MBraille or BSI?

Braille on Apple Products

Hello all,
What are others opinions on MBraille vs BSI? I have been thinking of purchasing the full version of MBraille. It looks to have quite a few useful features, like the alias's and dot commands. Can UEB be used with MBraille? One more question. How does MBraille work as a third party keyboard? Right now I don't have a braille display and I am hoping using either MBraille or BSI will help me at least keep in practice somewhat with Braille.

Greg Wocher



Submitted by Thomas Byskov Dalgaard on Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Hi Greg!

You can always [Download MBraille][] from the App store and play with it, so you can see how it fits your needs.

I am not sure that MBraille yet supports UEB. I do not know Ueb myself, since English isn't my native language, but I guess it is comming.

Yes, I love the dot commands that MBraille can do. It actually has replaced many of the tasks I do with my iOS devices, because I easily can type a phonenumber, a text message, send an E-mail etc.

the aliases are quite amazing as well, not only can they be used in MBraille itself, but also inside the MBraille kb

The only thing the kb doesn't allow you to do is to type passwords.

You add the kb by going to settings, general, keyboard and there add the MBraille keyboard. Note to get the most out of it you have to doubletap on the MBraille keyboard, when it has been aded. Then select allow full access.

Then it can load aliases if you decide to purchase the full version, and you can also change settings like contracted braille, speak words, characters etc.

Hope this helps

Best regards Thomas

Submitted by TJT 2001 on Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Both systems have their strengths and weaknesses.

mBraille: It gives you more typing feedback, which could be useful for people who have had less experience with braille, and the aliases are useful. Unfortunately, it cannot enter UEB at this time, and I have always found its translation to be questionnable.

BSI: It can enter UEB extremely accurately. It provides less feedback when typing contracted braille. Personally, I have observed that I need to retype things less because it seems to fit my hands and typing position better. This is the keyboard that I use now full-time. Also, no extra purchases.

Submitted by David Standen on Wednesday, February 10, 2016

I prefer BSI over mBraille. Like a previous poster, I find BSI gives you more room to place your hands whilst broiling. I use BSI on my iPad Mini 2 all the time. I tried mBRaille a couple of times and could not get it to work the way I wanted it to.

Submitted by Ken Downey on Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Is there no way to introduce shortcuts into the BSI? I mean, you can go to the keyboard settings under general and type shortcuts. Do they not work with BSI, or rather, why isn't there a shortcuts screen for BSI? I definitely use it almost exclusively. I do use mBraille for one major task though, and that's text editing. Whenever I write a paper or story or anything like that, I always do it in mBraille. I don't use any other text editor, ever, because mBraille is just that good. I also use it to quickly search the internet. Other than that though, it's BSI all the way. One thing I wish mBraille would let you do is design your own braille translation table. I'm tired of having to remember that to type a plus sign I have to do dot 4, then dot 5, then dots 2-3-5. A plus sign has never looked like that to me, and an equals sign doesn't look similar to me. I've always seen the equals sign as 4-6, 1-3, never 4, 5, 2-3-5-6. If I could design my own table, I'd probably use mBraille a lot more. Of course, I don't know how to write most of these symbols in BSI either, but whenever I need to do so it's a lot easier to figure out what they are. + is simply 4, 3-4-6, pretty much what I thought it should be, for example. Equals is 4, 1-2-3-4-5-6, which is the equals sign in Nemeth with the dot 4 precursor, so no problems. In mBraille though, it's all foreign symbols, and I still can't figure out < and > signs, which I just guessed at in BSI and of course wrote correctly. The only thing it really could use is spell check. HTH!

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Test them and figure out which you like best. Both have their strengths and both have their weaknesses. For responsiveness and text editing, MBraille wins hands down. Also, there is the added bonus of not having to do a roter twist whenever you want to change keyboards. BSI is definitely the easiest to figure out for using symbols as has already been pointed out.

Submitted by Thomas Byskov Dalgaard on Thursday, February 11, 2016


You might be able to find most of the symbols you need in the MBraille help. Here is a link to the paragraph about special symbols for English braille

But I agree on all the comments about both options. Again, I much prefer MBraille over BSI because MBraille has better support for the Danish language and contractions than the bsi has. But I love the fact that we have options and that we can use them as we choose to.

Just a thought: Some of you mention that you have issues writing with MBraille. Try to play with this command in the MBraille app: .set sensitivity 18-50 it defaults to 28. 18 is the most sensitive. I know of users who have changed to 50 and they discovered that they got much better typing skills because of this change. So give it a try, and test different settings. For me the optimal sensitivity is 40 on my iPhone. On my old device the best sensitivity was 50. So it takes some time to find the best setting, but trust me: When you find the best one, it will save you lots of typos. :)

Best regards Thomas

Submitted by Greg Wocher on Thursday, February 11, 2016

Hello all,
I appreciate everyones view on the subject. For right now I am going to stick with BSI because it supports UEB. If MBraille adds support for UEB I will purchase it then. With UEB being the new standard here in the United States I want to stick with it. Also I happen to like UEB.

Greg Wocher

Submitted by Kimbowen on Saturday, June 9, 2018

I was introduced to mBraille through an awesome AppleVis podcast, before BSI came on the scene. I tried BSI for a little bit, but just couldn’t get used to it. One thing I love about mBraille is that I can type on my iPhone like I’m using a Perkins brailler. Also, Unified English Braille is now supported.