Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Talking Tech for July 28 2015

Dreaming of Streaming reminder


Quick reminder of Dreaming   of Streaming happening this Wednesday the 29th at 7:30PM EST.





Applevis Celebrates its 5th birthday with a week long celebration of give aways


Applevis 5th Birthday celebrations.




Twenty Fifth Birthday of the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA): from CNN




Apple Celebrates 25 years of the American’s with Disabilities Act with Accessibility app list


From the iTunes page: For more than 20 years, Apple has provided innovative solutions for people with disabilities. Built into iOS, VoiceOver is the world’s first gesture-based screen reader, allowing people who are blind or have low vision to enjoy the touchscreen simplicity of iPhone and iPad. Using VoiceOver, you can interact with objects on the screen and intuitively gauge their location and context from audio cues. These popular apps deliver a great VoiceOver experience for all users.




Apple launch’s page to highlight apps that take advantage of iOS VoiceOver


From the iTunes page: We’re proud to have an App Store full of tools that improve lives. Using the Accessibility features on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, these apps help with everything from routine tasks to communication and language skills.




Some of the Biggest tech company’s want more  app Makers to Consider accessibility a Bigger Priority: from the Virge




Apple releases new iPod nano, shuffle, and iPod touch -blog from Applevis


A blog post on the new Apple iPod nano, shuffle and iPod touch updates from Applevis.





ABC Drama: Glitch: running on ABC iView with Audio Description


Just a reminder that the ABC iView Audio Description trial is still going on and if you like a show with a bit of a twist of people coming back to life after climbing out of their graves, then this great 6 part series is for you.




Podcast highlights


Another new section where (again) every two weeks we will be highlighting from various adaptive technology (and perhaps main stream) podcasts, interviews or demos of particular interest to our listeners.


Here are a few to kick us off.


ACB Main Menu

Accessing Windows 10 with the newly released JAWS 16.3048.



An introduction to apple music 1 July

A taste of what you can ask Siri to do with Apple music 9 July.


Blind Bargains Audio featuring the BBCast


Always has good general and blind or low vision related news items on the BBCast plus audio interviews and demos from conferences such as the recent Sight Village conference in the UK, and the NFB and ACB conventions in the US.

eg Sight village auto demos over 12 interviews, BBCast 23 conversation of the NfB and ACB conventions, a number of demos from NFB and ACB etc.




Freedom Scientific excellent podcast on what is going on with FS products.

eg: FSCast 111 post convention round up for NFB and ACB, and a jam I discovered, a two part interview with Ted Henter the Father of JaWS 104/104, and 100 a discussion of Leasy.



July AccessWorld


Evaluation of the Leasey

Running Galaxy Talkback on the Galaxy s6



Monday, 13 July 2015

Talking Tech for July 14 2015

In this weeks show, we have a guest speaker: Adam Morris” to speak about his two Mailing Lists (the iOS and AusTech mailing lists), and Blind Citizens Australia (BCA) Computer Users Group.


iOS Mailing List


Discussion of iOS (iPhone, iPod touch or iPhone) from beginners to experts on hardware, apps or 3rd party devices.


To subscribe to the list, send an email to:




AusTech Mailing List

Discussion of any technology that people who are blind or have low vision may find useful or have questions about.


To subscribe to the list, send an email to:



BCA Computer Users Group


BCA Computer Users Group currently meets Monthly at Vision Australia Kooyong with people being able to Skype or phone (Melbourne number)in.


To access the BCA Computers Users Group, you must be a member of BCA.


For more information, send an email to:




Contact Adam Morris at:




Monday, 6 July 2015

Talking Tech for July 7 2015

Along with Apple music and Beats 1 being available last week, iOS 8.4 was also released.


Apple music available in iTunes on Mac and Windows, and iOS devices (iPhone, iPod touch and iPad).


iOS 8.4 bringing some more stability improvements along with the previously mentioned Apple music.


Info on Apple music from Applevis




FAQ about Apple music from iMore




First Audio Described Movie in the Australian iTunes Store: Home


Just thought I’d let everyone know that the Movie Home was released on the iTunes Store On July 1 with audio description.


This appears to be the first AD movie in the iTunes Australian catalog.  Whilst CC (Closed Captioning)is mentioned in the iTunes Store, AD is not, I’ve already feed this back to Apple.


On the Mac (iTunes), iPhone/iPod touch/iPad or Apple tv, if video description is on in Settings within Accessibility, the movie will start with AD running.


In Windows (iTunes), under Languages for the movie, you’ll see United States Audio Described.


Here is the description of the movie: rating is PG.


Based on the critically acclaimed book "The True Meaning of Smekday" by Adam Rex. In "Home" an alien race invades Earth and uses it as a hideout from their mortal enemy. When one lowly alien accidentally notifies the enemies of his whereabouts, he is forced to go on the run with a teenage girl. The two become unlikely buddies and embark on a comical globe-trotting adventure to right his wrongs, in which our alien hero learns what it really means to be human.


The link in the iTunes Store:




Apple quietly pulls the iPad mini 1


This was of course the original iPad mini without a retina display, now gone.


Briefly, iPad mini 2 Retina 16/32gb, and iPad mini 3 retina with Touch ID 16/64/128gb.




Google Maps with haptic turn by turn feedback when walking


This sounds great.  Of course this is very similar to what the Apple watch does, but you don’t need an Apple watch and an iPhone to do it (smile).




Register now for Dreaming Of Streaming” July 29 at 7:30PM ESD


On July 29 at 7.30pm Vision Australia will host a webinar on accessing online streaming. The Dreaming of Streaming webinar will focus on how people who are blind or have low vision can access online video streaming services such as Netflix, iView and Apple TV.


The webinar will be run as a panel Q&A and will be live-streamed. Participants will be able to watch the session and ask questions live.


For more information/contact details go to:



Or email:




NVDA Remote Access available


Haven’t  tried this yet, but this is really exciting news for those of us who use the free Windows screen reader NVDA, and now with remote support.




Great episode from FSCast 109: Windows 10 and comments from Dr Denise Robinson


Great information about Windows 10 released on July 29, and some interesting comments on using screen readers to prepare oneself for the work place.




Considerations for upgrading to Windows 10 for screen and screen magnification users from the Microsoft Accessibility blog



Monday, 29 June 2015

Talking Tech for June 30 2015

Before getting on to the story’s for this week

Two points I’d like to make.


The last week end in June 6 years ago I did my first audio demo on the accessible iPhone 3gs with VoiceOver.  It also means I have now been podcasting for 6 years as well.


Secondly, Apple music will launch on June 30.  I thought I’d give it  a week to be out in the wild so to speak before talking about it in next weeks program.


Vision Australia Texpo 2015


Time again to announce the dates and locations for Vision Australia technology exhibition where you will see a range of technologies on display, workshops, and the chance to chat with suppliers.


Newcastle NSW: Friday 9th and Saturday 10th October, and

Coorparoo QLD: Friday 16th and Saturday 17th October.




donate your old smart phones to assist people who are deaf blind up to July 31 2015


If you have any smart phones laying around, please donate them to Able Australia to support people who are deaf blind who use such smart phone technology to communicate via refreshable Braille displays.




a device that helps the blind navigate by tingling their tongues


Use your tongue with this device to detect objects/shapes, movement, and distance.  Based on a pair of camera mounted glass’s, the person who is blind via a set of electrodes, in a mouth pice will sense what is going on in front of them via their tongue by bubble   sensations.  Has received approval in Canada, United States, and other places.




A quick review of the TCL Pulse vibrating alarm from the blog of Jonathan Mosen


Just seemed like a great device, particularly for folks with hearing issues as this device does vibrating alarms and timer, available from Amazon.




Apple highlights apps on the Apps Store that work well with voiceOver on iOs from iMore


Great to see Apple celebrating and highlighting apps that truly work well with VoiceOver on the iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.




Amazon is now sharing its voice recognition technology (Alexa)with developers


This sounds interesting.  Alexa is currently in the Amazon Echo voice recognition assistant speaker.  Unfortunately, the actual speaker doesn’t seem to be yet available in Australia.  However, having Amazon expand its technology to other manufacturers will result in (hopefully) a range of accessible voice recognition technologies.



Monday, 22 June 2015

Talking Tech for June 23 2015

Smart oven uses food recognition to cook the perfect meal every time


Just seemed a nifty way of cooking food, not yet available.




New USB C dock will allow you to connect up to 11 devices


With more and more laptops having USB C ports and not much else, such a USB C hub may come inhandy: the new Macbook comes to mind.



Converting an older home in to a smart home


Just like to keep track of  different ways of setting up a smart home.



Google launch’s website to address concerns about self driving cars


This is a great way to keep track of what is happening with self driving cars from Google.




Getting it all done with Zoomtext Mac and CamReader


Another OCR/Video magnifier on the market, this time  extending the  functionality of Zoomtext for Mac.



Here is the actual page on the AI Squared website:




Voice Mail


New: Voice Dream mail (from the developer of Voice Dream reader and writer).  Using gestures with speech feedback to read your mail.



Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Talking Tech for June 16 2015

Today’s show all about the WWDC from Apple June 9 2015: preview of OS X 10.11, iOS 9, watch os, and Apple music.


Note - OS x 10.11, iOS 9, and watchOS 2 are in beta and features may change.  In addition, the new music streaming service from Apple is not yet available.


OS X 10.11


New features in OS x 10.11 (some feature highlights):


Split view: view two apps on the screen at the same time.

Call out your cursor: shake finger on trackpad or shake your mouse and the cursor gets bigger so its easier to spot.

Spotlight: can search for more things, and you  can use natural language when searching for a file.

Improved Notes app: turn a list in to a check list, and easily add photos, urls etc.

Safari: keep favourite websites open with pin sites, easily identify which tab is playing audio, and use Airplay to stream video.

Increased performance: apps open much faster, and games display much more smoothly due to Apple’s metal technology which is already being used on iOs.


Sadly, no mention of Siri for OS X yet




iOS 9


New in iOS 9 (some of the highlights):


Apps: A new news app, dramatically improved Notes app, Maps with transit info (in selected cities around the world), and improvements to Car play.


Improvements to iPad: 

Better multitasking features - slide view (slide to view another app and back again), and split view (see two apps on screen at same time - only on iPad air 2).

Better keyboard short-cuts when using a wireless keyboard.


Siri: improvements to Siri.


Searching: improvements to spotlight including searching within apps.


Proactive assistant: based on what time of day you use apps, get intelligent suggestions on what you may want to do next.


Listening to music and audio: bt in the car, start listening to your music or plug in your head phones and start listening to a podcast.


Who’s calling: if an unknown number, if the number has appeared in an email, iOS 9 will suggest who the caller may be.


Better power management:

if iPhone face down on table, screen will not be on.

New low power mode will extend battery life but turning off a number of features.


Move from Android with the Move to /iOS app: makes the transition to iOS from your Android device by copying relevant data over from your Android device such as Mail, Contacts, music etc.



watchOS 2


New features in watch os2 (some feature highlights):


New clock faces, complications and night stand mode:

New clock faces - 24 hour time lapsed faces from iconic places around the world, use your own photo or randomise photos by choosing an album.

New complications: complications data can be drawn directly from apps.

Time travel: use the digital crown to scroll to the previous day today or next day to look at what is happening at a particualr time in a complications: eg weather, calendar or news item you may have missed).


Night stand mode - automatically goes in to night stand mode when charger connected and Apple watch on its side, time will display when you touch the screen,  or side/digital crown, and side button will stop and digital crown will snooze an alarm.


Better apps: apps run natively, can take advantage of hardware features in the watch (such as using the mic or internal speaker), improvements to existing apps including: 

Mail - reply to mail.

Friends: add more multiple screens of friends with each screen up to 12 friends.

Maps: get transit directions (in select cities around the world).

Siri: Siri does more on Apple watch.

Activation lock: protect your watch with your Apple id, same as iPhone.





Apple music


3 months trial, $9.99  single or $14.99 USD family subscription.  Available June 30 this year.  Provides curated music (along side your own music), Beats1 radio, and Connect (where artists  can connect with their followers).  Without a subscription, can still listen to Beats1, see what artists are posting on connect, and listen to ads supported stations.


Available with iOS 8.4, watchOS via paired iPhone, Mac/PC via updated iTunes, and Android later on this year.


I’m not sure how Apple music will differ from such online streaming music services such as Pandora radio, and Connect to me sounds like the failed Ping social sharing function that was available in iTunes a number of years ago.  With the 3 months trial certainly nothing to loose in giving it a go.




Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Talking Tech for June 9 and 2 2015

Just catching up with Talking Tech for the last two weeks, Google changed some options and MarsEdit which I use to do these blog posts didn’t work, and it has taken me a bit more time than expected to get back to updating the blog after Marsedit was fixed: hence blogs posts for Talking Tech for June 2 and 9 2015.


Talking Tech for June 9 2015 


Busting the myths about technology and children:



Audio Rally racing game


A new game for Mac or PC users.



Life line Text Adventure game with a twist


Couldn’t help put this one in, a new twist on playing a text adventure on iOs and the Apple watch.





Apple watch working with Halo hearing aids




iPhone lightening Dock now available for iPhone




New book from Jonathan Mosen on the Apple tv.




Apple tv catch up concerning more channels


Along with Netflix on the Apple tv, we now have the other streaming service available in Australia: stan.


Talking Tech June 2015


Apple watch OS 1.01 update is out squashing a number of VoiceOver bugs


Apple watch update 1.01 came out in mid may, but this has been the first chance to update it during Talking Tech.


1. Can delete Mail and Messages via the 1 finger flick up or down action gesture,

2. Clearing all notifications doesn’t lock out VoiceOver users any more.

3. VoiceOver no longer getting stuck after accessing last glance.

4. Improvements under the hood for better VoiceOver accessibility with 3rd party apps.


Vision Australia trialling remote training


Vision Australia has almost completed a trial of remote training for a selected group of clients.  This pilot will allow Vision Australia to move forward in the future in providing remote training to clients in both desktop and mobile systems.


Deaf/blind phone being trialled   in Australia and the US



Talkback 4.2 for Android released



AccessWorld for May 2015



Victor stream now does I-Access from Vision Australia



Keysoft v9.5 released for Braillenote and Voicenote