Calling for Beta Testers - Audio Only Apps for the Blind

Forum
iOS & iPadOS

Hi AppleVis ,

My name is Chris Maury, I've been an AppleVis member for about a year now; ever since I found out that I was losing my vision to Stargardt's macular degeneration. Over the last year I've started an accessibility meet up for people with disabilities and people who work on accessibility here in Pittsburgh. I've also started training seniors who are losing their vision on how to take advantage of the accessibility features on Apple Products.

The work I'm most proud of however is an App I've been developing which is designed to be consumed entirely in audio. What Papa Sangre has done with games, we've tried to do for other types of applications. Our first app is an audio-only shopping client for Amazon.com.

The website for our project is sayapps.com

We're ready to start beta testing, and wanted to reach out to the AppleVis community first to see if anyone would be willing to help out.

Interested in getting early access and providing feedback? Send me an email at chris@sayapps.com, and I’ll send you instructions on how to download the free app.

We really appreciate your help.

Thanks, Chris

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Comments

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Friday, March 14, 2014

When you say audio only? I'm a bit confused. I shop on the amazon website and using the amazon apps and it works, but then again I could just be very confused in what you say audio only with amazon. it does sound interesting though.

You can indeed shop on amazon.com and amazon's mobile apps. They even have a website, amazon.com/access which is designed specifically to work with screen readers. However, these apps, and every other accessible app, forces you to navigate an experience that has been designed for sighted users. Sure you can use it, but it is often times a very difficult experience. You have to memorize how to get around, and as soon as they make a change you have to relearn everything (that is if the updates haven't broken accessibility all together). We are designing apps for the blind first, for audio first. This way the experience of the app is much more intuitive for non-sighted users and much easier to learn. It's great that these products are accessible. That companies like Amazon have put so much effort into trying to make products easier to use for the blind. But it's time that we set a higher standard for the quality of the experience that our apps deliver.

Submitted by alex wallis on Friday, March 14, 2014

I get the feeling this app might be targeted at the elderly and people who might not be used to artificial speech, or who just prefer a human voice? but on the other hand I don't see how you can cut artificial speech out as your not going to have a human speak the name of every product on amazon, so yes I am a bit stumped as well what audio only means.

Submitted by Laszlo on Friday, March 14, 2014

On your website, you mention voice search capability. Will your app have robust support for users like myself who prefer to use the device's keyboard for searches and standard touch navigation overall?

Submitted by CMaury on Friday, March 14, 2014

In reply to by Laszlo

The primary way you interact with the app is voice input. The goal to minimize keyboard use as much as possible. We have some gesture support, and will be adding support for more gestures very quickly. The app is still in it's early stages. Very much a beta.

Submitted by Laszlo on Friday, March 14, 2014

With all due respect, I think it would really help your app to succeed better if keyboard support was just as integrated into the app as voice search was. I for one do not like voice search and the like because of the inaccuracies, etc. associated with doing anything on the device by voice alone. I also feel that too often, voice search is seen as being the most accessible option just because it requires the least amount of interaction with the device. While there could certainly be a market for voice search apps for those users wanting this kind of experience (for example, people who desire a less complex interface), I don't feel that voice search is the best way to make your app universally appealing to as many people as possible. There are a lot of advanced iOS users out there, and I feel that a voice search-only app would not be received as well by those wanting a full experience.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Friday, March 14, 2014

In reply to by Laszlo

I agree. I'm an advanced user, but even if I were not, I'd want to practice with th keyboard. Please consider adding key board interaction as well, so you can get a higher number of consumers who might want to get your app.

Submitted by Isaac Hebert (not verified) on Friday, March 14, 2014

I love that the fact that there is a audio shopping app but I would also be able to choose if I want to use voice search or type it in manually.