Welcome to the February 2022 edition of AppleVis Unlimited, our monthly newsletter which highlights what’s new and noteworthy on the AppleVis website. Below, you’ll find a selection of content posted to AppleVis by members of the community - from new app entries, to app updates, to the latest news and podcasts. For easier navigation, the major sections of this post are at heading level 3, and each individual item is at heading level 4.
New and Noteworthy App Entries
Caset: Next-Gen Mixtapes (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
A new app that reinvents mixtapes for the iPhone era. Make stunning mixtapes, collaborate with friends, and enjoy music together in an all-new way.
- Create Mixtapes Together - Make, share and enjoy mixtapes with your friends and family from anywhere in the world.
- Collaborate with friends - When new music is added they appear instantly for everyone, so you won’t miss even a second of fun.
- Add Reactions - We have five reactions: Love, Lit, Dislike, On Repeat, and Throwback to express how you feel about tracks added by friends.
- Get Notifications - Get alerts when friends join your mixtape and when new tracks and reactions are added.
- Apple Music Integration - Add favorites from your music library or by searching from the entire Apple Music catalog. Enjoying listening to mixtapes right within Caset as an Apple Music subscriber.
- Mixtape Gallery - Browse the gallery with curated templates and create stunning mixtapes in no time.
- Create Personalized Covers - Personalize mixtape with custom cover art. Add your own picture or design new covers with our powerful editor (requires Caset Pro).
- Enjoy Peace of Mind - Caset is designed to collect minimal amount of data about you. Your information is protected, only accessible by your friends and family, and is not shared with third-party advertisers or data brokers. So you can enjoy the music with peace of mind.
- Use Accessibility Features - Caset is built to support accessibility features like VoiceOver and Dynamic Type. So you can truly enjoy your mixtapes with everyone.
- Other Features - Add music videos. AirDrop Mixtapes. Play music directly from notifications.
Making your own mixtape and sharing them with friends is free. Creating mixtapes using templates may require Caset Pro, a subscription plan for music lovers looking to further elevate their mixtapes with custom cover art and other perks.
Current Version: 1.0.6 (February 15, 2022)
Cmd C - An Idle Game (iOS/iPadOS, Free)
Cmd C is an idle clicker game based around programming.
The game is based on collecting as many lines as you can. Once you have enough you can begin buying upgrades at which point the game becomes an idle simulation with prestige and offline support.
The idle game is broken up into chapters. Each chapter progresses the story with different incremental game mechanics.
Current Version: 0.4.4 (February 14, 2022)
Google Fit: Activity Tracker (iOS/iPadOS, Free)
Get to a healthier and more active life with Google Fit!
It’s hard to know how much or what kind of activity you need to stay healthy. That’s why Google Fit collaborated with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Heart Association (AHA) to bring you Heart Points, an activity goal that can help improve your health.
Activities that get your heart pumping harder have tremendous health benefits for your heart and mind. You’ll earn one Heart Point for each minute of moderate activity like picking up the pace when walking your dog, and double points for more intense activities like running. It takes just 30-minutes of brisk walking five days a week to reach the AHA and WHO’s recommended amount of physical activity shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, improve sleep, and increase overall mental wellbeing.
Google Fit will also help you:
- Get insights and see stats such as heart rate, speed, pace, route, and more for your runs, walks, and bike rides.
- See your daily progress on your Heart Points and steps. Meeting your goals all the time? Easily adjust your goals to keep challenging yourself to achieve a healthy heart and mind.
- All physical activity can help you lead a healthier life, and with Google Fit you can track it all in one place. Working with your favorite fitness apps and devices, Google Fit builds a journal of your activity. And to make sure Fit never misses a workout, you can manually add any activity your other apps didn’t track - from Aerobics to Zumba!
- Google Fit can show you info from many of your favorite apps and devices that are compatible with Apple Health to give you a holistic view of your health, so you’ll never lose track of your progress. These include Lifesum, Runkeeper, Strava, MyFitnessPal, Headspace, and more.
- See a snapshot of your activity history across Google Fit and your integrated apps in your journal. Or, see the full picture in browse, where you can find all of your health and wellness data.
Current Version: 1.64 (February 21, 2022)
HidrateSpark Smart Bottle (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
HidrateSpark is an easy to use smart water bottle that keeps track of how much water you drink, lights up and glows to remind you to drink more water, and syncs to this app via Bluetooth so you can see your progress.
