AppleVis Unlimited: What's New and Noteworthy for February 2017
Welcome to the February 2017 edition of AppleVis Unlimited, our monthly series which aims to highlight what's new and noteworthy on the AppleVis website. Below, you'll find a selection of the best content posted to AppleVis - from new app entries, to app updates, to the latest podcasts. For easier navigation, the major sections of this post are at heading level 3, and each individual item is at heading level 4.
There have been fewer notable and accessible additions to our app directories over the past month than is typical. This isn’t completely surprising with the App Store being so mature. However, there are still new apps coming to the App Store on a regular basis. So, if you download an app that’s accessible and not already in our App Directory, do please take a few minutes to add it for the benefit of others.
New and Noteworthy App Entries
Blind Cricket (iOS, Free)
World's first accessible cricket game for visually impaired!
Ever dreamt of representing your country at the Cricket World Cup? Close your eyes and imagine yourself on the big stage. Your time has come...
Play "The Blind Cricket Game" and find yourself immersed in an audio-rich world. Play on your own or with teammates to make it to the top from school level to international cricket.
Or you could play against each other to see who finishes on top.
Current Version: 1.08 (February 22, 2017)
Blindfold Feud (iOS, Free with In-App Purchases)
Blindfold Feud is a fully accessible trivia game inspired by the TV Game Show "Family Feud".
The game can be played in two ways.
As a trivia picking game, you are given a question and a set of answers, and you must pick the most popular answer. If you are correct, you win points; if you are wrong, it's your opponent's turn.
As a trivia guessing game, you are given a question, and you must type the answer that is popular. You only have to type the beginning of the answer; if it matches one of the answers, you win points; if you are wrong, it's your opponent's turn.
Blindfold Feud comes with coins to play for free, and then you can purchase packs of trivia questions to continue playing.
Current Version: 1.1.1 (February 24, 2017)
Blindie Match (accessible) (iOS, Free)
Accessible Match 3 Game
Swap gems on the board to create lines of 3 or more of the same gem color. Each level needs you to destroy a number of gems of each color. But each swap will cost you one move. When you run out of moves, the game is lost.
This game is accessible for visually impaired users and can be played without using your eyes. All menus and the game screen are navigated using swipes and double taps. Instructions can be found in the main menu. If accessibility doesn't turn on automatically, you can enable the accessibility mode by tapping the screen three times with three fingers.
Current Version: 1.0 (January 31, 2017)
All recent app entries posted to AppleVis can be found at:
Notable App Updates
DIRECTV NOW (iOS, Free to Download; Paid Subscription Required)
Watch 100+ Live TV Channels & 10,000+ On Demand Movies & Shows with DIRECTV NOW!
DIRECTV NOW is your NEW standalone streaming service for Live TV and On Demand entertainment. Enjoy local news, sports, events, and shows as they air. Your favorite TV series and movies can be accessed anywhere, anytime.
Looking for instant access to TV with no annual contract or commitments? You’re one click away from breaking free from old school TV. Simply install the DIRECTV NOW app and join the streaming revolution!
LIVE TV: Stream local TV, sports, news, events and shows you crave on 100+ live channels, including ABC*, NBC†, Discovery Channel, History, Comedy Central, AMC, AE, Food Network, The Weather Channel, HGTV, and so many more. Watch your favorite shows like Modern Family, Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, Blindspot, Chicago Fire, and Law & Order: SVU in real time.
ON DEMAND: Sit back and chill with 10,000+ movies and shows – ready when you are. Watch the latest hit movies like The Revenant, Mad Max: Fury Road, Deadpool, Jurassic World, and The Peanuts Movie.
PREMIUM CHANNELS: Roll out the red carpet with HBO® or Cinemax® at an unbeatable price. Never miss another episode of Game of Thrones, Westworld, or Veep.
WATCH ANYWHERE: DIRECTV NOW streams on your smartphone, tablet, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and popular browsers. Whether home or on the go, simply download DIRECTV NOW and begin watching Live Television and On Demand Movies.
GET TV FREEDOM: Take control of your TV viewing – No contracts, No credit checks, and No equipment to lease. It’s time to fall in love with TV again.
