AppleVis Unlimited: What's New in Accessible Apps for November 2015

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Welcome to the November 2015 edition of AppleVis Unlimited, our monthly series which aims to highlight what's new and noteworthy in the accessible app landscape. Below, you'll find a recap of the best content posted to AppleVis - from new app entries, to app updates, to podcasts and blogs. For easier navigation, the major sections of this post are at heading level 3, and each individual item is at heading level 4.

New and Noteworthy App Entries

Adguard - Adblock and Privacy Protection for the Web (Free)

Finally the most effective ad blocker is available! Remove everything that annoys you, accelerate the web and secure your privacy. Adguard supports more than 50 filter subscriptions optimized for Safari. Surf the web safe, fast and ad-free with Adguard!

Features:

  • Ad blocking. Blocks any kinds of ads; more than 50 (!) various filters are at your service. So say goodbye to annoying stuff like banners, video ads, popups and such.
  • Includes popular adblock filter subscriptions - EasyList, EasyPrivacy, Fanboys Annoyances, Malware Domains. Which means double protection both by these and Adguard own filters.
  • Regional and other filters. Adguard is the first ad blocker that allows you to use specific regional filters. Which means you can visit websites on different languages - they still will be filtered.
  • Blocking of trackers and social widgets. Special filters block all the counters and trackers to protect your privacy and remove excessive social media buttons.
  • Speed acceleration. Adguard removes tons of rubbish from the web. And clean pages open faster, you know.

Current Version: 1.0.2 (November 13, 2015)

Read Adguard's AppleVis iOS App Directory entry for more information
Visit Adguard's page on the App Store

Blindfold Games

Kid Friendly Software, developers of the Blindfold series of accessible audio games, have released several new titles during November 2015. Below are links to each app in the App Store:

Blindfold Air Hockey
Blindfold Breakout
Blindfold Craps
Blindfold Vee Ball

In addition, there is ongoing discussion in the AppleVis forum where people have been sharing feedback with the developer on the current titles in this series and offering suggestions for future titles. If you have your own feedback or suggestions, you can share them here.

CubeAlone (US$0.99)

CubeAlone is a nice traditional puzzle app. It's made simple and it is totally accessible with VoiceOver.

Features:

  • sounds
  • hints for solving
  • accessible with VoiceOver

Current Version: 1.1 (November 7, 2015)

Read CubeAlone's AppleVis iOS App Directory entry for more information
Visit CubeAlone's App Store Page

Direct to Player (Free)

Direct to Player is a service for people with print disabilities in Canada who use their public library's CELA (Centre for Equitable Library Access) service or the CNIB Library. The accessible Direct to Player app connects directly to the library and loads DAISY audio books and magazines onto your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. Just tap a title and start reading!

Current Version: 1.0.5 (April 8, 2015)

Read Direct to Player's AppleVis iOS App Directory entry for more information
Visit Direct to Player's App Store Page

Madness's Daze (US$0.99)

Prepare yourself to relive Jeniffer Dudley’s experience as she wakes up in a madhouse and has to run and hide - not from the usual fairy tales monsters - but from real life threats, in this innovative and extremely immersive horror game.

3D sounds and amazing graphics will take you deep into the mind of the main character, making even the player question his/her own sanity.

Are you mad enough to come in the asylum?

Current Version: 1.0 (November 10, 2015)

Read Madness's Daze's AppleVis iOS App Directory entry for more information
Visit Madness's Daze's App Store Page

MiNDSiGHT (Free)

MiNDSiGHT is an interactive audio adventure which uses binaural recording techniques to tell an immersive superhero story purely by sound.

Immerse yourself in the role of blind protagonist Ethan Lewis as he embarks on a journey with his faithful sidekick Alix to rescue his sister from the maniacal villain, Dexter. On the way, he, and you, will have to overcome challenging audio-based puzzles to reach the roof of Dexter's headquarters and save his sister.

MiNDSiGHT is controlled entirely by simply swiping up, down, left, or right on the screen, and plays out like a combination between a radio drama and a choose-your-own-adventure novel, allowing you to solve fun and challenging puzzles using nothing but your ears, mind, and reflexes!

This game was created as part of a degree thesis as an educational exploration into the potential for delivering rich, interactive drama using conventional stereo audio enriched with binaural recording techniques.

Current Version: 1.0.2 (November 14, 2014)

Read MiNDSiGHT's AppleVis iOS App Directory entry for more information
Visit MiNDSiGHT's page on the App Store

My Baby Sim (Free with In-App Purchases)

VoiceOver support is fixed in this version. Should you have any questions or suggestions about this feature, please send them to support@mybabysim.com.

This baby care app allows you to analyze how good you are as s parent, storing all data in a log. Compare your progress with our recommendations to test yourself. There is also a great possibility to share your experience within the community and ask for advice both from baby care experts and from the community members.

Current Version: 2.0.3 (July 24, 2015)

Read My Baby Sim's AppleVis iOS App Directory entry for more information
Visit My Baby Sim's page on the App Store
Listen to "Live the Life of a New Parent With My Baby Sim for iOS"

NPR One (Free)

NPR One is a whole new way to listen to stories, shows, and podcasts from NPR and your local public radio station.

It’s public radio made personal.

A handcrafted experience: NPR One starts with the latest headlines then moves to a flow of stories that matter—stories narratives that increase your understanding, create connections, enrich your life and enliven your mind. All thoughtfully curated by hand, every day.

Always learning from you: Just pop in your ear buds, tap your phone and NPR One starts flowing. And NPR One gets to know you. Skip what you don't want, or tap the lightbulb to say a story is interesting. We'll turn NPR One into your own personal radio station.

