AppleVis Unlimited: What's New and Noteworthy for October 2018

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Welcome to the October 2018 edition of AppleVis Unlimited, our monthly series which aims to highlight what's new and noteworthy on the AppleVis website. Below, you'll find a selection of the best content posted to AppleVis - from new app entries, to app updates, to the latest news and podcasts. For easier navigation, the major sections of this post are at heading level 3, and each individual item is at heading level 4.

New and Noteworthy App Entries

Blindfold Doggy (iOS, Free With In-App Purchases)

Blindfold Doggy is a fully accessible dog ownership simulation game, for both sighted and visually impaired people, designed for rapid audio play. The object of the game is care for your dog: the better you care for your dog, the more points you'll score.

After learning the sounds your dog makes when he needs something, you must take care of your dog: feed him, walk him, give him water, brush him and play with him.

For example, to walk your dog, put on his collar and leash, open the door and start walking: swipe down with one finger. Each down swipe takes you one step further from home. Each up swipe takes you one step closer to home. When you leave the house for a walk, the front door automatically closes behind you. To go back inside, walk back to the door and open it. Make sure you close the door, or your dog may run away.

Once you've mastered taking care of one dog, try taking care of two. It's much harder!

Then try the adventure game - go shopping for new toys and food, and take your dog to the veterinarian for routine checkups.

The game comes with limited play before you run out of food. To get unlimited play, or other options, use the in-app upgrades.

Current Version: 1.5.5 (October 26, 2018)

Read Blindfold Doggy's AppleVis App Directory entry for more information  Visit Blindfold Doggy's App Store page 

Dwell - Audio Bible App (iOS, Free With In-App Purchases)

Fall in love with listening to the Bible.

Listening has been our focus from the beginning. Our app offers 4 brand new recordings of the Bible, each showcasing a unique and inspiring voice. We’ve also made the Bible easily explorable. Quickly access Scripture through popular Passages, Stories, Themed Playlists, even Listening Plans. Or listen the more traditional way, book by book.

What makes Dwell so unique is that you can switch voices and background music on the fly without losing your place in the audio. Plus, every book, story, playlist, and plan is accompanied by beautiful artwork. Download Dwell and enjoy a world-class​ listening experience of the most important book in history: the Bible.

Listen free with occasional in-house ads, or get Dwell Premium.

Dwell Free: Features

  • Access to 1 voice for listening to Scripture
  • Hear occasional ads

Dwell Premium: Features

  • Unlocks all 4 unique and inspiring voices for Scripture listening
  • Interruption-free listening

Current Version: 1.2.2 (October 17, 2018)

Read Dwell - Audio Bible App's AppleVis App Directory entry for more information 

Visit Dwell - Audio Bible App's App Store page 

Out Of Tune - Live Music Game (iOS, Free)

Out Of Tune is a live music game where you compete to win a cash prize. All you need to do is correctly guess 10 songs. The game is played every weekday at 8p ET / 5p PT and 11p ET / 8p PT.

Current Version: 1.0.14 (October 28, 2018)

Read Out Of Tune - Live Music Game's AppleVis App Directory entry for more information 

Visit Out Of Tune - Live Music Game's App Store page 

All recent app entries posted to AppleVis can be found at:

iOS
Mac
Apple Watch
Apple TV

Notable App Updates

BreakR (iOS, Free)

BreakR is a FREE voice-messaging platform for people on the move.

Turn your phone into walkie-talkie and use voice activation to be able to listen to the incoming messages and reply without having to hold any buttons.

Stay in touch with your friends when you are driving, running or skiing without compromising your safety.

  • Speak to your friends in REAL TIME with walkie-talkie mode, or prepare a perfect message before sending, by recording a voice memo and applying our funny VOICE CHANGER filters
  • If you can’t talk, type your message and it will be read to the recipient with our TEXT TO SPEECH feature.
  • Never miss a message with our 24 hour message history
  • MUTE the conversation at any time to listen to your messages later.
  • Chat one-on-one or in a GROUP.

BreakR is accessible and has many blind and visually impaired users.

