Thursday, 19 November 2015

Talking Tech for november 17 and 10 2015

Talking Tech for November 17 2015


Updates From Me:


Talking About the Apple tv on the Tech Doctor with Dr Robert Carter and David Woodbridge 

Completed my 21 podcast series on the Apple tv 4th generation using VoiceOver 

Great time last week Talking To ATUg


Next meeting of ATUG in February 2016.


Android Ware: Audio Feedback


Audio feedback for   Android ware .


Need to have someone with sight turn it on, very primitive, and will only work with the LG Urbane 2nd addition.

Can turn on Power button to hang up a call, but need sighted assistance to turn it on.

Can make/receive calls, send sms messages, use cards, but no information on accessing apps. 

Google support page: 


Vision Australia Webinar: Holiday Summer Reading




Register now for Vision Australia’s Summer Holiday Reading webinar



2 December 2015


7:30 PM


Vision Australia


Webinar, Online, National


1300 84 74 66



Don’t sweat, we’ve got your books covered this summer! Following the success of our recent Dreaming of Streaming webinar, we are hosting another webinar for our community. This time, we are focusing on top summer holiday reading tips and tricks for people who are blind or have low vision. 

More information on the webinar, including panellists, to come soon!

Save the date: Wednesday 2nd December at 7.30pm AEDT. 

How to join: the webinar will be held online and it’s free to register. Your own internet usage charges will apply.

Registrations are now open: get in quick as limited places are available.

To register for the Vision Australia webinar, enter your details in the online form here. Any questions? Email us at


A New daisy Player available from Talking Mp3 Players web site: Podcast on the daisy player: 


A Tip on Using the Va Connect App


If you 1 finger double tap and hold on a book title, you can download the book rather than streaming it and also have the option to return the book.

This info doesn’t appear to be in the help info within the app itself.a


Apple updates the software on the Apple tv 4th Generation 

Some other Apple tv bits and pieces


1. You can use the 3rd gen remote on the new Apple tv,

2. If you Apple tv is on, you’ll get a 20 percent low battery warning and a remote charing when plugging back in the Siri remote,

3. Need to ask Netflix to turn on Audio Description at their end to use it on the new Apple tv, and

4. iBlink radio from Serotek is also available on the Apple tv.


ACB radio MainMenu for November 6: all about android 

KNFB Reader compared on both iPhone and Android on Cool Blind Tech 

iPad pro now available


Talking Tech for November 10 2015 


JAWS 17 Released


What Is New In JAWS 17 - What IS New Page 


New App For ACB (American Council for the Blind) Radio 


New Game From Kid Friendly Software: Blindfold Breakout




Official Australian Cricket app: broken/fixed for accessibility


Apple tv 4 Generation some points


What is the Apple tv? Streaming box.

New box overall new features:

Siri touch remote,

ability run apps.

32gb and 64gb models.


Other points:


Apple TV 4th Generation  notes


1. VoiceOver doesn’t come up automatically when first setting up: need to press menu button 3 times (triple click).

2. No Bluetooth keyboard support at all.

3. Odd keyboard layout: continuous row of letters.

4. iOS Remote app including Apple watch Remote app not compatible.

5. No default podcasts or radio app.

6. Netflix audio description doesn’t appear to work.

7. VoiceOver breaking up when reading out help text for Siri.

8. Siri currently can’t search in music or apps: only movies, TV shows, and Netflix in australia.


Using Siri

1. Siri doesn’t talk back to you like on iPhone unless your using VoiceOver,

2. To see a list of things Siri can do press the Siri button,

Search movies or tv shows:

Search for actors or directors you like,

Control playback: play from beginning, pause this, go back 10 minutes, what did they say?

open apps,

Ask about weather, sports, and stocks,

3. Hold down Siri button, speak command and then release.



Monday, 2 November 2015

Talking tech for November 3 2015


My NDIS Conference Experience from Oct 26 to 29 Oct 2015 On The Apple iHouse Stand


Presenting at the Apple accessible house stand at the NDIS conference.


Link to the Apple iHouse apps and hardware demonstrated: 


The Vision Australia I-Access Online Service Now Has a Web Short-Cut 


More Exciting News About VA Library I-Access


Vision Australia now has it’s own VA Connect iOS app for listening to books and Newspapers.




JAWS 17 Released


What Is New In JAWS 17 - What IS New Page 


FSCast Podcast 115 with more news on JAWS 17 


Apple tv Fourth Generation Released

 Just to let you know briefly that the new Apple tv 4th generation has been resale and we will spend some of the show next week talking about it in-depth.

