BlindSquare

Last modified
Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Category

Description of App

BlindSquare makes you sense what's around you. The only thing you need to do is listen. BlindSquare is a new solution that combines the latest technology to help the blind with their daily lives. It has been developed in collaboration with blind people and carefully field tested. You need either an iPhone or an iPad to get started. It also supports some additional accessories to enhance the experience. How does it work? BlindSquare uses GPS and the compass to locate you. It then gathers information about the surrounding environment from FourSquare. BlindSquare has some unique algorithms to decide what information is the most relevant and then speaks it to you with high quality speech synthesis. “What's the most popular café within 200 meters radius? Where is the post office or the library?” Using BlindSquare as a GPS solution: When you start the app, it will start telling you the interesting places and street crossings around you. By changing the radius, you can limit the area you are interested in. You can also search by search term or by category. You can select an interesting place from the search results and perform the following tasks: 1) Get contact info (address, phone number) 2) Open twitter feed or restaurant menu (if provided) 3) Make a phone call 4) Start tracking the place (BlindSquare will assist you by repeating the distance and the clock face direction) 5) Start your favourite navigator for turn-by-turn instructions (TomTom, Navigon or Apple Maps) BlindSquare is aware of when you travel by car, bus or train and starts to report interesting places in front of you (for example, the next stops) and street crossings when you are passing them. You can also save your own private places to iCloud so they will be found with your every device. Using BlindSquare as a FourSquare client: If you like to play FourSquare, you can do the following with BlindSquare: 1) Get a list of nearby FourSquare venues 2) When you are in a place, you can check in by shaking your device 3) Do a check in with commenting and twitter/facebook sharing 4) Correct the location of the place BlindSquare supports the following languages: English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Dutch, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Czech, Russian, Estonian, Polish, Arabic, Turkish, Portuguese, Japanese, Greek, Romanian, Croatian, Hungarian, Korean and Bulgarian. VoiceOver usage is supported but it also includes higher quality additional speech synthesis by Acapela Text-To-Speech from Acapela Group. Instructions in English: http://help.blindsquare.com/instructions and http://blindsquare.com/faq Please note: This app retrieves data in real time from Foursquare and Open Street Map. Use of a flat rate data plan is highly recommended. Having only been released in May 2012, BlindSquare has already received several prizes and awards: - GSMA: Global Mobile Awards 2013, Best Mobile Health Product or Service - Apps4Finland 2012 - OpenCities App Challenge 2012 - The Finnish Information Processing Association: Best Product 2012 Please note: To use BlindSquare, your iCloud account has to be active so BlindSquare can access it to save your settings and places. Continued use of GPS running in the background can dramatically decrease battery life.

Version

4.26

Free or Paid

Paid

Apple Watch Support

Yes

Device(s) App Was Tested On

iPhone

Accessibility Comments

This app is fully accessible with VoiceOver. All buttons and controls are clearly labelled, and once you have familiarized yourself with the interface it is fairly easy to navigate and use.

iOS Version

10.3.1

VoiceOver Performance

VoiceOver reads all page elements.

Button Labeling

All buttons are clearly labeled.

Usability

The app is fully accessible with VoiceOver and is easy to navigate and use.

Other Comments

There is nothing but good things to say about this app. This is hands down one of my most favorite navigation app to use. It offers so much for so little cost. Now that it works in conjunction with the FREE Google Maps. You really should try this out first before buying in to those other very expensive accessible GPS navigations.

Developer's Twitter Username

@BlindSquareGPS

Recommendations

37 people have recommended this app

Most recently recommended by Aglarendis 5 days 23 hours ago

Options

Comments

Submitted by Brandt on Sunday, August 19, 2012

Hi there, The app searches for POI's in 150 meters, but when I set it to search in 800, every time i restart the app it's back at 150. The same problem with the speech speed. Change it, and after restart of app, back at default. What to do?

