromises with the Orbit Reader 40 is that it does not contain any internal memory. Files must be stored on an SD card or USB thumb drive and then opened for viewing or editing.

Read more: “A Review of the Orbit Reader 40”

Onward Through The Fog: iPhones and Hearing Aids

By Morgan Watkins | October 7, 2021

Life is grand. I am content, happy with my home and neighborhood and live a relaxing and rewarding life. I'm just your average blind, retired and elderly fellow who wears hearing aids. The blindness is here to stay, as is my retirement status and I suspect I will continue to age. The only thing I really aspire to change is how well I hear and how well my hearing aids work with my iPhone.

I am a retired executive and computer geek who still loves problem solving. When something doesn't work as well as I'd like, I always assume that either I or some poor soul that I persuade to help, will make things better. Right now, I'm on a mission to find deeper bliss with Made for iPhone hearing aids.

Truth is, my hearing aids do me a lot of good. When I first started wearing them two and a half years ago, I discovered that my wife of more than forty years had not really slipped into mumbling at me. Her voice happens to reside closer to those higher frequencies where I am no longer hearing very well. I also discovered the wonders of listening to VoiceOver, Apple Music and Audible all through my very discrete hearing aids. I was likewise thrilled that the particular brand I procured did not have that latency lag I found in some other hearing aids, where there was a noticeable delay in speech or when initial words were clipped.

So, what am I griping about? Just those little, and sometimes not so little imperfections that make this old man crazy. I cannot say that it is the hearing aid manufacturers fault, and I cannot offer indisputable evidence the irritations were brought on by flaws or choices made in the iOS operating system, and I cannot easily prove that it is not some kind of user error, meaning me, that leaves me somewhat unsatisfied.

Folks who have read my blogs over the years, know that I long ago transitioned to using my iPhone as my singular personal computer. I spent thirty years of my career in the computer industry and have worked on laptops, desktops, minicomputers, and Big Iron. But, none of those will fit in my shirt pocket. As dainty as my computers may have become, I still want everything perfect, and right now. My audio experience with my iPhone and hearing aids is not quite what I desire.

Read more: “Onward Through The Fog: iPhones and Hearing Aids”

This Month in Podcasts

Quick Tip: Creating and Using Text Replacements to Save Keystrokes

In this quick tip podcast, Tyler demonstrates how to create and use text replacements, short snippets of text which are substituted with frequently used words or phrases when typed, and which synchronise across all your Apple devices.

Listen to “Quick Tip: Creating and Using Text Replacements to Save Keystrokes”

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