KNFBReader iPhone App to be Released Alongside iOS 8

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

K-NFB Reading Technology, Inc. has today announced that the KNFBReader iPhone app will be launched concurrently with Apple’s iOS 8 in September.

The app, which will allow blind or print-disabled users to quickly and independently scan and read a variety of documents on their iPhone 5 or later, was originally expected to be released by the end of August 2014. According to a media release distributed to AppleVis, the plan to coordinate release of the KNFBReader iPhone app with Apple’s upgrade to iOS 8 will "best assure that the app works as intended for all users without any interruption or possible need to uninstall and upgrade due to Apple’s newest operating system release."

"All of us at K-NFB and Sensotec are truly gratified with the worldwide interest expressed in the KNFB Reader iOS app," said James Gashel, Vice President of Business Development at K-NFB Reading Technology. "The app has been built for use with iPhone 5 or above, and running iOS 7 or higher. Our plan to coordinate its release with iOS 8 will best assure that the app works as intended for all users without any interruption or possible need to uninstall and upgrade due to Apple’s newest operating system release."

According to Gashel, KNFBReader is expected to hit the app store on the same day that iOS 8 becomes available to the public. K-NFB Reading Technology previously announced that the app's price will be $99.

KNFBReader was first unveiled at the 2014 convention of the National Federation of the Blind in July. Following the convention, AppleVis also recorded a podcast with Gashel to discuss the KNFBReader app.

The full text of the media release from K-NFB Reading Technology and Sensotec is below:

Announcing KNFB Reader for iOS Release Plan

Waltham, MA (August 29, 2014): Responding to worldwide inquiries, K-NFB Reading Technology and Sensotec have announced today that the release of the KNFB Reader iPhone app is being scheduled to coordinate with Apple's upgrade to its new iOS 8 operating system, expected to occur on or about September 10, 2014.

Commenting on this decision, K-NFB's Vice President of Business Development, James Gashel said: "All of us at K-NFB and Sensotec are truly gratified with the worldwide interest expressed in the KNFB Reader iOS app. The app has been built for use with iPhone 5 or above, and running iOS 7 or higher. Our plan to coordinate its release with iOS 8 will best assure that the app works as intended for all users without any interruption or possible need to uninstall and upgrade due to Apple’s newest operating system release.”

The KNFB Reader iOS app was first announced and demonstrated during the 2014 convention of the National Federation of the Blind in the United States. Since that time excitement about the life-changing potential of this app has been building as word of its release has spread around the world. Designed to be fast, accurate, and efficient, the KNFB Reader iPhone app allows anyone to snap a picture of printed text, in several languages, and quickly have the words read aloud. The first release will initially support read aloud in 11 languages, with more to come. The app has been designed to particularly benefit blind, visually impaired, and print disabled users.

Documents can be saved, stored, and shared with others as well. More information about the KNFB Reader for iOS app is available at, with links to video and audio presentations, description of features, and more. Please visit the website for progress announcements as the days tick down to release of both iOS 8 and the KNFB Reader iOS app, and sign up for our email notifications as well.


About K-NFB Reading Technology, Inc.

Located in Waltham, Massachusetts, K–NFB Reading Technology, Inc. is a joint venture between Kurzweil Technologies, founded by Ray Kurzweil, a forty-year innovator and pioneer in assistive technologies and the inventor of the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind; and the National Federation of the Blind, the largest, most influential membership organization of blind people in the United States. The company is known worldwide having launched the world’s first hand-held text to speech reader in 2006 followed in 2008 by release of the world’s first reading technology—the popular knfbReader Mobile software running on a cell phone. The company's latest product, the KNFB Reader iPhone app will be released in late summer 2014 and made available for purchase and download from Apple’s App Stores throughout the world.
About our development partner, Sensotec Located in Jabbeke, Belgium, Sensotec was founded in 1986 as a company active in the development of aids for visually impaired persons, assisting them so that their integration into society is not just a fanciful notion but to actually make it happen at home, at work or in education. Sensotec currently is a leading company for the manufacturing and distribution of assistive technologies for the visually and reading impaired. It’s main products include the Reporter Smart Reading machine, the EuroSoft braille notetaker software, the localized versions of Kurzweil 1000 and Kurzweil 3000 software, Kurzweil 3000 Mobile, WoDy, Daisy apps... and the KNFB Reader App for iOS which is developed in collaboration with K-NFB Reading Technology, Inc."