Very exciting, fully accessible game console plus iTunes Movies/TV shows etc. 


In the mean time, here is a demo of the new Apple tv unboxing and description done by me.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Talking Tech for October 27 2015

Another Great Game: The Blind Legend


Blind Fold Balling from Blind Kids Friendly Software


A really great free game with in-app purchases. 


Attention, all Audio Description users! In Sydney


Ericsson Broadcast and Media Services creates audio description for:

•       Feature films

•       Short films

•       Promotional DVDs

•       Film festivals

•       Online videos

•       Television


We want to hear what you think of the examples of Audio Description you’ve experienced so far, including anything produced by us (or when we were operating as Red Bee Media Australia). If you haven’t yet viewed any programs or films with our Audio Description, we’d like to show you some brief examples and hear any feedback you have to offer.


We invite you to attend a Consumer Forum on Saturday 14th November so we can hear your views and exchange ideas in an informal, friendly discussion at our Sydney office, based in Rosebery.


Attending from Ericsson will be in-house audio describers Jo Ellis and Frances Mathey, Client Liaison Manager Iain Humphrey and a member of our technical team to set up our clips and record the event.


Please note, any recording of our discussion will be used strictly within Ericsson for reference purposes only.


This event is hosted solely by Ericsson and not in conjunction with any broadcaster, content producer or legislative body.


The discussion will be followed by light refreshments.

Places are limited, so please RSVP if you’d like to come along and contribute to the discussion!


When:                   10:00am-12:00pm, Saturday 14th November 2015

Where:  Ericsson Broadcast and Media Services, 5-11 Mentmore Ave, Rosebery NSW 2018


How to get here:

-       Link to map (please note, Ericsson is still listed on the map as Red Bee Media Australia):,151.2049525,15z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0xad11962b432f3d01

-       If you will be arriving by car, there is secure, off-street parking inside our front gate, where there will be someone waiting to greet you.

-       If you are using public transport, our office is a 15-minute walk from Green Square station on the Airport Line.  From Green Square Station, you can also take Bus 309 from the Botany Road stop opposite the station (Stop 201715) to Botany Road near Epsom Road, Zetland (Stop 201717), and then walk left up Epsom Road and turn right onto Mentmore Avenue in 125m.

-       If you are coming from Redfern Station, you can walk to Regent Street after Redfern Street (Bus Stop 201622) and catch Bus 309 as above.

-       If you are coming from Central Station, you can catch Bus 343 from outside the station on Elizabeth Street near Kippax Street (Stop 20180) to Rothschild Ave opposite Cressy Street in Rosebery (Stop 201835). Walking from there, you turn right from Rothschild Ave into Cressy Street, then take the first right into Mentmore Avenue.


Please let us know if you need any further assistance in finding the venue, otherwise there will be someone waiting to greet you at the front of the Ericsson Building.


RSVP:   By Friday 6th November 2015

To Jo Ellis and Frances Mathey, Audio Describers at Ericsson Broadcast and Media Services


A Day In My Life Using Apple Products Apple Store Workshop Oct 29 2015 at 5PM


I will be presenting at the Brisbane Apple Store on October 29 at 5pm on how I use Apple products during the course of the day: should be lots of fun. 


KNFB Reader Comes to the Google Play Store


We have had the KNFB Reader OCR app for iOs for quite a while, now it is the turn for the Android platform.  According to the Play Store, the first 25 scans are free then you have to purchase the app. 


In The Future, How Will We Talk To Our Technology


An interesting article on the future of talking to our mobile devices.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Talking Tech for October 20 2015

New Accessible Technology Users Group


A new group has recently formed called the Accessible Technology Users Group (ATUG).  This will be an on-going group meeting on the second Wednesday of the month.


Guest speakers will be presenting to us on all sorts of subjects to do with accessible technology for those who are blind or have low vision – from Microsoft to Apple products – iPhones and androids – - Apps – zoom text to gadgets that enhance our daily lives.


The meeting begins at 7:30 pm eastern daylight saving time and concludes at 9:00 pm.


There is no cost to join the group just the cost of the call.


To join the meeting you will need to dial yourself in using the following phone number and access code:


Dial-in Number:

03 8672 0100

Participant Access Code:

767530 then press hash.


We request anyone participating by phone to call five minutes before the start of the meeting if possible to avoid disruption.


