Apps that I have Found Useful for A Wide Variety of   Tasks and are accessible for voice over use on Such A Site

 

Useful and Enjoyable iPhone or iPad apps that are also accessible with Voice Over.

 

This page is a true work in progress. It is where I will list the apps, I know of which are useful for people who are using an iPhone or iPad. All the apps I will list, I know personally work well with Voice Over for people who are Visually Impaired or Blind. There are some which are common to many users and some which are not well known at all. I will give you the list of the top ones used, that is, in my opinion.

 

                 I will give the apps I have found pleasurable for things outside the need to access standard information, colors, money denomination, and such. To give a few examples: there is a plant identifier, a couple of translation apps, a few money saving apps, and apps for free movies and older TV shows.

 

This page was last updated with more apps on May 20, 2019. The newest apps I have included can be found immediately after the below write up and link to Be My Eyes as that app remains the critical app for those with a visual impairment. But, after Be My Eyes, are the newest apps and the older apps begin with Seeing AI.

 

 

To help you know what apps are on this page I will list them first and then after the list, I will discuss each app one by one.For those who just want to jump right to the app on the app store from this first list, I am making them links to let that occur.

 

List of apps on the page: Be my Eyes, general assistance by volunteers with seeing in real time. 

Event Brite, this app finds all types of things that are happening in your area.

Classical Radio, an app to a radio station which plays classical music as soon as you have Siri open it. It also allows for the user to select other composers and such.

Seeing AI, multi-purpose app for access to short text, documents, bar codes, faces, scenes, color, money, and light detection. 

Siri for Navigation

A Work Around I developed using Siri and Reminders for Haptic feedback on finding locations.

Lazarillo, navigation app for finding what is around and the route to get there.

Over There, a scanning for points of interest mobility app.

Sound Scape, a scanner for points of interest mobility app.

Here We Go, an app that combines transit information with street by street walking directions.

Review and use of built in near distance magnifier on iPhone and iPad.

30x Zoom Digital Video Camera, a distance magnifier for seeing objects such as street signs, and other objects far away.

NAT Money Reader, an app to identify paper money

Examine Clothes Color, to determine not only one single color of an item but to determine if there is a pattern and other colors on clothes.

identify- Object Recognition for Visually Impaired, this app is good for identifying photos and scenes.

Plant Identification, this app not only identifies plants and flowers but gives a verbal description of the plants, trees, or flowers, its origin and more than you would ever want to know about things that grow.

Ebates, a money saving app which gives you money back when you shop at stores through their site.

Coupon’s, is paperless coupon app which lets you know what products you get money off when you use your loyalty card number after entering it into this app.

Pluto TV, an app to watch free movies and older TV Shows on your iPhone or iPad.

TUBI, an app to watch free movies and some TV shows.

You Tube, this is the app version of the website with more controls and flexibility.

BARD Mobile, an app for reading books from the National Library Services for the Blind, with great controls, and a huge selection of books and magazines to read if you have a print access disability.

NFB Newsline, an app for access to newspapers and magazines if you are visually impaired.

Voice Dream Writer, an app for writing longer documents if you have a print disability.

Blind Bargains, an app for finding great sales from individuals, stores, and other sources. Also, to learn of news relating to people who are blind or visually impaired.

 

 

First, let's begin with the most important empowering app. That is the app named Be My Eyes. This app is free and so is the service it links you into. It is a network of volunteers from all over the world who are waiting for calls from a visually impaired or blind person on an iPhone, iPad, or Android. The user just has to start the app, the way they start any app, double tapping or single tapping. Then a screen comes up and has as the main option to connect to the first volunteer. When you select that option, it starts to search the world for the first available volunteer. When one comes on the device, the user tells the volunteer what they need help seeing. That is why it is called Be My Eyes. You want the volunteer to be your eyes for something. That something can be anything at all. You can ask them to read something on your TV screen, to read the cans on your shelf to help you find the corn, you can have them tell you what a picture looks like, you can ask them if they think what you are wearing matches, if it has any stains or wrinkles, you can have them help you find your way out of a park, what buttons are on your remote, and you can even have them help you look for a pill you dropped on the floor. In other words, you can ask them anything. The one thing you should be careful about is having them read items with personal information. Remember, these are volunteers so you want to use a little degree of caution on things with your Social Security Number, your address, and so on. Here it a link to Be My Eyes on the app store:

 

Be My Eyes – Helping the blind by Be My Eyes  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/be-my-eyes-helping-the-blind/id905177575?mt=8

 

 

Event Brite is an app I just came upon in May 2019. It can tell you of all events and activities happening in your area, an area you insert, and gives you choices of a huge number of types of events to look for. It has links to the contact people for the event, and in most cases, a link to ways to obtain tickets and make reservations.

