Welcome to the January 2019 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 by members of the community - 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 Bobsled (iOS, Free with In-App Purchases)
Blindfold Bobsled is a fully accessible audio game where you steer a bobsled down an ice-track.
In Blindfold Bobsled, you first learn how to steer and how to speed up or slow down. The game requires the use of headphones or earbuds, so you can keep your bobsled on the track.
Then you can play several practice games - timed or not-timed - to help you master controlling your sled. You can change the track width and difficulty of the game.
There are several timed games, several untimed games, and an endless game available as upgrades. And there's a snowball feature that lets you collect snowball to power-up your game.
Like the other Blindfold Games, you can post your high scores to Facebook or Twitter.
Current Version: 1.1.7 (January 31, 2019)
Calm Radio - Relaxing Music (iOS, Free with In-App Purchases)
Calm Radio is the world's largest collection of relaxation music, meditation focus study and sleep music and nature sounds.
Calm is also the world’s largest collection of classical music channels like Mozart, Bach, Symphonies, Sonatas, Choirs … more.
All designed so you can work, focus and sleep better.
Current Version: 11.6 (January 25, 2019)
Camellia Tea Timer (iOS, Free)
The most simple and elegant tea timer on the App Store. Just choose the type of tea you wish to steep and press start. Don't waste time scrolling through endless lists of teas you don't have or reading the history of infusions you don't care about. This app will let you know when your tea has reached perfection, and nothing more.
Current Version: 1.6 (July 22, 2017)
Path of Adventure (iOS, Free with In-App Purchases)
Are you ready to fight monsters, crawl dungeons and hoard treasures? Then take the Path of Adventure! Follow it to the end and reveal the mystery…
Words and choices
This is a game of words and choices. Submerge into a world of fantasy and decide how you want to act. Will you enter the skull-cave? When to use magic? And what to buy from the merchant?
Don’t let all those words fool you – this is a true game! It requires wits and tactics; and some luck. It features:
- Turn-based combat
- Procedurally generated dungeons
- Loads of weapons, items and monsters
- 5 unique playable characters
Easy to learn
Never played a game like this before? Perfect! Just start with the tutorial and continue your way. The intuitive interface and the simple, yet deep mechanics will teach you all you need to know.
Current Version: 1.3.3 (January 24, 2019)
Ralphs (iOS, Free)
Looking for a faster, easier, more rewarding shopping experience? Save time and money with the Ralphs app! It puts convenience, savings and rewards at your fingertips. Simply download the app, create an account and register your Ralphs Rewards Card to access all these great benefits:
- Shop Pickup or Delivery right from the app!
- Easily build your online shopping list, and use it to shop in-store or to place your online order.
- View your Weekly Ads and quickly add sale items or specials to your shopping list.
- Load digital coupons directly to your Rewards Card and use them to save on items from your shopping list.
- Get even more savings with exclusive promotions, personalized offers and bonus rewards.
- Refill your Ralphs Pharmacy prescriptions directly from your phone or tablet. Just type in your prescription number, select your Pharmacy and schedule a convenient pickup time.
- Check your fuel points.
- Use our locator to find the closest Ralphs store or fuel center.
- View your purchase history. Use it to create standard orders that will save you time.
- Add your Rewards Card to Passbook for iPhone and iPod Touch.
To use the Ralphs app, you'll need a Ralphs digital account. You can register for your account and link your Rewards Card through the app. If you don't have a Rewards Card, you can create one when you register to access all of these savings and rewards!
Current Version: 16.0 (January 24, 2019)
Universal Paperclips™ (iOS, US$1.99)
Become a super-powerful AI who only wants one thing: paperclips. Use your unstoppable intelligence to create a massive paperclip empire in this addictive idle/management/strategy/sim.
The OFFICIAL mobile version of the hit browser game. No ads, no in-app purchases, full gameplay.
Current Version: 1.1 (December 16, 2018)
All recent app entries posted to AppleVis can be found at:
Notable App Updates
BitLife - Life Simulator (iOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
How will you live your BitLife?
Will you try to make all the right choices in an attempt to become a model citizen sometime before you die? You could marry the man/woman of your dreams, have kids, and pick up a good job along the way.
Or will you make choices that horrify your parents? You could descend into a life of crime, start prison riots, smuggle duffle bags, and cheat on your spouse.
