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iA Cast iA Cast Weekly

#iACast 137 – Giving Thanks To Tech

Show Description

On this episode, Michael, Jason, and Leslie talk about their Thanksgiving events and what they were thankful for this year as well as why we should be thankful for the tech we have now.

News

Apple Tv Plus has a new show out called Servant
GoDaddy now charges for email addresses

Picks

Leslie: AirPods Pro
Jason: book called Autonomous
Michael: Apple TV Plus show called Servant and a movie called A Beautiful Day in The Neighborhood

Providing Feedback

love hearing from you. Feel free to send an email to feedback@iaccessibility.net, or follow us on [Facebook]9https://www.facebook.com/iaccessibility/), and Twitter. You can also find us on Reddit, and all around the web. Don’t forget to check out our YouTube channel, and for all things iACast, check out our iACast page. If you’d like to help support us, you can do so via our -PayPal](https://www.paypal.me/iaccessibility) and Patreon pages. If you wish to interact with us during our podcasts, please do join us on our Slack channel.

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iA Cast iA Cast Weekly

#iACast 136 – November New Tech Reviews

Show Description

On this episode, Michael, Aleeha, Jason, and Chris focus on the tech news of the past few weeks.

News

Apple releases the Beats Solo Pro.
Apple released AirPods Pro.
Apple TV+ has launched.
Google launches Google Play Pass.
Microsoft is set to discontinue the Cortana app for iOS and Android.
Disney+ is now live, and you can check out our DemoCast, where we show off the apps for both iOS and Android.
Apple releases the 16-inch MacBook Pro. You can listen to the sound of the built-in microphones and learn more by clicking on this Vector video.

Picks

Aleeha: Disney+
Jason: Apple TV+
Michael: AirPods Pro

Providing Feedback

We love hearing from you, so feel free to send an email to feedback@iaccessibility.net. You can follow us on Facebook, and Twitter. You can also find us on Reddit, and all around the web. Also, don’t forget to check out our YouTube page, and for all things iACast, check out our iACast page. If you’d like to help support us, you can do so via our PayPal and Patreon pages. If you wish to interact with us during our podcasts live then please do join us on our Slack channel.

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iA Cast iA Cast Weekly

#iACast 108 – Accessibility Versus Inclusive Design

Show Description

On this episode of the iACast, Michael, Aleeha, Jason, and Lauren discuss accessibility versus inclusive design.

News Stories

iAccessibility Ad

iAccessibility offers Teamtalk hosting for $3 per month. Visit the iAccessibility web site for more details.

Picks

Jason: Garage Band

Lauren: Instacart

Aleeha: Clock In/Out iOS Shortcut

Michael: iMovie

Providing Feedback

We love hearing from you, so feel free to send an email to feedback@iaccessibility.net. You can follow us on Facebook, and Twitter. You can also find us on Reddit, and all around the web. Also, don’t forget to check out our YouTube page, and for all things iACast, check out our iACast page. If you’d like to help support us, you can do so via our Paypal and Patreon pages.

 

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iA Cast iA Cast Weekly

#iACast 78: Headphone Showdown

On this episode of the iA Cast, Michael, Jason, Aleeha, Allison, Scott, and Matt discuss all of the headphones we use All podcast panelists use their equipment for recording, so each person will sound differently based on what they use.

Here is the news for this episode.

Here is what each person used for this episode.

Please give us feedback by emailing feedback@iaccessibility.net, or by following us at twitter @iaccessibility1. You can also tweet our hashtag at #iACast.

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iA Cast iA Cast Weekly

#iACast 55 – 2017 iPhone Pre-Show

In this episode, Jason, Michael, Aleeha, Jade, and Anne discuss what we possibly  can expect from Apple’s event on Tuesday. We have posted this episode before Wednesday as a special to prime everyone for the upcoming event.

