I am ‘officially blind’ and have, for some time, been interested in finding a crossword puzzle app for iOS that was accessible using VoiceOver. By chance, after acquiring a crossword app for my wife, to replace one that was no longer supported and did not run on iOS 9, I came across Crosswords by Stand alone Inc. (SAI).
When we first downloaded it I realized it had some VoiceOver capabilities. I wrote to SAI with some comments and suggestions. SAI asked me to beta test a new version that they were working on. I had beta tested other apps for VoiceOver compatibility,, including Voice Dream Reader and Writer, by Winston Chen and Launcher by Cromulent Labs byGreg Gardner, so I agreed to test Crosswords.
After two or three months of testing and suggestions from me SAI has made Crosswords a reasonably accessible app using VoiceOver. For the first time for some time I can now complete a crossword puzzle, the most difficult part being the solution to the clues!
I believe SAI still have a number of improvements that they want to make to Crosswords and that they consider it ‘a work in progress’. However, I believe that many low vision people would be interested in giving Crosswords a try in its present form. I also think that it would be good if an organisation like AppleVis could put Crosswords through its paces and see if they can suggest any improvements to make it more accessible. As I mentioned earlier I have a significant degree of low vision but it would be good if other people with low vision give it a try. It may not yet be suitable for someone who is completely blind but it may b possible for them to use the app with some help from a sighted person.
The Crosswords app can be downloaded free from the Apple iTunes App Store and this free version includes some free crosswords puzzles.
The Crosswords app can be downloaded from the App Store at:
There is no Help section in the app but there is a link to Stand Alone’s web site which includes a useful FAQ section. The address for this is: