Welcome to the November 2021 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
Audio Escape Room (iOS/iPadOS, Free)
Try this new and unmissable Escape Game format. This was originally designed to be played in the car, in transport or at home on your smart speakers.
You will discover very unusual and surprising places: an abandoned hospital, a haunted mansion, the Orient Express, a pyramidion, an oasis, a kofun, a fort on stilts, a safe of seeds, a secret base. All located around the world: Asia, Oceania, Africa, Europe, America.
Live the adventures in beautiful graphics and in immersive and even stressful soundscapes.
Resolve the puzzle and discover the real place of the Escape Room.
You have 3 minutes to get out of each Escape Room. You can be helped by a clue in each of the puzzles.
Be careful, each clue will cost you time (30 seconds) and reduce your chances of finishing at the top of the rankings.
You can also ask the answer to the puzzle but this will destroy your chances of finishing the Escape Room on time (it will cost you 1 minute)
Current Version: 1.1.0 (May 17, 2018)
Blind Mahjong (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
Traditional Chinese Mahjong was made accessible to everybody, including those who are blind or visually impaired. One player can play the game offline. Up to four players can play online. It is for all ages, allowing kids and adults to bond through playing together. Enjoy all the improved memorization, concentration, strategic thinking skills, and social skills that this relaxing game can bring you!
- Use of 136 tiles and most widely accepted Chinese Mahjong rules
- Full support to iOS’s screen reader VoiceOver
- High color contrast and large print for players with low vision
- Clean and easy-to-use interface
- Detailed how-to-play instructions
- Ability to play against computer players with basic, proficient, or advanced skills
- Ability to play and chat with friends online (perfect for a group up to four)
- One month free trial before a subscription is required
Current Version: 1.2 (November 25, 2021)
Blue Badge Parking (iOS/iPadOS, Free)
This app uses a database of parking locations by kind permission of Dan Gibson at “BlueBadgeParking.com”. After the initial launch of app, if you don’t have cellular connection it uses the last version saved. When launched, app looks for nearest spaces to your location based on the Search Radius selected in ‘Settings’ (default 3 miles / 4.5kms).
- The circular ‘Zoom’ button toggles between 3 views, Zoom just nearby locations or your location & all nearby locations & if a pin is selected then it zooms right into just that location. The pin flag has a blue ‘i’ & if you touch that a menu appears with Navigation Options.
- In the main ‘Map’ tab, touch the search box at the top & you can enter not only a Town or City but also Post or Zip codes.
- List tab: The list which is sorted so nearest to you or if you used the search box then nearest that location is at the top. Parking locations are within same Search Radius as Map. If your location has changed then ‘pull’ list down ‘to refresh’ distances & locations. If you would like to view a particular location just touch description & ‘Map’ tab opens with that location shown.
- Settings tab: This tab lets you change the search radius, distance units, enable / disable Beep Sounds, Delete ‘Marked’ which has 4 options, Enable Shake feature, Disable Screen Auto Lock, Larger Display changes size of text & some controls, Zoom with Satellite view, display all Favourite in List Tab & Shake in Map Tab which has 3 options. These settings are remembered when the app is closed, ready for next time.
- There are 3 functions that use the ‘Shake’ facility which means when you shake your iDevice firmly, it will trigger one of these
Current Version: 1.0.26 (November 16, 2021)
CrimeHunter 2.0 (macOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
Fight and platform your way through 10 levels of fun, guided gently by a story behind the scenes! Redesigned from the ground up in Python to be cross platform!
- Rewritten from the ground up to be future proof and compatible with Windows Defender.
- Contains 10 multi-part levels of nonstop action.
- Arcade style, with lives!
- unlockables once finishing the game!
- Inventory system.
- Inteligent enemies jump over traps and target the player, as well as each other and other objects on the board.
- Play on both Mac and Windows, with gameplay and options specifically designed for each system.
- Buy endless mode and compete against other players on an online scoreboard!
- Watch a semi inteligent AI play endless mode if registered!
- Create and share custom levels online! Note: Uploading requires a registration key, but playing shared levels does not.
SkySafari 7 Pro (iOS/iPadOS, US$24.99)
SkySafari makes stargazing a simple pleasure. It has the largest database of any astronomy app, includes every solar system object ever discovered, offers unparalleled accuracy, advanced planning and logging tools, flawless telescope control, and provides the very best experience under the stars when you depend on it. Don’t postpone joy. Discover why SkySafari is the #1 recommended astronomy app for serious amateur astronomers since 2009.
Current Version: 7.0.2 (November 27, 2021)
All recent app entries posted to AppleVis can be found at:
Notable App Updates
GoodMaps Explore (iOS/iPadOS, Free)
Accurate indoor* and outdoor† information and navigation for people who are blind or visually impaired.
- On-demand and automatic updates about your immediate surroundings. With your device locked or unlocked, hear customizable location notifications. These notifications are a snapshot of your current location, and include: current direction, nearest room, street, points of interest (POIs), or keep track of one specific POI.
- Customize how often you hear location information on the Configuration page. Set the frequency of notifications for direction, nearest address, nearby POIs, and more. Options include 10 seconds, 30 seconds, 60 seconds, 120 seconds, and never.
- Save any POI and, outdoors, create your own favorited POIs. Select a favorite POI or address to quickly set it as a destination. Don’t worry about losing your favorites; favorited POIs and preferences are automatically saved.
- Accurate indoor routing for independent travel. Follow a route to a destination in mapped indoor venues.
- Direction-based discovery at your fingertips. Discover the POIs in the direction you point the phone. You will hear the POIs in order of proximity.
- Before you go. Set your position outdoors to a POI and explore its surroundings. Search indoor POIs and follow routes to them virtually.
- Get started quickly with help from easy, accessible tutorials.
- Search for POIs indoors or outdoors.
- Locate nearby intersections.
- Integration with Be My Eyes to provide live visual assistance.
- Sign in to access restricted buildings, with proper access. New features coming soon that require an account. Sign up now on the More Tab.
Current Version: 1.5.2 (November 27, 2021)
Changes in Version 1.5.2
- Step-free is now available! Step-free routing allows you to avoid stairs during a route. Whether you have a disability that makes stairs difficult, or your have many floors to ascend and would prefer to avoid stairs, step-free routing directs you to elevators. Turn on step-free routing under Configuration on the More Tab.
- Explore now captures your starting indoor location faster by capturing images rapidly. This process is optimized to occur only when needed in order to save your battery and data.
- Improvements to Directions instructions and user experience.
- Enhancements that support authentication.
Lifeline: Silent Night (iOS/iPadOS/watchOS, US$1.99)
The hearts and imaginations of countless players worldwide were captured when the original Lifeline took the App Store by storm and became the #1 Top Paid Game, and now Taylor needs your help again in Lifeline: Silent Night!
Acclaimed author Dave Justus returns with a suspenseful new story that plays out in real time, delivering notifications throughout your day. Keep up as they come in, or catch up later when you’re free. You can even respond to Taylor directly from your Apple Watch or iPhone lock screen without launching into the app. Your choices shape the story as you play.
Simple actions can have a profound effect. Complete any single path in the game and then go back and see what happens when you make a different choice.
Lifeline: Silent Night is a deep, immersive story of survival and perseverance, and it’s up to you to save the White Star before it’s too late for its intrepid crew. The fate of Taylor, and the world, is in your hands!
Current Version: 2.0 (November 22, 2021)
Changes in Version 2.0
Our game engine has been completely rewritten and optimized for modern iPhones and Apple Watches. Now supports iPhone X and newer screen resolutions, and WatchOS 7. Support for iPhone Widgets and all types of Apple Watch complications. Still the same great game, now runs great on all devices.
Microsoft Soundscape (iOS/iPadOS, Free)
Immerse yourself in your surroundings and navigate effortlessly with Soundscape spatial audio.
Microsoft Soundscape will place audio cues and labels in 3D space such that they sound like they are coming from the direction of the points of interest, parks, roads and other features in your surroundings.
Switch between using Soundscape in the real world, or the virtual world, to help you build a picture of a place effortlessly with Street Preview.
- As you walk, Soundscape will automatically call out the key points of interest, roads and intersections that you pass. These can be adjusted and turned on and off.
- An audio beacon can be placed on a point of interest, and you will hear it as you move around. You can place an audio beacon on a point of interest that you would like to track such as your destination, a point to return to or a landmark you are familiar with.
- “My Location” describes your current location and the direction you are facing.
- “Nearby Markers” describes nearby places you have marked.
- “Around Me” describes nearby points of interest in each of the four cardinal directions, helping with orientation. Try this out when getting off a bus or leaving a train station.
- “Ahead of Me” describes points of interest in front of you, for example when walking down the street.
Current Version: 4.2.0 (November 29, 2021)
Changes in Version 4.2.0
Introducing Soundscape Routes! Create a route for yourself or for someone else by organizing a set of markers as waypoints. When you follow your route with Soundscape, you will be informed on arrival to each waypoint, and the Audio Beacon will automatically advance to the next waypoint. Create your first route today!
We have also added some new Audio Beacons to Soundscape! You can now pick your favorite Audio Beacon from Soundscape settings and as always, Soundscape will use that Beacon to guide you wherever you’d like to go.
My Finder (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
myfinder AI provides audio descriptions of objects and navigation guidance towards them. It reads out text and describes a scene in the frame. With a newer phone, myfinder ai assistant provides a digital cane to blind users, notifying them of obstacles on the way. myfinder also connects the blind users to a human volunteer right away.
Current Version: 1.3.1 (November 30, 2021)
Changes in Version 1.3.1
Adds 3-D audio to help find objects easier,
Improvements to text recognition now also include handwriting recognition, as well as Performance and bug fixes.
Supersense - AI for Blind (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
Supersense is the smartest and simplest scanner app made for the blind and visually impaired users to read any text format, currency or product details from a barcode independently.
With the power of AI, Supersense automatically figures out what you are trying to scan, guides you on how to point the camera, and reads the content in the right format. Its unique design minimizes the time and frustrations of scanning and reading text for a blind and visually impaired user.
Full features of Supersense:
- Smart Scanner: The app automatically detects whether you are trying to quickly read a piece of text, a long document, a currency or a barcode.
- Smart Guidance: The app guides you on how to point the camera and finds the best angle to have the most accurate results
- Quick Read: Instantly read the text presented in front of the rear camera
- Document: Read longer documents with the assistance of smart guidance. Once the text has been recognized, use VoiceOver commands to navigate through the recognized text and share it to other apps.
- Multipage Scanning: Scan documents with multiple pages simultaneously and navigate through the text.
- Currency: Recognize currencies and hear the value of a banknote
- Barcode: Scan barcodes to hear the name and brand of the products with additional information
- Object Explorer and Find: Scan your physical environment and hear about the objects that are around.
- Import: Read and explore text from the images and PDF files. Also you can send them directly from any other apps with using “Recognize with Supersense” tool in your share menu.
- Read History: Displays your recognition history in a single screen.
Current Version: 1.9.4 (November 25, 2021)
Changes in Version 1.9.4
- Recognize non Latin based languages such as Hindi, Chinese, Japanese and Korean in OFFLINE Quick Read mode! You can select a non Latin based text recognizer from the Script screen under the Settings menu. Make sure to select a relevant speech engine to receive the most accurate results.
- With the new model we have developed, the Quick Read mode is faster and more accurate than ever!
- Now you can recognize QR codes in Barcode mode and easily go to the link embedded in the code such as restaurant menus, websites and more
- Language localization updates especially for the recently added German, Italian and French
- Fixed bugs and made minor UI changes for a more stable experience
Recent News and Views
- Apple Releases iOS 15.1.1 to Fix Drop Call Issue on iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 Models
- Apple Releases watchOS 8.1.1 With Fix for Apple Watch Series 7 Charging Issue
- Apple Releases tvOS 15.1.1
This Month in Podcasts
AppleVis Unleashed November 2021: Turkey Trotting
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:
- Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my! So Many iOS Updates
- Apple will allow customers to repair iPhones and Macs in 2022
- Apple Expands AirPods Pro Crackling or Static Sound Service Program
- The AirPods Pro’s Latest Update is Essential for Folks with Mild Hearing Challenges
- New Apple’s AppStore Changes You Need to Know
- Quick Summary Results of Q4 Apple’s Earning Report
- What’s in this month AppleVis News
- Beyond Apple News
Podcast from Thomas Domville
Hot AppleVis Content
Here are some of our forum topics which have got people talking in the past month:
- Reaper or Logic Pro
- Introducing Accessible games from couchgames.wtf
- Games for anxiety
- Blind Mahjong - A new game for the blind and visually impaired
- should I update to iOS 15?
- Losing voiceover after calls with AirPods
- Looking for people who would like to play each other in multi-player games
- Announcing new features and enhancements to Blue Badge Parking app
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We wish you all good health and happiness.
The AppleVis Editorial Team