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iA Cast iA Cast Weekly

#iACast 29 – UnboxCast 4: AirPods

Join Michael, Jessica, Rich, and Daniel as they discuss Apple’s AirPods, and hear Daniel and Michael unbox theirs live on the podcast! Get the scoop on what it’s like to setup and use these new wireless headphones. Are their any issues? Are the AirPods worth the hype? You’ll find out in this episode, which was recorded on December 22, 2016. Enjoy!

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iA Cast iA Cast Weekly

#iACast 28 – The Future is NOW

This podcast was recorded on December 1, 2016, and it is hosted by Michael Doise. Accompanying Michael on this episode is Jason Earls, and Jessica Smith.

This episode covers the following topics:

  1. Black Friday/Cyber Monday DealsIn this segment, we discuss our holiday spending and deals we found interesting.
  2. W1-Enabled HeadphonesIn this segment, we discuss Beats and Apple’s AirPods.
  3. Directv NowAll three of us subscribed to AT&T’s new Directv Now service. Listen to us compare its accessibility and ease-of-use to other services, and hear our opinion on the service as a whole.
  4. Why Unlimited Data isn’t Always GoodIf you can stream Directv Now as much a you want as an AT&T cellular subscriber, why isn’t that good for consumers? What about consumers with other networks? What about other services that want to compete with Directv Now? Hear us discuss these issues and more.
  5. iAccessibility NewsCheck out iAccessibility.net for all the details on app betas, our training program, and more.

We sincerely hope you enjoy the content covered in this episode of our podcast! We have more content in the editing process, and we can’t wait to share it all with you soon! Thank you for listening!

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Report

#Top10 Posts of 2016!

iAccessibility saw tremendous growth in 2016, when compared to previous years. For this, we would like to thank you all for reading our articles, sharing our posts, listening to our podcasts, and following us on social media. To celebrate, we would like to share with you the posts that received the most traffic in 2016! That’s right, here are your favorite articles.

Note: This list is in reverse order, with the most popular post appearing last on the list.

  1. Product Review: Apple AirPods, written by Jessica Smith
  2. Zooming in on the Touch Bar, written by Jessica Smith
  3. This iPhone 7 Plus Feels so Accessible, written by Jessica Smith
  4. VoiceOver at the Bar, written by Michael Doise and Jessica Smith
  5. Organizing Apps in iOS 10 With VoiceOver, written by Rich Cavallaro
  6. A Guide to iMessage in iOS 10, written by Jessica Smith
  7. The Magic Tap isn’t so Magical, written by Michael Doise
  8. New VoiceOver Features in iOS 10, written by Jessica Smith
  9. These Mail Changes in iOS 10 will Make You Happy, written by Ashley Coleman
  10. The iOS 10 Feature No One is Talking About, written by Jessica Smith

There you have it – the most popular posts, as chosen by you, our readers! What do you think? Is this list accurate, or do you have a favorite that did not appear on this list? Let us know! And once again, thank you all for your support! We look forward to bringing you more content throughout 2017 and beyond!

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Best Device of 2016 – Michael Doise

The year of 2016 has given us several new and exciting devices, and our authors here at iAccessibility will be writing about what they feel is their favorites, but I will start everything off with my favorite, which is…

The Apple AirPods!!!

When Apple released their new phone in September, they promised the release in October for their wireless earbuds, but they had to delay the launch due to issues with the device. In December, Apple released the AirPods, and they did not disappoint in what they promised.

I managed to pick up the AirPods from Best Buy while they were available online, and they were delivered two days later. Until this point, I have typically used EarPods and other bluetooth headphones like the Aftershokz Trekz and for a short time, the Beats PowerBeats3, but I have since retired and returned each of these as the AirPods have changed the way I listen to audio on a daily basis. I even use the AirPods on the Mac to record podcasts. I use the AirPods for output and my regular mic for audio input

Conclusion

While the AirPods may not be perfect and for everyone, they are my favorite device for 2016, and I recommend them to all that want a wireless audio solution that is clear and that allows for listening to audio while traveling in a noisy city where you have to know where you are going.

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Product Review: Apple AirPods

When preorders went live for Apple’s iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, I acted fast! I knew I wouldn’t miss the headphone jack, because removing it would pave the way for more advancements in technology. With this in mind, it is no surprise that I was also among the first to order Apple’s new AirPods! I received them on Monday, December 19 – 2 days before the original estimate! I excitedly unboxed them, and paired them. Now that I have had some time to test functionality, here is my impressions and review.

What’s in the box?

  • The AirPods in their Charging Case
  • Documentation
  • Lightning Cable

Note: The box is shrink wrapped, unlike some newer products from Apple. Also, the box has a tactile image of the AirPods, which is something I always enjoy.

Setup

As many other reviews point out, pairing the AirPods with an iPhone or iPad is quick, painless, and somewhat magical. Simply open the lid of the case while it’s near your device, and an interface similar to Control Center will appear, asking you to connect. Once paired, you can see the battery level of the case and the AirPods themselves. Now, not only are your AirPods paired with the device you’re using, but they are also paired with all other devices connected to your iCloud account. The only omission, at least for now, is the Apple TV. The reasoning for this is that the Apple TV is generally a shared device, so the AirPods must be paired like traditional bluetooth devices. Hopefully this will change soon!

Pairing with traditional bluetooth devices is made possible with a pairing button located on the back of the AirPods case. This button also allows you to reset the AirPods, if you need to start the pairing process over like I did.

Wait, it wasn’t a seamless experience?

Well, it would have been, had I not been on a phone call at the time of initial pairing. Sound quality seemed strange to me, and I could not get the AirPods to show up on other devices. Initially, I went to Settings > Bluetooth, and forgot “Yessie’s AirPods,” but the next time I tried to pair them, the panel said, “Not your AirPods.” I could have connected anyway, but I wanted to have the experience Apple intended. So, I reset the AirPods.

To complete a reset, open the case (with the AirPods inside) and hold down the pairing button for 15 seconds. Then, the interface I mentioned above should appear. From there, it’s smooth sailing.

Look and Feel

Apple is going wireless, and the AirPods show it off beautifully. If you are used to traditional Apple headphones, these will be an easy adjustment for you, as the AirPods are simply a pair of EarPods with the cables cut off. They look and feel almost exactly the same. Even if the EarPods fall out of your ears, these may not. As it turns out, one major reason EarPods fall out of people’s ears is because of the cables. Who knew? Personally, I never had issues with EarPods staying in my ears, and this remains true for the AirPods. I did, however, have a scary moment where one fell out of my ear while doing house work. I would advise extra caution around trash receptacles or anything with a drain, especially for us low vision and blind folks.

Connectivity

The AirPods link together using Apple’s new W1 chip, and maintain two simultaneous bluetooth connections to your device. They remain perfectly in sync, which is really magical. The AirPods are said to have bluetooth 4 with some “special sauce,” but all that matters is that it seems to work really well. They have improved range compared to other bluetooth devices, and they have less audio imperfections. This is great, because for them to be worthwhile, these need to rival the usefulness of traditional or lightning headphones. In my testing, I would compare the range of the AirPods to that of my wireless, not bluetooth, headset with a USB receiver. I am very impressed, and I have not experienced any disconnections, like with traditional bluetooth audio devices.

Functionality

The AirPods can be charged from 0% to 100% in just 30 minutes, and each AirPod can last 5 hours on a single charge, or 2 hours of talk time. The case provides 24 hours of charge, which means these should easily get you through any long commute, or multiple short commutes with no need for lightning cables. When the case does need to be charged, you can easily do so with the included lightning cable, or one of the many others you undoubtedly have lying around. If you ever find yourself in a hurry, a quick 15-minute charge in the case provides the AirPods with 3 hours of listening time, or 1 hour of talk time. You can quickly check the charge of the AirPods, as well as the case with the same interface that pops up when you open the lid. When both AirPods are in the case, they’re listed as “AirPods: X%.” When one is removed, however, they show up as their separate left and right channels respectively. Additionally, you can check the level of your AirPods while you’re using them in the Batteries Widget on your iPhone. It will even tell you if you are using the left or right AirPod, which is a nice touch.

The AirPods can be used independently as a mono headphone, or together as a stereo pair. Switching between mono and stereo audio works really well in my testing. Just take one out of the case, and put it in your ear. You’ll hear it connect, and you can immediately start playing audio. As soon as you remove the second AirPod from the case, it will begin playing audio and you can put it in your ear for a great stereo sound. Removing either one will pause the audio, and you can press play again to continue playing in mono, or put the other headphone in your ear to continue listening in stereo. I love this feature, as it makes it very easy to quickly hold a conversation with someone without the distraction of audio playing in your headphones. Note: You can change any of these behaviors in Bluetooth settings, and even rename the AirPods.

Seamless Switching

On a recent podcast, I mentioned how I love my Plantronics Voyager Edge for its ability to maintain a simultaneous connection to both my iPhone and Apple Watch, and to switch between them as needed. The AirPods are advertised to do the same, without the need to manually pair to each device. However, in my testing, this has been far from consistent.

The AirPods refused to appear as an audio option on my Apple Watch until I restarted. Once I did, the watch connected to them and VoiceOver’s audio came through the AirPods instead of the watch. However, once I switched back to my phone, and tried switching back to the watch, I was unable to get audio to go through the AirPods again. Attempts to connect through Control Center on the watch often failed, which is a huge disappointment.

Additionally, I noticed that with only VoiceOver running, the AirPods would lose connection to my phone when I set it down. I would have to go to Control Center and remind them that they were supposed to be connected. This is also disappointing.

Music Playback

Music playback with the iPhone works really well. It sounds great – slightly better than the EarPods. I can definitely see myself using these quite a bit for listening to music on the go. My only problem? Siri is not a good replacement for actual buttons. I would like volume controls, and a way to skip tracks. Right now, you can only play/pause, and activate Siri by tapping the AirPods. What’s worse is that you have to tap really hard for Siri to activate, and it’s hard to know exactly where to tap. I’m hoping this will get easier with time, but it would be nice if Apple would give us some additional controls for music playback.

VoiceOver Latency?

Admittedly, I am not the best judge of latency, seeing as how I don’t continuously use VoiceOver. However, I will say that when paired with an iPhone, the AirPods are very responsive. I don’t notice much lag at all when typing long messages, or using VoiceOver. Is it as good as wired headphones? I don’t think so, but each person will form their individual opinion about latency. I’ve heard everything from, there’s no latency, to VoiceOver is very sluggish. There are also many factors to keep in mind when testing latency – the device used for testing and the particular use case are two examples of this.

I would also like to point out that MacBooks before 2015 are not setup to support newer standards of bluetooth, so latency is much worse on those machines. Additionally, they do not support wide-band audio, so any calls will have very poor audio quality. This is not the fault of the AirPods.

Conclusion

Apple’s long-awaited AirPods are finally here, bringing with them the wireless future Apple promised! At $159, the price is cheaper than most comparable wireless earbuds, and the functionality is much improved. Of course, this is more true for those of us in the Apple ecosystem, and who interact with Apple devices on a daily basis. If you are an Android user, for example, there are probably better options available for purchase. If you don’t plan to use these with an iPhone, iPod, iPad, or Apple Watch, I would recommend looking elsewhere. I have had a few issues with AirPods when it comes to switching between devices and with losing connection when no audio is being streamed, which is disappointing. However, I feel most of this is caused by long-standing bugs with Bluetooth in iOS, which will hopefully receive more attention now and actually get fixed. As for the AirPods themselves, future updates may include additional functionality – I am hoping for more music controls. With all this said, I believe the AirPods are a great first-generation product. There is room for improvement, but software updates should do the trick! I recommend these to any iOS user who is searching for well-integrated truly wireless earbuds. Embrace the wireless future with me, won’t you?

