Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Talking Tech for December 20 2016

As I said last week, I would confirm the pairing of Focus Blue displays from FS with the newly released iOs 10.2 which is now confirmed.  Following is a technical support bulletin from FS.




Speaking of iOS: besides iOS 10.2 being released, you’ll find updates for watch os, Apple TV os, and Mac OS: no accessibility improvements to note as yet.


Olitech Mobile Phone


Just a reminder to folks that the Olitech is a large print mobile phone suitable for folks with low vision, not for people who are blind or who use speech output: only the keypad speaks, not the menus of the phone.


Windows 10 upcoming release in Spring (US) 2017 has a number of accessibility improvements including finally support for refreshable Braille displays:




Microsoft continues its excellent development work in accessibility improvements for Word on Mac, iPhone and iPad:




AccessWorld for December 2016


In this issue, these articles caught my attention: Microsoft Word with NVDA Training Guide, Game Review - Timecrest: The Door, Accessible Recipes for Cooking and Entertaining, and What is NEW in Mac Sierra and the New MacBooks.




AirPods arrived, but no chance to put them through their paces, will report back in the new year with a podcast.


In case you don’t want to wait for my podcast, here is a guide on the use of the AirPods from iMore:




Similarly, I have now got my hands on a loan MacBook Pro with the Touch Bar, and will report what I think in the new year.


Dr Robert Carter who produces the Tech doctor Blog and Podcast has done an excellent job of overviewing the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar:




For those that may need a bit of help with their Apple products over the Christmas/new year period from an accessibility point of view, the Apple Accessibility Helpdesk is only closed in the US on Christmas and New Years day, so you can still contact them outside of these days on 1300 365 083.


I haven’t checked the operational hours for the Disability Helpdesk from Microsoft: but they can be contacted on 1800 280 300.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Talking Tech for December 13 2016

Vision Australia and Vision Telco now Selling Mobile Phones and Plans




The Telstra 2G Network is now Closed




Podcast from me: My Podcasting and work Set-up at Home




Braille On display




A Blind Legend Comes to the Mac




Netflix Adds Offline Viewing for iOS




How Major Tech Company’s are Improving Accessibility for People with Disabilities




Fake Apple Chargers are worse Than you Think




Saturday, 10 December 2016

Talking Tech for Dec 6 2016

Saying Good Bye to the Mac by Jonathan Mosen


Jonathan makes some valid points in this article all of which I agree with.  As Jonathan states this his personal point of view to leave and its my personal point of view smile that I’m still staying with the Mac.




Make a Speaker Call Using Siri


Hey Siri call David Woodbridge Using Speaker: great if you want to make a call hands free and be able to hear it.




Attenborough Story of Life from the BBC


Over 1000 hours of video clips from Sir David Attenborough’s 60 years of documentaries.




Wikipedia Audio


Great website where the article’s are spoken out with text to speech.




Electric Cars and Hybrids Will Soon Have to Announce Their Presence



Monday, 28 November 2016

Talking tech for November 29 2016


My Christmas Ideas


Before I get on to my Main Stream Tech ideas for Christmas, last show I mentioned the Synapptic software for Android phones, I have now produced my first episode in a series for the Synapptic software which can be purchase from the Vision Australia Equipment Solutions shop.




Christmas Ideas


No links or costs, just straight product names or broad categories just to give you some ideas


Audible, Amazon, iTunes or Harvey Norman etc gift cards


Charging Dock for Smart Phone or Tablets


Charging power brick for various devices


Portable External Hard drive


Apple Magic Keyboard


Samsung tv with Audio Guidance


Apple Watch or Apple Watch bands


iOS or  Android phone or tablet


AirPods if They Get Here in Time


Hope this gives you a few ideas.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Talking Tech for November 22 2016

Christmas Ideas from the Vision Australia Equipment Solutions shop




Oletech large print Mobile Phone




Synapptic Software on a Samsung Core Prime phone




EZ See Large Print Keyboards




Daylight Foldi Portable Desk Lamp




Talking Kitchen Scales




Talking Measuring Jug




Talking Indoor/Outdoor thermometer




Bump Ons




Liquid Level Sensor 2 levels




Loc Dots: 6 pack




Talking Key Ring Clock




Talking Calendar Alarm Clock




Small Tactile Timer




Big Button Speaker Phone




Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Talking Tech for November 15 2016

Some Thoughts of my Recent Purchase of Tile



Tile is a little plastic tile with a button which allows you to find an object that it is attached to locate that item.  If you press the button on the Tile, it locates the smart phone that it is attached to.


The Android version is more accessible than the iOs version, but still works.


The developer has said that improvements to accessibility should be coming down the track particularly for the iOS version: i.e. only get Tile name and not map location in the iOS version.


iOS demo of Tile





Android demo of Tile follow-up




Watch Aussie TV Anywhere on your Smart phone


Freview FV is a way of watching digital tV free on your smart phone: the Android version of this app is more accessible than the iOS version, but still works.










A Bit of Information on How the MacBook Pro Touch Bar Works with VoiceOver


Yes the Touch bar does work in the new MacBook Pro, you can use your VoiceOver gestures to flick left right, and 1 finger double tap to activate an item.  You can also hold down the Command key and triple tap the Touch ID to start/stop VoiceOver.  As the new Macbook Pro’s don’t have a function key line, holding down the FN key turns the number row in to the function key row.




Quick Tip if You Can’t Remember Mac VoiceOver Commands


VO+HH will bring up the VoiceOver Commands Help menu, if you start typing the word that a command should contain you will get a list of suggestions: comes in very handy..


MacBook Buyers Guide


With the new MacBook Pro’s coming in, Apple’s line up of MacBooks is getting more and more complicated, this article from iMore will hopefully make things a bit clearer.



Sunday, 6 November 2016

Talking Tech for October 31 and November 8 2016

Talking Tech for October 31 and November 7 2016


Apple Keynote event October 28 2016


Accessibility ad started off the keynote.


New Apple Accessibility website announced:




An article concerning the new website from iMore:




New TV app announced for iOs for the Apple TV.


Watch all of your movies and TV shows from one source, rather than multiple apps: folks don’t seem to think this includes Netflix.


New MacBook Pro announced with Touch bar/Touch ID.





better audio from speakers, 

13 and 15 inch models, 

Butter fly mechanism keyboard,

starting off with 8gb ram and 256GB SSD,

Larger force  touch trackpad, and

4 Thunder Bolt ports (2 either side) integrating data, charging, and video in one port.,

No SD port, but we still have a head phone jack,

multi-touch bar replacing function keys. 

Touch bar changes to what app is running, 

system control strip available to changing volume etc,

predictive text,

Touch ID to allow finger print for Apple Pay and faster user switching.

Hold down Command key and triple press Touch ID to toggle VoiceOver.


Microsoft Keynote Held the same week - An Interesting Point


You can still get the 13 inch MacBook Air, but the 11 inch is gone.


Microsoft like the Apple keynote started off with an Accessibility promo ad.


AirPods Delayed


The AirPods from Apple which were supposed to be out by the end of the month have been delayed Apple has said they are not quite ready for release: hopefully out by the end of the year.


Apple Watch Nike Now Available


The Nike Plus Apple Watch is now available.


So we now have updated series1, series 2, edition, and Nike Plus.  Nike same as Series 2 but with specific Nike Band, watch face, and pre-installed Nike app.




This Support Document for Resetting the Mac, is a bit alarming: No More Start-Up Sound


Interesting that on new MBP’s the start up sound is not mentioned, I hope this does not mean its gone.




KNFB Reader for Android still on at 80 Percent off


When I last checked yesterday, Google was still subsidising the KnFB Reader at this great price.




New Podcast from Me - using the new Move/Delete function in iOS VoiceOver


So much easier using this new functionality of moving/deleting apps.




Upcoming Podcast from Me - unboxing and step of the BrailleNote Touch




A couple of Products I’ve tried out Recently


The Elgato Window/Door Sensor, and

Native Union Key Lightning to USB Cable.




JAWS 18 released


JAWS 18 now is officially released and out of beta.




Thursday, 20 October 2016

Talking Tech for October 25 2016

Switch Control for Android


We often forget that Android also supports switch control, this support page from google is a excellent starting point for learning about switch control on Android.




