AFB Set to Release AccessNote, a Note Taker for iOS

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

AFB have just announced the forthcoming release of AccessNote, their note taking app for iOS.

With many of us already using mainstream apps that offer more functionality than appears to be present in the initial release of AccessNote, it will be interesting to see where it will fit in the iOS marketplace. At $30, some might anticipate that it will sit rather uncomfortably.

We'd love to hear your thoughts on AccessNote. What do you think it will bring to the iOS platform that isn't already available, and do you think that you'll be lining up on the day of release with your $30 in hand?

You can read the full press release on the AFB website.

Here's the introduction to their announcement:

The AFB Tech lab is excited to announce that AFB will soon be releasing AccessNote, a note taker for your iPhone or other iOS device. AFB Tech, in conjunction with FloCo Apps, LLC, has designed what is expected to be a groundbreaking productivity tool for people with vision loss, and developers plan for its launch at the App Store later this summer.

AccessNote is a powerful and efficient note taker that takes advantage of the tremendous built-in accessibility of your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad. To allow for much greater typing speed, increase accuracy, and permit keyboard commands, AccessNote is designed to be used with the Apple Wireless Keyboard (QWERTY) as well as wireless braille keyboards and displays. AccessNote will be completely compatible with VoiceOver and the iOS screen reader. It can be used without a keyboard, but a keyboard adds efficiency.

Description of AccessNote
Although there is not yet a final price point, AccessNote will be priced under $30, and it will have many of the features found in traditional note takers and accessible PDAs. AccessNote creates notes in the .TXT file format, and it can also import .TXT files from e-mail or Dropbox accounts. It is designed with a clean, simple interface that uses standard iOS design techniques, so its layout will be familiar to iOS device users.

The home screen is titled All Notes, which is the heading at the top of the screen. The next element is the "Add" button (for adding a new note) followed by the Search field. Next is the user's list of files and notes, which includes a table index for quickly scrolling through notes. Finally, there are three buttons at the bottom of the home screen: "Settings," "Favorites," and "Help." Once the user is in a note, the screen includes a "Back" button to go back to the All Notes screen as well as a "Review" button for going into a read-only mode.

Some of the features designed into AccessNote include:

  • Compatibility with the Apple Wireless Keyboard and wireless braille displays.
  • Fast and efficient navigation.
  • Powerful search features.
  • Automatic saving and syncing with Dropbox files.
  • Customized keyboard commands.
  • A review feature.
  • Options for larger text.

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#1 The standard notes feature

Hi David Looks pretty similar to the existing notes app, kinda struggling to see the the difference between the 2 apps :S

#2 No difference

There's no difference, at all, aside from the text file support and dropbox syncing. I've seen countless other apps that do those same things, for less money, so this app will be a complete joke, in my humble oppinion.

#3 slight differences, but not worth dumping money into

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

The only difference between this app and, say, Nebulous, would be the added keyboard commands. Certainly not worth anything close to $30, $20, or even $10 in my book. Maybe there is some feature or something that will make this app come alive to make me change my mind, but I doubt it. I know AFB did a presentation at the ACB convention, I'd be curious to read any feedback on that presentation from those in attendence.

#4 Question: Why

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

My question about this new AFB notes app: why? Why reinvent the wheel?

#5 Utter stipidity

What a joke, there are about a million notes apps - a high percentage of which are perfectly useable. What a waste of money and then they expect us to pay ten times what the app should go for. I'm speechless!

#6 Not kidding

Hi A lot money for one of thousand more.

#7 My Opinion

Club AppleVis Member

At the moment, I'm not planning on spending that amount of money for a replacement app, as the regular Notes feature works fine for me and my Microsoft Bluetooth keyboard.

