Welcome to the May 2020 edition of AppleVis Unlimited, our monthly series which highlights 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
Amaroq for Mastodon (iOS/iPadOS, Free)
Amaroq is a lightweight universal client for any Mastodon instance! Simply enter the instance you belong to, log in, and enjoy the all the wonders of the federated social network from your phone.
Features include but are not limited to:
- View all your timelines, whether it's your home, local, or federated
- View and follow all your friends' profiles
- Search your favorite hashtags
- Emoji support for your statuses
- View and participate in threads
- Gif and video upload support
- Multiple instance support
Current Version: 1.1.16 (May 30, 2019)
City of Blood - World Crime RPG (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
The city rains blood tonight. Join a massive world-criminal network RPG and become the most elite fugitive in the world!
The acclaimed World of Blood RPG series features hundreds of hours of action, stories, missions, and powerful equipment. Find old and new friends in a dark and bloody world.
Current Version: 1.10 (March 31, 2015)
FastestVPN – Security for WiFi (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
FastestVPN is a blazing-fast, log-free virtual private network service for data protection. It is a secure VPN that offers the ultimate online security. Browse the web anonymously with unparalleled privacy.
Online security is just a tap away with FastestVPN apps.
FastestVPN gives you private internet browsing that guarantees protection against hackers, ISPs, third-parties and other prying eyes. Safeguard your private data over any unsecured Wi-Fi network.
Current Version: 2.3.0 (February 7, 2020)
HW Buddy (iOS/iPadOS, Free)
Learn, teach and interact with HumanWare’s Products
Take away the stress of learning something new with the HW Buddy App!
Find your way around HumanWare’s products. With the HW Buddy App by your side, you can achieve your goals and accomplish tasks that you thought you could never do.
The HW buddy is designed to assist teachers, students and professionals to have a successful and enjoyable experience with HumanWare’s products by interacting with easy to read step by step guides.
HW Buddy provides all facets of our user base with comprehensive training and resource materials that can often be difficult to locate in one simple portal. In addition to the days of aimlessly wandering websites for product resources being over, all aspects from videos to text instruction can be found. With HW Buddy you're never alone and if you cannot find what you are looking for, you can even directly contact support for more top-notch assistance.
Current Version: 1.5 (April 7, 2020)
NaviLens (iOS/iPadOS, Free)
NaviLens is a high-density artificial markers system for long distance reading.
The tags generated by this system are designed in order to be readed from a long distance, without the need of focussing and even in motion. This makes them useful for blind and low vision people. All you need to do is to point the camera of the device to a tag in order to quickly read its contents.
The application has a new sound system with which a blind person can locate the label in the space with precision, without the need for headphones.
Notice: While we are installing this signage system in different locations, you can download sample labels in the same application.
Current Version: 2.0.22 (May 28, 2020)
Not Ok (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
notOK is a digital panic button service to get you immediate support via text, phone call, or GPS location when you’re struggling to reach out.
“Depression and anxiety inhibits to a person's ability to ask for help. Making it THIS easy IS necessary for many people.”
- Peer Support via your Trusted Contacts
- Simple message to take the guesswork out of asking for help
- Immediate help with notOK’s one tap solution
- Accurate GPS location
- Trusted contacts are NOT required to download app
Current Version: 1.2.1 (August 9, 2019)
Pirate Poker! (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
Aye Matey! Do ya dare board the dreaded pirate ship and try your luck at Pirate Poker? Come aboard and try your luck at this fun, funny and addicting video poker experience!
Key Features include:
- 100% Voiceover accessible!
- Progressive jackpot!
- Customizable pirate sound effects!
- Daily and All Time leaderboards!
- Activity Feed!
Radio Talking Book (iOS/iPadOS, Free)
The Radio Talking Book Network (RTB) is a free news and information service that broadcasts 24 hours a day, every day, to listeners across the nation.
We broadcast daily newspapers, current magazines, and a wide variety of books to appeal to diverse interests. All are read by skilled volunteer readers and broadcasters.
The Archive Daily Listings within the app offers a view of our wide-ranging programming.
