Welcome to the April 2023 edition of AppleVis Unlimited, your monthly digest of the latest and most notable content on the AppleVis website. This edition features a curated selection of community-submitted updates, including new app entries, updates, news, and podcasts.
New and Noteworthy App Entries
Aiko (iOS/iPadOS, Free)
High-quality on-device transcription. Easily convert speech to text from meetings, lectures, and more.
The transcription is powered by OpenAI’s Whisper running locally on your device. The audio never leaves your device.
Current Version: 1.1.0 (April 24, 2023)
Blind Quest 3 (iOS/iPadOS, US$5.99)
In this sequel to the adventure “The Frost Demon”, you must lead the mercenary Nathan into the world of Aetherna, now free from the icy grasp of Kyllius.
This adventure will see Nathan as a prisoner of the tyrannical Ivy Queen, and once freed he will have to solve the mystery about Ivy Queen’s motives for wanting to establish tyrannical rule and exploit the mercenary’s services to defeat Kyllius.
Current Version: 1.0 (April 1, 2023)
Project Dark (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
Project Dark is a narrative-driven, immersive audio game that draws on the classic “choose your own adventure” genre to create a unique and compelling interactive experience. The game’s impactful choices and its sophisticated binaural audio allow players to become so immersed in the experience that they can play with their eyes closed.
Players will enjoy Project Dark for its rich and vibrant worlds that examine the breadth and depth of darkness. Simple mechanics make this a game that can be played by anyone, and we look forward to seeing where this exploration of darkness takes you!
Current Version: 1.0.8 (March 18, 2023)
Study with Subwords (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
Turn learning into a word puzzle in Study with Subwords!
The idea is simple - you create a study list, like one for countries and their capital or English words and their translation into Spanish. Study with Subwords will split these words into pieces and you have to put them back together. With multiple learning modes, splitting types, and a study plan, Study with Subwords will help you to memorize that knowledge without ever feeling like learning.
- Download dozens of learning lists for free in the Gallery!
- Create a learning plan to stay on track with your goals
- Scan lists via the camera or import them as a CSV from Excel or Google Drive (Plus feature)
- Excellent Accessibility features (VoiceOver Support, dyslexic font, large type support, custom color schemes, grid layout & custom rotors)
- Multiple Study modes & ways to split the terms
- Widget, iCloud Sync & SharedWithYou
- Created by an Apple Design Award-nominated indie developer
Current Version: 1.0.6 (April 28, 2023)
All recent app entries posted to AppleVis can be found at:
Notable App Updates
BARD Mobile (iOS/iPadOS, Free)
CARRY A LIBRARY IN YOUR POCKET
Access tens of thousands of books—from current best sellers to much-loved classics, popular magazines, and music instruction and scores—in audio and electronic braille, with new selections added daily.
Current Version: 2.2 (April 11, 2023)
Changes in Version 2.2
- Search Music collections
- Search Spanish and other language books
- Access to expand and read the full book annotation
- Bug fixes
Bookshare Reader (iOS/iPadOS, Free)
Get the official Bookshare Reader app. Access millions of ebooks from Bookshare, the world’s largest library of ebooks for people with reading barriers like dyslexia, blindness, low vision, and physical disabilities. Listen to books in high quality audio and customize your reading experience in ways that work for you. Read bestsellers, new releases, textbooks and educational books, children’s books, young adult, mysteries, biographies, and more.
Current Version: 1.5.0 (April 20, 2023)
Changes in Version 1.5.0
- Improved layout on tablets
- Goto page feature for supported books in table of contents
- Improved search, search for title, author, or ISBN
Mastodon for iPhone and iPad (iOS/iPadOS, Free)
Mastodon is the largest decentralized social network on the internet. Instead of a single website, it’s a network of millions of users in independent communities that can all interact with one another, seamlessly. No matter what you’re into, you can meet passionate people posting about it on Mastodon!
Join a community and create your profile. Find and and follow fascinating folks and read their posts in an ad-free, chronological timeline. Express yourself with custom emoji, images, GIFs, videos, and audio in 500-character posts. Reply to threads and reblog posts from anyone to share great stuff. Find new accounts to follow and trending hashtags to expand your network.
Mastodon is built with a focus on privacy and safety. Decide whether your posts are shared with your followers, just the people you mention, or the whole world. Content warnings let you hide posts containing sensitive or triggering material until you’re ready to engage with them. Each community has its own guidelines and moderators to keep its members safe, and robust blocking and reporting tools help prevent abuse.