Submitted by riyu12345 (not verified) on Friday, August 29, 2014

Quite a few people are saying this is stupid but I don't think so If we had an IOS7 release then they'd have to update it to work with ios8 which could take a few weeks. SO would you prefer to get the app now and then have to wait a few weeks for it to update knowing that that might brake the app at the moment because of most people downloading and installing IOS8? Or, would you rather have it on the same day as the release of ios8 that way you would have no waiting time. Do you see what I'm saying?

Submitted by Edward Alonzo on Friday, August 29, 2014

this doesn't make much sense! why say somethings going to come out then push it back. wasn't it already working on IOS7? or were they running a beta of 8?
who knows I along with many others agree that the marketing for this was done rather strangely. Aw well it'll come out when it comes out and if people haven't lost interest over it then I guess they'll be getting it.

I don't agree with Brad's assertion that waiting until IOS 8 is released is the best way to go. If you needed a reader that much and were using it as an essential aid for work, you'd just leave off on updating to IOS 8 until the reader is supported. I understand some of the reasoning, but why even suggest that the program will be out in August then? Classic bate and switch. Yes, the performance might be better, so why even offer august as a release date at all? Seems really quite daft.

Submitted by jrjolley (not verified) on Friday, August 29, 2014

In reply to by Edward Alonzo

This is the risk they will have taken. People don't have the time to follow everyone on twitter for eternity and be told to buy cheap iTunes gift cards constantly. I have certainly unfollower them myself and will not be engaging with the company directly. I will buy the application, but I will not give credit to a company that treats potential customers like idiots.

Submitted by alex wallis on Friday, August 29, 2014

totally agree with your comments james, I think they gave the end of august as a release date because at the time reader was announced we didn't know precisely when ios8 was going to be released, so from a marketing point of view it sounded good to announce the reader for end of august rather than giving some vague release date buy saying it will be out when ios8 is released.
also your not telling me this decision was taken today, yesterday or the day before knfb have been quite dishonest with us and have communicated poorly with us, I wouldn't have minded so much if they had been honest with us from the start.
As for the hole compatibility thing, that's why the ios8 beta program exists so developers can ensure compatibility, that statement told us practically nothing, and I think they are in serious danger of losing the good will of a lot of people first, the high price which I myself don't mind, you get what you pay for, no demo which again I don't mind but I know a lot of people do care about.
Next very poor communication telling us in a lot of media as late as last weekend that the app would be released at the end of august and now suddenly they spring this on us, also, very few apps stop working completely with an ios update, yes very old ones might, and OK the UI might not be nice and pretty and in with the new ios look but modern apps rarely break completely with an IOS update.
To my mind they have just shot themselves in the foot spectacularly, they gave a commitment and should have stuck to it, and if the app would have been broken buy ios8 completely which I doubt they could have issued a warning shortly before release, and releasing now wouldn't have stopped them working on an ios8 update anyway. I do feel knfb have been very dishonest with us. Also, I am quite sure they wouldn't have posted a statement if it hadn't been for tweets from myself, marko z and applevis, I think they were holding out on the announcement as long as they could to try to minimise this kind of reaction.

Submitted by riyu12345 (not verified) on Friday, August 29, 2014

I agree about the august release date thing. It was stupid but for me I didn't follow them on twitter so didn't know much about that.
But I think if IOS eight hadn't have come out they would have released it on august. But that's just what I think and maybe they would have still left it.

Submitted by Snorlax on Friday, August 29, 2014

Sometime it is times like this I don't understand why people are getting in a bunch about. Yes, KNFB mention that a ballpark time would be the end of August. I never heard that time was in stone. I'd imagine in a perfect world without any problems in the beta testing. One could have an idea or a timeframe when it would be out. That was a ballpark time. We don't know what the reasoning was for the release to be a bit longer. I don't think it has anything to do with the new phone or the performance of those new devices.

The KNFBReader has been one of those apps that has been a long time coming. What is 2 more weeks going to hurt? I rather have the developer of any app to make sure they get it right the first time. That is more important to me than I demand it now approach or whine about it just because it didn't make in the ballpark time.

I for one am anxious for it and can't wait.

It's really a question of principle. It would have taken them 10 seconds a couple of weeks back to say that they are waiting until IOS 8. Many of us wouldn't have cared all that much. The fact is they have been messing on twitter telling us to buy these iTunes cards as discount and whatever other nonsense instead of being upfront. That is not really a good approach when the market is as small as it is. KNFB have always been terrible though, I remember when they introduced the mobile reader after me spending 2625 pounds on the original PDA version, then expecting 1000 pounds to be paid as an upgrade. These companies think we are made of money.

I wonder what stunt they might pull next? KNFB reader version 2 will have to be paid for again because IOS 9 has some special camera function? It's just the sort of thing that could happen.

Submitted by J.P. on Saturday, August 30, 2014

I find this situation so CLASSIC! I can wait a couple weeks.
The way this was marketed is a joke. NFB can market to the world when suing Target, protest Amazon. Yet, NFB can't even keep the community they are so devoted to in the loop.

Submitted by Laszlo on Saturday, August 30, 2014

How easy it is to criticize a company--to come up with a thousand ways they could have done something better, for example--with such a little amount of factual information with which to work.

We don't know when the decision was made to release the app at the same time as iOS 8. While assuming the decision had been made weeks ago would certainly help one in their quest to vilify K-NFB, withholding information from potential users would do the company no favors.

In the end, it comes down to this: If you don't like KNFBReader, or how it's been marketed, or anything else...simply do not buy it. Seriously.

Submitted by jrjolley (not verified) on Saturday, August 30, 2014

In reply to by Laszlo

It's typical that we have the "don't buy it" comment, only a matter of time I suppose. Look, the purpose of discussing the situation and voicing our feelings isn't restricted to just loving the product thanks. some of us have some standard of what is acceptable.

Surely you can't be suggesting that they didn't want to release for IOS 8 earlier than today? Get real! What would have happened if people didn't ask, nothing. It would have taken seconds to post something.

I am getting really quite sick of some blind people telling us how we should respect all the companies that do things for us. Companies are only as good as the service and support they offer, sorry you don't like it.

Submitted by Toonhead on Saturday, August 30, 2014

I think that's the reason a lot of us are saying don't buy it. Obviously, a lot of us aren't happy with the way this was marketed and they obviously knew they wouldn't release it til after iOS 8 comes out so why support a company that's dishonest like this? I sure as hell won't be buying it that's for sure.

Submitted by brandon armstrong on Sunday, August 31, 2014

isn't this just typical of them though? tell us somethings coming out in a certain time frame, then bate and switch on us? Frankly, I think that any company even in the blind AT category should be made to adhere to the same rules and business regulations as a business like say apple or Walmart. just because they make solutions that help us, doesn't mean they get to play by a different set of rules and regulations. what if Walmart and other big tech companies played by the same regulations that blind AT did? we'd never get anything for our money.

Submitted by alex wallis on Sunday, August 31, 2014

exactly, I mean you wouldn't catch apple saying for example the new iPhone will launch on x and then saying actually guys we are going to have to delay release till y.
what I find particularly annoying is that the beta program exists to ensure compatibility, so they have had weeks to do testing etc, and the fact they are delaying till the launch of ios8 is a poor excuse for the delay, because lets face it not everyone is going to be updating to ios8 on launch or even maybe for a long while after if there are bugs and issues which they consider show stoppers.
So there are bound to be lots of people on ios7 still, and your not telling me they won't allow the app to run on ios7 devices?

Submitted by Macky on Sunday, August 31, 2014

I think there's a bit of a larger fuss being created here than necessary. Did I purchase a lot of itunes vouchers in preparation for this app's release? Yes. Am I disappointed that the release date has been put back two weeks or so? Of course. Could KNFB have announced the slip earlier? Probably. But in two weeks time when I'm running ios8 and using the app will I care? Not one bit as I know the difference this game changing app will make. So anyone who is considering not getting this app because they think KNFB lied is just being petty and stupid. They have spent a lot of time, money and hard work developing this app and should be applauded for they're efforts. In the grander scheme of things it's an extra fortnight. I predict some people will soon change their minds once it's out and everyone is raving about it. So let's just wait and see what happens. Cheers.

I am really disappointed that we, as blind people, let these companies dictate to us what is acceptable. KNFB reading technology, in any other industry would be taken to task for how they have treated the customers. It's not acceptable, in the UK we call this taking the mick - was going to use another term but i'd have been banned in under 2 minutes. Either way, for those people who say that it makes no difference, we will remember that when you are paying 6000 for a terribly bland note taker and being shafted, while we are using mainstream devices and interacting with the real world not governed by blind tax.

Alex is correct, not everyone will use IOS 8, it may run terrible on 4S devices in any case.

Submitted by Laszlo on Sunday, August 31, 2014

What "rules and regulations" has K-NFB broken, exactly? How is this situation "bate-and-switch" if they haven't charged consumers anything and have simply decided to launch the app alongside iOS 8?

The amount of negativity about this app in general is quite staggering. People complain about the price (And I totally understand not being able to afford the app, and that's a different thing entirely); people complain about the perceived lack of information about a product still under development; and now people complain about the launch being in September instead of August. Where does the cycle of complaining end? It seems like a pretty miserable way to go through life to me.

If the app performs as advertised when it is released, I'll be satisfied. If my $99 pays for an OCR app that does what the company says it will, that will be $99 well spent.

Again, if you don't like KNFBReader, the company, or anything else...please just do not buy it and spare the rest of us from having to read all the complaints.

Submitted by alex wallis on Sunday, August 31, 2014

The point is they made public commitments stating in a lot of places the app would be released at the end of august as late as last weekend. I will buy the app when it is released I just feel that knfb are not treating there customers well buy suddenly changing things at the last minute. Yes I know its a few weeks to wait, but again I don't see the need for this wait because surely the app will run under ios 7 and 8. I am pretty sure we wouldn't have had that statement from them on Friday if it hadn't been for several people asking, yes they haven't broken any rules and it is there right to change things as they see fit but its not a good way of doing business. Its also quite interesting knfb have made no effort to defend themselves, I mean I assume they do or will be keeping an eye on applevis given its prominent roll in apple accessibility. Yes I know they don't have to engage with us, but you would think they would be trying to counter some of the reaction to the delay.

Submitted by J.P. on Sunday, August 31, 2014

To amtk62,
It is not the 2 weeks that are at issue. Companies like Apple are making these companies irrelevant. We are moving away from strictly blind related products. The blind community has found their way through using other ways to do things.
The blind community is no longer forced to spend thousands of dollars for a product to do everyday things.
You now have free screen readers like NVDA, so we don't need JAWS.
So with all that being said, what must KNFB rely on? Simple; Integrity...
That is the issue here, not the extra wait. Treat your audience the way you want to be treated, or your audience walks away.
The blind community has been loyal to them, they can do the same. All that had to be done was 3 weeks ago, we decided to drop the app with iOS 8. That simple! Nothing more had to be said. Yet you wait until the week of the launch. No company runs their business like that. If they do, the CEO should be out of a job.
By doing what they did, they make themselves irrelevant. Not the evolution of technology!

Submitted by Laszlo on Sunday, August 31, 2014

Do you have any evidence to suggest that K-NFB knew about this change three weeks ago? Because, as you say, sitting on the news would not do K-NFB any favors.

A lot of the comments seem to be operating under the assumption that this news was deliberately withheld from the public for whatever reason. While this ideology certainly helps one in their quest to vilify K-NFB, it does not make good business or marketing sense--as so many have already said. Is it beyond us to conceive of the possibility that this really was a decision which was just made...for whatever reason?

For the record, I am generally not an advocate of assistive technology (specialized Braille note takers, in particular) where mainstream tech can do the job just as well--and for a lot less cost. However, the feature set of KNFBReader, as demonstrated, seems to take OCR on the iPhone to a whole new level. If I am wrong, and KNFBReader is merely just another OCR app that does not perform, I'll be the first one to eat my words.

Submitted by alex wallis on Sunday, August 31, 2014

Couldn't have put it better myself j.p, integrity I like that word, it describes the situation exactly. and knfb's silence speaks volumes I mean surely they must be aware of the reaction to there announcement. Regarding screen readers, and without wishing to get into a debate that isn't relevant to this entry I think paid and free readers both have there place still, I myself wouldn't switch over to NVDA because of ways I have scene it perform on the internet, but who knows maybe in the future I might switch to it. But Yes I do agree with you over all the days of the AT companies basically having us over a barrel are falling rapidly behind us, especially as the tech that powers quite a lot of the notetakers out there is aging and going out of date or not keeping up with modern advances.