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iA Cast iA Cast Weekly

#iACast 27 – Backdoor

Hello, and welcome to another delayed edition of our podcast! We are hopeful that our schedule will be a little more regular soon, so we hope you all are sticking with us. In this episode, which was recorded on November 16, 2016, we cover the following topics:

  • A Backdoor to ChinaHow would you feel if you found out that your text messages, location data, and private information were being sent to China for analysis? Unfortunately, if you own a cheaper android phone, or if you are an international customer, this could be a reality for you. The worst part is you may never know if your phone is affected, and the software that does this was put there on purpose by the manufacturer. Whoa!Your User Data is Secretly Sent to China Through a Backdoor on Some US Android Phones
  • Microsoft Joins Linux FoundationThis surprised a few members of our team. Apparently, Microsoft is reversing course on its opinion of Linux. This is especially interesting, because some of Microsoft’s choices still contradict the choice to join the Linux Foundation. We think it will be interesting to see what the future holds in this regard.Microsoft – Yes, Microsoft – Joins the Linux Foundation
  • Visual Studio Invades the MacNow developers can develop cross-platform applications using Visual Studio on macOS. Although our group finds Xcode to be the best IDE for developing Mac and iOS apps, we believe choice is always good. Hopefully this will allow more developers more flexibility in how and which operating system they use while developing apps.Announcing the new Visual Studio for Mac
  • MacBook Pro with Touch Bar ReviewsIt’s all pretty mixed! Some think the Touch Bar is useful, while others think a touch screen would make more sense. We believe the usefulness of the Touch Bar depends on how you use your computer, and which apps support it. We think it will become more useful over time as mor uses are found for it, and the price will decrease as well. You should definitely feel free to check out reviews online, and if you have a store nearby, check out these new machines in an Apple Store.The Reviews are in — Here’s What People are Saying About Apple’s Latest Laptop
  • First Impressions of Apple’s AirPodsWhat will it be like to use the long-awaited Airpods? What is latency like? Will they work well with VoiceOver? Well, most of us have yet to find out any of this first-hand, since the AirPods have not been released! However, lucky members of the media have been testing AirPods, and we have read a little information from one of our favorite websites, iMore. Here’s the link!AirPods First Impressions
  • We’re All About the TV AppListen to us discuss what it’s like to use theupcoming TV app on the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV. We think this is a great addition to our TV-watching experience. We find it frustrating that some services, like Netflix, refuse to participate. However, it’s a great start, and we can’t wait to see how it improves in the near future.3 Ways Apple’s New TV App Will Change the Viewing Experience on Apple TV
  • Prevention is Always Better Than Reaction: Twitter is Finally Getting the PictureFinally, Twitter is introducing new features to help users prevent abuse. Muting keywords, usernames, and conversations is now a little easier. We think this is a good step in the right direction, but that Twitter should be doing more to help users have a more positive experience on the social network.Twitter is Adding New Filtering Tools in an Effort to Curb Abuse
  • Is the Google Home worth Ditching the Echo?On our website, you will find Rich’s impressions of the new Google Home smart speaker. He immediately returned his. Would you have done the same? Do you think it replaces the Amazon Echo? Overall, we think it sounds neat, but it is very much a first-generation product. We think it could still be an option for users who are in the Google ecosystem, but if the Echo meets your needs, we recommend sticking with Alexa.Google Home First impressions
  • VO Starter – Public Beta!We welcome anyone who wants to join us in testing version 3.0 of the VO Starter application for iOS. It is a great resource for blind an low vision users who are new to iOS, and you could help us help them learn to use VoiceOver.VO Starter 3.0 Public Beta

Thank you all for checking out our podcast! Please share it with others, and tweet using the hashtag #IACast. Please visit us online at iaccessibility.net, and check out all we have to offer!