What is the Difference between Google Now and Google Assistant




Samsung Buying Viv, the AI created by the Siri developers




The Windows Weakness that no One Mentions: Speech Recognition




Introducing the first Voice Activated Hotel Room (pilot)





Boot Camp verses VmWare Running Windows on the Mac: how to select the best option



Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Talking Tech for October 11 2016

October 10 2016


A Update to my Comments Concerning my New Delonghi Coffee Machine


A listener wrote in a week or so ago to let myself and Stephen know that the Android app for the Delogngi coffee machine that I discussed is more accessible with the Android app than the iOS app: he also has the same machine.  Here is a link to the Android app (Coffee Link),.




And here is the link to my demo on the machine itself using the iOS app:




Another Product Evaluation Underway: the Elgato door/Window Sensor




My Appearance on the Tech Doctor Blog and Podcast October 8 2016




Apple Stops Selling the 3rd Generation Apple TV




GetTheir GPS Navigation App


An excellent GPS app for Android based on oPen street Maps.




Today in Apple History from Cult of Mac: Siri is 5 years old




Smart Speakers Are Trying to colonise your Living Room




October 17 20`16


Switch Control for Android


We often forget that Android also supports switch control, this support page from google is a excellent starting point for learning about switch control on Android.




What is the Difference between Google Now and Google Assistant




Samsung Buying Viv, the AI created by the Siri developers




The Windows Weakness that no One Mentions: Speech Recognition




Introducing the first Voice Activated Hotel Room (pilot)





Boot Camp verses VmWare Running Windows on the Mac: how to select the best option




October 24 2016


Why Your Smart Phone Battery Sucks




Monty Python’s  Argument Skit performed by two vintage Synthesisers




Listen to the First Music Ever Made with a Computer




If you Don’t Lock Your iPhone: Read This




New Smart Textiles can Store Solar Energy



Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Talking Tech for August 30 2016

7 Things that Android Users can Do That iOS Users Can’t


Get more Choice in their device.

Personalise their device.

Use widgets.

Add more and flexible storage.

Multitasking via multiwindow.

Smoother notifications.

Free up space quickly.




And just for the record: 7 Things that iPhone Users Can Do that Android Users Can’t


iOS apps are usually released first and better looking.

Instant Os updates for all.

Simple easy to use system wide search.

iPhones are more secure.

Better support for new technologies.

Works great with all your devices.

Lightening is miles better than micro usb.




Twelve Things that Your Smart Phone has Replaced


Standard phones.


MP3 players.

Portable gaming consoles.

Alarm clocks.


Remote controls.


Photo albums.



Flash lights.


For me from a assistive technology perspective:


Light detecter.

Money identifier.

Daisy player.

Digital recorder.

GPS device.

Talking clock/watch.





How to Adjust Base Response for your iPhone or iPad Ear Phones


Settings, Music, EQ, Base Response Booster: amongst other Equaliser settings.




Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Talking Tech for August 23 2016

July and August AccessWorld Catch Up




The article that stood out for me the most in the July edition of AccessWorld was the item relating to Amazon bringing speech output to the Amazon Kindle Paper White version 7 with the Audio Adapter..






BrailleNote Touch, The I.D. Mate Galaxy, sonar Glasses, and Low Vision Access Technology part 2.




Sound Cloud demo of the Samsung Ultra HD TV Voice Guide Feature


A bit of a unprepared  demo, but this demo gives you some idea of the capabilities of Voice Guidance in the Samsung TV.




Two Blog Articles from Holly Bonner re OrCam Part 1 and 2


Part 1: Journey to OrCam:




Part 2: experiencing OrCam:




Google Duo: simple video calling app for Android and iOS


Nice simple video calling app that works well with iPhone and Android phones: i.e. the app is tied to a phone number.




Android App Link




iOS App Link




Google Talkback Update


Main improvements:

Announcement when there are no new elements of a given type on a webpage: e.g. no more headings.

Supports text editing in Chrome.

Supports multipage views: e.g. page 2 of 5.

Announces text that has been selected, cut/copied pasted.

Global context menu new option: copy last spoken phrase to clipboard.




A Single Cable to Charge your Android and iOs devices


You can find this on Amazon: the Just Mobile AluCable  Duo: nice to have one cable that does both Micro UsB and Lightening: unfortunately now I have a Nexus phone with a UsB C style connector.