For further information about this meeting please email Susie Barrington


If you know of anyone else who may enjoy and benefit from any of our discussions then by all means tell them about this group.  Give them Susie’s email address.  This group is for everyone who wants to learn more and to find out what resources are out there for those who are blind or have low vision.


This group is not affiliated with any organisation.


Apple Updates Siri Resource Page


Ever wondered what commands you can use with Siri, this is a fairly comprehensive list from Apple itself. 


A Siri Tip


Disable “Hey Siri” by Putting your iPhone Screen face Down. 


A Day In My Life Using “Hey Siri”


A podcast in a day of me using “Hey Siri”.


Apple Updates Popular Apps Using VoiceOver Page


This is the US list for popular apps using Voiceover from Applevis. 


Apple Updates iOs and OS X iWork Suite (Pages, Numbers and Keynote)


Accessibility improvements for VoiceOver users across Pages, Numbers, and Keynote.  In particular, ability to track changes and comments on both iOS and OS X. 

Apple’s Updated OS X 10.11 El Capitan


Contains VoiceOver and low vision improvements.

VoiceOver: VoiceOver modifier keys, changes to interaction command, and Window Spots.

Low vision: wriggle mouse to locate mouse pointer.


Demo of changing the VoiceOver modifier keys:


Demo of new ways to interact:


Demo of Window Spots:


In particular, like with iOS 9, I really like the fact that you can use Notes to make checkable lists: very useful for crating shopping lists. 


Apple Releases New 21 and 27 Inch iMacs


4k ain 21 inch and 5k in 27 inch iMacs with improved performance and storage.

Also comes with Apple’s new Magic keyboard 2 and Magic Mouse 2 (which you can change when purchasing for the Magic Trackpad 2 which works better with VoiceOver as mouse doesn’t support VoiceOver).


Apple’s new Magic Keyboard 2, Magic Trackpad 2, and Magic mouse 2


All products can be paired by plugging in a lightening cable to the Mac, and now have a inbuilt rechargeable battery.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Talking Tech for End of September and early to middle October

Talking Tech Sep 29 2015


ABC iView with Audio Description Update


Now available with Audio Described option on the Android Play Store.


According to Media Access Australia in a recent podcast from them, over 20.000 have used ABC iView since the the 15 month trial started in April 2015.


Considering it was only available on iOs, and recently Android, its a great number.


the ABC iView website should be supporting audio description late October or November, but no date has been announced.


So far I have listened to Glitch, Humans, and now currently Doctor Who.


A Small Number of Disney Audio Described movies on iTunes


In iTunes, if you type in “Blind Viewers” you will get a listing of several dedicated audio described movies.


A small number, but hopefully the start of better things to come.


Apps Specific for Seniors page Launched on the Australian iTunes Store 



Keynote - Free Typing Tutor for Mac and Windows


Very excited that there is now a typing tutor application now available for the first time for the Mac that works with VoiceOver. 



Guide Dogs NSW/ACT GPs app


This is a subscription based GPs app.  At the moment it’s being offered for $12.99 for a yearly subscription, but I believe after the first 500 downloads of the app, that the price of the subscription will increase dramatically.


Interesting app, although I’m not certain about why we need Altitude, why round abouts are identified as unnamed, and why include a Maps section if it’s not accessible.


One thing I do like is the orientation to an intersection: e.g. if its running left or right.




Voice Dream Reader Now Available in the Android Play Store


This excellent app for reading out docs with text to speech for iOS, is now available for Android.



Access World for September 2015


The item of note in this issue was: Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac: a first look. 


Games from kids friendly software


I’ve tried a few of these games in the past and found them quite good, but didn’t realise until recently that they have quite a few including:


Blindfold Blackjack,

Blindfold simon,

Blindfold dominos,

Blindfold pong,

Blindfold Hopper,

Blindfold Cryptogram,

Blind Video Poker,

Blindfold Sudoku,

Blindfold Sudoku mini, and

Blindfold racer.


And quite a few card games from Kid Friendly Games:

Blindfold Hearts,

Blindfold Spades,

Blindfold War,

Blindfold Solitair,

Blindfold Wildcard, and

Blindfold Crazy Eights.



Talking Tech for  first week of October 6 2015


Watch OS 2

Mail: Can now reply from watch.

Activity: get weekly stats via force touch.

Alarm: press Digital crown to snooze alarm or Friends button to stop.

FaceTime audio calling: can make/receive FaceTime audio calls.

Add groups of friends to Friends with the standard 12 contacts per friends group.

 Mute Stand Reminder for rest of day: great when your stuck in the car.

