On this episode of the iA UnboxCast, Michael unboxes the Google Pixel 2 with guests Aleeha, Lauren, Chelsea and Jason. Michael takes us through initial setup and talks about the basic features of the phone. Don’t forget to contact us with any feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org or by following us on Twitter @iaccessibility1. Also, please donate to our Patreon at patreon.com/iacast.
In this special #iACast, recorded at CSUN 2018, Michael talks with Paul from Aira about the new Horizon Glasses
This morning, I discovered an app called Texie for iOS. The app claims to be able to perform quick text recognition, kind of like the Short Text mode of Seeing AI. It’s free do download, but, in order to perform scans, you must purchase credits, which start at $0.99 for 100 scans. You get a few extra credits with this purchase (I think I received 10 extra, giving me 110.)
The app is a bit misleading, however. There are no instructions when you start it for the first time, only a blank home screen for VoiceOver users. There are tabs across the bottom: Home, Settings, IAP (the screen where you can purchase credits), and Info.
The home tab allows the user to scan. Although blank to VoiceOver users initially, the app will emit beeps when it thinks it’s recognized text. The trick is to find the button that “text found, click screen to read” button. This cannot be found by flicking left and right, and the user must use explore by touch to locate it. If, however, the user turns VoiceOver off, they can tap anywhere on the screen other than the tab bar at the bottom to recognize the text. Once the text starts to read, there is no good way to stop it other than using a two finger double tap to start other media or going to the home screen.
The settings tab allows the user to replay the last scan, change the mode from single to multipage, or clear the current pages. Unfortunately, there is no way to adjust the speech rate or voice.
The IAP tab allows the user to purchase more scan credits. Finally, the info tab explains a little about the app.
In conclusion, I don’t really believe this app, even with its claim to read well written handwriting, is worth the price with the availability of Seeing AI and KNFB Reader. The OCR is not as good as the other two, and it does not automatically read as Seeing AI does. The accessibility is a little iffy, and it uses online OCR, which just isn’ helpful with a slow data or WiFi connection. The app is fairly new, and my hope is that it will continue to improve and find its place among its competitors.
On September 25, 2017, Apple released macOS High Sierra to the public. Here are some new enhancements to VoiceOver.
Enhanced Multilingual Support
If VoiceOver detects that a language has been associated with text that it’s reading, it Will automatically switch to another voice and will read the text in that language. You can set the voice VoiceOver uses for different languages in VoiceOver Utility. For example, if you were to add the Spanish language and set a voice for it, VoiceOver will then use that Spanish voice to read text that has been tagged as Spanish for screen readers.
VoiceOver can describe images, just like it does in iOS. To do this, press VO (Control plus option or caps lock, depending on how you have the VoiceOver modifier set) + Shift + L when focus is placed on an image.
Improved Grade 2 Braille Experience
VoiceOver provides a more seamless Braille experience when you are working with text and using Grade 2 Braille. For example, your Braille display now shows “the context of what you’re typing,” and when you edit text, it is no longer translated back into Grade 1 Braille.
Improved Web and Email Navigation
VoiceOver navigation is more consistent and reliable when navigating webpages in Safari. VoiceOver has better support for navigating tables in richly formatted email messages in mail.
Improved PDF Accessibility
VoiceOver has better support for reading tables, lists, and forms in tagged PDF documents.
Let us know if you’ve discovered anything else new.
On this episode of the UnboxCast, Aleeha and Michael unbox the ever popular Apple TV 4th generation from Apple. Aleeha goes through initial setup of the device, as well as its settings. We also demonstrate downloading and setting up an app from the App Store.
On this episode of the iACast, Aleeha, Jason, Michael, and Anne Currie discuss the accessibility of eReaders developed by Amazon. Discussion primarily focuses on the Kindle Paperwhite,an eReader commonly used in the educational system. It has a unique accessibility system, requiring a blind user to purchase the reader as a Bundle. We discuss the pros and cons of this method of accessibility implementation, alternatives to it, and ways that it could be improved. Some helpful links related to the accessibility of Amazon eReaders follow.
Today we decided that VO Starter should provide training to all iOS users who want to learn VoiceOver, so we decided to make VO Starter a free app. One reason we did this is because everyone should know how to use their device, and the other app that helps with this training is now 2 years old and could use an update. iAccessibility hopes to provide the best training opportunities for students with the use of VO Starter and future VoiceOver training apps, so from this point on, VO Starter shall be a free app. If you are a trainer of the blind then this will be a great asset to your students and to all who need some extra training on iOS devices.
In this Demo Cast, Jason demonstrates Prizmo Go, a free app for iOS that allows the user to scan and read text. Download the app by following this link: