Welcome to the March 2022 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
DDHeroes - Dragon Dungeon (iOS/iPadOS, Free)
The DDHeroes is a turn based strategy war game. Heroes running around the map with creatures in their armies, battling other creatures and hero armies, gaining experience and learning new skills, collecting resources and artifacts, capturing mines and castles and building improvements to existing castles in order to produce and hire more powerful creatures. Usually the aim is to rule the world by defeating all other heroes and capturing all of their castles. A player can have multiple heroes either running or sailing around the map or garrisoned in a castle.
Each adventure turn (consisting of you and AI moves) is represented as a single day, and days are organized into cycles of weeks and months. At the start of each week, creature dwellings produce new recruits, and in most cases neutral armies will increase in size. The primary resource is gold, which is generated by towns on a daily basis. Gold alone is sufficient for obtaining basic buildings and most creatures. As construction progresses, increasing amounts of secondary resources such as wood, ore, gems, crystal, sulfur, and mercury are required. These resources, as well as gold, are produced at mines and other secondary structures, which are located on the map and require heroes to capture them. As with towns, mines can also be captured by enemy heroes, presenting an additional avenue for conflict.
Combat occurs on a hexagonal grid battlefield, and turn-based too. Creatures in an army are represented by unit stacks, each of which consists of a single type of creature, in any quantity. Five of stacks are available to each army, and army morale suffers with mixing incompatible unit types. Several random factors affect combat result, and hero abilities, artifacts and spells influence a unit's luck and morale ratings. A unit that triggers good luck deals more or receives less damage, and a unit that triggers high morale receives an extra chance to attack. Heroes do not act as units, and cannot be harmed. Surrendering allows the player to keep the remaining units intact after paying a heavy price in gold.
The strategy logic and user interactive concept are inspired by the original Jon Van Caneghem's Heroes of Might and Magic II. Most maps in the game come from public domain generated by fans and licensed by the creative commons license or free to use license.
Let's start playing with the following features: 6 types of castles/heroes, 4 primary skills, 14 secondary skills, over 70 spells/artifacts/structures, 9 terrain types and 66 creatures.
Current Version: 1.1.6 (March 28, 2022)
Talk Compass (iOS/iPadOS, Free)
This compass app lets you know that cardinal directions and ordinal directions by voice. You can adjust speaking rate, volume and sound effects.
Current Version: 1.1 (November 21, 2020)
Vision: for blind people (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
Vision uses Artificial Intelligence in real time to identify objects, money, colors, approximate distances, read text and more; all through your phone's camera. It's optimized for working with VoiceOver in 35 languages. First, please verify that your phone is not muted. Then, when you choose one feature, move the camera slowly in some directions to scan your surroundings. Vision has 7 features:
- Objects: Phone will detect one or more simultaneous objects and their position (at the same time), and say you about it.
- Read: The app will read text in real-time from camera image, you can also take a photo, or chose one from the camera roll. Any text will be read for you.
- Money: The app will identify United States Dollar, Euro, Japanese Yen, South Korean Won, Turkish Lira, United Kingdom Pound Sterling, New Taiwan Dollar, Chinese Yuan, Brazilian Real, Swiss Franc, Russian Ruble, Mexican Peso, Chilean Peso, Malaysian Ringgit, Hong Kong Dollar, Thai Baht, Canadian Dollar, Singapore Dollar, Indonesian Rupiah, Australian Dollar, Indian Rupee, Argentine Peso, Colombian Peso, Qatari Riyal.
- Explore: Find places of your interest in the search bar and phone will help you for navigate to them.
- Colors: Phone will identify color by taking a photo, or from your camera roll images.
- Distance: Phone will vibrate according to distance measurement, stronger vibration means shorter distance. Activate VoiceOver if you want to hear the distance in meters.
- Places: the application will detect places and scenes such as crosswalk zones, fire escapes, parking lots and more.
For the best experience, we suggest to use an iPhone 8 or newer.
Current Version: 3.11 (March 1, 2022)
WebOutLoud - Text to Speech Web, PDF Reader (iOS/iPadOS/Mac, Free With In-App Purchases)
WebOutLoud is the smartest text-to-speech web reader on The App Store. Now with premium voices from Amazon Polly and Google Cloud, offline capabilities, desktop integration, iCloud sync and Dark Mode, you can save articles or e-novels to read later, or listen to them one after another in a playlist.
No Longer Limited to Websites!
- Use WebOutLoud to listen to PDFs--it highlights words as it reads.
- Use WebOutLoud to read aloud any text on your iPhone or iPad.
- Scan documents with your camera with state-of-the-art text recognition.
- Organize your saved content into collections.
About WebOutLoud's Leading Website Reader:
It's simple! Just navigate to any web page using the in-app web browser and touch play. Web Out Loud will read web pages using the high quality text-to-speech synthesis built-in to every iOS device.
Current Version: 3.11.0 (March 30, 2022)
All recent app entries posted to AppleVis can be found at:
Notable App Updates
Blind Mahjong (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
Traditional Chinese Mahjong was made accessible to everybody, including those who are blind or visually impaired. One player can play the game offline. Up to four players can play online. It is for all ages, allowing kids and adults to bond through playing together. Enjoy all the improved memorization, concentration, strategic thinking skills, and social skills that this relaxing game can bring you!
Current Version: 1.5 (March 21, 2022)
Changes in Version 1.5
- Supported the MagicTap gesture that VoiceOver users can use to draw new tiles or skip forward during playing. That is to double tap the screen with two fingers to draw or skip instead of pressing the Draw or Skip buttons.
- Added a Settings page where players can customize rate of self-voicing, pace of playing, and whether to sort tiles automatically.
- Revised the new tile drawing process to rule out the possibility of app crashes for multi-player gaming.
Dolphin EasyReader (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
Dolphin EasyReader is a free reading app that enables people who are blind, visually impaired (VI) or dyslexic to read text and audio books in ways that suit their vision and preferred reading style.
EasyReader offers convenient access to your favourite accessible book libraries and talking newspaper stands, in one place.
Designed for accessibility, EasyReader enables blind and partially sighted readers to read with magnified text, with audio, or a combination of both - where each word is highlighted on screen as it’s read aloud. It also links to braille displays for braille readers.
EasyReader is fully optimized for use with iOS VoiceOver and iOS supported Braille displays.
Current Version: 3.06 (March 25, 2022)
Changes in Version 3.06
- New: Blind Low Vision (NZ). Newspapers and EPUB files from Blind Low Vision are now available to download and read.
- New: The Suriname library NSBS is now available.
- Fix: RNIB Newsagent (UK). Following changes made by RNIB, a fix has been applied to ensure newspapers can be downloaded and read as expected.
- Fix: Calibre Audio (UK). Fix applied to ensure books can be returned as expected.
- Fix: Page numbers and footnotes in DAISY books have now been made more clearly identifiable in the Reader.
- PLUS: Additional fixes and improvements.
GoodLinks (iOS/iPadOS/Mac, US$4.99)
Save links effortlessly. View them later, from anywhere, on all your devices. Sync, organize, and share your links—privately, without ever creating an account.
GoodLinks is a powerful bookmarking app with a sleek reading experience. Save the content of the link while eliminating the ads and other clutter.
Adding and viewing links is super simple and lightning fast. If you want to dig deeper, GoodLinks can be fully customized.
No account. No ads. No creepy spying. GoodLinks just works.
- Universal App :: GoodLinks is a single app that works on all of your iOS and macOS devices, so you can access your articles anywhere.
- No Account :: Sync links, tags, and reading position without needing another web service account. iCloud Sync means all you have to do is install the app.
- Simple :: Save articles from anywhere with a powerful Share Sheet extension. GoodLinks is so easy it feels like part of the operating system.
- Readability :: Put the emphasis where it belongs—on the article you want to read. GoodLinks extracts the article text and removes web advertisements and other distractions to provide a wonderful reading experience. Pick the perfect font, spacing, and size.
- Organize :: Tame a large list with tags and starred articles, so you can always find what you need. You can also search based on title, author, and description.
- Actions :: Actions help you manage and share links. You can add article to Starred, share to other apps, export to PDF, plain text or Markdown... Build your own actions to export and share your saved links.
- Customize :: Adjust how your links and lists look, change swipe behavior, and more. Tailor GoodLinks to fit your style.
- Themes :: Switch between beautiful alternate themes: Light and Sepia for light mode, Dark and Night for dark mode.
- Siri Shortcuts :: Deep support of iOS Shortcuts. Save a new link, query links, open a specific view, and more.
- Log in to Sites :: Log in to paywalled sites to get full access to their content.
- Widgets :: Get quick access to a list or open a random unread link directly on your home screen.
- Archive :: The full rich text of each article gets saved in GoodLinks, and your reading history provides a natural archive if you need it. Save as many links as you want.
- Private :: Your reading history and favorite articles should only be private by default. GoodLinks doesn’t track you or your information, and nothing is shared online unless you choose to share it.
- VoiceOver :: GoodLinks is fully accessible via VoiceOver.
Current Version: 1.5 (March 2, 2022)
Changes in Version 1.5
- Improved VoiceOver support.
- Exposed more link metadata in Shortcuts.
- Added the ability to re-download multiple selected links at once.
- Various improvements and bug fixes.
Overcast (iOS/iPadOS/Mac, Free With In-App Purchases)
Overcast is a modern, fully featured audio podcast app with many useful features in a simple, intuitive interface:
- Smart Speed saves time without distorting the audio or sounding unnatural.