It's all up to you...
Current Version: 1.10 (January 19, 2019)
Changes in Versions 1.9-1.10
- Prenups! Tired of a cheating spouse taking all your money? Try to make him/her get a prenup before marrying them!
- Men can now have love children
- Have a penchant for larceny? Start pickpocketing people today!
- Misbehaving children! Just wait until you see what they can get up to...
- Abortion is now available on a country-by-country basis
- You can now die from assaults (keep your health up if you're going to be aggressive with people)
- Birthdays and star signs
- Get out on those streets and start stealing cars!
- But if you get caught (for any crime), you can now hire lawyers to defend you!
- Tired of having kids? Get a vasectomy or have your tubes tied
- Tired of not having kids? Get IVF or a sperm donor
- Have good genes? Donate your sperm (if they'll take it)
- Change your last name when you get married or divorced, as applicable by country
- Change your first name after a sex change
- Boost your happiness and/or intelligence by going to see comedy and/or documentary films
- Achievements overhauled and accessible from the main menu
- Support added for our Bitizens who use Accessibility on iOS
- Tons of little glitches fixed (thanks for all the reports!)
- More user interface updates
- Numerous bug fixes & performance enhancements
Twitter (iOS, Free)
From breaking news and entertainment to sports, politics, and everyday interests, when it happens in the world, it happens on Twitter first. See all sides of the story. Join the conversation. Watch live streaming events. Twitter is what’s happening in the world and what people are talking about right now.
Current Version: 7.40 (January 24, 2019)
Changes in Version 7.40
Using VoiceOver on Twitter? Hashtags weren't playing nicely, but we fixed that.
Recent News and Views
January Apple Software Releases
- Apple Releases iOS 12.1.3; Bringing Fixes for Bugs Affecting iPad Pro, HomePod, and CarPlay
- Apple releases macOS 10.14.3, watchOS 5.1.3, and tvOS 12.1.2
Apple Partners with RNIB to Bring its Everyone Can Code Curricula to Blind and Low Vision Students in the UK
By AppleVis | January 24, 2019
Apple has today launched a partnership with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) that will bring its accessible coding programme to blind and low vision students in the United Kingdom.
The program was initially launched in May 2018, when Apple announced partnerships with a number of schools for the blind and deaf in the United States to bring its Everyone Can Code curricula to their students.
Through its Everyone Can Code initiative, Apple provides a range of teacher guides and lessons, with students using iPads and the Swift Playgrounds app to use real programming code to solve puzzles and control characters.
Apple says that it collaborated with engineers, educators, and programmers from various accessibility communities to make Everyone Can Code as accessible as possible, and that it works in close coordination with partner schools and organizations to augment the curricula as needed. This includes providing additional tools and resources such as tactile maps to enhance the understanding of coding environments for non-visual learners.
Speaking at the time of the program's launch, Apple's CEO Tim Cook said that the company's mission “is to make products as accessible as possible,” and “we hope to bring Everyone Can Code to even more schools around the world serving students with disabilities.”
The partnership with RNIB is a step towards that vision and Apple's desire to make coding and app development accessible to all. Both Apple and RNIB will be making additional teaching and learning resources available in the coming months to complement what's already available through the program. The new resources will include separate books with graphics of the levels from Swift Playgrounds that are rendered in tactile, braille, and high-contrast ink print. Additionally, RNIB will be working with schools from across the UK to raise awareness of the accessible coding program, and provide support and resources to teachers of blind and low vision students.
Speed Up an Old Mac on the Cheap by Installing the Operating System on an External SSD
By Nicholas | January 14, 2019
For my birthday this year, I sped up my old MacBook Pro 2012 by at least 5 to 10 times faster. Really! Now my Mac waits for me, instead of the other way around. I may be a little late for the SSD party, but it was an amazing difference. Here's what happened. Recently I received an Amazon gift card for my birthday. It was a $50 card, what can I get for that amount of money? My wife and i were thinking of getting a flash storage drive to set up a shared volume on our home Wifi network. It would be an 'always on' drive, accessible from any device that is logged into the network. We could use it for easy temporary file storage and shared photos and music.