Current Version: 1.8 (October 27, 2018)

Changes in Version 1.8

Accessibility improvements and bug fixes

Read BreakR's AppleVis App Directory entry for more information 

Visit BreakR's App Store page 

Dolphin EasyReader (iOS, Free with In-App Purchases)

EasyReader is a FREE accessible reading app for readers with dyslexia, low vision or blindness. Browse & download from the World's largest collection of talking book and newspaper libraries. Open your own DAISY, Epub or text books. Or copy text from anywhere on your phone & hear EasyReader read it back to you. Experience perfectly synchronized text & audio. Or for text only titles, EasyReader can add a human sounding voice of your choice. Boost comfort or contrast - choose colours, text size and highlights to suit your visual needs.

Make your books' text as big as your eyes require. Unlike other mainstream reading apps, there's no restriction with EasyReader. Zoom in with a standard 2 finger pinch or make fine adjustments with the simple sliders. There's never any blurry text or fuzzy fonts - your books' words are always crystal clear and always easy on the eye.

Navigate your books or newspapers by skipping directly to specific pages or headings. Search your book for words or phrases. Add text bookmarks or record your own audio bookmarks and return to them with ease.

EasyReader is fully optimized for use with iOS VoiceOver and iOS supported Braille displays.

Current Version: 2.3 (October 24, 2018)

Changes in Version 2.3
  • Sign in to EasyReader faster with your Google account.

  • New support for 'Reading Lists' available via Bookshare and RNIB Bookshare. Teachers can create & assign a reading list to their students via the Bookshare websites. The students can now browse and read the assigned reading list with their EasyReader app.

  • Titles from Bookshare and RNIB Bookshare now download as EPUB3, so images in the book are now included.
  • New 2 & 5 minute navigation modes – perfect for skipping forward & backwards in audio books.
  • Several improvements for VoiceOver users.

Read Dolphin EasyReader's AppleVis App Directory entry for more information 

Visit Dolphin EasyReader's App Store page 

MBraille (iOS, Free With In-App Purchases)

MBraille brings you a mobile braille keyboard.

With the free features you can type, edit and send tweets and text messages using contracted or uncontracted English braille.*

With the full version you can also use braille to

  • call contacts or telephone numbers
  • send email
  • do facebook status updates
  • add calendar entries
  • fire away internet search engine queries
  • the text typed is automatically put to clipboard when you switch apps.
  • interact with other 3rd party applications
  • check spelling
  • save and open text files
  • sync to dropbox
  • use MBraille as third party keyboard

The keyboard is also available as a separate in-app purchase.

Current Version: 4.4 (October 17, 2018)

Changes in Version 4.4

UEB fixes, Drafts 5 support, iOS 12 tested.

Read MBraille's AppleVis App Directory entry for more information 

Visit MBraille's App Store page 

Recent News and Views

All About the New Macs and iPads from Apple's October 30th Event

By mehgcap | October 30, 2018

Only a few weeks ago, Apple held a media event where it announced the latest iPhones and Apple Watches. Where, people wondered, were the iPad and Mac upgrades? The answer: right here.

At today's event, Apple introduced the latest iPad Pro, Apple Pencil, MacBook Air, and Mac Mini. Yes, the poor Mini was finally updated. The company also released iOS 12.1, with a range of features and fixes.

Read More: “All About the New Macs and iPads from Apple's October 30th Event”

Apple Releases macOS 10.14.1, watchOS 5.1, and tvOS 12.1

By AppleVis | October 30, 2018

Today has seen another round of software updates from Apple. In addition to iOS 12.1, Apple has released macOS 10.14.1, watchOS 5.1, and tvOS 12.1.

The macOS 10.14.1 update includes support for the Group FaceTime feature, which lets you chat with up to 32 people at the same time. Group FaceTime is also now available on iOS following the release of iOS 12.1; and on Apple Watch with watchOS 5.1.

Additionally, macOS 10.14.1 and watchOS 5.1 introduce more than 70 new emoji. These new emoji are also available on iOS 12.1, and include:

characters with red hair, gray hair and curly hair, a new emoji for bald people, more emotive smiley faces and additional emoji representing animals, sports and food.

Read More: “Apple Releases macOS 10.14.1, watchOS 5.1, and tvOS 12.1”

Apple Releases iOS 12.1 with Group FaceTime, New Emoji, and Some Fixes for VoiceOver and Braille Users

By AppleVis | October 30, 2018

Apple has today released iOS 12.1 to the public, following its Brooklyn event that saw the launch of new iPad Pro models and refreshes to its range of Mac computers.

In addition to some new features and enhancements, iOS 12.1 also brings a few improvements for blind and low vision users.

Red More: “Apple Releases iOS 12.1 with Group FaceTime, New Emoji, and Some Fixes for VoiceOver and Braille Users”

Getting It Done with a Shortcut in iOS 12

By Paul Martz | October 27, 2018

I bet my spouse is starting to wonder why I'm sending her so many text messages. I'm testing my new shortcut, of course. No, I didn't create a shortcut to annoy my spouse. She likes to track our spending, and my new shortcut tells her what I've been purchasing.

This blog gets you started with a drop-dead simple shortcut, and then describes the shortcuts I created to help track my spending. But first—

What is a Shortcut?

The Shortcuts app, formerly called Workflows, lets you specify one or more actions, called shortcuts, that you launch with SIRI or by selecting a desktop icon. If you've used Automator on MacOS, Shortcuts will be familiar to you.

For information on the Shortcuts app, take a look at Thomas Domville's podcast series, How to Use SIRI Shortcuts in iOS

Also, see Apple's Shortcuts User Guide.

Shortcuts and SIRI Shortcuts are two different things. A shortcut is a set of actions created with the Shortcuts app. A SIRI Shortcut performs some task using SIRI. This blog discusses how to create shortcuts with the Shortcut app, and then how to launch it with a SIRI Shortcut. Confused? Sorry. I didn't decide on the naming scheme.

Read More: “Getting It Done with a Shortcut in iOS 12”

Introducing Club AppleVis; Offering Members and Friends of our Community a Means of Directly Supporting the Work of AppleVis

By AppleVis | October 18, 2018

We are thrilled to announce the launch of Club AppleVis. Club AppleVis offers members and friends of our community a means of directly contributing towards the financial costs of operating AppleVis—thus ensuring that we can continue to deliver the information, help, and support that so many people have come to value and rely on over the past 8 years.

In part, the launch of Club AppleVis is a response to Apple's decision to remove apps from its affiliate program from October 1, 2018. For the unfamiliar, this affiliate program enabled online content publishers to use a referral link when linking to apps in the App Store. If people followed one of these links, a small percentage of any resulting sale was paid by Apple to the originating website as a commission.

We used referral links on AppleVis; not because we have wages to pay (all of those involved with running AppleVis do so on a voluntary basis and receive no financial recompense for their time), but because there are financial costs from maintaining and developing AppleVis for the community. The small amount of revenue generated by these links helped to cover those costs.

We want to stress that the changes to Apple's affiliate program should not bring into question the continued existence of AppleVis. However, as we receive no external funding or sponsorship, the reality is that these changes will make it harder to cover the operational costs. This is why we are asking the community to please consider helping by becoming a member of Club AppleVis.

The biggest reward from being a Club AppleVis member is that you will be directly helping to make AppleVis possible. However, as a “thank you”, we offer a number of perks to Club AppleVis members:

  • Each year, we offer one Club AppleVis member the opportunity to take part in one of our roundtable podcasts. More details will be announced on how this will work further down the road.
  • Club AppleVis members have access to an RSS feed containing all of the episodes in our podcast archive, enabling them to browse and play these in their podcatcher of choice. Note that our main podcast feed includes only the 100 most recent episodes, with the remainder accessible via the website.
  • With the support of the developers and companies we have come to know through running AppleVis, we will occasionally offer discounts or giveaways to Club AppleVis members.
  • Club AppleVis members also have a badge added to their AppleVis user account that recognizes their membership of Club AppleVis and links to the Club AppleVis page. If you do not want this badge added to your account, please just let us know.

It is possible that we may offer additional perks to Club AppleVis members as ideas and opportunities present themselves. However, what we will not be doing is making some content only available to Club AppleVis members, as we believe this would be against the spirit of AppleVis and everything our community strives to offer.

If you are an app developer or behind a product or service that would be of interest and value to Club AppleVis members, please consider partnering with us to offer a discount or giveaway. Use our contact form to reach out and let us know what you have in mind.

How to Join Club AppleVis

To qualify for Club AppleVis membership, you will need to have either:

  1. An active recurring donation towards AppleVis of at least US$1.99 per month; or
  2. Have made a single donation of at least US$25 in the past 12 months.

If you find value in the work that AppleVis does, and if you have the means, we would greatly appreciate it if you would please consider becoming a Club AppleVis member. To reiterate, any and all donations received go directly towards the various costs associated with operating the AppleVis website; our site editors receive no financial compensation for their work with AppleVis.

If you are ready to join Club AppleVis, you can use one of the forms on this page to set up either a recurring micro-donation or make a one-off donation. These donations are processed securely via PayPal.

You can also use these forms if you wish to make a donation that's smaller than is required for Club AppleVis membership. You will have our sincerest thanks, as all donations make a difference and are truly appreciated, irrespective of the amount.

If you already make a recurring micro-donation towards AppleVis or have made a one-off donation of $25 or more in the past year, you will automatically be made a Club AppleVis member. If you have any questions about this, please contact us.

Thank you for your interest in learning how you can help to cover the financial costs of maintaining and developing AppleVis for the community. It is only with your help that everything AppleVis strives to offer is possible.

Read More: “Introducing Club AppleVis; Offering Members and Friends of our Community a Means of Directly Supporting the Work of AppleVis”

Apple Watch Series 4 Review: More Screen and Power Should Make This the Apple Watch Blind Users Have Been Waiting For

By David Goodwin | October 11, 2018

Traditionally, it's any new iPhones which are the highlight of Apple's fall product launches. However, for this year's “Gather Round” event, it was the Apple Watch Series 4 which was the star of the show for me. It was in my opinion the most ground-breaking in terms of product evolution; and, whereas I was somewhat underwhelmed by the three new iPhones, the Apple Watch had me impressed and perhaps even a little excited.

That was a somewhat surprising reaction, as I am not an Apple Watch devotee. I've previously owned what's now referred to as the Apple Watch Series 0. I didn't particularly enjoy the experience; found no compelling apps or functionality for my use case; and can honestly say that I had not missed an Apple Watch in the two years since I last used one.

Reflecting on my reaction to the launch event and knowing that there are many in our community who rave about their Apple Watch, made me think that maybe it was time to give it a second chance.

After two weeks living with a 44mm Series 4, I am happy to report that I have not been disappointed by that decision. Not only have I found that the Apple Watch now has something to offer me, but I have enjoyed the experience of using it. Of course, it helps that Apple Watch Series 4 is quite a different beast to the model I last used - the design has been refined; the performance much improved; the health and fitness tracking capabilities expanded; and features and apps have become more mature and focused.

With the iPhone XS Max I have also been using for the past two weeks, I have struggled to find any significant advantages of its large display for me as somebody who relies completely on VoiceOver. The same is definitely not true for Apple Watch Series 4. The benefits of its extra screen real estate - 30% greater than on previous models - were immediate and dramatic. Combine this with its more powerful S4 chip and better speakers, and the experience of using VoiceOver on the Series 4 doesn't fall too far short of VoiceOver on an iPhone.

Read More: “Apple Watch Series 4 Review: More Screen and Power Should Make This the Apple Watch Blind Users Have Been Waiting For”

This Month in Podcasts

AppleVis Extra 61: October 2018 Apple Event Round Up

In this episode, Dave Nason, Alex Hall, Scott Davert and Tyler Steven gather to talk about everything announced at Apple's October 30th event in New York, where a new MacBook Air, Mac Mini and iPad Pro were revealed.

For even more coverage of the announcements, check out Alex's blog post

Listen to “AppleVis Extra 61: October 2018 Apple Event Round Up”

AppleVis Unleashed October 2018: The Newer One

In this month's edition of AppleVis Unleashed, Thomas Domville, Randy Rusnak, and Mike Malarsie discuss recent Apple news and other topics of interest. Topics featured in this podcast include:

You can contact the Unleashed Team with feedback or questions at unleashed@applevis.com.

Listen to “AppleVis Unleashed October 2018: The Newer One”

How to Use Siri Shortcuts Part 3: The Library

In this third and last podcast in a multi-part series, Thomas Domville gives us an introduction to Siri Shortcuts on iOS.

Shortcuts on the App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/app/workflow-powerful-automation/id915249334?ig

Shortcut: Quiet Time On https://www.icloud.com/shortcuts/1bf387c592fc431ca42deb9101053611

Shortcut: Quiet Time Off https://www.icloud.com/shortcuts/c958ee874c6f4cfe811b5c2408d78ae0

Shortcut: Weather Forecast For Lee’s Summit https://www.icloud.com/shortcuts/81b00bc992c24cb999a437f67742f55e

Shortcut: AppleVis News https://www.icloud.com/shortcuts/1c5a0c6511ba415b94d5c0703b3ad0e5

Note: Siri Shortcuts requires iOS 12 or later.

Listen to “How to Use Siri Shortcuts Part 3: The Library”

Demonstrating the Home App on MacOS

In this podcast, Alex Hall demonstrates the Home app on MacOS. The Home App is new in macOS 10.14 Mojave.

Listen to “Demonstrating the Home App on MacOS”

How to Use Siri Shortcuts Part 2: The Gallery

In this second podcast in a multi-part series, Thomas Domville gives us an introduction to Siri Shortcuts on iOS.

Shortcuts on the App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/app/workflow-powerful-automation/id915249334?ign-mpt=uo%3D8%26amp%3Buo%3D8

Note: Siri Shortcuts requires iOS 12 or later.

Listen to “How to Use Siri Shortcuts Part 2: The Gallery”

Quick Tip: Configuring VoiceOver to Start Automatically When Logging in to Your Mac

In this podcast, Tyler Stephen shows us how to configure VoiceOver to automatically start on the macOS login screen.

Listen to “Quick Tip: Configuring VoiceOver to Start Automatically When Logging in to Your Mac”

It takes a gamer to raise a community: a walk-through of Knight Commander for iOS

In this podcast, Ida Grace shows us the game Knight Commander. This game is a $1.99 purchase in the US App Store and features fully accessible game play for VoiceOver users where you can build a village and run it. Is that not detailed enough of a description? Tune in to this AppleVis podcast to learn more.

Listen to “It takes a gamer to raise a community: a walk-through of Knight Commander for iOS”

How to Use Siri Shortcuts in iOS, Part 1: The Basics

In this first podcast in a multi-part series, Thomas Domville gives us an introduction to Siri Shortcuts on iOS.

How to Find a Siri Shortcut Created by an App Developer:

  1. Open Your App of Choice.
  2. Navigate to and open the app's settings.
  3. Navigate to Siri Shortcuts and double-tap.
  4. Find the Shortcut you Want to Use and double-tap.
  5. Navigate to Start Recording and double-tap.
  6. Navigate to the Done button, at the top-right corner of the screen, and double-tap.

And/Or

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Navigate to Siri and Search and double-tap.
  3. Navigate to All Shortcuts and double-tap.
  4. Find the Shortcut you Want to Use and double-tap.
  5. Navigate to Start Recording and double-tap.
  6. Navigate to the Done button, at the top-right corner of the screen, and double-tap.

Note: Siri Shortcuts requires iOS 12 or later.

Listen to “How to Use Siri Shortcuts in iOS, Part 1: The Basics”

A complete list of all podcasts posted to the AppleVis website can be found at www.applevis.com/podcasts

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