- Voice Boost makes every podcast the same volume with a broadcast-quality remastering engine.
- Download podcasts for playing anytime, even offline.
- Search and browse for new podcasts, plus get personalized recommendations.
- Create custom Playlists with smart filters and per-podcast priorities, and rearrange the list whenever you want.
- Receive optional notifications when new episodes arrive.
- Subscribe to a podcast, or just add an episode: try new shows without committing.
- Sleep timer automatically stops playback after any time interval you set.
- Apple Watch app with standalone playback and cellular streaming.
- CarPlay support.
Current Version: 2022.3 (March 29, 2022)
Changes in Version 2022.2
Redesigned home screen, fonts, and many other elements throughout the app (other areas, such as the now-playing screen, will be redesigned soon)
Can now choose your own theme colors
- Playlists can now have custom icons and colors
- Playlists can now be reordered on the home screen by dragging
- Added Starred, Downloaded, and In-Progress list options
- Recent episodes are now displayed on the home screen, and can be long-pressed to preview
- Podcasts can be pinned to the top of the list, and pinned podcasts can be reordered by dragging
- Episodes can now be marked as "played"
- Notifications are much more reliable
- Links can now be opened in Safari
Weather Gods (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
Meet the Gods: Fire, Ice, Water, Air & Moon delivering you the Weather as you have never experienced it before. Weather Gods redefines the weather app with painstakingly crafted data visualizations, procedural graphics and audio that enable you to literally see, hear and feel the weather. With no more weather icons to decode, the Weather Gods is simply the quickest, most engaging, most enjoyable way to get the accurate weather information you need.
The Weather Gods skillfully integrates premium weather data into an elegant, iOS Exclusive, easy-to-use interface that will delight casual users and weather enthusiasts alike.
With a wealth of rich weather data from the world’s most respected providers, the Weather Gods provide detailed site-based forecasts for over a million locations worldwide. Our advanced, next-generation notifications are easy to setup and bring you exactly the information you want right when you need it.
With 24 hour charts, observed weather, built in moon phase, widget, world clock and much, much more, the Weather Gods is a powerful personal time machine that lets you travel the world and visit the future. Please come join us on this exciting journey as we begin our mission to bring you the finest, most practical, most enjoyable weather app experience ever. We can’t wait to hear what you think!
Current Version: 3.6 (March 12, 2022)
Changes in Version 3.6
- Temperature Chart: Premium users now have a Temperature Chart as a Home Screen Widget.
- Notifications: We have moved our notification engine to new servers and software. There will be some minor changes in timing of notifications, for example sunset.
- Weather Wheel: The wind and gusts indicator has been tweaked to give a more visual representation of the magnitude of the wind speeds.
- Watch Face: Weather Highlights can now be configured for the Utility watch faces.
- Complications: The last update time for Voiceover Watch Complications is now read first, saving you from listening to the full complication, only to find nothing has changed.
- Bug Fix: Scrolling and swiping the Timeline Charts should now be working for Voiceover users.
Recent News and Views
The iPhone SE 3: A More Practical Phone for Some Use Cases
By Scott Davert | March 31, 2022
This review was completed after 10 days of use. Most of my comparison will be with the iPhone SE 2, since that was the phone I had been using previously. For the sake of clarity, when referring to the previous generation of iPhone SE released in 2020, it will be referred to as the iPhone SE 2. Apple refers to the current model of iPhone SE simply by that name. This was also true of the first and second generation.
The iPhone SE 3 is a step forward in some respects, but not in others. Reviews from the mainstream are generally positive, though everyone feels the need to comment on the older design. This review from CNet details how the new iPhone SE 3 compares to the SE 2 and other devices on the market. I will not spend much time discussing the mainstream features, as other blogs have already done this. I will, however, be discussing how the new iPhone SE 3 functions from the blind and DeafBlind user’s perspective.
If you line up an iPhone SE 2, SE 3 and iPhone 8 side-by-side, it is impossible to determine which phone is which based only on size. The physical profile of each device is nearly identical; so similar are the 3 models that you can use the same cases on all 3 phones. I purchased a [Mophie Juice Pack)(https://www.amazon.com/mophie-3673_JPA-IP7-BLK-Juice-Pack-Wireless/dp/B01NAAF5WN/ref=sr_1_3?crid=2PP7739KPZ8V0&keywords=%22mophie+Juce+pack%22+%22iPhone+SE+3%22&qid=1647976287&sprefix=mophie+juce+pack+iphone+se+3+%2Caps%2C63&sr=8-3) after being very confident in the rumors about the SE 3, and it fits perfectly on the new iPhone, just like it did on the SE 2.