Submitted by alex wallis on Sunday, August 31, 2014

I just sent james gashel an email which I have pasted below, it will be interesting to see if he responds.

Dear James,
I am writing to you in light of the announcement of the delay of the launch of KNFB reader on Friday,
are you aware that your announcement has annoyed and puzzled quite a few people, myself included as the statement didn't really explain why the delay given that you could release reader now and continue to work on an IOS8 update behind the scenes, and the hole point of the beta program for ios8 is to ensure compatibility,
you don't see other developers saying they will hold off on the release of updates because of ios8, and I assume reader will work on both ios7 and 8, given that its likely some people won't update to ios8 as soon as it is launched.
Also, ios updates rarely break apps.

I am not sure if you are aware that applevis posted a blog entry on your announcement which has generated considerable negative reaction.
I am wondering have you considered commenting on this as I am sure this reaction can't be doing your reputation any good, and your silence to the reaction also says a lot as well.

I am nothing to do with applevis officially, I am a humble community member writing to you as I think its fair you should be given a chance to respond and maybe explain your reasons more fully or unlikely as this is change your mind.

If you haven't scene the blog post in question please visit…

Submitted by Laszlo on Sunday, August 31, 2014

I honestly do not think there would be anything to be gained by K-NFB coming on here to "defend themselves" against a group of people who, in all likelihood, would not be interested in engaging in a constructive dialog with them anyway. The more I think about it, the more I am glad that K-NFB is not sinking to the level of this nonsense.

Submitted by alex wallis on Sunday, August 31, 2014

Speaking for myself I would be very happy to engage with them constructively, I mean if I wasn't why did I just email them? if all I wanted to do was bash them I didn't need to bother emailing them. I am all for constructive dialogue, and who knows if they can explain themselves more fully those of us who don't like the way this has been handled might come around more to there way of thinking.

Submitted by J.P. on Sunday, August 31, 2014

To amtk62,
It is just a sad situation. I am sure the OCR will be top notch. The PR for this release was bumbled from beginning. The company was the one to give release date by end of August.
While you are right to say we don't know when decision was made, I guarantee it was more than the week of release.
All I'm saying in the age of Social Media, a company's biggest asset is brand and reputation. With this app rollout, they greatly hurt that reputation.
I agree that they don't need to respond now. The time was when they announced delay. The damage is already done.
The person in charge of PR should be demoted to shoe shiner!

Submitted by brandon armstrong on Sunday, August 31, 2014

as I've stated before, blind AT shouldn't get a pass just because it's specialized. any company including blind AT companies should have to operate by the same set of rules, standards, and regulations as a company like apple or Walmart in the united states. if your going to commit to a release date, then stick with it, or don't give one at all. am I being negative? no, all I am saying is if you are a business like KNFB then, you need to operate by the same standards as Walmart or google.

Submitted by Laszlo on Sunday, August 31, 2014


I'm still trying to figure out what rules, regulations, and standards K-NFB is violating here.

As I recall, K-NFB never promised the app would be released by the end of August. They said they *hoped* it would be released by late August, but never gave that as a definite date.

The real proof will be in whether the app works as advertised. If it works like the company says it will, will a later-than-originally-expected launch really matter? If the company delivers a quality product, will it matter that, for whatever reason, they decided to launch in September instead of August?

Submitted by Blind I Am on Sunday, August 31, 2014

I really think that people need to gain some perspective on this.

All that’s happened is that KNFB has decided to move back a release date that was never set in stone.

I doubt that we will ever learn the full reasons why, but I suspect that it’s probably more to do with some bugs still needing to be fixed than any need or desire to coincide the release with iOS 8. If true, I would much prefer to have a stable release in a few weeks time than a buggy one now. Sadly, it seems that I am in a minority.

Submitted by Blind I Am on Sunday, August 31, 2014

What we have here, is an illustration of precisely why software developers will rarely ever state an anticipated release date for new software … if asked, the usual answer is that it will be ready when it’s ready.

I’m also not aware of any rules which require developers to release an app on a date that was only ever mentioned as when they were hoping to have it ready. Did I miss the memo for that new rule?

Submitted by brandon armstrong on Sunday, August 31, 2014

ok, let's break this down a second. your a business like Walmart. you say something like we'll get in a piece of hardware or software next week, or perhaps the end of the month. well, the end of the month rolls round and no software or hardware as promised by said business. I ask you, if you were a person who needed that piece of software for your business, and you were told by a company like Walmart we'll have that in by the end of the month, and then roll it back at the last possible minute, would you be very happy? I wouldn't be happy if this were the case. My point here is why should we let blind AT just because it is specialized get away with not playing by the same rules as regular businesses? I'm sorry, but some may not agree with me on this point, but this is just my personal thought, blind AT shouldn't be allowed to play by a different set of rules and regulations.

Submitted by Soupy on Sunday, August 31, 2014

In an ideal world, do people think that KNFB would prefer to have released the app already or still be waiting to release it? If we assume that they are sane, so would like to have the app in the App Store paying back their $1million investment, should we also assume that there are likely to be very good reasons why this is not the case? Whatever those reasons are, I’m very sure that spiting blind people is not at the top of the list …

Submitted by riyu12345 (not verified) on Sunday, August 31, 2014

I asked knfb if the App will run on the 4s and got this responce.

Hello Brad:
Thank you for your message. When we first updated our website announcing the KNFB Reader iOS app, we believed that the iPhone 4s was going to be capable of running the KNFB Reader app without issues. After performing more extensive testing, we ran in to hardware limitations that we are not going to be able to resolve by launch date. Due to camera, processor, and memory constraints on the iPhone 4s, we felt the need to remove this device from the supported list until we have more time to optimize our app for these limitations. I know this isn’t what you wanted to hear, however our goal is to provide the best app that we can and to be transparent regarding any changes. If you have additional questions and or require clarification, please let me know.
Have a good weekend.

Best Regards:
Hai Nguyen Ly
Technical Support Specialist - KNFBReading Technology Inc.

So while it's not what those who have a 4s want to hear at the moment, at least the response was quick.
If you could I'd update to the 5s or the 6 when it comes out.


Do any of you have any idea what goes into producing an app, or a game, or a computer program? Why do you expect the KNFB reader to come out on the "expected", notice the quotation marks?, date? What will waiting for a while longer hurt? Why must you have it now, now, now? Did they say that it will be released on a certain date, or that it is expected to be released? If they gave an estimated date, you're whining over nothing. If it was promised, absolutely, on a specific date, and that deadline is not met, what do you expect as compensation? The waiting of releasing to coincide with IOS 8 makes sense, because IOS 8 will be able to better take advantage of what the app offers. If you're not going to use IOS 8, then don't worry about it. Just hang onto your britches and quit whining. Or, even better, complain to the app developers. If they don't have a valid excuse, and be sure to use an open mind when reading their response and reasoning, then you might have a legitimate complaint.

Submitted by Toonhead on Monday, September 1, 2014

You guys, seriously...we need to get some perspective on this. I'm certainly not an expert when it comes to developing an app, but I've certainly done my share of beta testing, so I can definitely see what kind of difficulties that are associated with developing one. I don't know exactly what happened behind the scenes, but I, like a couple of others here suspect that the KNFB guys fully intended to release the app sometime in August, but they may have run into some difficulties with the app, which is entirely possible. They never set a release date in stone, so you guys can certainly whine about that, but what good does it really do you? Whining about it here doesn't change the release date, it doesn't make the app come out any sooner, so whining about it is basicly pretty pointless. Also, let me speak to this whole comparison to Walmart and other bigger businesses. You can't compare the 2 because places like Walmart do not develop apps, they aren't in the same game. Walmart is a big box store that sells hundreds of items, and it's aimed at a wide market of everyone from your baby brother, all the way on up to grandma an grandpa. KNFB and other app developers are in a completely different business, these guys are here to develop an app that is aimed to a very specific audience. It's targeted at a very, very nitch market, like it or not, and sell it for money, which blind people will plunk down 99 bucks for. Yes they could've handled it better, and yes I think offering a demo or a free version that has some limits would've been the best way to go. However, these guys have their reasons. So either buy it and enjoy it, or don't, and let those who enjoy it do that. Whining will basicly make you feel good for a few minutes but in the end it doesn't really change anything. You wanna show these guys how you feel? If you don't like the way they do stuff, again I say don't buy it!

I specifically asked them if the 4S was to be supported on twitter, no response. Look, this company has no clue about relations. The 4S is obviously an old phone but still in use by many. All this talk about us just being whiners doesn't help either, we are consumers and have rights to take these companies to task for being stupid. As to the person who asked what rules they violated, the rule of good will and putting the customer first might be a couple fr you to think about.

Finally, to everyone saying that they never set a release date, the website said by the end of august. Not, hopefully! by the end of august so legally they are at fault for lying to consumers. This company would give our Which? magazine in the UK a run for it's money, so many things they have got wrong with marketing and customer relations - you could write a book on them.

Submitted by Laszlo on Monday, September 1, 2014


It's sad that you insist on finding hidden motives, illegal activity, and who-knows-what-else in everything K-NFB does.

Is it seriously illegal (in a court of law, vs. your own world) for a company to state a release date for a product, then decide to change that date?

What it comes down to is this: enough entitled whining already. No wonder K-NFB isn't engaging with us; if I were part of their social media team, I'd have very little motivation to engage with a community increasingly known for its one-sided, lack-of-perspective whining.

Submitted by Clare Page on Monday, September 1, 2014

Hi! I agree that it's unfortunate that many people who want to get the KNFB Reader IOS app were misled by being told that the app would be released by the end of August before that date being changed to coincide with the release of IOS 8, but, in spite of their huge marketing mistakes in handling this, KNFB probably has some good reasons for delaying the release of the app, for example ironing out bugs or merely feeling that the app will work much better with IOS 8 so they prefer to wait until that new version of IOS is released. Admittedly, they say KNFB Reader will work with IOS 7, but it's probably been designed more specifically for IOS 8 so perhaps it will work better with that. Speaking for myself, I am unlikely to buy the KNFB Reader app in the near future, partly because I am an iPhone 4S owner and the app is not compatible with that model, partly because, even if I upgrade to the iPhone 6 in the next few months, I want to be sure of how well the app performs before I make up my mind whether to spend the equivalent of $99 in euros in the French app store before I get the app, assuming it will be released in the French app store anyway, which I don't yet know. However, for those who'd like this app soon, have an iPhone new enough to use it on, and can afford the app immediately after its release, such people don't have to wait much longer, as Apple is announcing IOS 8 this month and we already know that the KNFB Reader app will be released around that time, so there really isn't much point in complaining about an app arriving two or three weeks later than expected, even if dislike of being told different dates at different times is understandable. I hope that all of you who do want to get the KNFB Reader app enjoy it, and that it proves to be as good as the one demo I have heard of it has made it seem.

Submitted by Toonhead on Monday, September 1, 2014

The one point I will agree with James on is that it was wrong of the KNFB guys to say that it would be released by the end of August. Rule number 1 with app development is to never, ever set a tentative release date, even if you think it might be later. The best way to handle it is to tell them you don't like their business practices, and don't support them by buying the app. It is just that simple.

Submitted by J.P. on Monday, September 1, 2014

Hey Toonhead,
They made 2 big mistakes. They should have never pinpointed timeline. They should have left with late summer, early Fall.
The biggest mistake was telling people to buy discounted iTunes vouchers, because app is on the way. Yes, only delayed 2 weeks. Yet, I can't help but wonder how many did that. Finding themselves hurting for that money now.
In my opinion, KNFB should have left that part for people to figure out for themselves. As for legality, I don't see anything illegal. They just tarnished image with very poor communication.

Submitted by jrjolley (not verified) on Monday, September 1, 2014

In reply to by J.P.

Look, this app will probably be best in class at what it is supposed to do. Telling us to shut up, take it, roll over and not to buy it isn't helpful either, you just come over as apologists. Blindies are good at this though, rolling over and taking this from AT companies. Talking down to those of us who are actually concerned about how business is conducted in our community is very disrespectful to our point of view. I will be buying the program because of a lack of success with the other scanning apps. I do wonder what comes next though, if a company can do this twice then it can do it again. I am curious to find out if Alex gets a response from Jim, you can bet it will be all about how good the app is without any regard for the ill will they have generated. You forget folks, they won't release a demo because it'll work first time for people. Funny attitude but expected. Let us see what happens, I bet it'll be delayed again, just watch.

