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Announcing an Enhancement to the AppleVis App Directories and Accessibility Ratings

We are pleased to announce the launch of community accessibility ratings, giving members of the AppleVis community an opportunity to submit their own accessibility ratings for all apps listed in one of our App Directories.

When viewing an App Directory entry, logged-in users will now be presented with the option to add their own accessibility rating of the app. By submitting your own ratings, you help to ensure that our information regarding what is likely to be the first thing that most in this community will want to know about an app—its accessibility status—is as accurate, representative and up-to-date as possible.

An app which has additional ratings submitted by members of the community will have a tab titled “Community Accessibility Ratings”, where you can view details of all the submitted ratings. As an example, see the entry for Overcast: Podcast Player.

User profile pages now include a section where you can view all of the ratings that the user has submitted; there is a standalone page where you can view all accessibility ratings, on all apps, by all users; and the five most recent ratings will be displayed in a new area of the site’s home page.

The rating list on profile pages makes it easy to keep track of your own ratings. Additionally, if you have submitted a rating for an app, your rating and it’s date will be shown to you on the App Directory entry itself.

We believe that the introduction of community accessibility ratings will benefit those wanting to learn about the accessibility of an app; whether that be an end user or the developer. in the case of developers, community accessibility ratings provide a quick and easy way of getting an overview of how blind and low vision users rate the accessibility of an app.

We hope that you find community accessibility ratings to be both helpful and informative.

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Yo, human! – Proofreading Mac, a VoiceOver Activity: Accessing Life with Adaptive Technology

Yo, human! – Proofreading Mac, a VoiceOver Activity: Accessing Life with Adaptive Technology

Before my VoiceOver adventures began I was able to proofread my creative and technical writings quickly and easily. My constant struggle with grammar aside, I could find misspellings and punctuation errors, even capitalization and formatting issues with ease. I could quickly blast through multi-page documents in a matter of minutes. Then my longtime visual orientation completely evolved into an audible one. This presented many new challenges to overcome, including proof-reading by listening.

I explored many avenues of adaptation to help me navigate my computer before learning VoiceOver. One of the first was the Speakable Items feature of previous Mac OSs. I used AppleScript to automate many functions including sending keystrokes to the computer then changing them to spoken commands using Speakable Items. Using AppleScript’s “say” command, I even had my Mac orally responding to my spoken commands. I could say “Computer” and it would often reply with “Good guess!” However, changes in my own approach and in the OS began to make this situation less applicable. I discovered that quick verbal navigation, while helping tremendously, would not be enough. As my path towards VoiceOver progressed my need for proofing my materials became both more apparent and more of an unknown.

When the Dictation feature was introduced, I dove in thinking that this would increase my writing speeds immensely, which it did. Unfortunately, it also increased my need for proof-reading as well. I remember emailing a colleague, trying to explain some of the issues and how I had to watch for phonetically misspelled words. His somewhat humorous reply was “Fanatically misspelled words?” Case in point, I now use Dictation sporadically and mostly on iOS. However, the Dictation service definitely deserves another future look.

I could be considered a mid-speed tripod typist, poking at the keyboard with three fingers on each hand. Because of my narrowed eyesight, I had perfected my typing skills by looking at the keyboard rather than the computer screen. I took it on faith that my typing was actually appearing in my document. I only occasionally looked up to confirm what I was creating. This “writing on faith” method became inappropriate over time along with the others, but were a very good precursor to my headlong dive into VoiceOver. Throughout the several years of these methods it was becoming apparent that proof-reading by listening would be a huge part of my future.

Now after a few years of using VoiceOver exclusively I am finding several VO methods that are beginning to help. I should state that I am by no means an expert at this, I am still going through much of the learning curve myself. One of the things that I discovered was the use of VO’s Activities and using them to help me proof-read my materials. While not being a complete solution, the methods described below seem to be a good couple of additions to the process.

Activities, in General.

Activities can be created by opening the VoiceOver Utility, press Control-Option-f8. Include the fn key if working on a laptop. In the Features table near the bottom, choose Activities then exit the table and arrow to the right until you find the Activities Table. Once more to the right will land you on the ‘Add button’ where you can create a new Activity. After creating and naming an Activity exit the Activities table. Arrowing to the right again will reveal all of the VO settings that can be altered for an Activity.

In the Settings area, choose a category by marking its checkbox, then one arrow to the right to Activate the Set button. You will be presented with the same window from the default VO settings. All of the standard panes and tabs are presented, change them at will. When finished with that category, activate the default ‘Done’ button near the bottom of the window. This will apply your new settings to the currently selected Activity in the Activities Table. I will not try to relate all of the possibilities that appear as it would require more length than is appropriate for a blog post. Farther below find the custom settings that I currently use for my proofing and Reading Activity’s.

Of note, many people highly customize their default VoiceOver settings to their own preferences. When using Activities on a Mac, to the best of my knowledge, any settings designated in an Activity will over-ride those same settings of your current VO set up. Any Activity settings that are not customized will use your default VO settings. Example: I have QuickNav setup the way I like as part of my own default VO settings. When I create a new activity, I do not have to set up QuickNav in the Activity because it is already using my default VO settings for QuickNav. Using Activities is like having a temporary additional set-up while you navigate under that Activity, but everything uses your custom default VO settings unless you change them. Plus everything reverts when you switch back to your default set up.

Proofing and Reading Activities.

In general:

My proofing Activity speaks all punctuation and changes in attributions, plus announces misspelled words. It uses sound effects with spatial audio to help indicate the layout of the document. By default VO already raises pitch for capitalization and quoted text. In my default VO settings I have Intonation set in the 90s to help with this and to indicate sentence structure and paragraph flow. See the exact settings farther below.

My Reading Activity speaks no punctuation, attributions, misspellings or sound effects. It is slowed down with my chosen Voice to an audio book speed. I listen to longer documents this way while I kick back and relax. While writing, I also use it for listening to sentence and paragraph structure and to help maintain the content flow from one section to another. The VO cursor is magnified some even though I cannot see it, in case I want to record the screen while it reads one sentence at a time, making a nice “follow the bouncing ball” type presentation. These can work well for the blind and visually impaired and possibly those with reading hurdles as well. This also gives the additional opportunities for the sighted to improve their listening skills, growing comfortable with computer voices. They can read along while they listen.

I do not set my two activities for any specific app, instead I switch between them using Activity Chooser. Control-Option-X. I guess I am somewhat of a control-freak when it comes to my computer. I like to have a more direct approach over which navigation mode I am currently using and do not want it to change because I quickly switched to another app.

If you often only use two Activities, Control-Option-x-x, will switch back and forth between the current and previously chosen Activity. If you have more than two Activities, you can also move vertically through the Chooser list and press control-Option-Spacebar to activate. The Activity Chooser will always show your custom “VoiceOver default settings” as one of the choices.

