RNIB Navigator

iOS and iPadOS

Dear All,
I'd like to begin a discussion regarding the RNIB Navigator app that [an AppleVis user] put on the app part of applevis yesterday. I understand that the RNIB are not making any money from putting their name to it but I cannot understand for the life of me why the British national organisation for blind and partially sighted people would seem to be endorsing an app that charges £2.99 a month to support navigation for people that they claim to support? I am in favour of technology that supports blind and partially sighted people to make their lives better and have purchased apps like Blind Square, Google Maps and Navigon to do this but at a one-off price. However, to have a constant subscription to pay for however long you want or need this app and for statistics in the UK that suggest around 50 percent of blind and partially sighted people are unemployed, I cannot see the sense of it. I'd much rather see the RNIB supporting an app that works for blind and partially sighted people and partly funded by them with a reduced one-off cost that most people can afford and thus giving people the choice of gaining some equality here. Discuss?




Submitted by yorkshire-drew on Tuesday, May 13, 2014

I wasn't the one who first posted about this app. That was Alex Wallace. I agree with Steven about the expense of a monthly subscription. Although I don't use either product I think I'd be more likely to go with Blindsquare because it has a one-off payment.

Submitted by Michael Hansen on Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Full Disclosure: I live in the U.S. However, I am a Seeing Eye GPS (the U.S. equivalent app) user who has also paid for a subscription to the app.

In July of last year, we did an interview with Mike May from Sendero Group. In the podcast, Mike explained that the reason a subscription model was necessary is because the map data provider charges Sendero a recurring fee to use the data.

So, in other words...Sendero is being charged on an ongoing basis for use of the map data, and they are passing some, or all, of that cost on to consumers.

As to why Sendero partnered with the RNIB...I have a feeling they needed funding and resources that Sendero alone did not have. If Sendero could have released their apps without entering into partnerships with other organizations, I have a feeling they would have done so.

It's unfortunate that the costs of Seeing Eye GPS and RNIB Navigator are prohibitive for some users. I honestly wish it weren't so. With that said, I really don't see an issue with Sendero's subscription model if they are being continually charged for use of the map software. What would we have Sendero do--charge users a one-time price and eat the continual map data charges themselves?

Submitted by steven carey on Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Hello Yorkshire and Michael,
First, sorry Yorkshire my mistake, I must have read the comments and translated you into the poster! Now Michael, yes I agree with everything you say and of course I would not even begin to suggest that a business makes a loss, after all I work for a Higher Education institution and run a business unit there and I have to make a surplus! However, by the very nature that all the apps I mention offer either turn-by-turn directions or at leastsome kind of navigation they must have a database of map data to operate from and only charge a one-off cost to use them. So, to avoid the adverse publicity here, why don't they switch to an alternative model that does result in a one-off charge for their app? As a blind person, I get very fed up with organisations that claim to support blind and partially sighted people or offer products for them but make them out of reach due to the costs. Now, I have Audible at £7.99 per month because apart from the RNIB DAISY book library and this does not have all the books I would like to read, I love to read, I have Earl because I cannot read the newspapers I would like to read, I have to pay over the odds to gain access to a lap top because I need Jaws and I've just paid £70 for a talking blood pressure meter and £40 for a set of talking bathroom scales! I'm only making the point here and I am privileged enough to earn enough to pay for these things but I'm aware of those that cannot. How many more things will we be asked to pay over the odds for or a subscription when other non-disabled people have the choice? For example, I could go to Audible and pay £7.99 a month for a subscription as a sighted person or I'll go to my local library and get the book off the shelf for free! I don't have that choice! As far as the RNIB is concerned, I just wonder if they thought about the obvious adverse publicity they are now getting at least on this site and I'm not evern sure they have the money to part fund something like navigator without getting paid out from the proceeds? I think I'll stick with Google Maps, Blind Square, Navigon and Where To?, these work fine for me and they ar e all a small one-off cost!