- GLOWS: HidrateSpark will light up and glow when you need to drink more water.
- MEASURES: HidrateSpark automatically measures how much water you drink, and sends it to your iOS device via Bluetooth.
- RECOMMENDS: This app calculates a recommended hydration goal based on your personal parameters: age, height, weight and sex. It can even use your physical activity and local weather to adjust the goal specifically for you every day.
- INTEGRATES: Your activity level affects how much water you need to drink. Connect to Apple Health, Fitbit, Under Armour Record, or Withings HealthMate to use your activity level to automatically adjust your goal. You can also save your hydration records to Apple Health or Fitbit.
- HISTORY: See your hydration progress over time in a daily and monthly view. How many days in a row can you reach your goal?
- FRIENDS: Keep an eye on your friends’ progress to make sure they are staying hydrated. Start some friendly competition to see who can meet their goal the most days in a row.
- FUN REMINDERS: This app will send notifications when you begin to fall behind and need to drink more water. The HidrateSpark smart water bottle will also light up and glow to remind you to stay hydrated.
- NEVER LOSE IT: Losing your water bottle is no fun, so we made it harder for this to happen. When location services are turned on, this app will record the last place it was connected to your HidrateSpark smart water bottle, and show you a map so you can go back and get it.
Current Version: 2.7.1 (February 14, 2022)
Keybuild (iOS/iPadOS, US$3.99)
Build your own keyboard!
Touchscreen keyboards don’t need to be one-size-fits-all, so let’s change that! With Keybuild, you choose the layout, the keys, everything.
Keys can be set up to type whatever you want! Letters, greek letters (ɑ, β, ɣ), maths symbols (π, ∫, ∑), arrows (↑→↓←), or even your favourite emoji can be added and organised depending on your needs.
Create multiple ‘panes’, each containing keys arranged using a stack-based layout, and switch between them with either an automatic menu, or direct links.
Add a small number row to your Qwerty keyboard, or have a try using Azerty or Colemak layouts. Build a keyboard that can keep up with your maths-heavy university course, or specialist profession. Or just make a dashboard for your favourite emoji. Or do all that and more, it’s up to you!
Current Version: 1.6.1 (February 18, 2022)
Nanogram - Watch Messenger (watchOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
A Telegram app that works without your phone!
Send, receive, and see all your messages right from your wrist - even when you don’t have your phone around.
Nanogram also supports the FlickType Swipe Keyboard for faster & more private replies on the go.
Stay connected to your friends & family on Telegram while experiencing true phone-less freedom - with just your Apple Watch!
Current Version: 1.5 (September 9, 2021)
Nocked (iOS/iPadOS, US$4.99)
The peasants of Nottingham bow under the weight of Prince John’s taxes; nobles fall to the Sheriff’s political machinations; deserters from the Crusades pillage the land; and fairies lure the unwary into the depths of mist-shrouded Sherwood Forest, never to be seen again. Step into the chaos of a magical England at the end of the Third Crusade. Maid Marian hides breathless amidst the brambles after the sack of her father’s castle; Little John charges a bodyweight in gold to cross a lonely log; and Will Scarlet holds court in a brokedown tower surrounded by trees as tall as the sky, waiting for a king who will never come. The time is ripe, a spark is lit – from the ashes of your home, from the shadow of anonymity, step into legend. You are Robin Hood.
Nocked! is a lushly-illustrated, text-driven role-playing game playable for minutes or hours at a time. Define the deeds and identity of Robin Hood, outlaw of Sherwood Forest; recruit allies, forge alliances, find love; and chart a path between war, negotiation, and dangerous magics. Your choices are remembered and your actions shape the world, but you can’t do it alone.
Story and strategy collide as your reputation spreads and Merry Men join your band: Build and expand a base in the hidden deeps, manage your earnings from raids on tax collectors, and prepare for the coming of the Sheriff of Nottingham. There is no sure and easy path to victory, no one decision that will save your resistance; will you fall beneath the Sheriff’s boot heel, or will you build a movement to last the ages? The choice is yours.
Current Version: 2.0.7 (September 7, 2020)
Spring for Twitter (iOS/iPadOS/mac, US$9.99)
Introducing Spring 2, a new generation of Twitter client for iPhone, iPad and Mac. Features fast performance, truly native design and a highly customizable user interface.