Submitted by ilkkapirttimaa on Monday, August 20, 2012

In reply to by Brandt

Radius on a main screen is not saved When developing,. I saw it as on option that is location based and thus it is not saved but kept the same so long you have not restarted the app. But I do have some feature request for this and has been asking from users how they would like to have this and I will probably change to next version. All other settings are saved (including speech speed) and synced to iCloud. So, if you have several devices, it's even changed in your all devices at the same moment. Also POI's you created are handled through Apple iCloud. Do you have iCloud activated on your device? If you don't you should see it mentioned on main screen.

Submitted by AnonyMouse on Thursday, August 23, 2012

What's New in Version 1.17 NEW FEATURE: Reporting street crossings while walking NEW FEATURE: When doing check-in, you can select to whom you want to broadcast: Private, Public or Twitter+FB. Settings is saved to device and iCloud NEW FEATURE: New languages: Deutsch, Spanish and Dutch NEW FEATURE: When using Bluetooth headphones, audio channel is opened before speaking to avoid clipping of start of the sentence NEW FEATURE: Support for MotionX GPS NEW FEATURE; US English TTS (you can activate this from Settings) FIX: When pressing "Plan a route", canceling is enabled CHANGE: Default for using proximity sensor is now off. This affects only new users. CHANGE GPS is used instead of compass if you are moving and GPS accuracy is good. CHANGE: Search result shows address if available CHANGE: My Places category search results: Enabled editing CHANGE: Tools / My Places: Enable start navigation / track a place

Submitted by ilkkapirttimaa on Thursday, August 23, 2012

In reply to by AnonyMouse

Thank you for giving your feedback also here in AppleVis! Like you can see, your feedback matters and we have new features also that are suggested here. I would love to hear how do you like the new reporting of street crossings while you are walking. It uses more GPS now if accuracy is good, compass is used only when you are not moving or accuracy of GPS is too low. PS. To celebrate all new features and 4 new App Store countries (Italy, Germany, Netherlands and Spain) BS is for sale to the end of the month

Submitted by alex wallis on Thursday, August 23, 2012

I have read the help file, and the comments for the app. I am wondering, what is the affect of using the speech on off switch? I guess it turns off the very intrusive non VoiceOver speech, but what is the affect of doing this? will Voiceover be able to read me everything that the built in tts can Read? If not, what information won't I receive by turning the speech off? I must say I find the app tts very annoying as it makes using the app with VoiceOver very difficult, I would like the option to have VoiceOver read everything to me so I could turn off the speech completely. the toggle to turn the speech on and off isn't located right near the top of all the controls, meaning that it can be difficult to find if you have the built in tts going off and constantly stopping VoiceOver.

Submitted by ilkkapirttimaa on Thursday, August 23, 2012

In reply to by alex wallis

Using slience switch shuts down BS TTS amd leaves voiceover TTS working. Currently only browsing menus and finding places gives VO feedback, not basic mode where you have phone in pocket and walk in a street or ride by bus etc. Have you tried to used BS in a way that you just put your device to pocket, go to walk and listen?

Submitted by daz on Thursday, August 23, 2012

In reply to by ilkkapirttimaa

hi there. to be honest i really am not a fan of the tts used in bs. if anything i find that it slows down the phone terribly. i wish i could have it turned off and voiceover could do the job that the tts does. it would do it far better in my opinion. have the tts there for those that want it but i'd like to be able to use vo exclusively to be honest.

Submitted by ilkkapirttimaa on Thursday, August 23, 2012

In reply to by daz

If you don't like how it is speaking, you should try alternative US English voice that is found from Settings. What device you are using? I'm using 3GS and it works on that too but is slower that in later devices. It is also a bit more optimized and uses less processor in 1.17 than earlier.

the point is that i don't want to use tts at all i'd much rather speed things up by using voiceover exclusively. am using an iPhone 4. i think the tts gets in the way to be honest with you.