After looking around on Amazon, I noticed that the SSD drives were about the same price as the Flash drives, possibly from the holiday discounts. This got me thinking about trying to put an install of macOS Mojave on the SSD instead. One thing that my old MacBook Pro 2012 is not anymore, speedy. I ended up with a 120 Gig SSD, USB 3.0 drive. It cost me a whopping $49. It gets its power from the port, so when I turn on my Mac, the drive is already on as well. It connects through a small 4 inch cable and the drive is about the size of a match-book, though maybe twice as thick. My laptop sits on an elevated tray, so the tiny drive curls underneath and sits on a small shelf/foot of the tray. I can pick my laptop tray up and move it around and the SSD stays in place with no fuss.
Plugging in the Wemo Mini Smart Plug
By Paul Martz | January 7, 2019
I'm basically lazy. If technology exists that lets me spend more time sitting on my butt, I'm all over it. I control my thermostat with an app, use Google Hangouts for virtual meetings, and don't remember the last time I walked to a mailbox - that's why God invented email.
Aside from the thermostat, I've yet to jump into the smart home craze. This is just another manifestation of my laziness. There's so much to learn. Do I have to buy one of those expensive Alexa things? What's a bridge and why do I need one? What's a smart bulb? Obviously it's not lighting up over my head. The research alone overwhelmed me. It seemed easier to live in a dumb home.
But as the horse and buggy succumbed to the automobile, and the typewriter succumbed to the personal computer, I knew my home would also succumb to voice control. It was just a matter of time.
Not really having any idea what I was doing, and not wanting to spend much money, I decided to start with a single smart plug. In the hopes that others will learn from my experience, here is my story.
This Month in Podcasts
Podcasts by Thomas Domville
Thomas Domville has recorded and shared several podcasts this month:
- Immerse yourself in Pure Nature 3D Soundscape for iOS
- How to Customize Keyboard Shortcuts in iOS
- How to Gift an App from the App Store in iOS
- How to Add Apple Music to an Amazon Echo Device
- How to Forward a SMS or iMessage Text in iOS
AppleVis Unleashed January 2019: The Dog Whisperer
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:
- Macintosh Turns 35
- 2 billionth iOS device shipped & other 2018 milestones highlighted in Apple's SEC filing
- Apple releases iOS 12.1.3, watchOS 5.1.3, macOS Mojave 10.14.3 & tvOS 12.1.2
- Apple's HomeKit, the surprise winner of CES 2019
- Apple Halts Trading, Cuts Guidance for Fiscal Q1 2019
- Apple to Announce Fiscal Q1 2019 Earnings on January 29
- Apple will let you give in-app purchases as gifts
- Netflix kills in-app subscription option for iPhone & iPad users
- Apple made $256 million in 2018 from the Netflix app, but that revenue is gone now
- Cash Reader Tool for Blind
- Podcast: Scan Your Bank Notes Quickly with the Cash Reader Tool for Blind
- Pure Nature 3D Soundscapes
- Podcast: Immerse yourself in Pure Nature 3D Soundscape for iOS
- Podcast: NatureSpace: Delving in to the World of 3d Sound
- TIP: How to change your Apple ID email address
- Tip: How To Gift An App From App Store On iPhone, iPad Or iPod touch
- Podcast: How to Gift an App from the App Store in iOS
Earn your Green Thumb in the Plant Nanny for iOS
In this podcast, Sasha Stride gives us a demonstration of Plant Nanny for iOS. Plant Nanny combines health with fun to remind you to drink water regularly. The cute plant keeps you company every day by living in your phone. In order to keep it alive and help it grow, you must give it water at certain periods of time.
Plant Nanny on the App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/plant-nanny/id590216134?mt=8
Put Your Dog Care Skills to the Test with Blindfold Doggy, a Dog Ownership Simulation Game for iOS
In this podcast, Holly gives us a demonstration of Blindfold Doggy, a dog ownership simulation game for iOS.
AppleVis Extra 63: 2019 New Year Extravaganza
In this episode of the AppleVis Extra, Dave Nason is joined by Alex Hall, Scott Davert, Thomas Domville and Tyler Stephen to look back at the year that was 2018, and look forward to 2019. They discuss personal highlights from last year, the busy year of Apple product launches, plus predictions, hopes and even some farfetched dreams for the year ahead.
A complete list of all podcasts posted to the AppleVis website can be found at www.applevis.com/podcasts
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.
To learn more about Club AppleVis; the perks of membership; and how you can join, please visit www.applevis.com/club-applevis