With the Radio Talking Book smartphone app you can listen to the live stream of the Minnesota Radio Talking Book at any time. Just tap the listen button on the main page of the app. You can also listen to any program which has been aired in the past seven days. First tap on the day of the week you which to pick and then choose the hour of the program you wish to hear.
Available to anyone with a disability that makes reading print difficult.
Skies of Blood - Sci-Fi RPG (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
The skies glow blood red. Join a massive strategy-RPG in a post-apocalyptic sci-fi universe. Utilize advanced weaponry to become the most powerful force in the skies and space!
The acclaimed World of Blood RPG series features hundreds of hours of adventure, stories, missions, and powerful items. Find old and new friends in a dark and bloody universe.
Current Version: 1.10 (March 30, 2015)
Spectrum Access: Enabled Media (iOS/iPadOS, Free)
Welcome to Spectrum Access, formerly known as Actiview. Enjoy free audio descriptions and closed captioning for the movies and TV shows you love. Download your preferred assistive track, choosing from over 300 titles. Sync your tracks to the TV with your device's microphone. Sit back and enjoy an inclusive entertainment experience.
Current Version: 1.0.1 (May 6, 2020)
Surfshark VPN - Secure Proxy (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
Wherever you go, your phone goes. And so does your private information. We made it our mission to secure your digital life, with zero effort on your part.
Your privacy and security are important - but it takes a lot of time to manage things like that. Unless, that is, you install Surfshark VPN.
WHAT THE APP HELPS YOU DO
- Secure your identity online
- Make sure every public Wi-Fi is safe
- Stay private with our strict no-logs policy
- Encrypt all your traffic to protect it from snoopers
- Keep your real location unknown
- Protect all the devices you have
- Get help from 24/7 live support team
Current Version: 2.7.0 (May 27, 2020)
All recent app entries posted to AppleVis can be found at:
Notable App Updates
Blackjack Strategy+ (iOS/iPadOS, US$3.99)
Blackjack Strategy+ is the best way to learn blackjack basic strategy! With this realistic quiz, you'll master when to hit, stay, split, or double down. Use this app to practice before heading to the casino tables!
- Learn basic strategy for playing in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, or Europe.
- View play history.
- Study with included strategy charts.
- Expert mode for more experienced players.
Current Version: 5.1 (May 12, 2020)
Changes in Version 5.1
New name, and great new features for iOS 13:
- Dark Mode support! Can't sleep on your flight to Vegas? Practice some hands without disturbing your neighbors.
- Swipe down to quickly dismiss the History or Cheat Sheet
- Improved play experience, moving the buttons into a handy toolbar at the bottom of the screen
- VoiceOver improvements
- Graphical and performance improvements
Galactic Colonies (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
Galactic Colonies is a game about exploring space and building colonies. Explore a procedurally generated universe with thousands of planets.
Every colony starts small. Start by providing housing and food for your colonists before you exploit a planet’s natural resources. Set up factories and create advanced high-tech products to make your colony grow even bigger.
Current Version: 1.27 (May 5, 2020)
Changes in Version 1.27
This game update brings lots of accessibility improvements:
- The tradeport building is now accessible
- The worker assignment window for buildings is now accessible
- The storage selection window can now be properly closed in accessibility mode
Pitch Black: Audio Pong (iOS/iPadOS, US$1.99)
Take on eccentric opponents in nine different arenas and battle your way to the top of the Pitch Black: Audio Pong championships. Use your ears to win the title and rip through our exotic stages and arenas. Audio Pong uses binaural audio to accurately spatialise and recreate your favorite classic arcade game. Pitch Black: Audio Pong has been built to be entirely accessible for visually impaired gamers. This audio game features fully voice acted characters, created soundscapes, fully interactive game areas, incredibly diverse sound design, an innovative audio only menu system and a featured playlist of our own classic arcade soundtracks.
Brought to you by Purple Jam Ltd, Audio Pong is the first in a series of Audio Games that focus on innovative audio mechanics. Through using binaural audio, Purple Jam Ltd intend to create a diverse list of Audio Game milestones, ranging from arcade games inspired by the classics to completely original audio innovations. Purple Jam Ltd aims to deliver new and exciting audio only games to expand on recent binaural application within the gaming industry, so keep up to date with our latest releases to see what cool and exciting games were developing next!