Submitted by Laszlo on Monday, September 1, 2014

What you consider "rolling over and taking this," I consider being reasonable.

My hat is off to K-NFB for staying away from the nonsense on this forum. While the antagonists may wish to engage K-NFB in a debate that simply cannot be won, I think K-NFB's strategy of remaining silent (and thereby not engaging in the one-sided, vitriolic bully tactics that characterize these types of discussions) is to be respected. What I see is a company who is secure enough in their product not to feel the need to respond to people who, no matter what the evidence, simply choose not to examine the situation from anything less than the most synical perspective imaginable.

I think it's time for myself, and everyone else who wishes to be reasonable about this situation, to take a leaf out of K-NFB's book and ignore those with whom it is simply impossible to reason.

Submitted by alex wallis on Monday, September 1, 2014

Well I have just had the below from James Gashel, I suppose I can see his position knfb were caught between a rock and a hard place.
It goes to show its definitely worth contacting him, I hope people find the below of interest.

Thanks Alex -- While I appreciate your suggestion that I should respond to
blog posts on applevis, I am concerned that doing so would lead to more and
more exchanges and responses, which diverts from our work on the app.
Nonetheless, since you took the time to write me directly, I am responding
to you as well.

Not sure if you are aware, but, as a developer, Apple does not give us
access to the final production of an iOS upgrade until only a few days
before the launch. Although you say that app developers go ahead and
release their apps even though a new iOS is coming, this is not so much the
case only days before a new iOS is released. However, most app developers
just don't make a public announcement of their plans, so you really don't
know if they could have released their app(s) before the new iOS comes out.

In our case we felt we should make a public statement since we had
previously announced August 31 as our expected release date. In retrospect,
perhaps we should have been more like Apple and not told anyone a date until
we needed to do so at more or less the last moment, so to speak. When we
announced August 31 as our expected release date, we were assuming the rumor
to be true that the new iOS would not be coming out until some time later in
the fall, and we felt we would be ready well before that time. However,
when we learned last week that the new iOS would probably come out around
September 9/10, we decided that the only responsible thing to do would be to
launch at approximately the same time.

Obviously we knew that there would be a certain number of people who would
express dissatisfaction when we announced that we would coordinate release
of the KNFB Reader with Apple's upgrade to iOS 8. But past experience tells
us that this is the best approach.

Consider this possibility, which is quite likely: Someone buys the KNFB
Reader app on September 1, running iOS 7, and everything is working fine.
Then on September 10 the same user upgrades to iOS 8, launches the KNFB
Reader, and experiences crashes and/or other difficulties in using the app.
At that point it is not possible to go back to iOS 7, so the person is stuck
with an app they can't use, and we are getting a black eye as a result. Now
multiply the above situation by a thousand or more similar people, and
imagine the tech support nightmare we would have, not to mention the
legitimate complaints there would be posted on applevis and other sites.

Actually, I can hear it now: "You know iOS 8 was coming so why would you put
out an app that doesn't work?"

Obviously we want to have lots of satisfied users, and we want to do our
best not to disappoint. Most people who have responded to our announcement
understand and appreciate this and realize we made the best decision we
could make. If Apple had given the world more notice of its plans, then we
could have also done a better job of timing the release of the KNFB Reader
app, but that was not the case. We live in the world as it is, and not
always as we would like it to be.

So, my advice to those who take issue with our decision is, "Please relax.
We all have the same goal. Why would we want to hold up a release one day
longer than we need too? Please try to show some patience and civility, not
to mention understanding."


James Gashel

Submitted by jrjolley (not verified) on Monday, September 1, 2014

In reply to by Laszlo

I will sit back while you get shafted by these companies, happily laughing at you, simple. The world isn't roses and whine all of the time, sorry you want that but we're not in disneyland

Submitted by jrjolley (not verified) on Monday, September 1, 2014

I read your message, still typically them as a company but they did at least write back. I note that when I wrote to them and offered my resources as a previous tester for the PDA based reader, he didn't even recall me, funny that but again typical

Submitted by AppleVis on Monday, September 1, 2014

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

We’ve decided to close this thread, as it has now reached a point where it appears nothing positive or productive is likely to come from leaving it open for further comments.

This is not something that we enjoy doing, but we enjoy even less having this type of discission on AppleVis.