Current Version: 1.5.2 (April 19, 2023)
Changes in Version 1.5.1
- The updated Welcome-Screen makes it simpler to join Mastodon (IOS–134)
- The entire Onboarding looks nicer now (totally the truth!) (IOS–139, IOS–138, IOS–137, IOS–135, IOS–132, IOS–131, IOS–129)
- Oh, and we improved the visual appearance of the app here and there (IOS–113)
- Links to mastodon.social and mastodon.online can be opened in the app now (IOS–123)
- We improved the accessibility of the app (IOS–71, IOS–82, IOS–69, IOS–94, IOS–96, IOS–97, IOS–80)
- We switched the tabs on the notification-screen (GH–969)
- The settings got cleaner (GH–984)
- The crash that happened (sometimes) when you reordered the fields in your profile, was fixes (GH–413)
Seeing Assistant Home (iOS/iPadOS, Free)
Seeing Assistant Home is an application developed by Transition Technologies S.A. in order to support blind and visually impaired people in everyday life. Seeing Assistant Home allows the users to color recognition, detection of the light source and partially visually impaired people to use electronic loupe. Allows the users to scan and generate barcodes and QR codes. Seeing Assistant Home has been developed in close co-operation visually impaired people in order to address their needs as well as possible.
- scan a barcode format EAN–13/UPC-A, Code 128, Code 39 and QR code
- store scanned barcodes with dedicated description (label) in private database
- generate both QR codes and ordinary barcodes (EAN–13)
- recognition of colors
- detection the light source
- electronic loupe
- Dropbox integration
and fully operational by voice commands!
Current Version: 3.0.1 (April 28, 2023)
Changes in Version 3.0
- the ability to display inside the SAHome application content referenced by http/s addresses stored in static and dynamic QR codes;
- the ability to instantly activate QR code quick scan mode with a side-to-side smartphone rocking gesture;
- manual and automatic zoom in code scanning;
- manual zoom in text detection function;
- the ability to simultaneously recognize bar: EAN and QR codes when using the “detect text” function;
- a new feature - “document scanning” - available from iOS 16;
- a new button containing a more detailed “Description of recent changes” - is located on the “more” screen.
- other minor changes
- bug fixes
Timecrest (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
In Timecrest, where epic fantasy meets interactive fiction, author Lisa J. Skye introduces you to Ash Elden, where together you both must scramble to solve the puzzle of who unfroze the meteors to destroy Ash’s world of Alyncia. You discover that you have access to a forbidden magic–the ability to turn back time.
Every choice you make matters and will change the outcome of this massive 500,000-word interactive story, leading to one of multiple endings. Immerse yourself within the emotional soundtrack and explore the non-linear maps.
With your new incredible powers, who will you choose to live and let die?
Current Version: 3.5.1 (April 28, 2023)
Changes in Version 3.5.0
Time has four specific rules. This update to Timecrest breaks the third rule.
We’ve rewritten Timecrest 1: Fated Connections entirely to bring it up to the level of adventure, mystery, and emotion that it has always deserved. With this update, we deepened the story and characters to the level of what we always imagined and wished they could be. There will also be some new Easter eggs since it’s the season. Lastly, we kept the structure the same so it will not affect the comprehension of future story for those that have completed their journey.
But for those who choose to take the journey again, a familiar, yet fresh new adventure awaits you.
This update adds around 120,000 new words. This brings Timecrest up to a whopping total of over 640,000 words. Timecrest 2: The Door also gets a fresh coat of paint as we’ve adjusted many scenes to match. This is also our biggest app update ever with over 50 new features and bug fixes, as well as adding animations and accessibility improvements for all to enjoy.
The full list of changes is too long for including here, so these are just some highlights:
VoiceOver changes and fixes:
- The Messages UI will now no longer scroll under the header and footer. It was confusing when the VoiceOver cursor could move under those UI elements.
- Made references to Red Message and Blue Message more consistent across the game.
- Improved accessibility labels for the last responded option.
- Fixed bug where sometimes a blank line would be autocaptioned as “outdoors.”
- Completely reworked “Music Follows Cursor” to be smoother and less buggy.
- Added descriptive labels to header images.
- Fixed a bug where the year would not display in the Memory Oracle.
- Removed the announcement on how much gold you have when gold changes, as it intrusive. Added text stating your remaining gold when performing actions.
- Collecting from Morty now automatically closes the screen.
- Changed “Suppress Ellipses” feature. Instead of replacing ellipses with dots, now it adds commas to simulate the character pause.
- Updated outdated text in descriptive help.
- Fixed a bug where ALRA Machines would not update after purchase/vend.