Submitted by alex wallis on Thursday, August 23, 2012

I agree with the above comments, the tts just gets in the way, and my 4s feels very sluggish when using the app. the problems with it are particularly annoying if I am quickly trying to search in particular categories, it just feels slow and unresponsive on my 4s. I think also inclusion of the tts is why the app is so expensive, and it also makes the app quite large. I think perhaps a version should be offered that doesn't include the tts, which would be cheaper and smaller for those who want it. at the moment I don't find the app two useful, although it is nice to be able to find out what is around me. I am looking forward to when the app can plan roots, and give turn by turn navigation. As I am in the UK, so my gps app options are very limited, particularly ones that provide turn by turn navigation. Still, it will be interesting to see how accessible ios maps are when 6 comes out in about a month.

Submitted by alex wallis on Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hi, I just noticed a bug with the search radius slider, which wasn't in the previous version. The bug is, when you first open the app, when you go over the search radius slider, VoiceOver announces it as 27 percent. When you adjust the slider, it then reads correctly, but this bug is present whenever you first start the app.

VO only mode is planned but it's really difficult to implement. There is no way to know if VO is speaking or not, so I just can't push content to VO while you are moving. BS notices how you are moving, looks places around you, checks what should be mentioned, speaks them, looks distance to crossings, waits speaking other stuff when you are getting near crossing so it can be spoken on specific distance etc. This is not something you do with traditional "put information to screen and read it from there". This is like radio channel that is produced live.

Submitted by Victor Tsaran on Monday, August 27, 2012

In reply to by ilkkapirttimaa

Why do you need to interrupt VoiceOver instead of simply queuing voice messages via UIAccessibilityPostNotification? Most users have VO running fast enough that you shouldn't need to interrupt it. If yo absolutely must, you could try silencing VO by sending a nil string or perhaps reach VO via LayoutChangedNotification or ScreenChangedNotification. Alternatively, using sounds could be another way of interacting wit blind users on top of VO. Hope this helps. Victor

I do have VoiceOver-only version but it's so bad that I can't publish it. I haven't seen queue in UIAccessibilityPostNotification -- If I post several messages, it speaks only the last one. There is no message sent when VO stops speaking so I can't time pushing notifications one by one. My screen is not changing when you walk on a street, so no much help on those notifications. Am I missing something?

Submitted by blind fury on Tuesday, October 9, 2012

In reply to by ilkkapirttimaa

ok, its not perfect but its not bad at all. I use it with Iphone4 facing me in my pocket and I get all intersections with a 30 metre warning as I approach it. it is particularly valuable, using it in unfamiliar areas. I also use navigon and wouldnt mind if navigons simulation mode could make Blindsquare follow it somehow. This would mean that I could plan and hear a virtual route before setting out. Overall, it works well and I would tentatively suggest that blind persons travelling frequently, would like this app.

Try using BlindSquare out of your pocket to see if the results become better. If you choose to test it by holding the phone in your hand, be sure to take safety measures because I know that the roads require much attention. One person who commented to this post tried the app by clipping the phone to his belt, so you could see if that works for you. I'm happy to know that you find the app useful.

Submitted by John W. hess on Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Good day to all and especially much thanks to ilkkapirttimaa for entertaining questions and feedback here on applevis. I Looked at the price of this app and really wasn't going to buy it. I then read through all the posts, good, bad and ugly. What has attracted me to trying this app is ilkkapirttimaa's willingness to answer questions here, listen to feedback and make changes accordingly. I have only one other time seen such developer interaction with there users. So, ilkkapirttimaa thanks for listening and keep up the great work. I'll be buying it after writing this post.

Submitted by AnonyMouse on Thursday, November 1, 2012

What's New in Version 1.20

Nice new updates and some really nice new features! Continues to amazes me that the developer is continiously improving upon this app with great new features. That is a lot more than I can say for other apps that are geared towards the visionally impaired community.