Looking at Apple's Peek Performance Event (March 2022)
By mehgcap | March 8, 2022
Apple's first major media event of 2022 has just concluded, and there were a surprising number of big announcements. A new iPhone, new Macs, new iPad, and a new professional monitor--and the year isn't even a quarter over! You can watch it here, or read on for our summary of what was announced.
Let's go straight to the new iPhone SE, since I'm going to guess that most of you are more interested in that than anything else. To answer the big question: yes, it still uses Touch ID, and yes, it's still about the size and shape of an iPhone 8. Now, let's go over the details.
Despite being similar to an iPhone 8 in appearance, the new SE sports Apple's A15 Bionic chip. This is the same as is used in iPhone 13, so you're not missing out on any performance. You're also not being left out of the 5G cellular world, as the SE has support for 5G. That said, not all 5G bands are supported. Oh, and the glass is as tough as the glass on the back of iPhone 13, making it less likely that your precious phone will break if dropped.
Given all these features, why would anyone get an iPhone 13 ever again? Well, the SE form factor does lack a few things. First, while the battery life is better than that of the SE 2, it's still not quite on par with Apple's flagship devices. Second, the screen remains at 4.7 inches with the large forehead and chin of the iPhone 8 design, which not everyone is into. Third, the cameras aren't as good, though they should still be more than adequate for OCR work. There are other trade-offs, such as a lack of MagSafe. Still, if you want Touch ID and don't mind giving up some battery life and a few other things to get it, the new SE is a great option. The latest Apple processor means this device will get iOS updates for years, the glass on the back lets you charge it wirelessly, and the rest of the hardware will be more than enough for many people.
- Apple Makes Fitness+ Workouts More Accessible to Blind and Low Vision Subscribers With the Addition of Audio Hints That Supplement Trainer's Spoken Instructions
- Apple Releases iOS 15.4.1, iPadOS 15.4.1, macOS Monterey 12.3.1, watchOS 8.5.1, tvOS 15.4.1, and HomePod Software 15.4.1
- Apple Releases iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4, Bringing New Emoji, Face ID While Wearing a Mask, Universal Control, and a New US Siri Voice
- Apple Releases macOS Monterey 12.3, watchOS 8.5, tvOS 15.4, and HomePod Software 15.4
This Month in Podcasts
AppleVis Unleashed March 2022: Chili, Fritos, and Wings
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:
- Post Discussion of Everything Apple announced at its March 8 event
- Apple rolls out iOS 15.4 & iPadOS 15.4 with Face ID update, Universal Control
- Apple Makes Fitness+ Workouts More Accessible to Blind and Low Vision Subscribers With the Addition of Audio Hints That Supplement Trainer's Spoken Instructions
- Surprising Update News in What you May Expect on the New Upcoming iPhone 14
- Apple Developing Hardware Subscription Service for iPhones and Other Devices
- What's in this month AppleVis News
AppleVis Extra 84: Recapping Apple's “Peek Performance” Event
In this edition of the AppleVis Extra, Dave Nason, Scott Davert, Thomas Domville, and Tyler Stephen get together to discuss Apple's “Peek Performance” March 8, 2022 event.
Quick Tip: Exploring the Grouping Behavior Options for VoiceOver Navigation on macOS
In this podcast, Tyler discusses and demonstrates the Grouping Behavior options available for VoiceOver on macOS. These allow you to choose whether VoiceOver requires an action to interact with items in a content area (such as a scroll area) or a group (such as a toolbar):
The four available options are:
- Standard: VoiceOver requires an action. You must press VO-Shift-Down Arrow to start interacting with the items in an area or group, and VO-Shift-Up Arrow to stop interacting with the items. When this option is selected, VoiceOver may automatically interact with some groups on web pages to streamline navigation. If you don’t want VoiceOver to automatically interact with a group, press VO-Shift-Right Arrow or Left Arrow. If Quick Nav is on, press Shift-Right Arrow or Left Arrow.
- Bookend groups: VoiceOver identifies the start and end of an area or group as you navigate its items, but no action is required to interact with them.
- Announce groups: VoiceOver announces when you enter or exit an area or group, but no action is required to interact with its items.
- Ignore groups: VoiceOver doesn’t identify or announce areas or groups, and no action is required to interact with its items.
Note: Some areas (such as tables) always require interaction, regardless of the setting you choose. This prevents you from having to navigate potentially large numbers of items, such as thousands of items in a Mail inbox.
Hot AppleVis Content
Here are some of our forum topics which have got people talking in the past month:
- I want to talk about my brief gerny into android.
- Seeking Suggested Changes to Circus Master's Revenge - Chapter 3
- Text editing on iPad with a hardware keyboard, has it improved in the past couple years?
- Has voiceover performance dropped off for anyone else in IOS 15.4?
- If you could, which would you choose? Monterey, Big Sur or Catalina?
- I'd like to see iPadOS as an optional install on m1 Macs
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