- Fixed a bug where highlighting the busy timer with the VoiceOver cursor right at zero seconds will announce the wrong timer.
- Fixed a bug where responses would sometimes say “dimmed.”
- Fixed a bug where purchasing one-time welcome pack would not update the accessibility label.
Recent News and Views
- Apple Releases iOS 16.4.1, iPadOS 16.4.1, and MacOS Ventura 13.3.1 With Emoji, Siri, and Auto Unlock Bug Fixes
- HomePod Can Now Recognize Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms and Send Notifications to Your iPhone Or iPad
This Month in Podcasts
AppleVis Unleashed April 2023: A Little Bank
In this month’s edition of AppleVis Unleashed, Thomas Domville and Mike Malarsie discuss recent Apple news and other topics of interest. Topics featured in this episode include:
- Here Comes the WWDC 2023
- The Musical Chairs Continues for the iPhone 15 Rumors
- Apple Turns on HomePod’s Smoke Alarm Recognition
- Move Over! There is a New Bank in Town
- Subscription Fatigue
- Upcoming Apple Watch OS Getting a Big Interface Changes
- What’s in this month AppleVis News
AppleVis Extra #93: Be My Eyes’ Revolutionary Virtual Volunteer, Featuring Hans Wiberg and Mike Buckley
Welcome to a special episode of AppleVis Extra, where host Dave Nason is joined by Hans Wiberg, founder of Be My Eyes, and the new CEO of Be My Eyes, Mike Buckley, to discuss the recent announcement of Be My Eyes’ new Virtual Volunteer feature powered by OpenAI’s GPT–4 model.
Introducing the Futuristic World of Purple Friday: A Mobile Audio Game Adventure
In this episode of our podcast, we’re joined by Melissa Roe, who introduces us to the exciting world of Purple Friday, an immersive mobile audio game adventure in which you time travel to the futuristic 80s. Melissa guides us through the game, which features cutting-edge binaural audio technology, professional voice actors, and over 700 sound assets. As we explore the game’s rich and detailed environments, Melissa shows us how players use simple swipe gestures to uncover hidden clues and objects and interact with the game’s cast of characters.
AppleVis Extra #92: Bridging the Accessibility Gap with Chris Kolbu
In this episode of the AppleVis Extra podcast, host Thomas Domville is joined by Chris Kolbu, one of the team members at Itty Bitty Apps, the creators of Reveal, a powerful set of tools for professional iOS developers. Chris shares insights into how Reveal’s advanced visualizations can be used to inspect apps at runtime, modify views on the fly, debug layout problems, diagnose common accessibility issues, and experience your app across different modes of accessibility. He also talks about how he recently used Reveal to resolve accessibility issues with the Ice Cubes Mastodon app. Thomas and Chris then delve into tips for how end users can best report accessibility issues to app developers. They highlight the importance of providing detailed information and being respectful in your communication with the developer.
AppleVis Extra #91: A Conversation With One of the Creators of OKO - AI Copilot for the Blind
In this episode of AppleVis Extra, Thomas Domville chats with Willem Van de Mierop, one of the creators behind the innovative iOS app called OKO - AI copilot for the blind. OKO is a smart camera app that uses artificial intelligence to provide real-time feedback to help people with visual impairments safely use pedestrian traffic lights at intersection by providing haptic and audio feedback to inform users of the current state of the light. Tune in to hear Willem discuss the development process and vision behind OKO, as well as the impact it’s had on the visually impaired community.
How to Schedule an Email to Send Later on macOS
In this episode, Tyler demonstrates how to schedule an email to send later using the Mail app in macOS.
Have you ever needed to send an email but didn’t want to interrupt someone’s work or personal time? With the Send Later feature, you can schedule emails to be sent at a specific date and time, making sure your message arrives at the most appropriate moment.
Podcasts by Thomas Domville
- How to Schedule an Email to Send Later on iOS
- How to Set Up Vibrate-Only Alarms and Timers on Your iOS Device
Hot AppleVis Content
Here are some of the most talked-about posts from the past month:
- The redemption story: The journey from iOS, to Android, and back again
- Text editing on the Mac is a total disaster. Discuss
- Reviving Microsoft Soundscape
- Voice Dream Reader for iOS is now $59.99/year
- Apps, subscriptions and sustainability - facts and myths
- Remote Incident Manager for Mac OS officially enters Public Beta
- I wrote a weather app and would appreciate feedback on my accessibility support
- I am building a journaling app with Accessibility in mind
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Wishing you good health and happiness.
The AppleVis Editorial Team