#8 unacceptible

Whoever dreamed this up is either a con artist, or so uninformed about the state of ios apps today that it's unbelievable. We need to send a resounding message to the afb here. We're blind, but not stupid. This is a classic case of ripping us blind people off with software, but in this case, we can do something about it. Anybody who wants a simple app that can put text files in dropbox, download plaintext or nebulous notes. I really hope that whoever thought this up can't sleep at night. If you, whatever committee of sighted vision teachers, or money hungry scam artists who thought this up are reading this, I hope you crawl back in whatever god for saken hole you came out of and think about the message your sending when you pull a stunt like this. At least the people who created flexy made something new up before demanding a high price tag for an ios app. This will absolutely not stand, and no blind people are going to buy this. You've taken a population of individuals with a 70 percent unemployment rate, who have to pay an unreasonable price for most anything that's blind-specific, and you've tried to directly, and completely in the open, steel our money. If you have any sense of decency, take this app down, and put up a list of blind-accessible text editing apps that can be downloaded for free or purchased for a small fee. Having used plaintext for my iphone for over a year now, I know these apps exist. Also, for anyone who doesn't read afb's access world, it's important to review a little history here. For the last few months, access world has had a series of articles about integrating ios products in educational settings. See "removing the stress from ios." Now that they have sold, or at least attempted to sell these devices, to sighted and blind educators, they come out with this trumped up app that uses blind community buzzwords like notetaker. See where I'm going with this? Now, they've created a perceived need for this half-baked notetaker idea, and are trying to sell it for 10 times the price of similar mainstream apps. It doesn't even sound to me like the thing is going to have a spellchecker. This app is marketed at poor saps who sit in state offices and want an excuse to spend tax money on i pads and expensive blind specific apps that probably won't even work as advertised. This makes me sick, and I'm ashamed that this even exists.

#9 price

Club AppleVis Member

You know, the reason they might have the price so high is because they use those horrid akapella voices that always runs down the memory on my device, I mean gosh, I have 2 copies of those voices, one for read to go, another for "speak it!", and I don't need another just so they can bring up the price of another blindie app. I mean, one thing I've had one blind person ask me is, "does it have a spell checker?" when I was talking about the notes app on the iPod, I responsed that it does check what you type, but no true spell checker program as we know it from MS-word and stuff like that. and the fact that it workd with the apple keyboard is kind of like saying a new hard drive will work with a computer. I mean, the apple wireless keyboard already works with everything voiceover works with. Its just like bookshare saying their app works with braille displays, they already work with everything VO works with.

#10 Cursor Management

Club AppleVis Member

While the information about this app is limited so far so it may be premature to judge the app fully, I was surprised to notice the biggest complaint I've heard about taking notes with iOS was not addressed. And that is cursor management, where when you resume from standby the cursor is most often at the beginning or end of the text instead of where you were last editting.

#11 This app makes fleksy worth

This app makes fleksy worth its price... Because it, at least, brings something new to the table. Anyway what I wanted to say was, it did sort of look as though they were trying to advertise navigation features like moving to the top/bottom of a document as working only in their app, while in fact those are system-wide hotkeys.

#12 subject

Is there a way to search within a note using plaintext or the notes app? The description also hints at commands to make working with long files easier. I'm not sure it would be worth $30, (the description mentions that it would cost under $30), but I could use help working with large files on the iphone.

#13 We don't know much. While I

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

We don't know much. While I am not ready to jump on the AFB as trying to scam the blind community just yet, I sincerely hope that this app brings something new to the table. If it just duplicates features in other apps, then from an economic standpoint it would make no sense to develop it in the first place.

#14 afb note taker

Judging from the description, i don't think I'll be running out to buy this ap either. for most note taking i really like notesey They would have to be some pretty special navigation features for me to go out and buy another note taking app. Now if you could send text typed with fleksy directly to the note appp it might be worth while. Works with a blue tooth keyboard? huh? thought all the note taking apps did anyway.

#15 longer text files?

Is there a way to read and edit long text files on the iPhone? I'm talking about files that are over 500 KBs.