Current Version: 2.2 (May 22, 2020)
Changes in Version 2.0
Version 2.0 adds many requested features including a whole new mode: Endless Mode! Where you battle enemies continuously to try and make it on to our new cross-platform Leaderboard!
Tournament mode now congratulates you when you take down the Emperor (your 5th opponent)!
We've added a new interactive tutorial to give you a strong idea of how to play the game. First and foremost, try centering the ball to get to return it to your opponents side, once you've mastered that, try slightly de-centering it to add more angle to the ball. You'll be topping the leaderboard in no time.
We've also fixed a few little bugs that had made their way into the code on the first release!
Supersense AI (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
Supersense is the smartest and simplest scanner app made for the blind and visually impaired users to read any text format, currency or product details from a barcode independently.
With the power of AI, Supersense automatically figures out what you are trying to scan, guides you on how to point the camera, and reads the content in the right format. Its unique design minimizes the time and frustrations of scanning and reading text for a blind and visually impaired user.
Full features of Supersense:
- Smart Scanner: The app automatically detects whether you are trying to quickly read a piece of text, a long document, a currency or a barcode.
- Smart Guidance: The app guides you on how to point the camera and finds the best angle to have the most accurate results
- Quick Read: Instantly read the text presented in front of the rear camera
- Document: Read longer documents with the assistance of smart guidance. Once the text has been recognized, use VoiceOver commands to navigate through the recognized text and share it to other apps.
- Currency: Recognize currencies and hear the value of a banknote
- Barcode: Scan barcodes to hear the name and brand of the products with additional information
- Import: Read and explore text from the photos in your camera roll. Also you can send them directly from any other apps with using "Supersense Image" tool in your share menu.
- Read History: Display your text recognition history in a single screen so you can navigate through the recently recognized text and share it to other apps
Current Version: 1.28 (May 23, 2020)
Changes in Version 1.28
- Quick read is now faster and more accurate
- Several user interface changes for a simpler and joyful experience
- Added a Request a Call button in the menu, whenever you get stuck we will reach you to give personal training on how to use Supersense
- Fixed bugs
Wordfinder Game (iOS/iPadOS, US$0.99)
Play 2 very different word games in this one app
In classic mode
Challenge yourself to find as many words as you can in the 9 letter grid
with thousands of puzzles waiting to test your word skills. In Unlock mode
Find the words to turn off all the letters in the grid.
Current Version: 4.2.0 (May 13, 2020)
Changes in Version 4.2.0
You can now add missing words.
Enter the word and tap on it, enter the same word and tap on it again. You will be then asked if you want to add the word to the list of user words.
Recent News and Views
- Apple Releases iOS 13.5 and iPadOS 13.5 With Exposure Notification API and Face Mask Detection for Face ID
- Apple Releases macOS 10.15.5 with New Battery Health Management Feature
- Apple Releases TVOS 13.4.5
- Apple Releases watchOS 6.2.5 with New Pride Watch Faces and ECG Availability in Saudi Arabia
- Apple Launches Updated 13-inch MacBook Pro with Magic Keyboard, Faster Performance, and Double the Storage
Cross-Disability Communication Meets Apple Design: Can We Remain Connected?
By Scott Davert | May 21, 2020
Today is the Eighth Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). This day has been set aside "to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital (web, software, mobile, etc.) access/inclusion and people with different disabilities." This according to the above linked web page on GAAD. In recent years on AppleVis, we have supported this day, with posts about advocating for more accessible applications, highlighting the challenges of web design, providing an extensive list of resources, and others. Certainly, all of the posts linked above remain good examples of what GAAD strives to promote. This article will cover something a bit different: one example of where accessibility has helped those with different disabilities connect, and how in the situation I'm covering, how Apple's built-in accessibility features helped benefit not only one of its customers, but also the company itself. Further, it will highlight an issue which could turn progression into regression.
The posts linked to above cover a wide range of topics about accessibility. However, I'm here to discuss when that accessibility connects people with different disabilities. Last year, I decided to purchase an iPod touch seventh generation, as my sixth generation iPod touch had a battery swelling issue and was 5 years old. It also is not compatible with iOS 13. While on the road for work, I often will visit Apple Stores in various cities to check them out, and I also try to purchase each of my products at a different location. My first iPhone was purchased at a store on Long Island, with other purchases over the years at Apple Stores in Manhattan; Amsterdam; Boca Raton, Florida; Honolulu, etc. While on the road in Texas, I decided I would give a local store a try. I had learned from a colleague that there was a deaf employee who worked at this store, so I decided to take my Bluetooth keyboard with me, along with my braille display and iPhone.
A Guide to App Installation, Removal, and Security on macOS
By Tyler | May 18, 2020
If you’re coming to the Mac from Windows, you’re probably used to either downloading apps from the Microsoft Store, or downloading an app package from a website and running its included installer. On macOS, there are several ways apps can be installed and uninstalled, which I will give an overview of in this guide.
The good news is that whatever methods the developer has employed, the installation and uninstallation processes should seem very straightforward to you, the user. Toward the end of this guide, I will attempt to explain some of the security warnings that you may come across in your use of apps, as well as best practices to keep your Mac and the information on it secure.
Using the accessibility features of Apple to independently print 3D objects
By Oliver Kennett | May 8, 2020
I need to begin this by managing expectations. 3D printing is an art, it requires patients, it requires failure and understanding why that failure occurred, it requires knowledge and it often requires reaching out to the amazing community of 3D printer folk for help. So, what is 3D printing? In a more philosophical way, it is fun, it's frustrating and, if you stick with it and get it right, it's rewarding. What it's not: It's not like most other problems on here where there is a direct solution, it's not like voiceover isn't behaving correctly and apple needs to fix it. All issues need to be fixed by you, as the 3D printing expert that you will become. Parts will fail, you have to replace them. Things will get jammed and break down, you have to first identify the problem and then fix them. In summery, 3D printing is a journey, not a destination. If you enjoy building things, working with your hands and creation, this is for you. If you want instant results... I'm afraid you need to look elsewhere. Now all my warnings and philosophical ranting is out of the way, let's get to it.
This Month in Podcasts
AppleVis Unleashed May 2020: Can You Read My Lips?
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:
- Apple Celebrates Accessibility Awareness Month with New App Collections, Education Discount, and More
- AirPods Pro firmware version updated to 2D15
- Apple Updates Second-Generation AirPods Firmware to Version 2D15
- Logic Pro X version 10.5 is out! With many enhancements for VoiceOver users
- Apple Adds Some 2013 and 2014 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Models to Vintage Products List
AppleVis Extra 73: Talking Accessibility Awareness with Rene Ritchie
In this episode of the AppleVis Extra, Dave Nason speaks to Rene Ritchie, formerly of iMore.com and now independent tech journalist, blogger and YouTuber.
With last week's Global Accessibility Awareness Day front of mind, they discuss awareness of accessibility needs and features amongst users and developers, how mainstream companies like Apple and others have addressed accessibility and what more we might have to look forward to.
AppleVis Extra 72: Personal Power with Michael Feir
In this episode of the AppleVis Extra, host Dave Nason speaks to Michael Feir, author of Personal Power; The iOS Edition, a recently released comprehensive guide on how to get the most from iOS as a blind user.
This month's podcasts from Thomas Domville
- Sharpen Your Blackjack Skills with the Blackjack Strategy+ for iOS
- How to Enable Caption Panel for VoiceOver on iOS
- How to Change Safari's Default Search Engine in iOS
- Modern Day Audio Reader Service with Radio Talking Book for iOS
Hot AppleVis Content
Here are some of our forum topics which have got people talking in the past month:
- Logic Pro X version 10.5 is out! With many enhancements for VoiceOver users
- Emoji picker is a disaster on IOS no matter what version
- When can we get some accessible retro games for the blind
- finally joining the dark side... I mean, considering buying a mac :-)
- Urgent: Is anyone else seeing this with Bard Mobile?
- The perfect text editor doesn’t exist
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The AppleVis Editorial Team