Current Version: 1.5.3 (November 11, 2015)

Read NPR One's AppleVis iOS App Directory entry for more information
Visit NPR One's page on the App Store

VizSnap (Free)

VizSnap - A Blind-Accessible iPhone App to Help Take and Organize Photos

This app is targeted as a tool to help people who are blind manage a photo library and is intended to be used with VoiceOver. This app is intended to be navigated using sound and gestures, as opposed to visually. Because photo taking, organizing and sharing traditionally requires visual information, those with no or limited sight often have problems with these activities.

The overarching needs that VizSnap aims to meet are the following:

  • Photo Taking: Aiming, focusing, positioning, and framing; Easy way to get sighted help; Accessible device; Improving photo quality.
  • Photo Organizing and Editing: Identifying what’s in the picture; Labeling the pictures; Manipulating pictures
  • Photo Sharing: Easy way to get sighted help; Accessible photo sharing method.

Current Version: 1.0 (June 16, 2015)

Read VizSnap's AppleVis iOS App Directory entry for more information
Visit VizSnap's App Store page

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

iOS
Mac
Apple Watch

Notable App Updates

Tweetings for Twitter (iPhone & iPod touch edition) (US $2.99)

From the AppleVis Editors: Tweetings 2 is a Twitter client which has an extensive feature set including list support, push notifications, geolocation and synchronization of your timeline with your Mac or other iOS devices. Its developer has also demonstrated a commitment to ensuring that the app has good support for VoiceOver.

Current Version: 2.17.2 (November 21, 2015)

What's New in Version 2.17.2
  • New Rotor action for VoiceOver users to open Tweet from the timeline
  • With push notifications enabled, quoted Tweets can now be delivered to your Mention timeline

Bug Fixes:

  • Fixed line spacing issue on timelines for the largest font size

Read Tweetings' AppleVis iOS App Directory entry for more information
Visit Tweetings' App Store page

Recent News and Views

Small Things Considered: Improving iPhone Accessibility

By Morgan | November 15, 2015

It seems so surreal. I am in an airport. I need to go to the public restroom. I find the serpentine tiled entrance to the enclave and I work my guide dog inside. It is vacuous and sounds reflect from every direction off the hard tile walls and floor. I have no idea where the porcelain fixtures are located. I am not even sure if I am in the right bathroom. I move slowly, reaching out, hoping that I do not touch something wet or, worse, the back of someone's neck. Even if I accomplish my original goal, the nightmare is not over. In dreams of entrapment, there never seems to be an exit. Minimally, it is frustrating. Sometimes, it gets stressful. This sense of confounded isolation is not limited just to public restrooms. There are times when I get these same feelings when dealing with my access technology.

Many years ago, I remember eagerly waiting each week for the flexible disks of "U.S. News and World Report" to arrive so that I could catch up on what others had already read in the daily newspapers. I recollect how some libraries had a few shelves, a very few, with Braille reference materials that were often decades old. I still smile when reminiscing about lugging my Talking Book record player around the house so that I could read books whenever and wherever I wanted. Things were simpler, but not very informative.

As technology evolved, so did our access. Spinning records transitioned to cassettes. Cassettes moved to CDs, and finally to digital cartridges. Paper moved to electronic text and everything ended up online. Accessibility began to intertwine with mainstream solutions. Microcomputers enabled us to interact with vast stores of information. At least until the inevitable crash...

Remember the three words you used to say to the ones you loved?

”Save your work!"

Oh, how we used to suffer with the "Blue Screen of Death" on our PCs, the rattling "Click of Death" inside our Zip drives, and the dreaded "Chimes of Death" emanating from our Macs. Fortunately, our iPhones are much more stable. Until I replaced my 5S, it was generally only my iPhone batteries that died.

Read More: “Small Things Considered: Improving iPhone Accessibility”

This Month in Podcasts

Introductory podcasts on the fourth-generation Apple TV

David Woodbridge has recorded a series of podcasts devoted to the new Apple TV:

AppleVis Extra #34: What’s new and Interesting in the Apple Store this Holiday Season

In the first half of this edition of the AppleVis Extra, Jamie Pauls sits down with David Woodbridge, Scott Davert and Jeff Bishop to discuss the fourth-generation Apple TV. As an early-adopter of most new Apple Products, David is keen to share his experience and opinions of the Apple TV itself and some of the many Apple TV apps that he has already used.

For the second part of this show, Jamie is joined by Michael Hansen to talk about Michael’s recent opportunity to take a look at a number of Apple’s new products. These include the iPad Pro, the Magic Keyboard and the new Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Dock.

Listen to “AppleVis Extra #34: What’s new and Interesting in the Apple Store this Holiday Season”

LaunchBar for OS X: Quickly Start Applications, Open Documents, Play Music, Compose Emails, Navigate the Web, and Much More

In this podcast, Piotr Machacz gives us a demonstration of LaunchBar, a Mac application that allows you to quickly start applications, open documents, invoke system services, compose emails, navigate the Web, and much more.

LaunchBar is a fast and efficient way to search and access any kind of information stored on your computer or on the Web. It provides instant access to your applications, documents, contacts, and bookmarks, to your music library, to search engines and more, just by entering short abbreviations of the searched item's name.

You just hit Command-Space to bring LaunchBar's input window to front, enter an arbitrary abbreviation, and as soon as you start typing LaunchBar displays the best matching choices, ready to be opened immediately.

Listen to podcast "LaunchBar for OS X: Quickly Start Applications, Open Documents, Play Music, Compose Emails, Navigate the Web, and Much More"

A complete list of all podcasts posted to the AppleVis website in the past month can be found at www.applevis.com/podcasts

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