What's New in Version 1.20

NEW FEATURE: Works on background. You can disable this from settings.
NEW FEATURE: FourSquare leaderboard announcements
NEW FEATURE: Volume can be changed
NEW FEATURE: Web page of the venue can be opened
NEW FEATURE: Accessibility information is shown (Only Helsinki, Finland)
NEW FEATURE: Full support for iPhone 5
NEW FEATURE: Support for iOS 6 navigation
NEW FEATURE: If Speech switch is set to off, it's automatically turned on if you use any other function
CHANGE: New version of Acapela speech synthesis
CHANGE: Selected radius is saved
CHANGE: Maximum speaking rate increased
CHANGE: Better control for bluetooth speakers
FIX: Upside Down orientation supported with iPhone 5
FIX: Minor fixes for iOS 6

Submitted by ilkkapirttimaa on Saturday, November 17, 2012

Hello al! BlindSquare attended mobile app competition called OpenCities App Challenge. They were seeking apps that are using open data and solves a real problem in citizens' every day urban life. There were 115 competitors around the Europe and 10 best apps were judged in front of live jury in Barcelona. In presentation I gave special thanks to all you who have been helping me to develop this together with you. Just in 6 months, 4 major releases, bringing totally of 39 new features during this time. All based on response that I get from you. I'm glad to tell you that BlindSquare won! I will use 3000€ price wisely to enable future development (and I count in also keeping my family happy to let me do this also on spare time :-) So, thank you and please remember that BS is also nominated for this months Hall of Fame! http://www.applevis.com/apps/hall-of-fame

I'm planning to add POI export/import and sharing your location to BlindSquare. Sharing a location: You can share your current location or location of any FourSquare venue. You can use it if you want your friend to find you or if you are lost and need help (thanks to Elena for this idea of emergency feature). You can select what information is sent: Coordinates, address, free text and link to open navigation app (TomTom, Navigon, BlindSquare). You can send information via email, sms or twitter. POI import will support at least OSM, GPX and Ariadne GPS file. What else you would like to have? POI export will support GPX and Ariadne GPS. What else? When exporting/sending POI's via email, what selection options are needed? Single POI and All POI's are obvious. Dio we need also possibility to select POI's one by one? I have also an idea to give possibility to select POIs within or outside selected radius. So, if you mark interesting POIs in congress center, you can share just them easily. edit: Loadstone will be included too

Submitted by muharrem on Saturday, December 1, 2012

yes, I think the idea beatiful, especially sending coordinates. I think the features you mentioned above is useful.

Submitted by AnonyMouse on Friday, December 14, 2012

Lots of new features in the new update!

 

What's New in Version 1.21

 

NEW FEATURE: You can save FourSquare place as a favourite - It will be synced to iCloud and you can find it from "My places".
NEW FEATURE: Filtering allows you to select announcements: All, Only streets, Only places, My Places, My Places and Streets or None
NEW FEATURE: VoiceOver scrub function implemented to all screens (you can get to previous screen more quickly)
NEW FEATURE: BlindSquare is automatically turned off to save battery if you stop moving for a long time
NEW FEATURE: There is a setting if you want addresses to be announced automatically while walking
NEW LANGUAGE: Norwegian
NEW LANGUAGE: French
NEW FEATURE: If you are tracking a place, you can listen it's distance and direction by shaking a device
CHANGE; When tracking, if you are far away, target is not announced so often.
CHANGE: My places is sorted by distance
CHANGE: Speech on/off switch is removed and replaced with pause/play-button. Mode can be switched with VoiceOver "magic touch" (double tapping with 2 fingers)
CHANGE: Minimum reporting distance changed from 50 meters to 25 meters (82 ft)
CHANGE: Searching with multiple words returns better search results
BUGFIX: If background operation was disabled from settings, location service was left on and it consumed battery

Submitted by Sof on Friday, December 14, 2012

In reply to by AnonyMouse

Hello, Finally, I can enjoy BS in my native language It's really impressive! I've a question though: I'm often using Foursquare and I've added some custom places where I use to check-in. Bu, I can see them in Foursquare but not in BS. Is it normal? Is it possible that Foursquare has not added them in their database? Can I add my own places via BS even if htey are not referenced in Foursquare? Thank you

Hello Sof, I'm glad you like it :-) If you have added places to FourSquare, BlindSquare will not "see" those if they are not popular enough. It filters out venues if not more than 4 different people has checked in. Believe me, you don't want to see all "crap" users adds to Foursquare so this filtering is needed. So, you have 3 options: 1) Ask your friends to check-in to your venues to bring it visible 2) Change category of your own venues to "Home". This will bring them to "Shared Places" in BlindSquare. Those will be seen by you and your Foursquare frineds only. 3) Add places to "My Places" with BlindSquare. Places are saved to iCloud (and synced to your all iDevices automatically), not to Foursquare. You do this by clicking Tools / My Places / Add Place (Outils / Mes Emplacements / Ajouter un Emplacement) BR, Ilkka

Submitted by Sof on Monday, December 17, 2012

OK. It's clear now. thank you for the answer. Another question: Is it possible to deactivate cardinal indications (east, north etc). a comment: I've heard a mistake in the French translation, when BS is unable to find places when there's no network available. The message sounds like: "Aucune connexion réseau: Ne peut trouver les eplacements" Instead or "eplacements" it should be "emplacements". to sum up, the letter "m" is missing. :) Thanks again.

Submitted by ilkkapirttimaa on Monday, December 17, 2012

In reply to by Sof

You can select clock face directions (or proportonal, so you'll here "to the left") from Settings. Still, you may hear cardinal indications now and then: If you are standing and shake your device much or turn around, BlindSquare don't know your orientation and will tell directions that way. When you start walking, it knows your heading and starts to report clock face again. I checked translations. There is "émplacements", I quess TTS doesn't like punctuation and I removed it. Thank you for reporting this. BR, Ilkka

Submitted by Sof on Monday, December 17, 2012

Thank you for your answer, I'll try that. About the translation: I don't think the punctuation is the problem, although comad and so on sometimes generate extra pauses in the TTS. Here, I think it's the accentuated letter "é". It should be "emplacements" instead of "émplacements". It may be this accentuated letter which makes this word sound strange... Anyway. I really apreciate your reactivity! Sof

Submitted by AnonyMouse on Friday, January 18, 2013

Absolutely, fantastic update! One update after another just more features and changes in only making this app from being better to even better.

 

What's New in Version 1.30

NEW LANGUAGE: Czech
NEW FEATURE: Notification sounds when errors occur, when approaching, arriving at, or passing a place
NEW FEATURE: Support for launching Google Maps
NEW FEATURE (iOS6): Quick access to some functions using the VoiceOver rotor
NEW FEATURE: GPS accuracy is shown when adding or editing a place in "My Places"
NEW FEATURE: When adding a place to "My Places", by default the nearest street crossing or address is inserted as its name
NEW FEATURE: You can search by address (just type an address into the search field) and save the address as a favourite
NEW FEATURE: Possibility to set alert distance for saved place ("My Places")
NEW FEATURE: You will hear announcement of places found in "My Places" when you approach, arrive or pass them.
NEW FEATURE: When arriving at a tracked place, tracking is automatically turned off
NEW FEATURE: You can set automatic Foursquare check-in for any place that you have selected as a favorite
CHANGE: Now you can add new places also through "My Places" on the main screen
CHANGE: The list of tracked places provides more information about places
CHANGE: Category search shows more places (radius limit now affects announcements of venues only)
CHANGE: "Delete all" button added to all edit fields
CHANGE: Lowered power consumption by optimising accelerometer handling