Time Travel: scroll digital crown on Clock Face to see current complications change in past or in the future: i.e. next Calendar item, Weather at 2PM etc.

Support for 3rd party complications.

New watch clock faces: time elapsed and Photos.

New colours in complications:

Switching from clock face to home screen, no interim jump to Clock on home screen.

Settings Glance: AirPlay options for choosing Apple watch speaker or BT device.

Can check Apple watch battery level from iOS 9 Notifications Today screen.



Ask Siri to open a glance “open heart beat glance” or “open settings glance”.

Start a workout directly by saying “start Indoor Walk Workout”.

Get a definition of a word “define telephone”.




Wake up watch mis-labelled but with new time setting.


Apple watch on iPhone renamed to watch and contains the new complications screen.



Can set an alarm, but can’t edit or delete.


More about iPhone 6 3D Touch and Watch OS 2


How to use 3D Touch on iPhone 6s from iMore 


A demo from Jonathan Mosen concerning iPhone 6s Siri issues and a quick demo of 3d touch 


An initial blog post from Applevis first 3 hours with the iPhone 6s 


Talking tech for 2nd week of Oct 2015


Catch up on Podcasts from September


Podcasts from me concerning iOS 9 and the Apple watch os 2 update


Watch os 2

Checking battery level of Apple watch from iOS 9 Notifications Today screen on iPhone,

Replying to email on the Apple watch,

Muting Stand Reminders for the day,

Demo of Night Stand mode and snoozing or stopping an alarm via the digital crown and friends buttons

Demo of Time Travel in watch os 2, and

Demo of upgrading from watch os 1.01 to watch os 2,

demo of accessing the new clock faces and a play around with the Time Lapse clock face in watch os 2

Demo of the slight change in watch os 2 to navigate between clock face and Home screen icons

Demo of using Siri and Glances in watch os 2


iOS 9

Demo of hand writing or Braille Screen Input if selected in VoiceOver practise in iOS 9,

Demo of the new text selection feature in VoiceOver, and

Hay Siri training tutorial.


Other Podcasts

Mac Cast podcast for Sep 24 2015: a chat about the upcoming Apple tv 

Media Access Australia


An update of the aBC iView trial from April this year for 15 months and how it is progressing. 

The Mosen at large podcast


Actually didn’t know this existed, but its Jonathan Mosen’s podcast feed on tech stuff which grabs his attention.


Besides the demo talking about Siri and 3d touch with the iPhone 6s, an interesting demo of live photos on the iPhone 6s and potential accessibility benefits. 


Other Podcasts to keep track of

Blind Bargains

Tech  Doctor

Main Menu

Mac Break Weekly

iOS Today

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Talking Tech for September 15 2015

Apple’s September 9 Keynote announcements


Apple’s Keynote event Sep 9 (which was actually Sep 10 in Australia smile) gave us the following announcements (in the following order):

Demo of watch os 2, new Apple watch bands, new iPad pro, new Apple tv, and of course the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s plus.



Stream the Apple Keynote Event

The Apple Keynote for Sep 9 can be streamed from Apple’s event page at:


Watch os 2 release Sep 16 2015.


We’ll go more in to this when it is released, for now, use the following link to see what is new in watch os 2.


I’m personally looking forward to native apps running on the watch, replying to emails on the watch, and using the night stand mode which uses the Friends and Digital crown to turn off or sleep the alarm.


New Apple watch bands included more colours for the sports band, and a new range of bands for sports and the Apple watch.  The product red (band) is available for the Apple watch.


You will also be able to get the Apple watch sports in Rose gold.


iPad pro release November 2015


Main features:

a9x chip,

improved cameras,

12.9 inch display,

quad speakers,

improved screen touch sensitivity to support the Apple pencil),

10 hour battery life,

Will take advantage of iOS 9 two apps on  screen at same time,

Apple pencil (yes it’s a stylus smile),

Smart keyboard,

New covers.


I think this will be aimed at the enterprise market.


We will still have the iPad air and iPad air 2, with a new iPad mini 4 (small version of the iPad air 2) and the iPad mini 2.


Looks like the price will be in the range of $1300, the Apple pencil $99, and the Smart Keyboard $129.


Apple tv release October 2015


Main features:

3gb and 6gb flash storage models,

a 3rd thicker than the existing Apple tv,

No optical out (as with previous versions),

Siri/touch remote,

Universal search via Siri across apps,

General Siri functionality (such what as what is the Weather),

Support multiple game controllers (including Remote app from iOS devices),

TV os app store,

New screen savers,

Apple music, and

New accessibility features (including Zoom).


