Sunday, 9 August 2015

Talking tech for August 4 2015 (a bit late sorry)


Vision Australia has gone with Windows phone’s to be our mobile phone of choice for our staff, so I have spent the last couple of weeks putting Windows phone 8.1 with Narrator through it’s paces and here are some of my findings.


1. Phone, Mail, SMS and Internet Explorer are quite usable.  Starting up, locking and unlocking the phone was also very straightforward.

2. Not all of the inbuilt apps that I used on the Microsoft Lumia 640 were accessible: eg Calculator, Maps, News, Podcasts etc.

3. Narrator uses similar gestures to that of the iPhone such as 1 finger flick left or right to move to the previous and next items, and a modified version of the rotor found in iOS.

4. Have been having issues using automated systems where you have to use the keypad to enter your choice: i.e. number doesn’t seem to be recognised by the system being used.  eg had great difficulty setting up voice mail when I had to enter in the 6 digit pin.

5. Absolutely excellent that the Lumia 640 has an FM radio with the use of the head phones.

6. Two finger flicking between the Quick Launch and the Application Windows on the main screen is very straightforward.  I particularly like the fact that you can pin your most used apps or webpages to the Quick Launch Window.

7. The Back, Start Menu, and Search buttons at the bottom of all screens are fairly easy to work out their Functions.  Back is for Back a screen, Start Menu take you to the Start Menu, and the Search let’s you conduct a search.

8. The App Bar when in App which gives you access to more functions, appears to be slightly above the bottom buttons (Back, Start and search) and over to the right: 1 finger double tap on this to expand the items inside the App Bar.

9. You can change the ringer for different tones by tapping on each tone name or to hear a ring tone, just press on the button after each ring tone name.

10.  Setting the Lock Screen pin number I could not achieve due to the focus on the keypad jumping around making it impossible to enter the same pin number for verification.

11. Narrator voice settings include: selecting a male or female voice, changing the speech rate, turning on touch typing, and toggle of hints.  Narrator doesn’t support Braille.

12. Can only seem to activate speech search via my Apple ear pods with the microphone: can dial a number, search for items on the Internet, and open apps.


Dial Number or Contact Name.

Open App Name.

Send Text - respond to prompts for number/contact, message, and send/try again/cancel.

Call Voice Mail.

Find Item to Find on the Internet.



a useful link for getting started with Windows Phone

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