- Pin your frequently visit pages to the tab bar (for example, a Twitter List, search result list or user homepage)
- Drag tabs into the order you prefer
- Rename your tabs
- Change your tab icons (more than a thousand of icons for you to choose)
- Show/hide tab names and button shapes
- Privately set aliases, notes and username colors for other Twitter users
- User Notes list: browse, organize and edit all your notes in one place
- Sync your data across your iPhone, iPad and Mac privately and securely
- Currently support Mute List, User Notes, Reading Positions, Tweet Bookmarks, Drafts and Search History
- Spring does not collect any personal information
- Your account tokens are protected by on-device Keychain
- Your network connection to Twitter is protected by HTTPS
- Links you opened are not shared with Twitter
- GIFs you selected are not shared with Giphy, the GIF content provider
- Universal Purchase: purchase once, and install on your iPhone, iPad and Mac
- Column View takes full advantage of the big screen on iPad and Mac, shows multiple views at once and allows you to navigate between views fluently and efficiently
- Full Screen mode on iPhone let your timeline content fill the entire screen once you start scrolling
- Tweet Actions customization
- Mute List filters out unwanted tweets and users
- Search tweets on the Timeline
- Adjustable text spacing
- Adjustable and adaptive text sizes
- Two layout styles: Tiled and Card
- Option to display Tweet Source on timeline
- Multiple Windows support on iPad and Mac
- On iPad, you can Drag & Drop to open a tweet/user page/webpage/image/video in a secondary window
- Link Preview preloads web pages linked to tweets on your timeline, analyze and extract key information, and gives you a glimpse about the content on a web page before you ever open it
- Customizable Link Preview experience
- Customizable text translation experience
- Automatic video and GIF playback on the Timeline
- Supports changing app icon on iPhone, iPad and Mac
- Turn on/off content scaling on Mac for extra screen estate or sharper text
- Edit button and toolbar on your personal Following page, which allow you to select multiple following people, then Add to Lists or Unfollow at once
- Show reading progress on Timeline
- Optionally place a Compose Tweet button on the bottom tab bar (Settings > Tab Bar > Compose Button) (iPhone and iPad)
- Settings to export or import your custom settings/preferences
- Open in Spring (Action extension): open Twitter links via Spring. Available on Share sheet when you share text and/or links
- Autocomplete for Tweet Composer
Current Version: 2.11.4 (January 11, 2022)
Vinegar - Tube Cleaner (iOS/iPadOS/macOS, US$1.99)
Vinegar is a Safari extension that replaces the YouTube player with a minimal HTML video tag.
It removes ads, restores picture-in-picture, and keeps videos playing in the background.
Current Version: 2.2.5 (February 27, 2022)
See also: Baking Soda - Tube Cleaner
All recent app entries posted to AppleVis can be found at:
Notable App Updates
Envision AI (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
Envision is the fastest, most reliable and award-winning OCR app that speaks out the visual world, helping blind and visually impaired users to lead more independent lives.
Envision is developed for and together with the visually impaired community. The app is simple, gets things done and brings the best assistive experience to blind and low vision users.
Simply use your phone camera to scan any piece of text, your surroundings, objects, people or products and everything will be read out to you thanks to Envision’s smart artificial intelligence (AI) and Optical Character Recognition (OCR).
Current Version: 2.4.0 (February 16, 2022)
Changes in Version 2.4.0
With this update, we introduce the all-new and improved Offline Instant Text!
- It is now more accurate than before.
- We added support for more languages to be read offline such as: Chinese, Japanese, Hindi, Korean, Marathi, Nepali and Sanskrit.
- You now also have the possibility to select a preferred language. This is located above the Instant Text button.
- Improved TTS output for Instant Text with Language Detection turned ‘On’
- Envision Library Update.
- Overall app performance, accessibility, stability, and localization update.
OneStep Reader (iOS/iPadOS, US$99.99)
OneStep Reader 3.0 is a rapid and efficient text recognition app. Its text-to-speech, text-to-Braille, and text highlighting tools make it valuable for blind, low-vision, dyslexic, and others with reading differences.
Use it to import or take a photo of anything containing text. Take a photo and the app reads text out loud or displays it on a connected refreshable Braille display. Read with more ease thanks to the simultaneous highlighting of the sentence and word that is being read on the picture or in the plain text document. The app helps you get a good photo with special alignment tools, including spoken and vibration guidance. Snap multiple pages, such as a book, for later reading.
- Reads image-based PDF and JPEG files, and now tagged PDF and ePub files too!
- Exports OneStep reader files as HTML or TXT files.
- Navigates by line, sentence, word, or character.
- Crop, rotate and edit the pictures you take before performing text recognition.
- View documents in PDF presentation mode with double highlighting while reading.
- View reading order and language-tagged PDF documents.
- Add and remove bookmarks in PDF documents.
- Switch between PDF view and reflowable text view.
- Read documents in the increasingly popular ePub format.
The app also has synchronized text highlighting to help you read along with the spoken text, a benefit for people with dyslexia and other reading difficulties.
Current Version: 3.4 (February 7, 2022)
Changes in Version 3.4
The name for sure. But OneStep Reader, formerly known as KNFB Reader, continues to be your quick, accurate, and efficient access to any printed text through speech or Braille. So a new name, but with the same good functionalities! The transition of the KNFB Reader from the National Federation of the Blind (USA) to Sensotec and the accompanying name change to OneStep Reader (and OneStep Reader Multi) expresses the confidence of the NFB in Sensotec’s ability to provide continued support and upgrades that will benefit existing and future users.
Recent News and Views
Sony LinkBuds Review: The Best Headphones Yet for Full Ambient Awareness Without Compromising on Performance or Features
By David Goodwin | February 22, 2022
For anybody wanting to be able to hear the world around them while listening to music; podcasts; audiobooks; guided navigation or VoiceOver, my likely recommendation over recent years would be either bone-conduction headphones that leave your ears uncovered or headphones with some form of ‘transparency’ mode that uses built-in microphones to process ambient sounds. This changed last week with the launch of Sony’s newest set of fully wireless earbuds, the Sony LinkBuds.
Priced at US$180, the Sony LinkBuds offer a unique solution to enabling full ambient awareness - a 12mm Cheerio/donut-shaped driver that has an actual hole in the middle, allowing sounds to pass straight through to your ear canal.
That may sound like a silly idea or downright weird, but don’t dismiss the LinkBuds too quickly, as there’s lots to like about them. In fact, that unique design, great performance, and some neat features likely make Sony LinkBuds the best headphones yet for blind users wanting to maintain full environmental awareness whilst listening to audio.
- Apple Releases iOS 15.3.1 and iPadOS 15.3.1 With Fix for Bug That Could Cause Braille Displays to Become Unresponsive
- Apple Releases macOS Monterey 12.2.1 and watchOS 8.4.2, With Fix for MacBook Battery Drain Bug and Security Updates
- Apple Releases watchOS 8.4.1
This Month in Podcasts
AppleVis Unleashed February 2022: We Don’t Talk About Bruno
In this month’s edition of AppleVis Unleashed, Thomas Domville, Randy Rusnak, and Mike Malarsie discuss recent Apple news and other topics of interest. Topics featured in this podcast include:
- Apple targeting date near March 8 for iPhone SE, iPad Air spring keynote
- Latest News on Apple iOS
- Apple announces ‘Tap to Pay’, lets users take payments on iPhone
- The Cash Cow Continues to Grow in the Latest Apple’s Quarterly Report
- Apple’s Hardware News for Late 2022
- What’s in this month AppleVis News
How to play the popular Wordle game using VoiceOver on iOS
Wordle is a popular daily word game being enjoyed by millions and shared widely on social media. While not originally accessible, in this podcast, Dave Nason demonstrates how the game is made accessible through a web extension or bookmarklet, and the simple steps to do it.
A Walk-Through of Mindfulness Bell; a Tibetan Singing Bowl for iOS
In this podcast, Ida Grace walks us through Mindfulness Bell, an iOS app that brings a beautiful Tibetan Singing Bowl at a specified interval - or random intervals - throughout the day.
Podcasts by Thomas Domville
Hot AppleVis Content
Here are some of our forum topics which have got people talking in the past month:
- It’s alive!!! KNFB Reader lives! But now as OneStep Reader
- Super Sense, Envision, Voice Dream Scanner, Seeing AI, OneStep Reader (KNFB)
- running windows vm on m1 mac
- does anyone have experience or opinions on the Orcam MyEye?
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We wish you all good health and happiness.
The AppleVis Editorial Team