Welcome to the December 2022 edition of AppleVis Unlimited, our monthly summary of what's new and noteworthy on the AppleVis website. Below, you'll find a selection of 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
Chess King - Learn to Play (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
Chess King is an unprecedented chess teaching app. In the program are included courses in tactics, strategy, openings, middle game, and endgame, split by levels from beginners to experienced players, and even professional players.
With the help of this program, you can improve your chess knowledge, learn new tactical tricks and combinations, and consolidate the acquired knowledge into practice.
The program acts as a coach who gives tasks to solve and helps to solve them if you get stuck. It will give you hints, explanations and show you even striking refutation of the mistakes you might make.
Some courses contain a theoretical section, which explains the methods of the game in a certain stage of the game, based on actual examples. The theory is presented in an interactive way, which means you can not only read the text of the lessons, but also to make moves on the board and work out unclear moves on the board.
Current Version: 1.5.1 (December 20, 2022)
Click Your Poison (iOS/iPadOS, US$4.99)
Part game, part interactive audiobook, this bestselling branching-path story written by James Schannep has been brought to new life by narrator R.C. Bray through the alchemy of Cubus Games. Let this award-winning narrator be your guide through the dark, gritty, and often humorous zombie-infested wasteland. Live, die, and rise again based solely on the merit of your own decisions. But choose wisely, because there's no going back.
- 13+ hours of narrated gameplay
- Hundreds of choices
- 3 unique storylines
- 50+ possible endings
Current Version: 1.1.1 (July 7, 2022)
Matching games for kids Ploppy (iOS/iPadOS, US$1.99)
A fun card matching game for everyone! What makes Ploppy Pairs special is the SharePlay functionality, which lets you play with friends and family together via FaceTime and makes you feel as if you are all in the same place.
There are various theme-based levels with difficulties from 4 up to 70 cards, which makes the game a great fun way to train the memory skills for all ages! Each level unlocks a new skin by reaching the best score possible. The score is dependent of the amount of needed turns.
Current Version: 2.0.4 (December, 22, 2022)
Shadowrocket (iOS/iPadOS, US$2.99)
Rule based proxy utility client for iPhone/iPad.
- Capture all HTTP/HTTPS/TCP traffic from any applications on your device, and redirect to the proxy server.
- Record and display HTTP, HTTPS, DNS requests from your iOS devices.
- Configure rules using domain match, domain suffix, domain keyword, CIDR IP range, and/or GeoIP lookup.
- Measure traffic usage and network speed on WiFi, cellular, direct and proxy connections.
- Import rule files from URL or iCloud Drive.
- Block ads by domain, user agent rules.
- Local DNS Mapping.
- Work on cellular networks.
- Decrypt HTTPS traffic.
- Perform URL rewrite.
- Fully IPv6 supports.
- Script filter supports.
- Multi-level forward proxy.
- Support kcptun, cloak, gost, v2ray plugins.
- Support DNS over HTTTPS, DNS over TLS, DNS over QUIC.
Current Version: 2.2.24 (December 9, 2022)
All recent app entries posted to AppleVis can be found at:
Notable App Updates
Broadcasts (iOS/iPadOS/macOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
Listen to streaming internet radio in an ultra-simple, single-purpose app.
Broadcasts makes building a library of stations from around the world easier than ever — no subscription required. Use completely free with a limited-size library of stations, or upgrade to the full version to unlock the library limit and add as many of your own stations as you like from the Station Browser, or manually via URL. Search for stations from around the world as easily as from your own library. Use the Mini Player to showcase gorgeous station and track artwork (for supported stations).
Sync your library across iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV with iCloud & Universal Purchase. Enjoy your library on the road using CarPlay and your iPhone.
Browse stations in grid or list view. Listen in Light or Dark mode. Edit stations to provide your own artwork, or use the Artwork Chooser to generate something fun and colorful. Use Handoff to transfer playback between devices, or AirPlay directly to a home speaker.
Supports Shortcuts & AppleScript for playback automation.
Current Version: 3.0.5 (December 25, 2022)
Changes in Version 3.0
- Expanded support for metadata like song name and artwork (where available)
- Enjoy album & track artwork in the new Mini Player
- A brand-new search experience that makes it easier than ever to search for stations around the world
- Customize station artwork with a new Artwork Chooser, packed with presets allowing you to use text, emoji, and colors to unify the style of your library
- Expanded Shortcuts support with options for playback and adjusting the Sleep Timer
- A host of other fixes and improvements
Fantastical Calendar (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
Fantastical is the multiple award-winning calendar app with powerful features including intuitive natural language text parsing, beautiful full calendar day, week, month, quarter and year views, tasks, time zone support, and much, much more.
- Beautiful, clean, and easy to use calendar app allowing you to manage basic events
- The DayTicker and calendar makes your schedule look the nicest it ever has
- Full screen day, week, month, quarter, and year views
- Full task support including Todoist and Google Tasks
- 3 day weather forecast (powered by AccuWeather)
- 14 day free trial for Flexibits Premium
Current Version: 3.7.5 (December 9, 2022)
Changes in Version 3.7.4
- Improved VoiceOver navigation when adding or editing a calendar event
- Improved accessibility support for the Openings editor
- General improvements for VoiceOver for dates and events
- Many other general improvements and fixes
Ferrite Recording Studio (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
Ferrite is the award-winning app you need for creating podcasts, radio journalism, or other professional voice production work — lectures, speeches, voice-overs and more.
It combines the ease-of-use of a “voice memo” audio recorder, with a versatile multi-track editing studio. Powerful tools like effects and automation are available when you need them. With time-saving features and a UI designed to get out of your way, people around the world are switching to Ferrite.
Current Version: 3.0.2 (December 25, 2022)
Changes in Version 3.0
Welcome to Ferrite 3!
New features for Ferrite 3 Pro customers:
- Preview at up to 2× speed
- Playback Scrubbing
- Advanced Search
- Custom Smart Folders
- Template Folders
- And much more...
New and improved for all users:
- Clean, modernised UI, including:
- Easier-to-use controls in many panels
- New: Unified search
- New: Side Bar (iPad)
- Performance, accessibility, user-experience and reliability updates
Voice Dream Reader (iOS/iPadOS, US$24.99)
Voice Dream Reader is a best-in-class text-to-speech app that reads text aloud from just about any digital source, whether it’s a PDF, webpage, or ebook, in more than two dozen languages. Its adaptive features and high level of customizable settings allow anyone to choose a voice with the perfect tone, timbre, accent, and speed for an optimal reading experience.
Current Version: 4.15.4 (December 21, 2022)
Changes in Version 4.15.3
- Redesigned and modern library user interface.
- The new library UI takes advantage of iPad's larger screen size and improves support for multi-tasking.
- Drag and drop for re-ordering and for importing and exporting files.
- Other minor bug fixes and improvements.
Recent News and Views
Microsoft to Discontinue Its Soundscape App and Make the Code Available as Open-Source Software
By AppleVis | December 12, 2022
Microsoft has today announced that as of January 3, 2023, its Soundscape app will not be available for download and that existing installations will cease to work after the end of June 2023.
The Microsoft Soundscape app for iPhone was launched 6 years ago. It uses 3D audio technology to enhance your awareness of what is around you, and thereby help you get around and explore your surroundings. As you walk, key points of interest and your own saved locations are called out automatically as you pass them. Additionally, Microsoft Soundscape can tell you about your current location, direction, and what's ahead of you. It was inducted in to the AppleVis Hall of Fame in 2019.
In its announcement, Microsoft says that “it is now time to transition the Soundscape research project to the next phase, where we will share it to allow for broader development.” This will be in the form of the Soundscape code becoming available on GitHub as open-source software.
Microsoft says that today's announcement heralds “New Horizons” for Microsoft Soundscape “with a community-driven approach. As many blind users have come to rely on Microsoft Soundscape as an important part of their navigation toolbox, we will be keen to discover what opportunities that having the soundscape code available as open source will offer to other developers - whether this is to incorporate Soundscape's functionality into existing tools or to create completely new ones.