The OS of the Apple tv is now TV os, and Apple made a special mention of the new accessibility options in the box and the remote on Apple’s dedicated accessibility page:

Because the optical port is gone, I took the opportunity to purchase a new Amplifier (Yamaha xv-479) which allows more HDMI connectivity, Airplay, Bluetooth, UsB stick music play, internet access to Spotify or Pandora, and can be controlled via an app (AV Controller).


If your interested in reading about the Yamaha model, I’ve put in a link below.  I will not be installing the amplifier until I get the new Apple tv, so will let everyone know how it goes.  In addition, people have told me that there are some issues with the AV Controller app, so I will report back on this as well. 


32gb $149,

64gb, $199.


It looks as if the existing 3rd generation Apple tv may be staying around at $109. 

iOS 9 release Sep 16 2015


We’ll go more in to this when it is released, for now, use the following link to see what is new in iOS 9.


I am looking forward to the Low Power mode option, having Hay Siri only respond to your voice via the Hay Siri training tutorial, and the new News app.


Preparing your iOS device for iOS 9


You may also want to consider reading this article on preparing your iOS device for iOS 9, and remember, if your device runs iOS 8, it’ll probably run iOS 9.


iPhone 6s and iPhone 6 plus release Sep 25 2015


Just in case your wondering, know I didn’t buy and iPhone 6s or 6s plus smile.


The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s plus feel the same as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus.


Main new features are: 

a9 and m9 (motion) chip,

12mp rear camera, and 5mp front camera,

3d touch, and

Hay Siri functionality on all the time.

New cases.


3d touch which takes force touch further which is currently found on the Apple watch and newestMacbook pro’s will be fully accessible by VoiceOver as reported by Applevis on there blog relating to 3d touch: Peak (short touch), and pop (long touch):


New iPhones will of course come with iOS 9.


iPhone 6s and 6s plus pre-orders from Sep 11 with available in stores Sep 25 2015.


Due to the Australian dollar and the fact that Apple apparently increased the price of the iPhone by $100.00, all iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s plus models are over a thousand dollars.

iPhone 6s 16gb 1079,

64gb $1229, and

128gb $1379.


iPhone 6s plus 16gb $1229,

64gb $1379, and

128gb $1529.


The iPhone 5c has gone, leaving us with the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 plus with the following prices:

iPhone 5s 16gb $749, and

32gb $829.


iPhone 6 16gb $929, and

64gb $1079.


iPhone 6 plus 16gb $1079, and

64gb $1229.


I think it is still painful that the 16gb is the bottom the range, should be 32gb, and a bit pushy of Apple to only make the 128gb version on the latest models.


Link to plans outlining what the Australian Telco’s plans are for the iPhone 6s:

Monday, 7 September 2015

Talking Tech for September 8 2015

FSCast 113 - What Is New in JAWS 17 preview Part 1


Public beta after the 10th of September with release with the end of October.

Language localisations will be faster.

Continue improvements with Windows 10.

Web smart navigation: recommended to try out smart Navigation with Semi-Forms mode..

FS has added the ability to script webpages.

Under the hood improvements to Braille with the addition of another Braille translation library: Liblouis: the US to start using UEB In January 2016.


FSCast 114 - What is new in JAWS 17 preview part 2 should be coming out in the week of the 7th of September 2015. 


Apple’s Keynote for September 9 to be Streamed on Windows (10) for the First Time


If you have Windows 10, you’ll be able to stream Apple’s Keynote for the first time using Windows: before only able to be streamed on iOS, OS X or the Apple TV.


Australian EST will be 3AM on Thursday the 10th.


Some of the announcements perhaps to include:

New iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s plus.

iOS 9.

Watch OS 2.

New colour watch bands.

New iPad pro.

New Apple TV.


Regardless of how your listening to it, use the following link to go to the event page:


An Interview About the RealSam from RealThing


This week in Talking Tech, we have Nick Chaperon from RealThing to talk to us about the RealSam media player.


The questions covered in the interview concerning the RealSam portable Newspaper, RSS player, eBook reader, and podcast player included:


What does the company RealThing do?

What is the objective or goal of the RealSAM as a device for the customer?

Describe it physically.

Explain the functionality and range of content.

What do people tell you about what it means for them?

Explain availability and cost.

How is it upgraded.

What is the help desk or ongoing support for the customer?

How does someone with an interest take the next step?


A demo of RealSam can be found on Youtube at: