Sunday, 28 September 2014

Talking Tech for September 30 2014

Using Home Plus Power or just Power on your IOS device

 

Last episode I mentioned that if an app got stuck on your iOS device (iPhone, iPod touch or iPad) you could use Home plus Power to reboot your device.  Whilst this does work, it really should only be used as a last ditch method as it is much lie cold booting your computer.  

 

Adam Morris who runs the iOS Mailing List from Australia, reminded me that it is probably safer in the long run to try and Power off your iOS device from the Power button and turn it back on again first.  If this fails, try the Home plus Power button combination. 

World Site Day and Eye Health Heroes

 

Vision 2020 Australia is hosting a number of events surrounding World Site Day coming up on the 9th of October including a Talk at the National Press Club on the 8th of October, and a dinner at parliament house Canberra 30th of September to celebrate Eye Health Heroes in the research and prevention of blindness but also for those who support people who are blind or vision impaired in the community.

 

I will be attending the parliamentary dinner as a hero representing Vision Australia sharing our positive stories in relation to gaining access to technology and information.

 

For more information, go to:

 

http://www.vision2020australia.org.au/events/world-sight-day

 

Talking Tech is now on iTunes:

 

You can now subscribe to Talking Tech via iTunes at:

 

https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/talking-tech/id919830401?mt=2 

 

Talking Vision also Available from iTunes

 

Another popular program from Vision Australia is also available from iTunes: Talking Vision:

 

https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/talking-vision/id912605678?mt=2 

 

Just Under Two Weeks for Vision Australia Texpo in Melbourne (Kooyong)

 

A reminder that Vision Australia Texpo is coming up on the 10th and 11th of October to be held at Vision Australia Kooyong from 10-4 Friday and 10-3 Saturday.

 

This will be followed by Vision Australia Texpo Sydney the following week on the 17th and 18th of October.

 

More information to be had at:

 

http://visionaustralia.org/texpo/

 

Learning to Touch Type: an Online Downloadable Resource from Vision Australia

 

These set of 23 mp3 files are available for anyone to download who wish’s to learn how to touch type.  Rather than having to get access to a typing training program, just download and listen to these MP3 files.

 

These mp3 files are located at:

 

http://www.visionaustralia.org/living-with-low-vision/learning-to-live-independently/using-technology-and-computers/help-yourself!-technology-podcasts-and-resources/computer-access

 

JAWS 16 Beta

 

The public beta version of JAWS 16 has been available for a few weeks.

 

Some of the new features include:

Command Search,

JAWS Standard changing to JAWS Home Addition which will now work on both Windows Home and Professional,

Semi Auto Forms Mode,

Convenient OCR for PDF documents,

improved performance for Microsoft Word 2013,

Enhanced  language support in voice profiles,

JAWS discontinues support for Windows XP (only Vista and above support),

Windows 8.1 Reading List app support,

Windows 8.1 People app support,

New touch screen gesture for unloading JAWS, and

Improve JAWS recovery.

 

To get more info and to listen to FSCast go through the new features in JAWS 16, go to:

 

http://www2.freedomscientific.com/downloads/jaws/jaws-public-beta.asp



Other Screen reading Options for Windows

 

Window-Eyes For Office

 

If you have Microsoft Office 2010 or 2013 installed, you can get a free copy of Window-Eyes, rather than having to pay full price:

 

http://www.windoweyesforoffice.com

 

NVDA (Non Visual Desktop Access) is also Available to Windows Users

 

NVDA is a free (donations welcome) screen reader for Windows which can be installed on a PC or on a UsB stick.

 

For more information or to download a copy of NVDA, go to:

 

http://www.nvaccess.org 

Talking Tech for September 22 2014

Some of the general, Settings, Siri, and accessibility features that you will find in iOS 8.

 

General Features

 

1. Lock screen Notifications: 

Can do more with items on your lock screen: e.g. reply to a message, Facebook, Twitter etc by flicking up.

2. Notifications Centre now has today and Notifications tabs.

3. On the Home screen, clock now displays the time.

4. Recent contacts from the App switcher:

Allows you to quickly contact your recent contacts.

5. Word prediction:

When you are typing, iOS will now give you a list of word predictions to choose from when you are typing in to an edit field such as typing in to Notes.

6. Maps: adjust the tracking options in Maps to give you more details and the next cross street.

7. Send an audio message via Messages.

Hold up to your ear, wait for ding, speak, and then put phone down to send.

8. The Weather app now gives you more information concerning daily information.  The app also uses the Weather channel.

9. FaceTime: new look:

Separates video from Audio calls.

10. Go to desktop version of a webpage in Safari:

Go to right of address and select desktop site.

11. Hand off.

Hand off what you are doing on one device to another such as Mail etc.

12. New apps: the tips app and the Health app.

iBooks and Podcasts get installed by default now.

 

Settings

 

 

1. Battery usage: tell what apps are draining your battery.

Settings, Usage, Battery usage.

2. Settings, iCloud, iCloud drive

Contains list of apps that are using the iCloud drive.

3. Last known Location:

Settings, General, iCloud, Find My iPhone, send last location:

If battery goes dead, you will be able to find your iPhone where the battery went dead.

Can turn cellular use of iCloud drive off.

4. Settings, Safari: choose search engine: i.e. DuckDuckGo so that your search’s will not be traced.

5. Message history:

Settings, Messages, Message history, keep message for: 30 days, 1 year or forever.

6. in Settings for each app: you have iPhone settings, and the actual app settings.

7. Settings: Privacy: each app can now - allow location access: never, or only while using the app.

 

Siri

 

1. Settings, Siri: voice activation on.

Uses “hay Siri” when on power.

2. Using Siri to identify music:

Identify this song.

3. Using Siri to find and download an app:

“Download Downcast”.

 

 

Accessibility

 

 

VoiceOver

 

1. Braille keyboard: turned on in Settings, General, Accessibility, VoiceOver, Rotor, Braille keyboard.

Use the rotor to access the Braille keyboard in the same way you access the hand writing mode.

2. Braille display option: Settings, General, Accessibility, VoiceOver, Braille: Turn pages when panning, separate Braille display output, Braille display input, and Braille screen input.

3. Direct typing mode accessed via the rotor when in an edit field.

4. Alex Voice available for the iPhone 5s and above.

Within Speech/dialects/English voices, you can select Alex.  Just a warning it is a very large file: close to 900mb.

5. Audio ducking now available to toggle on or off from the rotor: Settings, General, Accessibility, VoiceOver, rotor.

 

Other accessibility changes

 

1. New Zoom options:

Follow focus toggle,

Zoom keyboard toggle,

Show controller toggle,

Zoom region (window, full screen or lens), and

Maximum zoom.

3. Gray scale toggle.

4. Buttons shapes toggle.

5. Speech: Speak screen toggle: swipe two fingers down from the top of the screen.

6. Increase contrast:

Reduce transparency,

Darken colours, and

Reduce white point.

7. Now under media we have:

sub titles and captioning, and

Video description.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Talking Tech for September 16 2014

Apple Keynote for September 9 2014 

Apple mentioned 5 items in their September 9 2014 keynote announcement:

iPhone and iPhone Plus,

Apple Pay,,

The release date for iOS 8,

Apple Watch, &

U2 did an album release on the iTunes Store.

 

There was one extra thing which happened very quietly, this was the discontinuation of the iPod classic, leaving the nano, and the iOS range now with all lightning cables: except for the iPod shuffle of course with the 3.5 connector

 

If you want to listen to the Apple September 9 keynote, here is the link:

 

http://www.apple.com/live/2014-sept-event/

 

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus

 

iPhone 6 from $869 and iPhone plus from $999.

 

I have ordered the iPhone 6 plus 128GB due to turn up on either the 19th (Friday) or 22nd (Monday) of September.  I also ordered the iPhone Plus leather case.

 

By the way, Apple sold 4 million iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in the first 24 hours.

 

 

features:

 

4.7 and 5.5 inch displays.

Silver, gold, and space grey.

16, 64 & 128GB.

a8 chip and the new M8 chip.

6.9 or 7.1MM thin.

High resolution screen.

50 or 80 hours of audio.

Standby: up to10 or 16 days.

8MP camera with new sensor and other improvements.

Barometer.

Supports VOLTE and wifi calling.

With the larger screen, Apple has utilised the extra space to fit more stuff on the screen with the default iOS apps.

New Reachability function by tapping twice on Home button to scroll the screen down to reach higher items on the screen with your thumb: i.e. one handed mode with the larger screen.

Another feature to encourage one handed operation was the physical relocation of the Power/Sleep button from the top of the phone to the right hand side.

 

iPhone 6 and 6 plus was available to order Sep 12, and shipping September 19.

 

iPhone 5S now with 16 or 32GB from $749.

iPhone 5c: 8GB $529

 

 

http://www.apple.com/iphone-6/.

 

iOS 8

 

iOS 8 available 17 September.

 

I will be talking more about iOS 8 and its new features next week after it is officially released.

 

Interestingly, whilst iOS 8 was talked about, no mention was made of Yosemite (OS X 10.10) particularly in relation to hand off.

 

http://www.apple.com/iphone-6/ios-8/

 

Apple Pay with NFC

 

fast, secure and private: starting off in the US.  Can also use it online.

Works with a secure chip in the iPhone Six or iPhone Plus together with touch id and passbook.

Just hold your finger on the touch ID, and a vibration and a discrete beep will announce that you have paid successfully.

 

This will be a lot more secure particularly with the current use of credit cards and contact payment options where you can just tap your card and under a certain amount (such as $100 in Pet Barn for example) you don’t even have to use your pin.  Consequently, if someone stole your card, they could quite happily make these types of purchases.  With Apple Pay, it is all bit around your finger print.

Starting off in the US in October.

 

http://www.apple.com/iphone-6/apple-pay/

 

Apple Watch

 

Features:

 

2 watch sizes:

3.8 or 4.2 thickness.

Square or rectangular shape with rounded edges..

 

3 models:

Apple Watch:

Stainless Steel or space black stainless steel cases.

A range of stylish bands.

 

Apple watch sport:

Anodised aluminium cases in silver or space grey. Strengthened Ion-X glass. Colourful  durable bands

 

Apple Watch Edition:

18-karat gold cases in yellow or rose. Sapphire crystal. Exquisitely crafted bands and closures

 

Uses the crown of the watch (the winder on old watch’s) for digital navigation, plus can determine the difference between a tap or press.

Precise time keeping.

Personalise watch faces.

Similar clock app functions: stop watch, timer, world clock etc.

Ping your iPhone to determine its location.

Hand over to your iPhone such as writing a Mail msg on your Apple Watch and then finishing it off on the iPhone.

Sends notifications and alerts including by tactile feedback on your wrist.

Runs its own apps, and there is an Apple Watch SDK for developers.

Health and fitness device.

Press a button on the crown to bring up a list of your closest friends and easily send them a message etc.

Answer a call on the watch and then transfer to the iPhone, car system or Bluetooth.

Silence an incoming call by putting your hand over the Apple watch.

For fun, use the builtin walkie talkie to talk to other Apple watch users send them a drawing or send them a tactile tap to let them know your thinking about them: you can also send your heart beat by holding 2 fingers down on the screen.

Will work with the iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, iPhone six, and iPhone plus.

Works with Apple Pay and passbook.

Play your music on the Apple Watch or on your iPhone and control your Apple TV.

Has common apps to that of the iPhone including Calendar, Weather, and Maps.   Nice feature with Maps is that the Apple Watch will vibrate to tell you which way to turn: i.e. different tactile feedback for left or right turn.  

Doubles as a remote for the Eyesight camera.

Mag Safe Charging.

Internal water resistant speaker.

Siri.

Voice dictation.

 

Available in early 2015 starting at US $354

 

http://www.apple.com/watch/

 

U2 Album Release

 

The album that U2 Launched on the iTunes Store: Songs of Innocence: will be available for free to all iTunes customers from the 9th of September through to October 13 2014.

 

iPod Classic Discontinued

 

After 13 years, the iPod Classic finally got quietly retired.  This makes all of the portable Apple products accessible, and most using the lightening connector (besides the 3.5mm port on the iPod shuffle).

Monday, 8 September 2014

Talking Tech for September 9 2014

How To Pause Music Or Podcasts on the iPhone Without Touching The Screen

 

This is a very simple tip but sometimes forgotten, if you have your head phones plugged in to your iOS device or an audio cable going to your car stereo, just pulling out the cable will stop your music or podcast playing.

 

http://osxdaily.com/2014/08/19/pause-music-podcasts-iphone-ipod-audio-cable/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+osxdaily+%28OS+X+Daily%29

 

How To Get Your iPhone Or iPad Ready for iOS 8

 

These tips are quite good if you are thinking of updating to iOS 8: check your device compatibility, free up some storage space (usually updates require at least 3GB of space free), check for current OS or app updates and update, backup your device, and particularly if you have an iPhones 4s or iPad 2, hold off for a few weeks to see how other folks are going running iOS 8.

 

http://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-prepare-your-iphone-or-ipad-for-ios-8/

 

Majority Of Time Taken Up on Digital Apps On Mobile

 

At least from my experience, I spend a lot more time using the apps on my iPhone, than I do using the desktop.

 

http://techcrunch.com/2014/08/21/majority-of-digital-media-consumption-now-takes-place-in-mobile-apps/

 

The Everyday Tasks That Your Phone Does Better Than Your Computer

 

I agree with this article and certainly use my iPhone for all of them: checking email, banking, reminders, searching google, and reading through your news feeds.

 

http://lifehacker.com/the-everyday-tasks-your-phone-does-better-than-your-com-1625393067?utm_campaign=socialflow_lifehacker_twitter&utm_source=lifehacker_twitter&utm_medium=socialflow

 

A Guide To Using Twitter:

 

This is an excellent article on introducing new users to Twitter and explains a lot of the functionality in simple terms.

 

http://readwrite.com/2014/08/21/twitter-jargon-illustrated-rt-mt-canoes-darth?utm_content=awesmsharetools-sharebuttons&utm_medium=readwr.it-twitter&awesm=readwr.it_q2N4&utm_source=t.co&utm_campaign=

 

30 Days With Android

 

Marco blogs his experience of using Android for 30 days, lasting 18 days with some interesting observations.

 

http://30dayswithandroid.blogspot.de/2014/08/day-1-decision-and-configuration.html

 

Accessibility Head to Head - Apple Verses Android

 

A neutral discussion of Apple verses android in respect to blind or low vision usage.

 

http://takesugar.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/accessibility-head-to-head-android-vs-apple/

 

Are Smart Phone Users Loosing Their Appetite for New Apps

 

This article mainly points out that most people are satisfied with the apps they have, and see know need to change/purchase another app that does the same thing.

 

http://www.zdnet.com/are-smartphone-users-losing-their-appetite-for-new-apps-7000032826/

Monday, 1 September 2014

Talking Tech for September 2 2014

iPhone 6 Rumor Round Up

 

This Talking Tech show all about the iPhone 6 rumors.

 

September 9 announcement with pre-orders two weeks later as usual on September 19 with delivery early in October: well according to the rumors at least.

 

Now for the actual rumored features of the iPhone 6 starting from the most unlikely to the most likely.

 

Haptic feedback.

Enhanced GPs functionality through the use of sensors.

Protruding rear facing camera (as with the iPod touch).

NFC.

Reversible UsB to lightening cable.

1GB RAM (still the same as the iPhone 5s).

Removing the rear top/bottom glass inserts.

Rounded front panel bezel.

Safire glass.

Increased display resolution.

1800 MAH battery

Up to 128GB storage.

4.7 and a 5.5 inch model.

Larger iPhone 6 to be called the iPhone 6L.

 

5 Things that Some Android phones Have That iPhone 6 will Most Likely Not

 

 

VOLTE.

Infrared for remote control.

Micro SD card expansion slot.

A longer life battery.

NFC.

 

http://www.zdnet.com/five-things-android-smartphones-have-that-are-unlikely-to-come-to-the-iphone-6-7000032760/

 

Of Course The Other Rumored device

 

In the September 9 announcement we might also see some type of iWatch of some sort: guess we’ll soon know.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Talking TEch for August 26 2014

3 funny tech jokes

 

These are just 3 short one liner jokes that I cam across on Twitter.

 

A programmers wife says “run to the Store to buy a loaf of bread.  If the have eggs, get a dozen”.   He comes home with 12 loafs of bread.

A Farmer had 97 sheep, but when he rounded them up he found that he had a hundred.

What did the CPU say to the managed memory pool? free you later allocator.

 

A Tech Fact: Interestingly The Definition Of A Computer in 1946

 

In 1946 the Merriam Webster Dictionary defined computer as “a person who tabulates numbers; accountant; Actuary; bookkeeper.”

 

QANTAS and Virgin Get Green Light for Inflight Gadgets

 

As of today you will be able to use your tablets and phones for the whole flight.  However, they will still to be in flight mode, but you can still do your work.

 

http://www.smh.com.au/business/aviation/qantas-virgin-get-green-light-for-inflight-gadgets-20140825-108aev.html?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=nc&eid=socialn%3Atwi-13omn1677-edtrl-other%3Annn-17%2F02%2F2014-edtrs_socialshare-all-nnn-nnn-vars-o%26sa%3DD%26usg%3DALhdy28zsr6qiq

 

 

The First Of My Two Purchase’s this week

 

It is still tech, but probably not quite what you expect.  I am now the proud owner of a hands free sensor kitchen bin which I purchased from Kmart.  Just walk up to the bin, the lid senses you are there, and the lid pops up: put in your rubbish and the lid closes after about several seconds.  The lid of the bin is the thing that does all the work, so if the actual bin part breaks, you can just buy another bin that fits the lid.

 

The Second Of My Purchases For The Week

 

I wanted some good head phones for work to block out the noise in the open plan office, and also needed them to work with my iPhone and Mac.  After a bit of searching around I finally decided upon the Beats Wireless head phones (not to be confused with the Beats Studio Wireless head phones).   For some reason I couldn’t find the Beats Wireless head phones on the Apple online store, only places like Harvey Norman, JB etc: purchased mine at Harvey Norman.

 

The Beats wireless fold up in to a soft carry case (included) and come with a remote cable for iPhone (with clicker) to use them as wired head phones, Bluetooth supported, mini UsB cable for charging the rechargeable battery which lasts 10 hours on Bluetooth and 20 hours wired, and a user manual.

 

Whilst not completely over the ear, the soft filled part of the ear cups do cover all of your ear and block out quite a deal of background noise.

 

The left ear cup has the Beats logo on it and at the bottom the UsB mini port.  The right ear cup has in a  clockwise clock layout the multi function on/off/answer/hang up button 12 12, next track at 3, 

volume up at 4, volume down at 7, previous track at 9, in the middle play/pause button, and at the bottom the 3.5MM head phone port.

 

They were easy to pair, when you plug in the cable Bluetooth is turned off, and they make a cool sound when you turn them on and off.

 

http://www.harveynorman.com.au/headphones-audio-music/headphones/wireless-headphones/beats-by-dr-dre-wireless-on-ear-headphones.html

 

Painting The Back Of The Accessibility Fence - iMore

 

In June 2014 Rene Ritchie from iMore wrote an article entitled: Apple and Accessibility: Pushing Back against uunacceptable realities:

http://www.imore.com/apple-and-accessibility-pushing-back-against-unacceptable-realities

which gained some attention in the blind and low vision community with him appearing on the Tech Doctors Podcast: Painting The Back Of The Apple Accessibility Fence.

 

Just another example of how main stream technology sites are mentioning accessibility more and more.

 

http://www.dr-carter.com/?p=315

 

A Famous Steve Jobs Speech Is Hidden on the Macs Hard Drive

 

These two speech’s are Here’s To the Crazy Ones from the Think Different campaign, and the Commencement address to Stanford university in 2005. all in one file (apple.txt), just paste in to Go To Directory (Shift+Command+G) /Applications/Pages.app/Contents/Resources/.

 

Just remember, you’ll need Pages installed on your Mac for this file to exist.

 

http://osxdaily.com/2014/08/20/famous-steve-jobs-speech-hidden-mac-easter-egg/

Monday, 18 August 2014

Talking Tech for August 19 2014

Vision Australia Further Education Bursary Awards Announced for 2015

 

Yesterday Vision Australia announced that the Further Education Bursary Awards were now open.  The closing date is October 31 2015.  These Bursaries are to assist students in completing their course work by using adaptive and main stream technology.

 

For further information or to obtain an application form/guidelines, visit:

 

http://www.visionaustralia.org/bursary

 

In Apple News

 

OS X Yosemite developer 6 has just been released.  Interestingly, no sign of iOS 8 beta 6 or a possible GM (Gold Master) release.

 

My Next Purchase: a New Pair of Nifty Head Phones

 

Beats Wireless head phones which are both Bluetooth and can connect via a 3.5mm cable to any other device.  .  In addition, the connecter cable for the head phones also has an inbuilt mic and the clicker that you would find on iPhone ear pods to control an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.

 

http://store.apple.com/au/product/HE505X/A/beats-studio-wireless-over-ear-headphones?fnode=3d

 

iBlink Radio for Android and iOS Now Available on the Mac

 

Serotech who developed System Access and the SAMn, have previously made available their iBlink radio app for Android and iOS with content for the blind or low vision community.

 

Content includes: Serotek news, audio tutorials and interviews, blindness resources, community radio, convention coverage, SPN radio, podcasts, and access to SAMN sampler.

 

This app is now available for free on the Mac App Store.

 

A Quick Round up of Starting Accessibility on All Apple Products

 

I tweeted about this over the week end and thought it would be useful to sure again.

iOS devices (iPod touch, iPhone or iPad): accessibility short-cut or triple click home as it was called before to toggle on/off accessibility settings via the Home button.

Apple TV; Accessibility short-cut menu to allow you to toggle on/off VoiceOver or Closed Captioning via the Menu button on the remote.

OS X (Macs): Option+Command+F5 to allow you to toggle on/off various accessibility options such as VoiceOver, Zoom, invert colours etc.

 

Which Apps Are Draining Your Battery

 

This app is quite interesting, based on other iOS users data tries to give you info about which apps may be draining your battery.  Some accessibility issues, but overall no to bsd.

 

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/normal-battery-analytics/id886528617

 

How to Make Free Ring Tones in iTunes for Windows

I came across this info during the week doing some research for a client that had rang up the adaptive technology help desk.  These two article links show you how to use iTunes to create ring tones for your iPhone from your own music.

 

http://www.ehow.com/how_7285206_make-iphone-ringtones-windows-7.html

 

How to Make Free Ring Tones in iTunes for Mac

 

http://www.maclife.com/article/howtos/how_quickly_make_ringtone_itunes