 

Here is the link to Eventbrite on the app store:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/eventbrite/id487922291?mt=8

 

Classical Radio is another app I happened upon in May 2019. I wanted to find a station that would start to play classical music by me only asking Siri to open the app. This does exactly that for me. If I want something different then what they are playing, I have the option to select other pieces by other composers and/or performers.

Here is the link to Classical Radio:

Classical-Radio by Suspensor

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/classical-radio/id1167412658?mt=8

 

 

The next app of importance for people who are visually impaired or blind, is also free and is an app with a food court of features for the user. The app is Seeing AI by Microsoft. It has features to read short pieces of text, a page of a document, the bar code on a product, the ability to hear the general features of a person and to save that image with the person's name for future use, the ability to identify money  such as $20 verses a $1 bill, the identification of the scene you point the camera at, a real time color identifier, the ability to read plain written handwriting, and a light detector. The short text reading part of this app is great for picking up text in our environment and reading it out loud. This could be anything from a message on your computer screen to the signs hanging from the ceilings in the middle of grocery stores that tell people what is in that ills the other features are self-explanatory. There is a Tutorial on how to use this app on the iPhone and iPad page of Such a Site. Be aware, when using this app with the options requiring the flashlight will drain your batter more quickly.

Here is the link to the Seeing AI app on the app store:

  

 Seeing AI by Microsoft Corporation

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/seeing-ai/id999062298?mt=8

  

 

Navigation apps. There is no single app that does it all. To start, use Siri and either Google or Apple Maps to get walking directions and to find out where you are located at any given moment. Siri can also give you facilities around you and their contact information.

 

 

In reviewing all the apps that provide navigation assistance, not one gives haptic (vibrations) feedback on arrival or warning of arrival at a destination. In thinking this through, I have come up with a work around to achieve this goal. It utilizes Siri's reminder feature that is triggered by the arrival or departure from a specified location. For example, Siri can be set to remind you to call someone when you leave the house to visit them.  Well, if we take that to another level, that same feature could be used to give a Haptic signal, and the vibration could be made to be one that is very long and/or very noticeable. So, let’s do a sample traveling trip to a location. Let’s say we are going to go to454 South Street, Philadelphia and we are starting at 20th and Spruce Street in Philadelphia. Now, I don’t expect you to know that location or route but it is a very squared off travel path.

 

We could then set a reminder to check maps to find out where we are when we get to 500 South Street. I say to have it do it a little before the address because sometimes Google Maps and Apple Maps lag a little behind our every movement.

 

As we begin to do this route, ask Siri to give us walking directions to 454 South Street, Philadelphia from where we are now. This way Siri is definitely up and paying attention to your location.

 

When we get to 500 or very near that address, the reminder should go off.

 

Note: If you are not sure how significant the reminder vibration (Haptic) is going to be and if you will actually feel it while it may be in your pocket, check the settings for sounds for reminders in the iPhone’s Settings, sounds, and then go down the list to reminders. Check to see what vibration pattern is selected. You can tap twice with one finger to get a list of alternative vibrating patterns. You can try each out by double tapping on them one by one. Whichever you double tapped on last is the one that will be selected. You need to then back out of that part of settings and close the Settings app.

 

To take this one step further, you could make multiple reminders that would go off during that route. You could have one set for when you would want to make a turn very soon, one for warning you of a street that is known to have construction, and so on.

 

Give it a try and see how effective this work around is for you.

 

 

Then if you need to move beyond that navigation assistance, there are several apps I find useful.

 

The first one that does not cost anything is Lazarillo, by renew espinoza. It determines your location by its GPS. It then gives its standard list of types of facilities to select from such as stores, an ATM, laundry mat, food places, public buildings and so on.  When you select one, it gives you the places that are in that category located near your current position. You then pick which one you want and it brings up a different screen of options.  First, is to get the address, then to go walking, go by public transportation, go driving, or go by UBer. Once you select the one you want, such as walking, the app tells you how long it will take, which way to start to walk, and the option to have it track your progress. The tracking of your progress is important if you want to be told what to do next as you approach turns and street crossings. I found when I selected public buildings, it gave me more than I knew was around me. The app updates itself regularly with more destinations and bug fixes like all apps do.

 

Here is the link to the app store to get this app:

 

Lazarillo - Accessible GPS by rene espinoza

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/lazarillo-accessible-gps/id1139331874?mt=8

 

 

  

Navigation Points of Interest Scanners: There are two I would like you to know about. Each has its pros and cons. They allow you to point your iPhone in all different directions so the app can read out loud what Points of Interest (POI) it detects in its scanning range.

 

The first one is called Over There, by Dmitrijs Prohorenkovsand. It picks up more than its competitor and gives more details about what it is finding such as bus routes, train stations, etc. The con is that when it is not directly in line with a place, the way it lets you know nothing is detected yet is to give audio static sounds. When it gets closer and closer to being directly in line with a target, the static reduces until it is gone completely.  Here is the link to it on the app store:

over THERE by Dmitrijs Prohorenkovs

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/over there/id1126056833?mt=8

 

 

 

The second one does not have the static when nothing is detected but found less points of Interest when put to the same test as the Over Their app. The voice of this app, which is the Sound Scape by Microsoft is much better and easier to understand. Here is the link to get it from the app store:

Microsoft Soundscape by Microsoft Corporation

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/microsoft-soundscape/id1240320677?mt=8

 

 

Navigation involving public transit along with walking directions:

There is an app which I have not heard people talking about which I found to be very helpful. It is called “Here We Go,” by HERE Apps LLC. It lets you enter your starting address or you can let it determine where you are by its GPS. Then you tell it where you want to go. It figures out what transit system services your area, what form of transportation you can use to get you where you want to go. Then it tells you what time the next departure is from the station or stop near you. Then it gives you the walking directions to the station or stop, naming each street you will have to cross, and an approximate time it will take to walk that block. Then it gives you the stations you will pass while on the transport you will be taking. In the case of a train, it said the name of each stop and the time of arrival at that stop. It gives you the directions how to walk when you come out of the station. Again, it gives each street you will have to cross and how long it will take to travel each of those blocks individually. I found this to be a good combination of transit tracking app and navigation apps.

Here is the link to the app store for Here we Go app:

 

 HERE We Go - City navigation by HERE Apps LLC

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/here-wego-city-navigation/id955837609?mt=8

 

 

Magnifiers:

 

The built-in magnifier of the iPhone works very well. Once it is turned on in settings, general, then Accessibility, and then turn Magnify on by double tapping on the word it changes the default for that option from off to on. It then can be loaded by simply pressing the home button three times quickly. If there are other accessibility features you have turned on and made part of the quick accessibility option, you may have to flick left to right to get to the magnifier option after tapping the home button three times quickly. This feature turns the iPhone or iPad into a hand-held CCTV otherwise known as an electronic magnifier. While there are apps to do this same task, it is my opinion to stick with the built in Apple magnifier. But for distance magnification, you will need to use an app.

 

The Distance magnifier I found to be the clearest and having the highest power magnification is an app made for people taking photo to use to zoom in on images. The app is named 30x Zoom Digital Video Camera, by Tigran Mkhitaryan

It can increase an image up to 30 times its original size. The user just has to flick right to left to get to the percentage of magnification and then flick up to increase it and flick down to decrease the magnification. The thing you must remember, the iPhone and iPad have a fixed lens and it does not move in and out to focus the image better. It will never be as clear as a hand-held device or mounted telescope with great focusing optics.  With that said, it still allowed my friend to read a license plate over 200 yards away.  The other thing I should mention is about how it can make the user feel a little nauseous. That is because as the image is magnified more, so is the movement of the image. IF you have the magnification set at 30 percent, the movement of the camera as you look for an object will increase by 30 percent. I strongly suggest the beginner user start at lower magnification until they become used to the movement.

 

30x Zoom Digital Video Camera y Tigran Mkhitaryan

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/30x-zoom-digital-video-camera/id658272836?mt=8

 

 

 

 

Identification of Currency, But only paper forms of Money

 

For identifying the different denominations of my paper money, such as a five-dollar bill verses a twenty-dollar bill, my app of choice has to be Nat Mobile Money Reader. While I had to purchase this app years ago, it is now free and works on the iPhone. It is the only money identification app that works instantly when paper money is anywhere near the camera. It takes no time to switch to the next bill’s denomination which is a real plus over other apps that perform money identification. There is no learning to be done to have the app identify paper money. Once it is installed, and you allow it access to your camera so it can see your money, no commands ever have to be entered again. Here is the link to this app on the app store:

 

NantMobile Money Reader by IPPLEX

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/nantmobile-money-reader/id417476558?mt=8

 

 

 

Clothes Color identification

 

So far it has been a long and endless road to find an app that is completely accurate on identifying colors. By far, the old way of using a hand-held device costing over $100 was and still is the most accurate on the colors themselves. But no hand-held device lets you know if there is a pattern and if so, what is what is the pattern and what color is in the pattern. The app, Examine Clothes Color by MASAO MIYAKEgives that the best tries so far. I have found the app telling me my sweater was not plain blue but was blue background with black vertical stripes. As with all color identification apps, it must have good lighting on the surface for it to have any chance of accuracy. The app is free and takes a few steps to get the results. First you have to tap twice on the “examine” option, which then causes the app to tell you how you are now in the camera mode. Then you flick left to right past the cancel option to where it reads “take picture,” and you then double tap with one finger.  The app will not make a sound and it is up to you to flick left to right to the “use photo,” option. Then double tap with one finger and the app will say it is now in the calculation process, please wait. Then a moment or two later it reads out what it calculated from the photo you just took. If you want to take another shot at a color, flick left to right until you get to the “examine option again. Double tap on that and it will say it is in the camera mode again. Then you do as before, flick left to right to the take picture option. Then with no clues anything happened, you will flick left to right until it reads use photo. You double tap on that and wait for the results. While it is in fact a multi-step process to get the results from this app, as I said it is the only color identification app which gives any feedback about multiple colors and patterns. Do note though, it does not say things such as flowered pattern, paisley pattern, or things of that nature.

 

Here is the link to this app on the app store:

 

Examine Clothes Color by MASAO MIYAKE

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/examine-clothes-color/id1074506449?mt=8

 

 

 

Identification of Photos and objects:

 

I have to say there are many apps which try to identify objects and photos. Even the iPhone itself now tries to at least categorize photos of familiar people or scenes. The Seeing AI app now has a feature to identify photos but at the time when I put this part of my page on the web, their recognition was much to be desired. This app, identify- Object Recognition for Visually Impaired by Anmol Unreliable still making some errors in its recognition of some photos, is the best I have seen to date. The errors it makes are subtle and tend to be on colors rather than objects. For example, it might say a person is wearing a purple shirt when it is blue, or wearing blue jean when they were black pants. But it still would let you know it was a person standing by a car and will even attempt to say a gender once in a while.

 

I found it to be beneficial in going through some of my old photography and finding the specific photos I wanted such as a black, red, and white-hot air balloon.

 

This app has several steps to get the results. First, you have to flick left to right to the option of using an existing photo in your device by choosing the option to “select photo.”  If you choose that option, the app will open your photos and you will have to flick left to right to the photo you want it to identify. Then you double tap with one finger and the app will say, “loading.” Then you wait and it will read out what it was able to detect in the photo. It then drops you back to the original screen where you have to choose whether to select a photo in your device or take a new photo. If you want to have it give you feedback on what it sees in real time, you need to choose the “take picture” option. Then after double tapping on that option, the screen will change and you have to flick left to right to the option to take picture. Once you double tap with one finger on that option, you will most likely hear the camera click, but if not, assume the picture was taken and flick left to right until you hear the option to use photo. Then the app will say out loud, loading. When done, it will tell you what it detected. As before, it drops you back into the first screen once done.

 

As an app that is free, I think it is worth having for helping with photo management within your device.

Here is the link to the app on the app store:

 

identify- Object Recognition for Visually Impaired by Anmol Tukrel

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/identifi-object-recognition-for-visually-impaired/id1135223189?mt=8

 

 

Now For some other types of apps:

 

There are a few different plant identification apps available for free but in this case, I think you get what you pay for if you pay nothing. The app I found to be simply wonderful is the Plant Identifier by Phuong Bui. It has a onetime cost of $4.99 as of February 2019. But what you get for those close to five dollars is amazing. The app which could use a little tweaking on how it presents the choices and steps, is still very accessible with Voice Over. When I took a photo of a tree outside of my house, I found not only its name, but I learned exactly what it looked like from shape to its leaves and bark. I learned its origin and what it will look like in Autumn. I found the app gave me a verbal description of even the pedals of the flowers that bloom on the tree in early spring. As you can tell, this is one of my most favorite apps. Here is the link to it on the app store. You will have to pay for it once you try to download it from the store.

 

Plant Identification by Phuong Bui

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/plant-identification/id1369526261?mt=8

 

 

 

As far as apps to save money, I have two I recommend. The first is the app called Ebates, and the second is Coupon.com.

 

The app Ebates, which is a play on the word rebates, works in a very interesting way. You use their site’s list of the stores you shop on line with either frequently or even just once. You find the store’s name on Ebates list with the percentage of how much you are going to save on your next purchase. Under that there is an option to “shop.” When you do that it takes you to that store’s website but through theirs. Now when you purchase something, you get cash back placed in your Ebates Account. Once you have more than $5 in the account, you can request a check be sent to you.

 

Here is a link to the app on the app store:

Ebates: Cash Back Shopping by Ebates

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ebates-cash-back-shopping/id723134859?mt=8

 

 

Lastly there is Krazy Coupon Lady. This app simply lets you know where things are on sale or even free. It gives you the deadline of when the offer expires and is fairly up to date.

Here is the link to the app on the app store:

Krazy Coupon Lady: Save Money by Krazy Coupon Ladies

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/krazy-coupon-lady-save-money/id962133447?mt=8

 

The Coupon.com app is free and lists all the stores around where you live. You select from that list the ones you use and they become your favorites. When you are ready to use the app to get money off products at a store, you go to that store and go through the long list of items which you will save on if you enter your loyalty card number in the registration portion of the app. Then when you check out at the store and either hand them your card or give them your phone number, those paperless coupons will be applied to your bill.

Coupon.com: Grocery coupons by Quotient Technology Inc.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/coupons-com-grocery-coupons/id338380654?mt=8

 

How about some entertainment for free?

Apps that give you Movies and TV Shows for Free:

 

All the regular major television Stations all has their own apps. They all want to know your Cable provider right away. There are some basic features of their apps which you can access without having any cable TV. But, for full access to all the features of their apps, they will ask you to select from the list of cable providers and the list is enormous. If they have a search field, by all means use that to find your cable company. Once done, a couple of the stations will automatically configure itself without you having to know your user name and password to your cable provider. But, most of the other stations such as Hallmark, Bravo, USA, and the rest, will require you to enter both your user name and password before you can use their app. Then there is the issue of whether your cable package includes that station/app. If not, you might get what would best be described as trailers to the real shows. One prime example of this is the Smithsonian Channel App. You can enter your cable provider user name and password and still only get trailers if you don’t have the Smithsonian Channel as part of your cable package on your TV.

 

But never fear, there are a few apps for free movies and some TV shows, more of the ones from the past but some from more current times. I found the Good Doctor on one app and then found the Lone Ranger on it too.

 

The one I found to be the best and most accessible is Pluto TV. The app is free and so is its use.  There are tabs/options on the bottom of the screen. You squeeze the bottom right corner of the screen to get voice over down there. Then you flick right to left to get to Movies and TV Shows. Double tap on that and then tap once near the top of the screen. That will move the focus of Voice Over to where the selection for movies and TV are placed. You flick right to left to go to the category you want and you will see the choice to see all a below that a sample of some of that category. When you find something you want to watch, double tap on it. Then you will find by flicking left to right the option to watch. Double tap on that and wait for the movie or TV Show to load.

 

Here is the link to Pluto TV on the app store:

 

 Pluto TV - Live TV and Movies by Pluto. Tv

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pluto-tv-live-tv-and-movies/id751712884?mt=8

 

 

The next app for free Movies and TV Shows is a little less accessible but doable if you just follow the following advice. First, just like Pluto, the tabs or options to get into the Browse section or Search section are at the bottom of the screen. You have to squeeze the bottom right corner of the iPhone or iPad to get to those choices. When you get to them, flick right to left to go to Browse. Then tap once near the top of the screen to get Voice Over to the top. Then flick left to right to go through the categories to select one that peaks your interest. Then double tap on it and then flick left to right to go through the list of movies in that group. When you want to select one of the movies, you have to do more than just double tap. You have to double tap and hold on the second tap and keep holding your finger down and down. Eventually, a screen will come up with options. It will let you select to play the movie now or place it in the cue. The cue is available to you from the home page of the app. If you don’t double tap and hold on the second tap, the movie that comes up will be the one listed first on that category’s list.

 

But if you selected play a new screen will appear. It will ask you to select on which device would you want to watch the movie? You usually would choose to play it on your device. But I noticed on the list that appeared, it detected the other possibilities in my house. It detected the Amazon Fire Stick and my Smart TV. When I used this app in a different location, those choices were not there. But, once you select for it to play on your device, the phone will tell you it moved into landscape mode and the movie will automatically start to ply.

 

Here is the link to the TUBI app on the app store: Tubi - Watch Movies & TV Shows by adRise, Inc

Tubi - Watch Movies & TV Shows by adRise, Inc

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tubi-watch-movies-tv-shows/id886445756?mt=8

 

 

 

Video Players

 

The most popular by far is You Tube. There is a free version which is the one most everyone uses. There is an option to pay a fee in order to avoid any advertisements. But most everyone figures out how to skip the add within three seconds of it starting to play. While You Tube is available through Safari or Internet Explorer or Chrome, having the You Tube app in my opinion is the better way to go. The app is more user friendly for viewing the next or previous video, pausing, and maneuvering the track position. If you have the free You Tube app on your device, when you are sent a link to a you Tube Video it will automatically open the You Tube App and not Safari. However, if you do a search for a You Tube Video with Siri from your device, and then double tap on one of the results, it will still open the You Tube on the Internet. But, if you squeeze the bottom right corner of your iPhone, you will hear Tab. If you flick right to left and go past Show Bookmarks, Shar, Forward, and Back, the next flick right to left will suggest you open the You Tube App. If you flick right to left once more, it says the word open. Double tap on that and the video will start from the beginning but in the You Tube App. You can do the same as you can from the You Tube Website, that is, share the video, search for videos, pause, fast forward, and so on. For me, I just prefer the You Tube app over the You Tube website. If you want to see what I mean, here is the link to the free You Tube app on the app store:

 

YouTube: Watch, Listen, Stream by Google LLC

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/youtube-watch-listen-stream/id544007664?mt=8

 

 

Still in the realm of entertainment, there are apps for reading books.

 

The first one I suggest anyone who is legally blind or has a reading disability should consider enrolling in is the National Library’s BARD app. It is a free download but you must get enrolled through your state’s branch of the NLS. To find out which one is in your state contact the main toll free number If you are unable to locate a library or wish additional assistance, please contact NLS http://www.loc.gov/nls/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/email.gif, call (1-800-424-8567, or request an application packet be mailed to you.

To learn who is specifically eligible, go to http://www.loc.gov/nls/about/eligibility-for-nls-services/

 

 

During the process of speaking with them and having an application sent to you if you are not already registered with NLS, ask them about using the BARD app on your device. If you are registered with NLS and not with BARD call that same number and ask who you should contact for enrollment as a user of BARD.

 

In the meantime, so you can be more prepared to use the app, here is a link to the user’s manual:

 

https://nlsbard.loc.gov/apidocs/BARDMobile.userguide.iOS.1.2.html#accesstobard

 

I would paste it in for you on my site but it is way too long. There is a Hadley Institute Video on using the BARD app on my iPhone page for Voice Over Users.

 

To give a general overview of what the app allows the user to do is to ,search for books and magazines in the National Library Services huge collection, listen to the ones found from that search, control the speed of the book being read, jump forward or back when desired, pause and even quit the app and be able to return to the exact place where you left off, set a sleep timer to play the subject matter for such a period of time and then shut off automatically, read several books at one time, have as many books on your list as you want, download as many books as you want, review the newest books and magazines added to the collection, and so much more.  

 

Here is the link for BARD on the app store:

 

BARD Mobile by Library of Congress

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bard-mobile/id705229586?mt=8

 

 

 

Newspapers and some more Magazines

 

If you are visually impaired or blind, you are eligible to be a part of the NFB Newsline. It is truly a pinitol tool for accessing Newspapers and magazines from all over the country as well as some International Newspapers. They are as current as the same day they are published. The most obscure paper seems to be available through this app.

 

The app has an option to create a list of your favorite newspapers and magazines which makes it so easy to check them out when you have a free moment. But you can always read any of the publications that you have not made one of your favorites. The app is so easy to use and to navigate sections of newspapers and articles in those sections.

In order to use the app, even though you can download it from the app store, you have to complete an application with them. Here is the number to call to have them tell you the exact process and to send you any forms you might need: 866 504 7300. When you gain access to the thousands of publications, they have that are totally in full and not a scaled down version, you will be glad you went through the one-time registration process. In the meantime, here is the link to download the NFB Newsline app from the app store:

 

 

NFB-NEWSLINE® Mobile by National Federation of the Blind

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/nfb-newsline-mobile/id530470425?mt=8

 

 

Apps for Writing Longer Documents

 

While the apps that Apple provides on the iPhone are good for notes and lists and such, in my opinion they fall short for longer more word processing types of tasks. For that I was torn between Google Keep and Voice Dream Writer until recently. The Voice Dream Writer offers so much more for the person with a print disability. They have included features specifically to give access for voice over users. This time I am going to cheat a little and quote the description they give in the app store about their app. The app does have a price tag though, it is $9.99 but is a one time fee. Here is what you get for the near $10 that will come out of your pocket.

 

Voice Dream Writer 4+

Voice Dream LLC

$9.99

Description

Voice Dream Writer helps everyone write better: Text-to-speech proofreading reduces mistakes, phonetic and meaning search help you use the right words, and an active outline helps you organize and improve the structure of your writing.

• Featured in the US App Store Education Collection.

• "Voice Dream Writer's technically designed for people with reading disabilities, but it's useful for just about anyone who needs a little help proofing." - Lifehacker

Text-To-Speech Proofreading. Professional proofreaders recommend reading out loud as the best way to catch mistakes. Like a personal proofreader, Voice Dream Writer reads your writing using text-to-speech, so you can easily spot awkward sentences, grammatical errors and typos. Also, it can read words and sentences as you type or voice dictate. This way, you can type faster because you no longer have to look up to check the text you just wrote.

Word Finder. Voice Dream Writer helps you find the right words using phonetic search and meaning search. For example, search for "info" phonetically, and you will find "enough", and search for "Fast Africa Cat" by meaning and you will find "Cheetah." Word Finder also shows you the dictionary definition of a word as you type without you having to select anything or open another program.

Outline. As you write, Voice Dream Writer automatically creates an outline of headings, paragraphs and sentences. The Outline helps you structure your document better by giving you can always-on overview. You can also quickly navigate to a section in a long document without endless scrolling. Finally, you can drag and drop elements in the Outline to organize your writing. No more selecting, cutting and pasting large blocks of text.

Besides these unique features, Voice Dream Writer also comes with everything you would expect from any great writing tool:

• Comprehensive settings for text appearance
• Uncluttered writing area
• Search for text
• Search for misspelled words
• Word count
• Synchronize and backup with iCloud
• Import and export for Dropbox, Google Drive, and Box
• Preview and print with multiple themes
• Markdown support for formatting
• Export to Microsoft Word format (compatible with Apple Pages)
• Support for Bluetooth keyboard

The app is not only fully accessible, it was designed with students and adults with print disabilities in mind. There are special tools for VoiceOver users to manage the cursor, select text, and find and correct misspelled words by stepping through them. Voice-based Proofreading and Phonetic Search are invaluable for people with dyslexia.

 

Here is the link to follow to get this app from the Apple app store:

Voice Dream Writer by Voice Dream LLC

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/voice-dream-writer/id920583100?mt=8

 

 

General app for People who are Visually Impaired or Blind who are seeking products, news, or want to sell something.

 

The one app that stands above the crowd in my opinion is the app Blind Bargains. I must admit when I first saw the name, I didn’t think much of what it might do. Then I loaded it and tested it for its features. It was wonderful to use the search for products feature. I searched for a laptop and got back many with all types of levels of basic system components. They ranged from the standard RAM of 8 gigs, to the ridiculous amount of just 2 gigs. But it gave me the option to see what they all would cost. The list was all from Amazon’s offerings even if the original seller was not. There is a feature to read some highlights of news stories which are not daily but are of relevance to people with a Visual Impairment or who are Blind. There is also a feature to hear audio stories of news events. But I have to say my favorite features were the product search and the classified ads. Those ads made me want to dig in my storage bins and see if there are any of my old technology devices which someone might want to take off my hands. However, there are moments when the feature of Bargains can’t be beaten. It lists where some items are being sold for great prices as well as announces when vendors like Amazon are having a huge discounting day of sales.

 

Here is the link to the app on the Apple app store:

 

Blind Bargains by A T Guys, LLC.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/blind-bargains/id510213718?mt=8

 

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