The settings given below are my selected settings for each of my Activities. As I find more options that work with either one, I can add them to the existing Activities. This way they grow over time with use.

Proofing Activity:

In VoiceOver Utility>Activities, with Proofing selected in the Activities table.

Note: I am skipping over entire sections of the settings because they are features that I do not use, such as Braille. Perhaps someone with experience in these areas can provide better information. For brevity I am also skipping past settings that are being left at default, I am only showing the settings that I altered or confirmed.

Verbosity Settings:

Speech Tab:

Default Speech Verbosity: High.
Set to High for as much information as possible, without customizing.

Additional speech verbosity options, disclosure triangle.
Expand this for the custom verbosity table full of options to customize Verbosity with VoiceOver.

Text Tab:

Punctuation: All.
This is a pop-up button with various levels. I use ‘All’ so I can hear double punctuation, quotes etc.

Repeated punctuation: Always spoken.
This is a pop-up button with various amounts of repeats. My setting allows VO to always read everything.

While typing speak: Characters and words.
I like to hear certain words as a confirmation as I type.

When text attributes change: Speak attributes.
This announces changes in text styles. I found this to be a good thing to keep track of, especially for those unintentional changes.

When encountering a misspelled word: Speak attributes.
This option says “misspelled” while reading the word, it definitely catches my attention. See more about misspellings and auto-stuff in the tips section near the bottom.

When encountering a link/attachment: Speak.
This simply includes the word “Link” when one is encountered.

Read numbers as: Digits
This reads each digit of a number, which all need proofing as well.

When reading a capital letter: Speak Cap.
Cap P, Cap D, etc. Note, VO only says “Cap” when encountering a single capital letter. On capitalized words it changes pitch instead.

Announcements Tab:

I have most of these settings turned off, except for…

Announce when the Caps Lock key is pressed: Checked.
This notifies me immediately of accidental presses.

Speak header when navigating across a table row: Checked.
This helps track my position when navigating through tables.

Automatically speak text in dialog boxes: Unchecked.
This helps me retain focus on proofing, especially when it interrupts something like code. Suddenly I am proofing a warning message instead. 🙂

Speak text under mouse after delay: Unchecked.
I confirm that this is off, since my mouse cursor is mostly unused.

Hints Tab:

In this pane I turn everything off, trying to fine-tune the experience for proofing. I can make another Activity for discovering the OS at a later date.

Speak instructions for using the item in the VoiceOver cursor: Unchecked.

When an item has a help tag: Do nothing.

After completing the Verbosity settings, I move down to “additional settings to include” and expand the triangle. The only remaining settings I alter is Sound. Check the box and activate the Set button.

Sound Settings:

Mute sound effects: Unchecked.

Enable audio ducking: Unchecked.

Enable positional audio: Checked.
This helps occasionally by making sound effects from the sides of the screen where the cursor generated the sound.

Reading Activity:

Many people have their own preferences when customizing VoiceOver to their own needs. In my Reading Activity, I wanted it to sound as if someone else was reading my materials to me at a natural pace. This ended up involving turning almost everything down or off so as little extra information is relayed as possible.

To get started, I created another Activity using the Add button and named it “Reading.” In VoiceOver Utility>Activities, with Reading selected in the Activities table, the Settings area includes…

Verbosity Settings:

Speech Tab:

Default Speech Verbosity: Low.
For Reading, I only want it to speak what I typed.

Punctuation: None.
This seems to work best for relaxed listening and tracking sentence and paragraph structure.

When text attributes change: Do nothing.

Read only what was typed.

When encountering a misspelled word: Do nothing.

When encountering a link/attachment: Do nothing.

Read numbers as: Words.

When reading a capital letter: Do nothing.

Announcements Tab:

Everything in this pane is left to defaults except the following settings…

Announce when the Caps Lock key is pressed: Checked

Speak header when navigating across a table row: Unchecked.

Hints Tab:

Speak instructions for using the item in the VoiceOver cursor: Unchecked.

When an item has a help tag: Do nothing.

Additional settings to include: Expanded.
Expanding this allows for my Reading Activity to access the additional settings below.

Voices Settings:

Using the Alex voice…

Rate: set to 38.
This slows down the voice to a speed that allows for easy recognition of all consonants. It can also be a decent speed for those new to computer voices without being too fast.

Intonation: set to 95.
This changes the tonal qualities and inflections with certain types of punctuation. The inflection changes and Alex pauses when encountering a comma. The Intonation drops some at the end of a sentence when finding a period, and rises on a Question Mark. Other punctuation that only mildly effected speech now does it a bit more.

Sounds Settings:

Mute sound effects: Checked.
This prevents all VO Sound Effects from playing.

All other settings in this pane are turned off.

Visuals Settings:

VoiceOver Cursor Tab:

Show VoiceOver cursor: Checked.
This highlights the VO cursor with a boundary rectangle, making it more visible.

VoiceOver Cursor Magnification: 4.
This enlarges the item in the VO cursor as it moves.

When reading text, move VoiceOver cursor by: Sentence.
This highlights and magnifies what is being read, a sentence at a time. This option also applies to the “Read all” function of VO, Control-Option-A, which reads from the current VO cursor position to the bottom of the document.

All other options for the Visuals Settings are turned off including; Caption Panel, Braille Panel, and Touch screens. The Menus Tab is left to defaults.

Finally, with any of my Activities I leave the following setting empty.

Use this activity for: Apps & Websites.

Use this activity for: blank.
I leave this text field empty so that no amount of app switching will change my current Activity. I use the Activity Chooser to flip through my created Activities, Control-Option-X.

There you have it, my two main Activities for proofing my materials. One for punctuation and misspellings, the other for flow and structure. The Reading Activity is also set to be visually informative, in case I am using it for instructing a client or doing a screen recording.

There is much more that can go into proof-reading your materials. The use of customized Activities can help with some of the meticulous work. Activities can be created for any number of navigation modes. Which ones you create should always fit your particular needs. In the future I will probably make one for Copy and Paste methods, shutting off all extra info being stated by VO. This gives me more time to press Control-Option-Shift-C, which copies the last spoken phrase by VO. Even perhaps one for Discovery mode, where everything is set to relate maximum info, to help learn more about an interface or web page.

There seems to be only scattered information online about proof-reading with a screen-reader. One of the more complete findings is below.

A good resource for basic proof-reading with JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver: http://ift.tt/2naGJQZ

Tips for Writing and Proofing:

You can use Command-; (semi-colon), to jump to the next misspelled word. To get a list of suggestions, press Control-Option-Shift-M, to pop up the contextual menu then arrow down through the list. Note: this does not move the VO cursor to the word, making it hard to check it in context.

Try using the VO key press; Control-Option-Command-E to find the next misspelling. Use Control-Option-Command-Shift-E to find the previous one. This method does move the VO cursor into place.

I don’t like auto-stuff happening while I type or proof-read, perhaps my inner control freak is showing again. I like to maintain a manual control over things, though I am possibly missing some great features. Currently I turn off the following features:

In Keyboard Preferences>Text Tab, I turn off the following options; Correct spelling automatically, Capitalize words automatically, Add period with double-space, Use smart quotes and dashes.

This set-up prevents anything from changing or popping up and becoming a distraction.

You can change the Verbosity levels on the fly by pressing, Control-Option-v. Then hold down Control-Option and use the right and left arrows to flip through the Verbosity settings. Use up and down arrows to increase or decrease each setting. Press Control-Option-Spacebar to confirm your changes and return to normal navigation.

You can adjust the Speech settings by holding down, Control-Option-Command and use the arrow keys in the same fashion as above. Let go of every key when done, to return to normal navigation.

Customizing VoiceOver on Mac. Activities are described near the bottom of this Apple guide on customizing VoiceOver

Apple’s Support page for Activities: http://ift.tt/2naNIcw

An older but still relevant podcast by one of our own: Mac Basics #23: Creating and Using VoiceOver Activities, by David Woodbridge

A descriptive reminder that all of our cool digital stuff that we work with, play with and enjoy, is all about “Living.” Live well!

Portions copyright Apple, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Apple Releases iOS 10.3.1 with Bug Fixes and Security Improvements

Apple has today released iOS 10.3.1 to the public, one week after the release of iOS 10.3.

While full release notes for iOS 10.3.1 are not yet available, the iOS 10.3.1 update screen says the following about the update:

iOS 10.3.1 includes bug fixes and improves the security of your iPhone or iPad.

As iOS 10.3.1 appears to be primarily an update focused on bug fixes and security updates, it is unlikely that there will be any changes in this update specific to accessibility. However, if you do notice any accessibility-related changes, please do let us know in the comments.

iOS 10.3.1 is available via Over-the-Air Update (Settings>General>Software Update) or via iTunes on your Mac or PC. As always, we recommend making a backup of your device before installing any software update.

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Sounds In The Sofa: Learning To Love My AirPods

Many years ago, my family and I went to the pet store to do a little shopping for my guide dog. My twelve year old son and my wife wandered off into some other part of the store while Fantom, my Golden Retriever guide, and I went on our own little adventure.

As Fantom and I explored the toy aisle, I felt a hand brush against mine and it made me smile. I reached out, took the proffered hand, and kept walking. One of the great joys of being a blind father is that it remains socially acceptable for a son in middle school to still hold hands with his dad.

The two of us walked for a bit and then he slowed to a stop. Still holding my hand, he turned to me and said in an unfamiliar Texas drawl, “Howdy stranger. Why are ya holding my hand?”

I quickly let go. The fellow leaned in close, hot breath in my ear, and whispered, “My favorite animal is a chicken.”

I do not like surprises. Surprises and change make me uncomfortable. Boring is beautiful. I like my coffee without whipped cream or mocha drizzle. I have been quite pleased living in the same house for twenty-two years. I do not embrace change, or strangers in pet stores.

I am happiest with familiarity. I get very attached to my personal technology. Since the 1960s, I have had wired headphones that directly tethered me to my electronics. Initially, my headphones were the size and weight of two large turtles clamped against the sides of my head. Over the years, my headphones shrunk. Heavy metal shells morphed to lighter plastic cups and then to foam cushions. Finally, with the introduction of the original EarPods, I found a really pleasant way to stay connected.

Now, Apple suddenly expects me to think different. Ugh. They want me to cut the cord. Their new AirPods frighten me. They are so small and ready to fall. Gravity is my enemy. My stuff always lands where it is least convenient, accessible, or clean. Even when found, it can be a loss. I would never put something back into my ears that has gone swimming in a toilet. I’m funny that way.

Still, these newfangled AirPods are intriguing. I have often found the wires on my old EarPods to be a pain. Occasionally, while relaxing with some good music, I have forgotten that I laid my iPhone on a table and then felt it yanked off the edge when I stood up. My EarPod wires have also gotten tangled up on my violin and wrapped around my dog’s paws. Most important, I’m told I look really geeky with wires dangling from my head. That is hard news for an old man.

I took a chance. I ordered a pair of AirPods and endured the six week shipping delay. Thankfully, my AirPods arrived a few days early. They looked so tiny. What was I thinking? I have trouble finding my own slippers. The AirPods were so light and comfy in my ears that I immediately forgot that they were even there. Within minutes of the unboxing, I carelessly reached up, dislodging the right AirPod, flinging it into the void. My guts ran cold. If I moved, I might hear a little crunch under my shoe. If I did not, my dog might think I was tossing kibble on the floor. Fortunately, I finally recovered the fugitive AirPod. And, so far, I have found them every time gravity has played me dirty.

I have been impressed with my purchase. Pairing is delightfully simple. The audio quality from my AirPods is really quite good, much better than from my old EarPods. Although the new AirPods have occasionally dropped the wireless connection to my iPhone, I have found the communications quick and easy to reestablish. Battery life is adequate, about five hours per AirPod. The AirPods alert me with a distinctive audible warning when they are down to a ten percent reserve. Charging is quick — just drop them back into their case and give them fifteen minutes for another three hours of juice. More time, more charge. In the last few weeks, they have only gotten out of synch with each other twice, creating an echo chamber that sounded a bit hallucinogenic until I took the AirPods out and then put them back in. Simple and intuitive. Their BlueTooth range is impressive. I can leave my phone in the living room when I go out on the front porch and still listen to a book. In a very short time, I have gotten quite used to them.

Even so, paranoia runs deep in my psyche and I hate the thought of somehow losing one or both of my AirPods. A few days after they had arrived, I performed a sanity check by purchasing an additional wireless product. I walked into the local Apple Store and picked up their BeatsX wireless headphones. Much of the connectivity technology found in the AirPods is also in the BeatsX. However, the BeatsX is a very different animal. The ear pieces are the type you push into the ear canal, rather than hanging from the outer ear. The two ear pieces and associated hardware are connected by a slim and flexible cable that goes around your neck. BeatsX has good battery life, very good audio reproduction, and an up-down-click switch like the one wired to the original EarPods.

The BeatsX are great for plane travel as they loop around your neck and are much less likely to be jostled out in a terminal or dropped on an aircraft. The BeatsX will also dampen the roar of jet engines. Unfortunately, the BeatsX tendency to block much of the ambient noise is a significant drawback for me. I would not want to walk my neighborhood with them in place for fear of not hearing an approaching car. They also make it hard to hear your spouse, seldom a good thing. Even if I did not mind living in a muffled world, I would still find the BeatsX a less than perfect choice. With the soft nylon tips stuffed into my ear, they cause my ear canal to get rather warm after prolonged use. I swear my ear wax begins to melt.

Like gravity, I have a very strong attraction to my Apple AirPods. I am most comfortable with them when working in my office, relaxing in the house, or riding in a car. That is most of my day. Even so, I still keep a set of my trusty old EarPods handy for times when walking outdoors or when lying in bed. My BeatsX are nice, and I’m glad I bought them, but I will probably use them more when I travel by plane or train, when I am in a crowded venue or when I really want to block out the world.

If the cost was lower and I could glue them to my head, I would use AirPods everywhere and all the time. I really do love my AirPods. I’ve even ordered a second pair — just in case.

Although I generally hate surprises, I have been pleasantly surprised by the AirPods. Not all surprises are bad — even at that pet store so many years ago. As I stood there, next to the dog toys, wondering what the heck had just transpired, I heard the fellow who favored chickens begin to laugh. An innocent laugh. That laugh was wonderfully familiar. It was my son, surprised that he had surprised me. Some surprises I love.

***

G. Morgan Watkins spent thirty years at the University of Texas at Austin, most of it in information technology leadership. He also enjoyed thirteen years on the Board of Directors at Guide Dogs for the Blind. After retiring from the University, Morgan served as the Guide Dogs for the Blind Acting President and CEO.

Morgan is now happily retired again, and relaxing after a wonderful six month adventure that culminated in a spectacular wedding in India. Morgan has created 16 other blogs for AppleVis, including “Blind Santa: Audible Books from me to me”, “No News is Good News: Breaking my iPhone news addiction” and “Sleeping With The Stars: Old Time Radio and my iPhone”. Morgan always enjoys your comments and feedback.

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AppleVis Unlimited: What’s New and Noteworthy for March 2017

Welcome to the March 2017 edition of AppleVis Unlimited, our monthly series which aims to highlight what’s new and noteworthy on the AppleVis website. Below, you’ll find a selection of the best content posted to AppleVis – 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

Adblock Mobile — Block ads in apps/browsers (iOS, Free)

Mobile ads drive you mad?

Adblock Mobile removes them all.

  • Blocks ads in most apps and browsers, like Safari or Chrome
  • Works on both Wi-Fi and cellular networks
  • Reduces your mobile data usage, which saves you tons of money

Current Version: 3.2.9 (March 7, 2017)

Read Adblock Mobile’s AppleVis iOS App Directory entry for more information
Visit Adblock Mobile’s App Store page

Blindfold Words From Words (iOS, Free with In-App Purchases)

Blindfold Words From Words is a fully accessible word game for both sighted and visually impaired people, designed for rapid audio play.

You want to create as many words as possible words from the letters of a chosen word. For example, if the chosen word is “blindfold”, you can create the words such as blind, fold, bind, old, find, oil, foil, din, and so on. Words must be at least 3 letters long.

There are thousands of words, and you can play either a timed or untimed game. At the end of the game, you can get a list of all possible words that can be created from the chosen word.

Current Version: 3.2.3 (March25, 2017)

Read Blindfold Words From Words’ AppleVis iOS App Directory entry for more information
Visit Blindfold Words From Words’ App Store page

Chess-wise 3 (iOS, Free With In-App Purchases)

With Chess-wise 3 you can play chess, analyse games, annotate game notations, play online, solve exercises, watch training videos and much more.

Games are represented as trees, so they can have side-lines. This means when analysing moves, this will not anymore overwrite the moves of the main game

On the new annotation screen, you can add comments and !! – or ?? to the moves

Current Version: : 3.3.8 (March 19, 2017)

Read Chess-wise’s AppleVis iOS App Directory entry for more information
Visit Chess-wise’s App Store page

Crafting Kingdom (iOS, Free)

Every empire starts small!

Build production sites, and start crafting resources. Harvest logs, coal, iron and many other goods. Then craft them into more valuable items and sell them on the market! Complete quests, build your own estate, and become the richest merchant in all of Crafting Kingdom!

Crafting Kingdom is a lovingly crafted (pun intended!) idle crafting game with a huge amount of goods to produce, complex production chains and plenty of quests for you to complete.

  • Buy production sites
  • Build complex production chains
  • Complete quests and get powerful rewards
  • Expand your storage facilities
  • Build you very own estate
  • Endless hours of fun. How much money can you make?

Note to our visually impaired players: This game is fully accessible without the use of VoiceOver. You can enable/disable Accessibility Mode by tapping three times with three fingers in the main menu. Have fun!

Current Version: 1.2 (March 23, 2017)

Read Crafting Kingdom’s AppleVis iOS App Directory entry for more information
Visit Crafting Kingdom’s App Store page
View a very active forum topic where people have shared feedback and suggestions with the developer of this game

Examine Clothes Color (iOS, Free)

This application plays a role as eyes so that visually impaired persons can choose the color and pattern on clothes by themselves.

When you take a picture of clothes with this application, it speaks the color and pattern on clothes. The color included in clothes is expressed by up to 4 colors. The pattern is expressed by a category of 5, vertical stripes, horizontal stripes, checker, plain color and other pattern.

Photographing location is the room where direct sunlight does not gleam. After starting the App, move the iPhone from the clothes to the position of about 40cm, and take a picture. The flash fires automatically.

The Models that can appropriately correct the color are the iPhone4S, 5S, 6, 6S. The App will work with any other iPhone models.

This system has been developed in order to support the independent living of visually impaired persons, and uses a special method of correcting the color in order to correctly recognize the color that changes by lighting environment.

Current Version: 1.21 (May 125, 2016)

Read Examine Clothes Color’s AppleVis iOS App Directory entry for more information
Visit Examine Clothes Color’s App Store page

Life Period Tracker: Period & Ovulation Tracker (iOS, Free with In-App Purchases)

Track your period, predict your fertile days, schedule cycle reminders, track your symptoms, moods, and more! Upgrade to Premium and track your health using any one of nine new health trackers! Track sex, fertility, weight, nutrition, fitness, sleep, medication, health, and even keep a diary! Download the best and most customizable women’s health tracker on the App Store!

We take your privacy very seriously! Unlike many other women’s health apps, we do not require your email address to sign up and we do not sell or share your personal health data. All proceeds come from your support. It’s your Life and it should stay with you!

INNOVATIVE CALENDAR: We weren’t satisfied with the methods other apps used to enter women’s cycle dates. We went through hundreds of prototypes before we were satisfied with the final result.

PERIOD TRACKER: We wanted a display that was simple yet beautiful for the Period Tracker. A page that could be viewed with only a passing glance yet still have it’s own personality.

OVULATION PREDICTIONS: Viewing your ovulation predictions is fast and easy with our ovulation calculator. Gone are the days of information clutter. Enjoy viewing your ovulation predictions at their most beautiful.

MOOD TRACKER: With Life’s innovative multiple entry method, you are free create separate entries for each mood as often as you feel them. And because no mood comes without details, each and every entry also has the option of writing an associated note.

IRREGULAR CYCLE SUPPORT: By default, the app defines cycles as irregular if the cycle has a length less than 21 days or over 36 days however these values are easily personalised to fit your needs within Settings.

MENSTRUAL HISTORY: The menstrual history was visually optimised to include thoughtful choices that take advantage of the available real estate in an easy-to-read vertical orientation.

CYCLE HISTORY: The days of difficult-to-create reminders are over. Our cycle reminders are incredibly easy to create, modify, and set. We give you six various reminders to keep you current with your important cycle days.

SYMPTOM TRACKER: We saved one of the best features for last. Like the Mood Tracker, each symptom can be kept as a separate entry for later analysis or to share with your physician.

Current Version: 4.0.3 (March 30, 2017)

Read Life Period Tracker’s AppleVis iOS App Directory entry for more information
Visit Life Period Tracker’s App Store page

Power 2 for iPhone and Apple Watch (watchOS, US$1.99)

Power 2 enables you to quickly see your iPhone battery life and more from your Apple Watch just by raising your wrist.

Complication: Add Power 2’s complication to your favourite watch face so you can quickly see your iPhone battery life. Power 2’s complication also knows when your phone is in low power mode, charging or fully charged. Its that smart, fast and simple.

Notifications: Power 2 will notify you when your iPhone battery is running low and/or is fully charged, even if your iPhone is charging in the other room.

Time Travel: Have to run out but forgot to charge your iPhone so now you don’t know how long your iPhone battery will last? Time Travel will give you an idea of how long your iPhone battery could last for.

Power 2 is set to automatically check your iPhone battery life once every 30 minutes and will only send you a notification when your iPhone battery is within the following range:

  • Full Charge
  • 95% – 85%
  • 55% – 45%
  • 20% – 10%
  • 9% – 1%

Current Version: 1.0.1 (November 30, 2016)

Read Power 2’s AppleVis Apple Watch App Directory entry for more information
Visit Power 2’s App Store page

The Lost Heir 3: Demon War (iOS, US$4.99)

Defeat the rampaging demon horde, save the Kingdom of Daria, and avenge the death of your parents in the thrilling conclusion to this epic three part series! You’ll need all the power you can muster to finish building your legend, tapping into any of the dozen new prestige classes, including Druid of Decay, Dragon Knight, and even fighting the demons with their own fire by becoming a Demon Master!

“The Lost Heir 3: Demon War” is a 250,000-word interactive fantasy novel by Mike Walter—the conclusion to the trilogy—where your choices control the story. The game is entirely text-based—without graphics or sound effects—and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

Face betrayal, seek romance, battle enemies in war, and navigate the intrigues of court. The fate of the kingdom of Daria is in your hands.

• Play as male or female, gay or straight.
• Pursue romantic interests, get married, have a child!
• Acquire legendary magical artifacts.
• Reach one of seven different endings! Restore peace and harmony to the Kingdom of Daria or plunge the world into chaos, the choice is yours!

Current Version: 1.0.0 (March 16, 2017)

Read The Lost Heir 3: Demon War’s AppleVis iOS App Directory entry for more information
Visit The Lost Heir 3: Demon War’s App Store page

Threema (iOS, US$2.99)

Threema is the world’s favorite secure messenger and keeps your data out of the hands of hackers, corporations and governments. Threema can be used completely anonymously, and offers a rich set of features.

HIGHEST ENCRYPTION STRENGTH: Threema encrypts ALL your communications END-TO-END including messages, group chats, media files and even status messages. You can rest assured that only the intended recipient can read your chats, and nobody else – not even us. Threema uses the trusted open source NaCl cryptography library for encryption.

The encryption keys are generated and safely stored on user’s devices to prevent backdoor access or copies.

GUARANTEED PRIVACY: Threema is designed to generate as little data on servers as possible – this is a core part of our concept. Group memberships and contact lists are managed on your device only, and never stored on our servers. Messages are immediately deleted after they have been delivered. Local files are stored encrypted on your mobile phone or tablet. All this effectively prevents the collection and misuse of your personal information, including meta data.

COMPREHENSIVE FEATURES: Threema is not only an encrypted and private messenger but also versatile and feature-rich.

  • write text and send voice messages
  • share videos, pictures and locations
  • send any type of file (pdf, animated gif, mp3, doc, zip, etc.)
  • create groups
  • conduct polls with the unique poll feature
  • choose between a dark and a light theme
  • quickly and silently reply with the unique agree/disagree feature
  • verify the identity of a contact by scanning their personal QR code
  • use Threema as anonymous instant messaging tool
  • synchronize your contacts (optional)

FULL ANONYMITY: Each Threema user receives a random Threema ID for identification. A phone number or email address is not required to use Threema. This unique feature allows you to use Threema completely anonymously – no need to give up private information or to open an account.

TRUSTED CONTACTS: We let users confirm trusted contacts with a QR code or a key fingerprint to prevent man in the middle attacks.

INDEPENDENT COMPANY: We are a 100% independent and self-financed company in the heart of Switzerland with its own servers and in-house software development. Switzerland is a country with some of the most user friendly privacy laws in the world.

Current Version: 2.9.0 (March 28, 2017)

Read Threema’s AppleVis iOS App Directory entry for more information
Visit Threema’s App Store page

All recent app entries posted to AppleVis can be found at:

iOS
Mac
Apple Watch
Apple TV

Notable App Updates

Dropbox (iOS, Free With In-App Purchases)

Dropbox is the place for your photos, docs, videos, and other files. Files you keep in Dropbox are safely backed up and you can get to them from all your devices. It’s easy to send large files to anyone, even if they don’t have a Dropbox account.

Features:

  • Access your files on any device, even if you’re offline
  • Create and edit Microsoft Office files from your iPhone or iPad
  • Share links to your largest files without using email attachments

Current Version: 40.2 (March 21, 2017)

Changes in March 2017 Updates
  • You can now sign in to the app with your Google account
  • Improved the sorting options in the Files tab
  • Fixed a crash involving VoiceOver
  • Fixed a crash when previewing certain videos
  • Fixed a sorting issue when viewing offline files
  • Fixed a random crash involving app extensions, like when saving to Dropbox outside of the app

Read Dropbox’s AppleVis iOS App Directory entry for more information
Visit Dropbox’s App Store page

FruitPot: Slots & More – Vegas Casino & Surprises (iOS, Free With In -App Purchases)

FruitPot: Not your typical slot machine. Enjoy the best features of slot machines, puzzles and life simulation games, mixed in the most amusing experience ever! Win MILLIONAIRE JACKPOTS using strategy and luck. You control this slot machine!

All the excitement of slot machines combined with original challenges:

Current Version:1.5.1 (March 28, 2017)

Changes in March
  • Improved explanations of the stores and their items for VoiceOver users.
  • Three new five reels slot machines with huge jackpots (like in Vegas). You will like them!
  • New in App Purchases for the Heroes slots and Heroes Jackpot.
  • Select between double or nothing and memory games when winning three in a row.
  • Now, winning the memory game triples the prize!
  • Look for the store where you won the symbol at the pay table.
  • Several bug fixes, like an automatic spin after hiding symbols on stopwatch that avoid crashes.

Read FruitPot’s AppleVis iOS App Directory entry for more information
Visit FruitPot’s App Store page

Nebula Game (iOS, US$0.99)

Nebula is a spaceship battle arcade game that will provide you a new experience. With many features such as 3D audio, device movements and accessibility for the visually impaired.

FEATURES:

  • Gaming Modes: Campaign, Free and Multiplayer.
  • 3D audio*, allowing play without vision.
  • 48 enemy spaceships
  • Campaign with storyline
  • Upgradeable spaceship.
  • Detailed tutorials
  • 9 chapters and 36 levels

STORY:

During the last great inter-galactic war, the Spacial Defense Force created the Nebula project, an army of defense and attack composed by 2000 spaceships.

The project got it’s name due to the difficult the pilots had to perform combats in space, as they face huge nebulas that limited their vision and scrambled their systems. Because of this, engineers have invested heavily to develop a technology that would allow us to hear other ships and unknown objects.

Current Version: 1.3 (December 5, 2016)

Changes in Version 1.3
  • Major bug-fixes throughout the game.
  • Upgraded device compatibility.
  • Voice-Over bug-fixes.
  • Full campaign now included in the game, no more in-app purchases!

Read Nebula Game’s AppleVis iOS App Directory entry for more information
Visit Nebula Game’s App Store page

TelevisionTime (iOS, US$2.99 with In-App Purchases)

Television Time is the best TV show tracker for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Easily and effortlessly you can track your favorite TV shows and discover new ones.

Features

  • Beautiful design, easily navigate between shows and episode and find everything you need to know.
  • Trakt.tv sync that just works
  • iCloud sync
  • Notifications to remind you that a show is airing soon
  • Easily view show information via Spotlight
  • See your overall show progress and time spent watching tv
  • Quickly view todays shows with the today extension
  • Export episodes to calendar
  • View cast and crew information
  • 3D Touch, Spotlight indexing, Low Power Mode detection
  • Special episodes support
  • iMessage app

Today Widgets

  • View upcoming episodes
  • View to-watch list

Apple Watch support

  • View upcoming shows quickly
  • watchOS complication support

Current Version: 1.3.6 (March 19, 2017)

Changes in Version 1.3.6

The accessibility of searching for shows has been improved as of version 1.3.6. The Discover feature has also been fixed.

Read TelevisionTime’s AppleVis iOS App Directory entry for more information
Visit TelevisionTime’s App Store page

Tile – Find & track your lost phone, wallet, keys (iOS, Free)

Welcome to Tile, the world’s largest lost and found. Tile makes tiny Bluetooth trackers and a companion app that allow you to locate lost or misplaced items in seconds — like your phone, keys, and wallet. Compatible with Tile Mate, Tile Slim and Tile Original.

Current Version: 2.10.0 (March 28, 2017)

Changes in Version 2.10.0

Now supports VoiceOver – allowing accessibility for the Tile app to be navigated with ease.

Read Tile’s AppleVis iOS App Directory entry for more information
Visit Tile’s App Store page

Recent News and Views

Apple Releases iOS 10.3; Bringing a Number of VoiceOver Fixes, but also Introducing at Least One New Bug of Note

By AppleVis | March 27, 2017

Apple has today released iOS 10.3 to the public.

At the time of posting, release notes are not yet available; however, this release brings a number of new features to iOS in addition to the usual mix of under-the-hood improvements and fixes.

For blind and low vision users, our testing indicates that Apple has made some progress towards addressing the accessibility bugs present in iOS 10.2.1.

Read More: “Apple Releases iOS 10.3; Bringing a Number of VoiceOver Fixes, but also Introducing at Least One New Bug of Note”

Apple Releases macOS Sierra 10.12.4, watchOS 3.2 and tvOS 10.2

By AppleVis | March 27, 2017

Today has seen another round of software updates from Apple. In addition to the release of iOS 10.3, there have also been updates for the Mac, Apple Watch and fourth-generation Apple TV.

At the time of posting, full release notes for these updates are not yet available; however, it is safe to assume that there will be the standard mix of bug fixes, security patches, and under-the-hood performance improvements.

Read more: “Apple Releases macOS Sierra 10.12.4, watchOS 3.2 and tvOS 10.2”

Summary of Apple’s March 21, 2017 Product Announcements

By AppleVis | March 21, 2017

Today has seen a round of product announcements from Apple, including the launch of a new iPad; a special PRODUCT(RED) iPhone; changes to storage sizes; some new accessories; and a new iOS app.

Read More: “Summary of Apple’s March 21, 2017 Product Announcements”

A Hope for iOS 11: How Apple Could Implement Spellcheck with VoiceOver in iOS

By Brian Giles | March 13, 2017

The influx of new notetakers at the last couple of CSUN conferences is great to see. More choice is always a good thing, as is having fewer, and lighter, devices to cary around to get things done. But what about iOS? Apple positions its iPad Pros as a way to take better notes and a great way to get rid of things on your desk in their latest adds. But there is one feature Apple needs to implement for this to be a viable option for VoiceOver users — an easy way to spell check.

Read More: “A Hope for iOS 11: How Apple Could Implement Spellcheck with VoiceOver in iOS”

Yo, Human! – Knowing the Shortcuts is Key(s): Accessing Life with Adaptive Technology

By Nicholas | March 1, 2017

Brought to you by the letter “Control-Option-A”.

Before my VoiceOver adventures began, I would tutor my clients on the use of standard shortcut keys and how to discover new keys by looking at the menus. The key-combinations are listed to the right of each menu item. Most of the often-used keys involved the use of the Command key on Mac, or the Control key on Windows. On the Mac, hold down Command with your thumb and press “s” and the current document will be saved. Look at the File menu, next to the “Save” menu item is “Command-s.” Simple, right?

Most people can speed up their navigation by using only a dozen or so keys. The most-used keys on Mac and Windows can be activated by pressing their first letter, command-o for open, command-s for save, etc. With a few exceptions. see the list below.

Read More: “Yo, Human! – Knowing the Shortcuts is Key(): Accessing Life with Adaptive Technology”

This Month in Podcasts

A Demonstration of Blindfold Feud

In this podcast, Joseph Weakland provides a brief demonstration of Blindfold Feud, one of many games in the Blindfold Games series.

Listen to “A Demonstration of Blindfold Feud”

A Demonstration and Walk-through of Mine Racer for Mac

In this Walk-through, T Dog gives us a brief demonstration of Mine Racer for Mac available from 2MB Solutions. You can play a free demo of the game, and purchase a fully-functional copy for $5 U.S.

Listen to “A Demonstration and Walk-through of Mine Racer for Mac”

Keep Track of Sunrise and Sunset Times with DayNight for iOS

In this podcast, Thomas Domville gives us a demonstration of DayNight: Daytime & Nighttime Awareness, a free iOS app which notifies users of sunrise and sunset times each day.

Listen to “Keep Track of Sunrise and Sunset Times with DayNight for iOS”

Connect Securely and Privately with the Threema Messaging App for iOS

In this podcast, Thomas Domville introduces us to Threema, a powerful and secure messaging app for iOS.

Key features of the app include:

  • write text and send voice messages
  • share videos, pictures and locations
  • send any type of file (pdf, animated gif, mp3, doc, zip, etc.)
  • create groups
  • conduct polls with the unique poll feature
  • choose between a dark and a light theme
  • quickly and silently reply with the unique agree/disagree feature
  • verify the identity of a contact by scanning their personal QR code
  • use Threema as anonymous instant messaging tool
  • synchronize your contacts (optional)

Listen to “Connect Securely and Privately with the Threema Messaging App for iOS”

A complete list of all podcasts posted to the AppleVis website can be found at http://ift.tt/UjLYDR

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Apple Releases macOS Sierra 10.12.4, watchOS 3.2 and tvOS 10.2

Today has seen another round of software updates from Apple. In addition to the release of iOS 10.3, there have also been updates for the Mac, Apple Watch and fourth-generation Apple TV.

At the time of posting, full release notes for these updates are not yet available; however, it is safe to assume that there will be the standard mix of bug fixes, security patches, and under-the-hood performance improvements.

The macOS update brings a Night Shift mode to the Mac; and also includes dictation support for Shanghainese, cricket scores for Siri, improved PDFKit APIs, and iCloud Analytics options.

watchOS 3.2 introduces a new “Theater Mode” which enables you to quickly mute the sound on the Apple Watch and disable Raise to Wake. This release also brings SiriKit to the Apple Watch, allowing you to ask Siri to do things such as send messages, send payments, book a ride, log a workout or make a call.

We have been able to carry out some limited testing of macOS Sierra 10.12.4 prior to today’s public release, and our experience suggests that blind and low vision users are likely to find no accessibility-related changes in this release.

As we always stress, it is impossible for us to test all applications and use cases. So, it is entirely possible that there may be some changes, regressions or improvements that we are unaware of at the time of posting. With this in mind, we would greatly appreciate your help in ensuring that the information on this page is as complete and accurate as possible. If you spot any accessibility-related changes in any of today’s releases, please do let us know by adding a comment below.

We will update this post if we learn of significant new features or changes in any of these releases.

How to Update

macOS Sierra 10.12.4 is available via the Updates tab in the Mac App Store.

watchOS 3.2 is available by going to the Watch app on your iPhone and navigating to General> Software Update. To install the update, your Watch must be connected to its charger and have at least 50% battery power.

To install tvOS 10.2 on a fourth-generation Apple TV, go to the Settings channel, then look for the System section near the bottom. From here, look for Software Updates under Maintenance, then select Update Software and Download and Install.

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Apple Releases iOS 10.3; Bringing a Number of VoiceOver Fixes, but also Introducing at Least One New Bug of Note

Apple has today released iOS 10.3 to the public.

At the time of posting, release notes are not yet available; however, this release brings a number of new features to iOS in addition to the usual mix of under-the-hood improvements and fixes.

For blind and low vision users, our testing indicates that Apple has made some progress towards addressing the accessibility bugs present in iOS 10.2.1.

As we always stress, it is impossible for us to test all devices, apps, and use cases. Consequently, it is entirely possible that there are changes, regressions or improvements that we are not aware of at the time of posting. With this in mind, we would greatly appreciate your help in ensuring that the information on this page is as complete and accurate as possible. If you spot any accessibility-related changes in iOS 10.3 that are not already listed here, please do let us know in the comments below.

Accessibility-Related Fixes in iOS 10.3

  • When opening a message in the native Mail app on iPhone, VoiceOver focus is once again placed into the body of the message. (Note: Based on our testing, this does not appear to be the case on iPad.)
  • It is once again possible to move an app out of a folder using the VoiceOver rotor. When moving an app out of a folder, VoiceOver users will find a new Rotor option to close the folder. Once activated, focus is moved out of the folder and the user can then navigate to wherever they wish to place the app.
  • The Space bar on the onscreen keyboard can again be reliably and consistently located by touch.
  • Navigating by Heading in the native News app is now more consistent and reliable.
  • VoiceOver no longer announces “incoming call” when making a call with the native Phone app.
  • VoiceOver now provides feedback when dragging an app from a folder on the Home screen.

New Accessibility-Related Bugs Introduced in iOS 10.3

  • Behavior of Shortcut Menus triggered on app icons by 3D Touch is unreliable. Things appear to work as expected if, after triggering the 3D Touch menu, you keep your finger pressed to the screen and drag to locate a menu item by touch or perform a very distinct swipe gesture to move VoiceOver focus. However, anything else (such as lifting your finger and then trying to locate a menu item by touch) may result in one of the menu items being triggered with no input from you.

Some Other changes of Note in iOS 10.3

Help With Finding Mislaid AirPods

Find My AirPods is a new option available in the “Find My iPhone” app. It keeps track of the last known location where AirPods were connected to an iOS device over Bluetooth, making a mislaid AirPod easier to find. It also allows you to play a sound to locate a lost AirPod. .

iOS Gets a New File System

When installing iOS 10.3, the device’s file system will be updated to use Apple File System (APFS). Announced last year at WWDC, APFS is optimized for Flash/SSD storage and includes features like strong encryption, space sharing, copy-on write metadata, cloning for files and directories, snapshots, and more.

This article from iMore provides information on APFS and what it will mean for you.

And a Few More Changes

  • Settings covering Apple ID, iCloud, iTunes & App Store are now grouped together in a new section in the Settings app.
  • The Settings app now provides a list of your installed apps which Apple say may slow down your iPhone and will not work with future versions of iOS if they are not updated by the developer. This is located at Settings>General>About>Applications.
  • SiriKit has been updated with new features that will let Siri be used to pay bills, check on the status of payments, and schedule future rides from services like Uber.
  • You can now use 3D Touch on the weather icon in the native Maps app to see weather-related details for your current location.
  • The “Diagnostics and Usage” option in the Privacy section of the Settings app has been renamed to “Analytics”. It continues to allow you to decide whether or not to send usage information to Apple to help the company improve its services. There’s also a new “Share iCloud Analytics” option.

How to Update to iOS 10.3

iOS 10.3 is available via Over-the-Air Update (Settings>General>Software Update) or via iTunes on your Mac or PC. As always, we recommend making a backup of your device before installing any software update.

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Summary of Apple’s March 21, 2017 Product Announcements

Today has seen a round of product announcements from Apple, including the launch of a new iPad; a special PRODUCT(RED) iPhone; changes to storage sizes; some new accessories; and a new iOS app.

The iPad Air 2 has been discontinued and replaced with a new 9.7-inch iPad equipped with an A9 chip and a brighter Retina display. This new model is simply called “iPad,” and is Apple’s new entry-level model at the 9.7-inch size.

The new iPad includes FaceTime cameras on front and rear; Touch ID; and is available in Apple SIM and cellular models with silver, gold and space gray color options. Prices start at US$329, with online availability beginning Friday, March 24, 2017 and in-store availability starting next week.

Apple has also doubled the storage and reduced the price of the iPad Mini 4. The 128GB iPad Mini 4 with Wi-Fi is now available for US$399, with the 128GB cellular model available for US$529. The 32GB iPad Mini 4, as well as all remaining variants of the iPad Mini 2, appear to have been discontinued.

Apple today also announced a new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus PRODUCT(RED) Special Edition. The new color option is described as a vibrant red aluminum finish in recognition of more than 10 years of partnership between Apple and (RED), which Apple says gives customers a way to contribute to the Global Fund and “bring the world a step closer to an AIDS-free generation.”

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition will be available in 128GB and 256GB models, with prices starting at US$749. Like the new iPad, it will be available to purchase from Friday, March 24, 2017.

In addition to the new PRODUCT(RED) iPhone, Apple has also doubled the storage capacity for the iPhone SE. The device is now available in 32GB and 128GB models, starting at US$399 with availability to purchase beginning Friday, March 24, 2017.

Apple has also announced new colors of its silicone and leather cases for iPhone. The silicone case is now available in azure, camellia, and pebble; while the leather case now comes in taupe, sapphire and berry.

For Apple Watch owners, a number of new bands have been introduced. These include 3 new colors for the Sport band, 6 new colors for the Woven Nylon band, and 3 new options for the Classic Buckle–which also now sports a new buckle design.

Today hasn’t been all about hardware and accessories, as there is also a brand new app from apple called Clips. The app allows you to combine video clips, photos, and music with animated captions and effects into creative videos for sharing on a variety of platforms. Clips will be available in April and will require iOS 10.3.

Lastly, Apple’s Swift Playgrounds app is now available in five new languages: Simplified Chinese, Japanese, French, German, and Latin American Spanish. Swift Playgrounds is an iPad app which teaches users to code using Apple’s Swift programming language. The app includes Apple-developed programming lessons, puzzles, and challenges which teach core coding concepts; built-in templates are also included for users to create their own programs.

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A Hope for iOS 11: How Apple Could Implement Spellcheck with VoiceOver in iOS

The influx of new notetakers at the last couple of CSUN conferences is great to see. More choice is always a good thing, as is having fewer, and lighter, devices to cary around to get things done. But what about iOS? Apple positions its iPad Pros as a way to take better notes and a great way to get rid of things on your desk in their latest adds. But there is one feature Apple needs to implement for this to be a viable option for VoiceOver users — an easy way to spell check.

When Apple introduced Braille screen input in iOS 8, I started using it for most of my regular iPhone writing. When they refined it in iOS 9, I started using it for nearly all my writing. For most of what I do, I’d rather use my iPhone SE than my MacBook Pro. The phone is fast enough, and braille screen input means that if I need to do some on the fly email, I don’t have to tote around the heavyish mid 2012 MBP (first world problems, I know). If I do need to do some longer writing, I can just grab my Braille display. I still have to go back to the Mac for a spelling and grammar check, though.

The VoiceDream Writer app does offer a way to go back and step through misspelled words, but I don’t think it gives you suggestions for the word it thinks you meant. macOS users know that you can press command+semicolon to do a spelling and grammar check on whatever you’re writing, be it an email, or a school paper in Pages. If Apple could somehow implement this in iOS, it would be great, especially with them promoting the iPad Pro as a PC replacement for certain people.

There may be a few ways Apple could implement spelling and grammar check while using VoiceOver. I had high hopes that when they introduced the ability for developers to add custom actions to the rotor in iOS 10, that Apple would at least do this in Pages. Probably more obvious though, would be if they just added a spelling option to the rotor, like they did with text selection in iOS 10, or they could make it a choice in the edit rotor option. You could flick up and down to jump between errors, double tap, and be presented with a list of suggestions. Of course, they could bring over the macOS command for those people using a bluetooth keyboard.

Are there other ways you think an accessible spell check feature could be brought to iOS? Discuss in the comments. Maybe in iOS 11?

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A Hope for iOS 11: How Apple Could Implement Spellcheck with VoiceOver in iOS

The influx of new notetakers at the last couple of CSUN conferences is great to see. More choice is always a good thing, as is having fewer, and lighter, devices to cary around to get things done. But what about iOS? Apple positions its iPad Pros as a way to take better notes and a great way to get rid of things on your desk in their latest adds. But there is one feature Apple needs to implement for this to be a viable option for VoiceOver users — an easy way to spell check.

When Apple introduced Braille screen input in iOS 8, I started using it for most of my regular iPhone writing. When they refined it in iOS 9, I started using it for nearly all my writing. For most of what I do, I’d rather use my iPhone SE than my MacBook Pro. The phone is fast enough, and braille screen input means that if I need to do some on the fly email, I don’t have to tote around the heavyish mid 2012 MBP (first world problems, I know). If I do need to do some longer writing, I can just grab my Braille display. I still have to go back to the Mac for a spelling and grammar check, though.

The VoiceDream Writer app does offer a way to go back and step through misspelled words, but I don’t think it gives you suggestions for the word it thinks you meant. macOS users know that you can press command+semicolon to do a spelling and grammar check on whatever you’re writing, be it an email, or a school paper in Pages. If Apple could somehow implement this in iOS, it would be great, especially with them promoting the iPad Pro as a PC replacement for certain people.

There may be a few ways Apple could implement spelling and grammar check while using VoiceOver. I had high hopes that when they introduced the ability for developers to add custom actions to the rotor in iOS 10, that Apple would at least do this in Pages. Probably more obvious though, would be if they just added a spelling option to the rotor, like they did with text selection in iOS 10, or they could make it a choice in the edit rotor option. You could flick up and down to jump between errors, double tap, and be presented with a list of suggestions. Of course, they could bring over the macOS command for those people using a bluetooth keyboard.

Are there other ways you think an accessible spell check feature could be brought to iOS? Discuss in the comments. Maybe in iOS 11?

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