The AppleVis Community Names Envision AI and Evidence 111 Its Golden Apples of 2022
By AppleVis | December 11, 2022
We are pleased to announce that the winners of the Eleventh annual AppleVis Golden Apple Awards are Envision AI and Evidence 111.
Since their launch in 2012, the AppleVis Golden Apple Awards have afforded blind and low vision users of Apple products an opportunity to recognize and acknowledge the hard work and dedication which developers have put into making and maintaining great and accessible applications over the given year. The respective teams behind Envision AI and Evidence 111 are demonstrably worthy recipients of this honour in 2022 for their commitment to accessible app development.
Envision AI empowers people who are blind or have low vision by providing access to everyday visual information. Utilising the iPhone camera, the app can speak out written information, describe surroundings and objects, and even tell you who's nearby. It became completely free with the release of version 3.0 in July 2022.
Launched in November of this year, Evidence 111 is an immersive audio thriller with high production standards. It's September 13, 1985 in a small English town. Just like every Friday, Chief inspector Alice Wells is on duty. An ordinary night shift is suddenly interrupted by a mysterious phone call – an anonymous caller knows something about the chief inspector that nobody was supposed to find out. The app asks what will you do in this situation. What strategy will you use to uncover the secret hidden in the Evidence file No. 111?
- Apple Releases iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2; Bringing Some Bug Fixes for VoiceOver Users
- Apple Releases macOS Ventura 13.1, watchOS 9.2, tvOS 16.2, and HomePod software version 16.2
So Much Sound In A Small Form Factor: My Experience with the JBL Charge 4
By tunmi13 | December 31, 2022
I am not usually one for purchasing Bluetooth speakers. However, one of my goals for 2023 is to balance out my music.
Before purchasing this speaker, I was quite skeptical. Doing tons of researching, watching YouTube videos, and generally checking out reviews from other websites was making me wonder if purchasing this speaker was a good idea, and whether this $100 speaker was really worth my time. The downside to a speaker or any sort of sound review, is that every microphone is different, and they all capture sound in different ways, so can never really discern the quality of the speaker unless you are in person. Our ears pick up more details than a microphone. Eventually, I decided it was worth a shot, and Free Returns were available. So I selected Buy Now, and waited for its arrival.
This Month in Podcasts
AppleVis Unleashed December 2022: It’s the Tim and Tom Show!
In this month's edition of AppleVis Unleashed, Thomas Domville and Randy Rusnak are joined by Tim Swartz from Life After Blindness to discuss recent Apple news and other topics of interest. Topics featured in this podcast include:
- The AppleVis Community Names Envision AI and Evidence 111 Its Golden Apples of 2022
- Apple Working to Add Support for Sideloading and Alternate App Stores in Europe
- Apple is rumored to shelve the SE 4 in a major shakeup of the iPhone line
- App Store subscriptions can now cost up to $10,000 (or as low as 29¢)
- Apple Releases iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 With Freeform, Apple Music Sing, and More
- Apple Headset Shipments Potentially Delayed Until Second Half of 2023
- What's in this month AppleVis News
Podcasts by Thomas Domville
- Learning MetaText and Mastodon with AnonyMouse: Part 1
- Learning MetaText and Mastodon with AnonyMouse: Part 2
- Quick Tip: How to Access the New Apple Music Sing Feature on Your iPhone
- Introducing Matching Games for Kids Ploppy, a Colorful Fun Memory Game for Everyone
- Introducing Menus4All; Bringing 750,000 Accessible Restaurant Menus to the Palm of Your Hand
Hot AppleVis Content
Here are some of our posts which have got people talking in the past month:
- Thoughts on the rumoured apple car no longer having full self driving capability out of the gate?
- Time for a new Apple Watch: Recommendations Please!
- Favorite Mastodon client for iOS
- meet Baby Wize - a full accessible baby tracking app!
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 since our launch in 2010. These contributions support our mission and the continued success of AppleVis - and this is your chance to be part of this special donor community!
To learn more about Club AppleVis; the perks of membership; and how you can join, please visit www.applevis.com/club-applevis