How to Clean a MacBook Keyboard without Activating Keys


Keyboard Cleaner which is a 3rd party app for the Mac locks all the keys down besides Command+Q (Quit) so that you can clean the keyboard without activating keys: particularly the power key.



Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Talking Tech for August 9 and August 16 2016

Last few weeks have been very busy, just catching up now.  Here are the notes for Talking Tech for August 9 and August 16 2016.


My Adventures with Getting the NBN on


The wait from Telstra to get connected (fibre to the node), buying an actual modem to speed up the process didn’t work (still had to wait for the official modem to turn up), several appointment changes, but now it’s on: just over 3 weeks.


Everything is now faster: downloading movies on the Apple TV, uploading podcasts, everyone can stream in the house at the same time, downloading Audible books is faster etc etc.


Now have two Wi-Fi networks coming off the NBN modem: a 2.4 and a 5g network: 5g better for Phones, laptops, and tablets.


App News


Olympics on 7


Olympics On 7 to watch highlights of the Olympics sort of accessible: unlabelled buttons but you can listen to the highlights.

 Youtube Kids


Youtube Kids: if you have children and are worried about the content they are watching on Youtube, Youtube Kids tries to minimise the amount of inappropriate content that they can get access to: I just found Youtube even with it’s safe mote wasn’t working that well for my family, this does.

 KNFB Reader to go Free Sort of (smile)


KNFB Reader to be released for Free if you are a BrailleNote Touch customer for the next release of KeySoft in September.


WeMo Updates with Accessibility Improvements


WeMo app got updated with accessibility improvements: now identified each device connected correctly.

 ABC iView no Longer Supporting Audio Description


ABC iView no longer supporting Audio Description: trial complete and not extended.  The option under Programs A-Z no longer has the Audio Description selection.

 Blind Fold App developer releases RS Games for iOS, not just Mac or PC


BlindFold RS Games for iOS now available:  besides PC/Mac.  20 games, limited time to play each game and then an in-app purchase.

 Remote app for the Apple tv 4th Generation Allows you to Use Siri


Remote app for Apple TV allows you to use Siri via the Remote app to the Apple TV: did a podcast on this, and its great using Siri on the Remote app on my iPhone to control the Apple TV.

 Apple Store app Keeps Updated with Recommendations


Apple Store app gets updated with new recommendation features: don’t think it is as good it’s made out to be, I got a recommendation for an iPhone 6s Battery case which I already have.

 Looktel Money Reader get a New Name and Goes Free


Looktel Money Reader gets a new name and goes free: now called Nantmobile Money Reader.


My Story About My Apple Watch 42MM with the tough Sapphire Glass Breaking


Slither of Sapphire glass came off the top edge of the watch, took it to the Apple Store and locally enough it was covered under my Apple Care plan.  So rather than costing $435 for a replacement, it only cost me $119.  Just shows good to have insurance for your devices, in this case Apple Care.



Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Now Available as an eBook


As this book is primarily the script for the play, having the name of each character announced and then that character speaking as it were was a bit off putting at first, but after a while you do get used to it.


You can find this book either in the Kindle store or on iBooks.




How to Change how Much you Skip Forward or Backwards in an Audio Book in iBooks 



Monday, 15 August 2016

My Favorite Assistive and General Technology Podcasts

My favourite Assistive Technology and General Technology Podcasts


Under each of the podcasts titles you’ll find a straight text version of the podcasts hyper link which you can paste in to your pod catcher of choice such as Downcast for Mac OS and iOS.


Assistive Technology Related Podcasts


AppleVis Podcast




Assistive Technology Podcast with Wade Wingler




Blind Abilities




Blind Access Journal




Blind Bargains




The Blind Side with Jonathan Mosen




iBlind Tech (accessible work flows with Apple)




iSee with David Woodbridge




Main Menu




Talking Tech Vision Australia




Talking Vision Vision Australia




The Tech Doctor Blog and Podcast




General Technology Related Podcasts


All About Android




Apple Byte




Apple Keynotes




Download This Show (ABC Australia tech show))




iMore (Apple)




The iOS Show




iOS Today




Life and Technology with Charlie Brown (2gb Australia tech show)




MacBreak Weekly












NosillaCast Mac Podcast




This Week in Google




TWiT Live Specials




Tech News Today




This Week in Tech




Windows Weekly