Submitted by ilkkapirttimaa on Tuesday, January 22, 2013

In reply to by AnonyMouse

There is voiceover performance issue in version 1.30 that makes VoiceOver sluggish under some circumstances. It was not so bad that we would have noticed it in beta testing phase. I found this out just after release and was able to find solution and test fix with beta tester right away. Version 1.31 is fixing only this performance issue. I think it will be released very soon. I hope you didn't get hurt too much about this. Like you have seen, BlindSquare goes full steam ahead but I try to make sure that quality will always be priority #1. BR, Ilkka

Submitted by David Goodwin👨‍🦯 on Friday, January 25, 2013

Lots of lovely new features for people to enjoy:

What's New in Version 1.31

Fixed a bug where VoiceOver would become sluggish under some circumstances

NEW LANGUAGE: Czech
NEW FEATURE: Notification sounds when errors occur, when approaching, arriving at, or passing a place
NEW FEATURE: Support for launching Google Maps
NEW FEATURE (iOS6): Quick access to some functions using the VoiceOver rotor
NEW FEATURE: GPS accuracy is shown when adding or editing a place in "My Places"
NEW FEATURE: When adding a place to "My Places", by default the nearest street crossing or address is inserted as its name
NEW FEATURE: You can search by address (just type an address into the search field) and save the address as a favourite
NEW FEATURE: Possibility to set alert distance for saved place ("My Places")
NEW FEATURE: You will hear announcement of places found in "My Places" when you approach, arrive or pass them.
NEW FEATURE: When arriving at a tracked place, tracking is automatically turned off
NEW FEATURE: You can set automatic Foursquare check-in for any place that you have selected as a favorite
CHANGE: Now you can add new places also through "My Places" on the main screen
CHANGE: The list of tracked places provides more information about places
CHANGE: Category search shows more places (radius limit now affects announcements of venues only)
CHANGE: "Delete all" button added to all edit fields
CHANGE: Lowered power consumption by optimising accelerometer handling

Hi Jakob, Thanks for bringing this to our attention. While it was listed in the Medical category on AppleVis, iTunes indicates that BlindSquare is listed in the Navigation category. When an app is submitted to the AppleVis App Directory, We do our best to check the information for accuracy; while I am not 100% sure, I suspect that the app's category changed in iTunes since the date of first posting. In any event...the category is now correct, and we do appreciate you mentioning this.

Submitted by Sandra on Saturday, January 26, 2013

I think what this means is that some buttons, for example on the edit screen for poi in My Places, are labelled as headings. You could set your rotor to headings to be able to navigate to these buttons more quickly. Personally, I would prefer that the button label be used for all buttons, because I find use of the heading label confusing.

Submitted by ilkkapirttimaa on Saturday, January 26, 2013

Yes, rotor labels are used to mark "important labels" on the screen to enable flick up/down to jump fast to next "category of things". For example, in Category search result, by flicking up/down you get to title, places sorted by popularity and places sorted by distance. After that flicking left/right browses that list. In home screen there is no labels used due to bug in VoiceOver: If there is Slider in the screen (in BlindSquare there is radius selection on the main), you can't use slider anymore if custom labels are used. PS. Thank you for changing the category in AppleVis. The initial upload 8 months ago were in the wrong category

Submitted by Karen on Monday, March 4, 2013

Hello, I am very interested in getting the BlindSquare app. I would like some advise though but if I briefly say what I want the app for, perhaps someone can advise? I have lost my confidence with regards to mobility. I have a guide dog and I am familiar with my routes but I thought an app like this would be helping me build my confidence up. Firstly, would it be better if I also bought the Navigon app to run along side the BlindSquare? Secondly, is it easy to use? I have read all the above comments and the Blindsquare website but it all seems a little complicated. Thirdly, are you able to use the iPhone ear buds or do you have to use bluetooth or the other headset (can't remember their name)? Finally, it be better if I down loaded the Foursquare app to enhance the user experience. I hope this makes sense and I look forward to any responses.