Current Version: 1.0.6 (February 16, 2017)
Changes in Version 1.0.6
For VoiceOver users, Guide channels are now correctly labeled.
Nearby Explorer (iOS, US$79.99)
Nearby Explorer is a full featured GPS app designed for use by people who are blind. Instead of just providing directions, it describes the environment in ways comparable to reading signage or observing road characteristics.
It uses onboard maps, so a data connection is not required, but if you have one, Nearby Explorer supplements the on board map data with crowd collected locations from Foursquare or Google Places. It includes complete maps for the United States and Canada which contain millions of points of interest. The onboard maps are over 4GB in size, so be sure the device you plan to use has enough available space before purchasing.
Nearby Explorer works with any device running iOS version 9 or later, but if the device does not contain its own GPS receiver, like most iPads and iPods, you must use an external GPS receiver. All iPhones contain GPS receivers.
Nearby Explorer works by letting you select from several different location related options about what to announce as you move. These include both typical items like street name and address and specialized options like approaching streets, intersection configurations, and nearby places and the distance and direction to them. (All announcements are optional.) All of this information is shown on the home screen and is available at any time, but typical use is to adjust the level of announcements, then lock the screen and put the device away. This keeps both hands free and let's your preferred voice speak the characteristics of the environment as you move.
You may also use the devices position and orientation to obtain additional targeted details such as pointing the end of the device to scan for businesses, even in a moving vehicle, or tilting it vertically to function as a compass, including a listing of streets in the indicated direction. This all works with the device locked, so one need not fuss with the touch screen while moving. You may even mark a point, then use the position of the device to get haptic feedback about that point's location.
Nearby Explorer includes a transit feature that provides detailed mass transit schedules for over 60 metropolitan areas in the U. S. and Canada. It treats transit stops just like favorites and points of interest by announcing their name and relative position as you move, but in addition, transit stops add next vehicle stop time, direction of travel, and route name to the announcements. You can use the transit schedules to look up times or even follow a route.
You may virtually move to any area in the U.S. or Canada and explore the road network, search, or use the transit maps for that area.
Current Version: 1.04.00 (February 15, 2017)
Changes in Version 1.04.00
- Adds Google as an address provider.
- Adds a search box to the Favorites view.
- Adds the Change Address item to the context menu for a favorite.
- Adds a switch to settings for including numbers in the directions list.
- Condenses the information at the top of the directions list into one cell to make navigation much quicker.
- The radius set on the Home screen is now respected when using the onboard maps as the Search Provider. The maximum radius permitted for the onboard Search Provider is 0.5 miles, however.
- Uses more common names for streets. This effects the street name in the Home screen, approaching streets, and street names given in Guidance and Directions.
- Adds an item to the Street Name context menu to enable reporting of alternate street names.
- The names of the currently active Address and Search providers are now shown in Settings.
- When selecting Virtual Go To, the Virtual Navigation pad is automatically opened.
- Fixes a bug where some intersections were missing when using the Approaching item or the Streets view.
- Corrects a problem where portions of Portland, Oregon were reported as Lake Jeanclia.
ooTunes Radio - Recording and Alarm Clock! (iOS, US$4.99)
INFINITE Tunes, Talk, Sports, and Entertainment Radio!
Experience the pure enjoyment of the music and voices of the world at your fingertips!
Clean, crisp sound from over 38,000 Internet audio streams. Enjoy FM/AM live-broadcast from over 150 countries. Search the list at http://ootunes.com/stations
FREEDOM OF CHOICE: It is yours. Like Reggae? Listen to seven reggae stations in Jamaica. Classical? How about WFMT in Chicago, WGBH in Boston, Minnesota Public Radio, Radio Swiss in Bern or classical stations from Melbourne to Montreal, Strasbourg to Sydney?
Choose by genre (150 of them): Blues to Bollywood, Rap to Ragtime, Salsa to SKA, Talk to Techno. Find by country or cities of the world. Eavesdrop all over the world on local discussions, news and talk: even police calls. Left or right, listen to either side blather! Whether local or pro, catch the big game live, wherever you are.
TOTAL LISTENING PLEASURE: As your favorite songs play, savor full-screen album art*, bookmark for later, or pop over to watch it on YouTube, right in the app! Search and buy it right from iTunes. Automatic recording lets you hear it again and again!
INNOVATIVE RADIO EXPLORATION: Radio RooLette: See what's playing on 100's of stations at once. Tap to listen. It's that easy. A great way to skip commercials, find new stations, or sample a variety of music.
FEATURE RICH: Want to wake up to bedtime music from China? Set an alarm. Fall asleep listening, with a sleep timer. Record what you hear for a trip with no internet access. Find a song you hear on YouTube, all within one app. No other radio app has it all!
INFINITE OPTIONS: College stations, AM/FM stations, Shoutcast, weather, police, fire, aircraft and emergency radio, Live365, or live professional hockey games. Jam to 1000's of live concerts your parents wouldn't let you attend from the Live Music Archive at archive.org.
MULTITASKING: MP3 and AAC+ streams allow you to stream while using other apps, or use the app's own web browser to surf while you listen.
QUANTITY AND QUALITY: Fast searches. Quick connections. Easy navigation using "favorites," "recently played," "most played" or your own "custom categories."
Full VoiceOver support for the visually impaired
Current Version: 4.0.3 (February 19, 2017)
Changes in Version 4.0.3
- On demand recording
- Driving mode
- Trimming existing recordings
- Improved support for iOS 7, 8, 9, and 10
- Bug fixes galore!
Twitter (iOS, Free)
See what’s happening in the world right now. From breaking news and entertainment, sports and politics, to big events and everyday interests. If it’s happening anywhere, it’s happening on Twitter. Get the full story as it unfolds, with all the live commentary.
Be part of what everyone is talking about and get videos, live footage and Moments, direct from the source.
Join in on all the action by sharing what’s happening in your world. On Twitter you can post photos with stickers, GIFs, videos, and even stream live video with the Periscope button. There is no better way to have your voice heard.
Current Version: 6.71.1 (February 4, 2017)
Changes in Version 6.71.1
The Search & Explore tab is now accessible to VoiceOver users.
This Month in Podcasts
Meet the Future of Email with Microsoft Outlook for iOS
Extra! Extra! Get your news with lire Full-text RSS
In this podcast, Thomas Domville revisits lire (Full-text RSS), a paid iOS app that offers a great way to collect all your RSS Feed News into one easy place to read. According to lire's App Store description:
RSS feeds are a great way to follow updates on your favorite websites. However, some sites set up their feeds to only show a portion of each entry to get you to click through to their actual website. We find that annoying, and we're sure you do too.
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 want). It takes your favorite partial feeds, does it's magic, and converts them into full feeds, so you don't have to click/tap on those annoying 'Read more' or 'Continue reading' links.
Be sure to check out the Full-text RSS Reader Shootout: lire vs. Unread vs. Newsify vs. Feeddler Pro 2 blog by Amir
Also, don't miss the inside scoop in the AppleVis Extra 48: What's New in lire 3.0.
AppleVis Extra 49: An Interview with the Developer of Weather Gods
In the latest edition of The AppleVis Extra, Thomas Domville and Lisa Salinger talk with Scott Wilson, developer of Weather Gods. This weather app for iOS takes a unique approach to presenting weather information, and VoiceOver accessibility is a major consideration of the app's design.
A complete list of all podcasts posted to the AppleVis website can be found at www.applevis.com/podcasts
Why isn't the letter soup in this news letter for the month of February? The game is by tyflows accessible software and I posted an app entry on the 8th of last month.
The reason Accessible Letter Soup wasn't included in this month's AppleVis Unlimited is that the app itself isn't new, and there had previously been an entry for it on the site which was removed for some reason. From time to time, AppleVis editors go through the app directory entries and remove all entries with nonfunctional App Store links--as it is presumed that any app with a nonfunctional link is no longer in the store. While it's impossible to be 100% sure, it is likely that Accessible Letter Soup wasn't currently in the store when we did our last clean-up of the App Directory--and so the old entry was probably removed for that reason.
This is a great news letter! I'll be sure to check out all of the great apps. Thanks for all the work you do.