Hands On Safety iA Cast

SafetyCast 2 Calling For Help

Show Description

Leslie, George and Meaghan discuss setting up the fastest ways to contact people in the event of an emergency and providing medical information for first responders. Leslie demonstrates setting up Emergency SOS settings in iOS and talks about the settings for the Apple Watch app. George demonstrates adding emergency contacts for android users. The team also discusses setting up medical ID information, fall detection on the Apple Watch and third-party apps. Some of them listed as the Top 5 apps to keep you safe. For more details about the apps discussed, read Meaghan’s review.

Providing Feedback

We want to hear from you, so please send an email to You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter. . Soon, you will also be able to find us on the web, for resources and other safety related topics.

iA Cast iA UnboxCast Report

#iAUnboxCast 44 – Google Pixel 4

Show Description

On this episode, Jason, Aleeha, and Michael unbox the Google Pixel 4

Providing Feedback

We love hearing from you, so feel free to send an email to 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.


Progressive Web Apps vs Native Apps: A Comparison

Software applications have typically been written to work in our operating systems like Windows and macOS, but with the improvements made to the Internet, it is now possible to make web pages that act like software applications. A few examples of this would be Gmail, Google Docs, or Microsoft Word online. These web based applications are commonly called Progressive Web Apps or PWAs because they are applications that can use your device’s hardware similarly to an application built for that device. This is why applications like Microsoft Word and others are referred to as native apps Lets compare the two types of applications, and then we can determine if one approach is better than the other.

Native Applications

Native applications are applications or programs built on a particular platform in the native SDKs of that platform. This would be similar to a developer building an iOS app in Swift or an Android app in Java or Koklin. Native applications compile to machine code, and are loaded on a person’s device through an installer, or an app store.


Native apps are built using Software Developer Kits herein called SDKs and Application Programming Interfaces which will herein be called APIs. these SDKs and APIs let developers write code specifically for a certain set of devices. This allows the applications to run faster with low latency. This means that your games will not lag, and your GPS will update quickly.

An applications look and feel mean a lot to a user, and an app that is built natively will more than likely look like it was built specifically for a certain device. There are several methods for building cross platform apps, but using a platform’s built in and familiar user interface controls will always make users happy.

Even desktop users are concerned these days about how many resources an app uses, and this is why native apps can shine. Native apps do not run in conjunction with a web browser or other platform, so resources can be used the least to get the same job done.


Native applications are amazing but they have a few limitations. The first of these is that they have to be updated. A Progressive Web App can be updated on the fly, but an app that is installed on a device needs to be updated on each device for the user to get the benefits of the software change.

User Interface design takes a lot of time, and developing a good interface for multiple devices takes time and effort. The User Interface used on iOS should not be the exact same for Android and so on. WhatsApp for iOS does not look anything like WhatsApp for Android, and neither does Facebook. This means that a user interface must be created for each platform for a native app, which can take more time and money than a company is willing to invest.

Progressive Web Apps

Progressive Web apps are applications built on the web. They still use the standard HTML pages we have come to rely on when we go to a website, but they then use JavaScript and other languages to refresh the page content without refreshing the entire page. Again, examples of this would be Gmail, Google Docs, and Microsoft Word Online.


Progressive Web Apps allow developers and designers the ability to develop and deploy without having to send out a massive update to users. A developer can commit changes to the application and the user will see those changes the next time they login to the web app. This makes Progressive Web Apps very scalable, and free from review periods which Apple and others require on native applications.

While having a native interface is good for built in applications, Progressive Web Apps can deliver the same user interface across platforms. This means that the user will see the same interface on a Chromebook as they would see in Microsoft Edge in Windows or Safari for macOS.


Progressive Web Apps do have their drawbacks. The most notable one is that they do not always provide an easy way to be used offline. Many of these do, but there are many that do not work while offline.

As said earlier, computer resources are essential, and multiple browser tabs with web applications can take up your computer’s resources. This is why Chromebooks also allow for Native Android apps along with Chrome web apps so that the user can use both on a chrome based machine.

Accessibility practices are key for blind and low vision users to have equal access to online applications. Native apps are no where near perfect in this space either, but they do have an edge as many PWA frameworks do not allow for accessibility out of the box. This is why many online apps have accessibility barriers where as many native apps that fulfill the same use case work well with screen readers.


Both Native Apps and Progressive Web Apps have their place in the modern Internet and both solutions have their strengths and weaknesses. The important thing is for developers to know when to use the right solution, and for users to know what works best for them. For example, I find that Microsoft Word online is a bit cumbersome, so I prefer to use Word for Windows or Mac. The same goes for mail. Gmail has a nice online UI, but I find that a native mail client works best for me. The nice thing though is that I have the option to use Gmail online if I am not at my own computer, and the interface works well not matter where I go.

The reason we felt that this article needed to be written was so that users could learn the difference between these kinds of applications and so that people could be aware that there is usually more than one option available, and to use what works best instead of what others want you to use.

We also advise that you reach out to both native app developers and web app developers alike and leave feedback on how each experience can be made better.

iA Cast iA Cast Weekly

#iACast 129 – What Is An App

Show description

On this episode, Michael and Jason discuss the fundamental definition of an app. They also discuss some of the differences between Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android apps, and the methods for developing them.


Android 10 has been released.
Apple’s September 10th event will be held at the Steve Jobs Theater.


SwiftUI Training by iAccessibility


Jason: The Big Bang Theory
Michael: The Powerbeats Pro

Providing Feedback

We love hearing from you, so feel free to send an email to 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.


PocketBraille 1.2.2 for Android is out!

We are very excited to announce that PocketBraille for Android has been updated and now supports nearly every Grade 2 contraction. You can download the app on Google Play from the link below. All users must redownload this version of the app.

PocketBraille on Google Play


Differences between iOS and Android App Development

Becoming a developer for any platform requires a lot of time, dedication, and will, but sometimes it helps to have resources out there to just read and learn from. iOS and Android are two platforms that dominate the industry, so lets take a look at these platforms, and what it takes to develop for them.

iOS Development

To develop for iOS, you MUST have a Mac. Once you have one, you will need to download Xcode, Apple’s development platform. This application lets you develop applications for both iOS and macOS. You will then need to learn a coding language supported by these operating systems. The most popular of these is Swift, but developers can still use Objective-C if that is what they are more interested in. Here are some great resources to get you started with these languages.

  1. The Swift Programming Guide for Swift 5 on Apple Books
  2. The Objective-C Programming Language – Apple Developer

iOS development is based on writing code around the user interface and user events. To help with this, Apple has created what are called Storyboards, where you can create each screen of your app graphically. If graphical design isn’t your thing, then you can create all of your app’s user interface objects through code. Each method has its strengths and weaknesses.

Once your app has been written, your assets are ready, and you are ready to test,  you should sign up for an Apple Developer account. This account will use your Apple ID, and it will cost you $100 in the US each year.

Once this is done, login to App Store Connect, and set up TestFlight testing which supports public testing now.

If your app is how you like it,  send it up to Apple for review. This can take up to 24 to 48 hours. Once this is done,  your app will be live in the App Store for anyone to download.

Android App Development

Android app development is very similar to iOS development in some ways but drastically different in others. Here is the process for building an app for Android.

To develop apps on Android, you will first need a program called Android Studio. Android Studio is an Integrated Developer environment similar to Apple’s Xcode. It allows you to build Android apps on multiple platforms. This means that you can build the same app on a Windows computer or on a Mac.

To start developing for Android, you first need to learn an Android supported programming language. There are ways you can build Android apps in Python and or with other programming languages, but Java and Kotlin is the preferred way to go, and is the supported language by Google and Android Studio at this time. Here are some resources to get you started.

  1. Documentation for Android Developers

With Android Studio, an app is built by programming around user interface elements and events, which is similar to iOS, but Android does not have anything like Storyboards. Instead, you will have to design each screen separately. These screens are called Activities, and the best way to think of this is that each activity is a separate app from other activities in your containing app. You basically just connect each activity together and send data back and forth.

Android Activities are basically a few files. The code files which are written in Java or Kotlin, and the layout files which are written in XML. You can write the layout files by hand, or you can use Android Studio’s visual designer. You will definitely find though that the Android studio visual designer will only get you so far in the process, and some hand writing of the user interface layout files will be needed. You can also opt out of layout files, and just write all of your user interfaces out of Java or Kotlin, but this will take longer unlike iOS development.

Once you write your app its time to test and begin the publication process. You will need to register as an Android developer at which has an initial cost of $20. Once you pay this then you are forever an Android Developer!

Publishing your app is very similar to the App Store Connect portal for iOS. This time, you will use the Google Play Developer console. You will have to have screenshots of your app and a description, and you will need to upload your app with Android Studio.

What Are The Differences?

iOS development and Android development have several things that are similar, but they have some very major differences. Many of these were outlined above, but lets look at everything now.

  • iOS development requires you to pay $100 a year to keep your apps in the App Store, whereas Google requires you to pay $20 up front to become an Android Developer for life.
  • Apple uses Xcode to build apps, whereas Android uses Android Studio to build apps and services.
  • Apple keeps their apps as a walled garden, meaning their access to other apps is limited,  where as Android lets your app talk to and see other apps on a device.
  • iOS developers use Swift or Objective-C to build apps, whereas Android developers use Java or Kotlin.
  • iOS app simulators are bare-bones versions of iOS that run effectively on macOS, where Android simulators are full versions of Android that may tax your machine a bit while debugging apps. This allows you to run Talkback while testing your apps, however. The iOS simulator is unable to run VoiceOver.
  • iOS apps may run in the background for certain reasons for a certain amount of time, but Android apps can install services to run indefinitely or until the app is closed.
  • iOS apps use storyboards or NIB files to build user interfaces, where Android apps use layout files which are written in pure XML. Android files are easier to edit by hand.

There are still many more differences between these two platforms that we have not had the chance to cover, but this should help any new developer know what they are getting into if they want to transition between either of these platforms.

Reach out to us on our Slack community if you would like to learn more, or email us at if you have any developer questions.

iA Cast iA Cast Weekly

#iAcast 98 – Technological camouflage

On this weekly episode of the iAcast, Aleeha, Jason, Matt, and Michael discuss the latest Google Event in the news section. In the main topic of the show, the panel talks about companies attempting to make home technology look apart of the decor of your home. 

For our picks this week, Aleeha chooses a parcel package tracker. 

Jason chooses Treasure Island musical.

Matt picks Overcast, a podcast player. 

Michael’s pick is the Microsoft Windows Fall Software Update. 

iA Cast iA Cast Weekly

#iACast 91 – Convergence Of Technology

On this episode of the iACast, Michael, Aleeha and Jason discuss the convergence of technology ideas and concepts between manufacturers and across operating systems. We also address pros and cons of a technological convergence, and how it might affect accessibility.


Google has released Android Pie.

Some 2018 MacBook Pro owners are experiencing an issue causing the speakers to emit crackling noises.

Samsung released the Galaxy Note 9.

Movies Anywhere is now available in the Windows movies and TV app.

Baum has been rebranded to VisioBraille.


Want to help iAccessibility LLC get off the ground? Consider donating to our GoFundMe campaign. Your donation will help us provide you with more great content.


Support and Feedback

If you enjoy our content, let us know by sending an email to You can also follow us on FacebookTwitter, and don’t forget to check out our YouTube page.

Also, if you enjoy our content and wish to donate, you can by visiting our Paypal and Patreon pages. Every donation really helps us deliver great content and products to you.

iA Cast iA Cast Weekly

#iACast 88 – Beta Comparisons

On this episode of the #iACast, Michael, Jason and Scott discuss the differences between the Apple, Microsoft, and Android beta programs.

We also discuss an overheating issue that affected some 2018 MacBook Pros. While Apple has released a software update that is said to fix the overheating problem, the update was not yet available at the time of recording.

We talk about Apple’s release of the Shortcuts app as a TestFlight beta for developers, Aira shipping Horizon kits, the new photo description features found in the latest update to Seeing AI, and the release of the fourth developer beta of iOS 12.


Our ad for this week is the announcement of iAccessibility becoming an LLC.

Michael’s weekly pick is the

Nintendo Switch, Jason’s pick is an app called My Contacts Backup. This app lets you export your contacts as a vCard that you can then import back into a contact manager or a service such as iCloud. Scott’s pick is a food delivery app called MyTown2Go.


We love hearing from you. Let us know what you think by sending an email to You can also follow us on FacebookTwitterReddit, and more.

You can check out our content on YouTube, and you can also find our app in the iOS App Store. If you would like to support iAccessibility, why not consider donating to our Patreon page? Any amount you can give will help us bring you more great content in the future.

iA Cast iA Cast Weekly

#iACast Special Interview With the Creator of WayAround

On this interview, Michael and Aleeha speak with the creator of WayAround, a system that can read and write NFC tags with iOS as well as Android.


iA Cast iA Cast Weekly iA CodeCast Report

#iACast 86 – Benefits of Code

This episode of the iACast is a combined episode with the iA CodeCast podcast where we discuss everything related to code. On this episode Michael, Aleeha, and Jason discuss how coding can be rewarding and an amazing career opportunity instead of it being a chore.


We start the show by talking about the new decision by the supreme court that forces Internet companies who sell products in the United States to charge sales tax.

Article discussion from NPR 


Each week our hosts pick something in technology they have used during the week.

We hope that you enjoyed this episode of the iA Cast and the iA CodeCast. Please let us know what you think by emailing or by using our hashtag of #iACast. You can also follow us on twitter at @iaccessibility1

iA Cast iA Cast Weekly

#iACast 82 – Google Tablet Degradation

On this episode of the #iACast, Aleeha, Michael, Allison, and Jason talked about the degradation of Android tablets. They mentioned the top Android tablets from PCMag,  and the fact that Google removed support for their tablets from Android P. In the news, they talked about:

This week’s advertisement featured the iAccessibility training program.

The show concluded with everyone’s weekly picks. Aleeha talked about Flicktype beta, Allison talked about the West World TV show and  Aira’s description of the royal wedding. Jason’s pick was File explorer by Skyjos. Michael talked about his pick Movie Pass. Feel free to send feedback to or follow us at iAccessibility1 on Twitter.