AppleVis Unlimited: What's New and Noteworthy for September 2020
Welcome to the September 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 2048 (iOS/iPadOS, US$0.99)
The goal of this game is to combine numbers together until you reach a tile with the number 2048. Can you do it?
- Sound effects to enhance your gaming experience;
- Fully accessible with voiceover, with larger tiles for low vision users;
- Fully compatible with your iPhone and iPad;
- Win and share with your friends!
Current Version: 1.6 (September 16, 2020)
Fantasy News by FantasyPros (iOS/iPadOS, Free)
Stay ahead of the competition on your iPhone and iPad with the latest fantasy sports news and rumors from the NFL, MLB and NBA with the FantasyPros Fantasy News app.
Follow players and enable notifications to get customized news and alerts. Be the first in your fantasy league to react to player injuries or snag gems off the waiver wire.
Current Version: 2.4.3 (September 17, 2020)
GameDay Pro Football Radio (iOS/iPadOS, US$1.99)
Number 1 NFL GameDay Mobile Radio
***** No Subscription!
***** The best app for NFL games!
***** The only app that has all 32 direct radio feeds.
***** Delivers the best NFL radio at a fraction of the price.
Live play by play and scores. GameDay Pro Football Radio is connected to all 32 NFL teams(see below)! Listen to your favorite teams in the NFL during game time while you are on the road, at your kids little league game, in a meeting, in church, or anytime you can't be near a tv or at the game. Chat with other fans who are also connected and listening.
When it's not Sunday, MNF, or TNF listen to your local sports radio stations to stay connected to your home team and catch up on the news and stats. Get an app that looks good and just works great!
All home team and away team announcers available for every game. Don't settle for anything less with other apps that pretend to stream every game.
Current Version: 4.0 (September 24, 2017)
NHS COVID-19 (iOS/iPadOS, Free)
The new NHS COVID-19 app is the Official NHS contact tracing app for England and Wales.
It is the fastest way of knowing when you’re at risk from Coronavirus. The quicker you know, the quicker you can alert your loved ones, and your community.
The more of us that use it, the better we can control coronavirus.
The app runs on proven software developed by Apple and Google, designed so that nobody will know who or where you are. And you can delete your data, or the app, at any time.
It has a number of features:
- Trace: Find out when you’ve been near other app users who have tested positive for coronavirus
- Alert: Lets you know the level of coronavirus risk in your postcode district.
- Check-in: Get alerted if you have visited a venue where you may have come into contact with coronavirus, using a simple QR code scanner. No more form filling.
- Symptoms: Check if you have coronavirus symptoms and see if you need to order a test.
- Test: Helps you order a test if you need to.
- Isolate: Keep track of your self-isolation countdown and access relevant advice.
Current Version: 3.6.1 (September 25, 2020)
All recent app entries posted to AppleVis can be found at:
Notable App Updates
BlindSquare (iOS/iPadOS, 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.
Current Version: 5.0.1 (September 29, 2020)
Changes in Version 5.0
- Speech Recognition. Apple has made dramatic improvements with Speech Recognition. Starting with version 5.0 we now use Apple's own in-device service, free for use in all BlindSquare versions.
- Apple Watch Support. Our community has asked for Apple Watch Support. With BlindSquare version 5.0, all generations of Apple Watch are now supported with primary features. The feature list will expand in future versions. BlindSquare, on the iPhone, must be running when being controlled from the Apple Watch.
- BlindSquare PHOTO POI. BlindSquare can now create personal POIs from photos on your iPhone. These photos can be your own or those shared from friends. BlindSquare uses the location data, recorded automatically when location service is enabled, to create the geo referenced POI. Actions:
- When sharing your location, Latitude and Longitude are provided in EMAIL subject and in SMS MESSAGES.
- If the pedometer is disabled from “SHAKE SETTINGS” it will also disable automatic announcements
- Now supports dark mode and color preferences
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.
Make your books' text as big as your eyes require. Unlike other mainstream reading apps, there's no restriction with EasyReader. Zoom in with a standard 2 finger pinch or make fine adjustments with the simple sliders. There's never any blurry text or fuzzy fonts - your books' words are always crystal clear and always easy on the eye.
Navigate your books or newspapers by skipping directly to specific pages or headings. Search your book for words or phrases. Add text bookmarks or record your own audio bookmarks and return to them with ease.
EasyReader is fully optimized for use with iOS VoiceOver and iOS supported Braille displays.
Current Version: 2.11 (September 14, 2020)
Changes in Version 2.11
- Translation updates for Dutch, French, Italian, Polish, Russian, Turkish and Finnish.
- Support for EPUB from Passend Lezen (NL) and NLB (NO) has been added.
- Bug fixes and improvements for some books from RNIB, Bookshare, NLB, SBS and Libro Parlato.
- Various additional fixes and improvements
Envision AI (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
Envision is the fastest, most reliable and award-winning OCR app that speaks out the visual world, helping blind and visually impaired users to lead more independent lives.
Envision is developed for and together with the visually impaired community. The app is simple, gets things done and brings the best assistive experience to blind and low vision users.
Simply use your phone camera to scan any piece of text, your surroundings, objects, people or products and everything will be read out to you thanks to Envision’s smart artificial intelligence (AI) and Optical Character Recognition (OCR).
Current Version: 2.2.9 (September 29, 2020)
Changes in Version 2.2.9
- We've added the option to import ePub and Word documents along with images and PDFs. Now, you can click on 'More Actions' within the Text Tab and find the new 'Import Files' button.
- We've also updated our translations for a number of languages.
- We've made some minor speed improvements to the document scanning feature.
Just Press Record (iOS/iPadOS, US$4.99)
Just Press Record is the ultimate mobile audio recorder bringing one tap recording, transcription and iCloud syncing to all your devices. You can edit your audio and transcriptions right inside the app and even start a new recording completely hands-free with Siri!
Life is full of moments we would rather not forget - like your child’s first words, an important meeting or spontaneous idea. Capture these moments effortlessly on iPhone, iPad or for ultimate convenience, Apple Watch.
Current Version: 40 (September 23, 2020)
Changes in Version 40
- Adds support for iOS 14 and watchOS 7.
- Support for stereo recording from the built-in microphone on supported devices.
Knight Commander (iOS/iPadOS, US$1.99)
You are the leader of a brand new tribe.
Look after your people by giving them food and letting them sleep.
You can customize their gender and name to make it personal i.e. send Uncle Bob down the mines.
Tell them to gather resources and build buildings and craft items to make your empire stronger.
Sell your items for gold and further strengthen your empire by buying services from the shop.(No In-App Purchases required)
Current Version: 2.0.2 (September 29, 2020)
Changes in Version 2.0.1
This is a total re-coding of the game engine.
It has some new features as well.
lire: RSS Reader (iOS/iPadOS, US$9.99)
RSS feeds are a great way to follow updates on your favorite website. However, some sites set up their feeds to only show a portion of each entry, you know, to get you to click through to their actual website. We find that really annoying, and we're sure you do too.
Which is why, unlike other RSS feed readers, that either push you into a browser (in-app or otherwise), or depend on third party text parsing services and require you to be online to fetch the full text of one article at a time (which makes it no different from having to click/tap through to a website), in lire, you get your favorite RSS feeds as they should've been. You don't need to click through to any website (though, you do still have the option to, if you really wanted). It takes your favorite partial feeds, does its magic, and converts them in to full feeds, so you don't have to click/tap on those annoying 'Read more' or 'Continue reading' links.
Once they're cached, you don't even need to be connected to read your full-text feeds.
Use as a standalone feed reader,
sync with any of the several services: Feedly, Feedbin, FeedHQ, The Old Reader, Inoreader, BazQux Reader, Newsblur, Feed Wrangler.
Current Version: 4.0.5 (September 30, 2020)
Changes in Version 4.0
lire 4 is a completely new release and is not a free update for owners of previous versions of lire.
NFB-NEWSLINE® Mobile (iOS/iPadOS, Free)
NFB-NEWSLINE is a free service available to anyone who is blind, visually impaired, or print-disabled. It offers over five hundred publications to choose from including:
- Thirteen national newspapers like the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and USA Today
- Thirty-three breaking news sources such as CNN, BBC, and ESPN Online
- Fourteen international newspapers including Financial Times and Vancouver Sun
- Seventy magazines like Reader’s Digest, Time, Rolling Stone, Guideposts, PC World, and countless state newspapers
Current Version: 3.0 (September 28, 2020)
Changes in Version 3.0
NFB-NEWSLINE Mobile 3.0 has been completely rewritten with a more streamlined approach to make it easier for subscribers to find their favorite content of interest. The app is now constructed with four pages: a highlights page where subscribers can customize the content of their choice, an information sources page listing a number of content categories, a page for KNFB Reader Basic where a picture of a printed document can be taken and then read aloud, and a page for settings to control the features of the app.
Other new features include:
- Increased sharing options for publications in the Breaking News category for Facebook and Twitter.
- A new view that will allow subscribers to quickly skim articles in order to select the ones of interest for reading.
- New personal queue where you can save an article, section, or whole publication on your device for later offline reading or for future reference.
- Support for saving content in cloud storage such as Dropbox or OneDrive, as well as options contained on the share sheet.
- Options to adjust the color theme throughout the app, including dark mode.
Voice: OCR Document Reader (iOS/iPadOS, US$4.99)
Take a picture of anything that has words on it, and Voice will read it to you! Updated with cutting-edge technology, Voice will let you listen to all your mail, books, documents, and magazines in seconds.