Submitted by RLH on Monday, March 4, 2013

"It depends" applies to all of your questions, but I'll qualify that. BlindSquare can be used independently. The regular FourSquare app is necessary only if you want to do more advanced FourSquare functions. In fact, a FourSquare account is not even necessary to use BlindSquare. BlindSquare works fine with BlueTooth headsets or earbuds. You are going to be travelling, so make sure that you choose a headset that can easily be removed or used one-sided in order to navigate crossings and adjust to obstacles. Finally, choosing to use BlindSquare with a direction-providing GPS application is also dependent on your use and knowledge of the local environment. Blindsquare is going to tell you what streets are being crossed, what FourSquare locales are nearby, etc. If you know your neighborhood, city, or route well enough you might not need a direction-providing application. However, it is often useful to have both running, as you will get turn-by-turn directions to a pre-determined location while BlindSquare announces crossings and points of interest as you pass.

Submitted by Karen on Monday, March 4, 2013

In reply to by RLH

Thank you for responding so quickly. I have now downloaded BlindSquare and will probably get the Navigon too. Both these apps are cheaper than the breeze or the Kapten mobility I am looking forward to using both apps. Regards

Submitted by Sandra on Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Karen, I am not sure BlindSquare would be a tool to build someone's confidence regarding O&M, ideally you should have good travelling skills when using any GPS-product. As it'll always be you who makes decitions on what to do in any given situation and who has to know when to pay attention to your device or to what's going on on the street. As you have read a lot about BlindSquare already, you already know how it works and what it does. The beauty of BlindSquare is that it is very simple to use. For a start, you can just Cary it in a pocket and have it tell you what's around you as you move through your neighbourhood. Later on you can familiarise yourself in more detail with the features that are most useful to you. Have you seen the FAQ at www.blindsquare.com/FAQ/ They should answer many questions you might have and can be a good reference should you encounter problems while using BlindSquare. If you have an iPhone 4s or 5, why don't yu try the Maps app by apple first, before you buy the more expensive Navigon app? the Maps app that comes with the iPhone has spoken turn-by-turn navigation on the iPhone 4s and 5, maybe combining it with BlindSquare would work for you, too. Sandra

BLIND SQUARE What's New in Version 1.40 NEW: Smaller application size NEW: You can now select your favorite voice for BlindSquare announcements among several alternatives for each language. NEW: You can set or edit the geo coordinates of places NEW: When you enter a search term, Foursquare categories are also searched for this term. Now you could for example search for chinese restaurants NEW: Context sensitive help system using VoiceOver hints (in English, German, Dutch, Finnish and Estonian) NEW: Sound when you shake your device NEW: If the place info screen doesn't list a street address, you can now look up the place's address CHANGE: Foursquare sub categories are announced for places mentioned (only in English, German, Spanish, Italian and French) CHANGE: When you query for an address, the nearest address is announced with information about distance and direction CHANGE: Look around gives more information about the surroundings (only in English, German, Spanish, Italian and French) CHANGE: In settings, the option "Allow background music" is now called "allow background operation". If you want to listen to music while using BlindSquare, turn background operation off. NEW LANGUAGE: Estonian (implemented with Finnish speech synthesis) NEW LANGUAGE: Hungarian (implemented with Finnish speech synthesis) BUGFIX: Some buttons were reported as labels, this has now been corrected ...More I like the new voices from acapella. I downloaded heather and traisy and sounds so clear.

Submitted by Aaron Linson on Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I've noticed with the new update the app crashes a lot for me. Has anybody else had this problem? I'm going to send an email to the developer and tell him about my findings.

Submitted by ilkkapirttimaa on Thursday, April 11, 2013

In reply to by Aaron Linson

Hello! I'm the developer, thank you for reporting this. It really shouldn't do that and this is only report of this kind I've heard. Can you explain more in which situation this happens?`Do you have iCloud activated? Do you have Foursquare account and have you logged into that service? The app should ofcourse work also in situations when you have not logged into these services but most of the users (and testers) are always logged in so I'm thinkin scenarios where this might happen. BR, Ilkka

Submitted by Doug on Thursday, April 11, 2013

I've been using the app since last summer with occasional diversions. Overall, though I still have issues with two voices at once, the information I receive from blindsquare, especially when integrated with Foursquare is complete, accurate, and usually on time. If I need to queery the application, like where am I, or show me the lst of most recent routes just spoken, I can switch off the voice I don't want to hear at the time. I have never had any crashes with any version and the connections with Foursquare are increasin gly more interresting and informative. I've yet to map out a route using either the Apple maps app, Or Google which I currently don't have any more. I ddo have a wish list for future versions. In an ieeal situation, I would like to wear my IPhone in front of me but for many blind folks, the phone is better facing away from me rather than the screen being against my body. Would it be difficult to include a selection to allow the phone to compensate for the proper direction. For example, if I have the phone mounted on my left hip while walking south and facing inward, that position convinces the gps I am walking west. And my dream--voice recognition either globally or from within the BlindSquare App itself. There was in fact one app called IMove light where that did in fact work very well. Too bad that several of those folks developing GPS specificly to work for us blind folks couldn't/wouldn't work together.

Submitted by ilkkapirttimaa on Thursday, April 11, 2013

In reply to by Aaron Linson

Another important information is, what language and voice you use? Like I said, I hate crashing apps and BS should NEVER EVER do that.

Thank you for your feedback. I'm glad you find it useful as it is now. In my mind we are half way through and there are lots of things planned for the future. First of all, having two different text-to-speech systems is not easy to do but I did that design decision in early stage to allow background use and it has proven to be right decision. You can enjoy "best of breed", so having Navigon, TomTom or something like that for turn-by-turn and BlindSquare running on background adding information about intersections, nearby places, alerting about places you want get alerted, doing automatic foursquare checkins as you wish etc. BlindSquare is also much faster for searching places and then you can launch your favorite turn-by-turn from BlindSquare. That said, I have plans how to make VoiceOver support better. It needs redesigning main screen but I will do that. It will then have better support for braille displays too. Thanks to chatting with Austin Seraphin, I have now ideas how to avoid Acapela speaking if you use VoiceOver. But in current version, it works already pretty okay if you know that you can double tap with two fingers anywhere in the app to turn on/off Acapela speaking. I have heard the need for making it possible to use BS with screen facing forward -- So you can read the screen when it's in your pocket. When you are moving and you get GPS signal, you can do it already but I think you shouldn't do it since when GPS is lost or you are standing still, it changes to compass mode. I don't like the idea that you should change some setting -- My goal is to do it automatically. I hope some ideas for noticing if the device is on your pocket by briefly "looking" with camera if it's totally dark, comparing then compass with your direction given by GPS and then make corrections to compass readings based on that information... So, very innovative ways of doing it automatically. But it's not easy and it needs testing what works and what doesn't. I have features that has been there for months, but they work only for beta testers since they are not perfect yet. So, that gives an idea of my quality control. I have tested voice recognition. It works, but only for English and for simple keywords. My app is global and I need to support multiple languages. I'm hoping that Siri will be the answer. I believe that Apple will bring more API's for developers later on and if rumours about iWatch are real, it could mean that we would get ways to get commands from Siri to the 3rd party applications.

Hi guys! I haven't had the time to check out the new update to BlindSquare until yesterday. But now it won't launch at all... For me it seems like double tapping on it does nothing, but my sighted girlfriend says that it starts up for one or two seconds before it disappears again. After I've tried launching it, I find it in the app switcher and I've tried killing it there and then tried launching it again, but that makes no difference. I've also restarted the phone a couple of times, but of no use. The only thing that probably remains is to delete the app and then try to reinstall it again, but I was hoping for another solution to try first, because it takes a while to download it again. Have an iPhone 5, running iOS 6.1.2 Any ideas? Anyone else experienced this? Thanks in advance :)

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