We have built this app from the ground up with VoiceOver in mind, so you no longer have to worry about unlabelled buttons and complicated user interfaces.
Voice is as simple as it gets.
Hold your phone in front of a document. If it sees the page, it will tell you that "all 4 corners are visible". When you're ready, just say the word "Capture". Voice will automatically snap a picture. Then say "read," and Voice will read the words aloud to you.
Current Version: 5.0.1 (September 4, 2020)
Changes in Version 5.0
Redesigned from ground-up with cutting-edge technology, crafted with a better VoiceOver experience, and a shipped with a ton of other awesome features for you!
The OCR quality has never been better, even on images with really bad lighting, horrible focus, and messy handwritten text. To put the icing on the cake, our field of view detector is more accurate than ever, giving you feedback whenever it sees a document.
Recent News and Views
- The Accessibility Bugs Introduced and Resolved in iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 for Blind and Low Vision Users
- What’s New in iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 for Blind and Deaf-Blind Users
- Apple Releases iOS 14.0.1 with Bug Fixes for Widgets, Default App Settings, and More; Along With Updates for Other Platforms
- All About Apple's "Time Flies" Event
- Apple Releases watchOS 7; Bringing Sleep and Handwashing Tracking, New Faces, Complication Enhancements, and More
- Apple Releases tvOS 14
- Apple Releases iOS 13.7 with New COVID-19 Exposure Notifications Express System
Taming the Beast: Google Docs on MacOS
By Paul Martz | September 5, 2020
You tried Google Docs. You approached it like a web page, expecting to find controls with VO+Left and VO+Right, but nothing made sense. Or you approached it like a word processor but couldn't figure out even simple things like how to open menus. Me too. It was a frustrating experience.
Take a moment with me. Let's cry and scream together and smash our fists on the keyboard. And after that's over, let's teach this beast that we will not surrender. Together, we will learn Google Docs!
I'm part of a writers group that uses Google Docs for collaboration. I've been avoiding Docs by downloading documents from Google Drive and editing locally. Everyone else in the group edits directly in Docs. If I used Docs through a web browser, I could work more efficiently without fear of overwriting a collaborators changes.
I spent a few weeks reading Google's documentation and working with Google Docs. In this blog, I share what I've learned.
This Month in Podcasts
AppleVis Unleashed September 2020: The Creepy Eye
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:
- Everything Apple announced during its September event: Apple Watch Series 6, new iPad Air, and more
- Here's how much money you can save with an Apple One services bundle
- AppleCare+ now covers two incidents of accidental damage every 12 months
- The Accessibility Bugs Introduced and Resolved in iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 for Blind and Low Vision Users
- iOS 14 Adoption Surpasses 25% Across iPhone and iPad Five Days After Release
- More ...
AppleVis Extra 77: Recapping Apple's "Time Flies" Event
In this edition of the AppleVis Extra, Dave Nason, Scott Davert, and Tyler Stephen get together to discuss Apple's "Time Flies" event. Topics covered include The Apple Watch Series 6, new iPads, Apple One services, and iOS 14.
AppleVis Extra 76: In-depth with the SuperSense Team
In this episode of the AppleVis Extra, host Thomas Domville speaks with the team behind the SuperSense app for iOS.
Quick Tip: A Workaround for the VoiceOver 'Lag' in iOS 14
In this quick tip, Michael Hansen demonstrates a workaround for the reduced VoiceOver responsiveness many users are experiencing in iOS 14.
This month's podcasts from Thomas Domville
- What's New in iOS 14 and iPadOS 14: Accessibility Features
- What's New in iOS 14 and iPadOS 14: General Features
- How to Setup Headphone Accommodations on iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 for Supported AirPods and Beats headphones
- How to Setup Sound Recognition
- How to Setup Back Tap on iOS
- How to Use VoiceOver Recognition on iOS and iPadOS
- How to add, remove, and customize widgets
- How to Use the App Library on iOS
- How to Set Default Email and Browser Apps on iOS and iPadOS
- How to Add Context to Photos and Videos with Captions
- How to Use Real-time Headphone Audio Level Measurements and Adjustments on iOS and iPadOS
- How to Access and Use the New Back Button Menu on iOS 14
- How to Send an Audio Message with Siri
Hot AppleVis Content
Here are some of our forum topics which have got people talking in the past month:
- What do we like about iOS 14?
- Voiceover recognition is the way of the future!
- Help getting used to screen readers and voices
- Introducing SunoDayko, a utility for the deaf-blind and the blind
- Doordash: man am I impressed!
- Introducing Voice OCR 5.0 – Crafted from scratch with cutting-edge technology
- BLIND QUEST - THE FROST DEMON is here!
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
We hope that everybody in our community, your families, and loved ones continues to remain safe and healthy in these difficult times.
The AppleVis Editorial Team