Welcome to the May 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
Ancient Board Game Collection (iOS/iPadOS/Mac, Free With In-App Purchases)
Have you ever heard of Hnefatafl, a game played during the Viking Age? Or Latrunculi, popular over 2000 years ago in ancient Rome? Discover these games and many more in the "Ancient Board Game Collection".
- 9 different games: Konane, Hnefatafl, Nine Men's Morris, Dablot Prejjesne, Gomoku, Halatafl, Latrunculi, Five Field Kono and Bagh-Chal
- Play online against your friends or compete with via Game Center
- Local Multiplayer on a single device
- Step up your game by playing against the AI
- Fully Accessible via VoiceOver and Voice Control
- More Games will be added in future updates
Current Version: 1.0.5 (May 28, 2022)
Qatari Money Reader (iOS/iPadOS, Free)
QAR Reader that is able to scan and read all Qatari currency using the camera phone in real-time, no need to have an internet connection the app works totally offline.
The app is able to scan and detect both sides of the currency back and front with different distances.
Current Version: 2.37 (December 25, 2021)
Reverb: Buy & Sell Music Gear (iOS/iPadOS, Free)
Find great deals on best-selling music gear, hunt for a one-of-a-kind vintage finds, or post your own gear for sale. Shop a huge selection of new, used, and vintage guitars, pedals, synths, drums, microphones, and more from top brands, retailers, boutique builders, and musicians from all over the world. Easily get your unused instruments in front of a global community of musicians and make money to fund your next purchase. Plus, learn and get inspired through gear demos, artist interviews, video lessons, and more.
Current Version: 4.57 (May 20, 2022)
ReVision Fitness (iOS/iPadOS, Requires Subscription)
The ReVision Fitness App is an audio-based fitness program universally designed to be accessible for both sighted and visually impaired and encompasses all levels of fitness and goals from beginner to expert, from no equipment to a full training facility. Each exercise lesson in the classroom, workout in the fitness studio, and schedule in the fitness plans is designed by blind personal trainer and 4 time Paralympic athlete Tyler Merren. Every classroom lesson is meticulously described using clockface directions, reference points, and step-by-step instructions to teach proper mechanics for any exercise. Each workout includes a beginner and advanced level and options for working out with music and without. The fitness plans include general guides and schedules for various fitness goals such as losing weight and toning up and provide useful action steps to help you get fit. Not sure how to set proper goals? We walk you through the process. Unsure of how to position yourself for particular exercises? We’ve got you covered. Looking for a fitness program that is accessible? This is the one for you. As a recipient of the prestigious Holman Prize for blind ambition from the LightHouse of San Francisco, the ReVision Fitness App is a program that will continue to grow to include anything and everything fitness-related. This app will be your one-stop-shop for accessible fitness. There are no hidden charges or in-app purchases, a simple monthly subscription of $5.99, or an annual subscription of $59.99 will give you full and unlimited access to every drop of material that we have released and will release as the program grows. Download today and enjoy a free 14 day trial on us. We are so confident you will love the program that we give you 2 weeks free to check it out. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and here is your first step. Download today and let’s change the way we look at it!
Current Version: 1.0.1 (May 3, 2022)
Sound Matching (iOS/iPadOS, Free)
Matching Game using sounds to improve your memory. Play the classic matching game, but also other game modes to train sound recognition. Optimized for visually impaired persons.
- Three games
- Seven sound categories
- Three difficulty levels
- Up to four players
- Eight colors schemes
- Comprehensive accessibility configuration
Current Version: 1.3 (February 7, 2022)
To the Dragon Cave (iOS/iPadOS, US$5.99)
Blind-friendly audio shooter spiced with hyperbole and fantasy story.
Liberate yourself from the throes of a powerful dragon, escape from a stone tower and wander hither and thither in the far-away land of Laudonia.
Not for a single moment will you be safe, that's for sure. Hordes of enemies lie in waiting at each step of your dangerous wanderings. Bloodthirsty sheep, giant spiders, skeletons, zombie trees and lots of other dark creatures strive to seize your soul.
You, however, are endowed with a mission that drives you forward. Therefore, you shall never give up.
Current Version: 1.1 (May 9, 2022)
All recent app entries posted to AppleVis can be found at:
Notable App Updates
1Password (macOS, Requires Subscription)
Blazingly fast and wrapped in a gorgeous new design, 1Password 8 is our love letter to Mac users everywhere.
1Password is the easiest way to store and use strong passwords. Log in to sites and fill forms securely with a single click.
Modern design Built to match the power and beauty of macOS, our new Knox design language provides a vivid and vibrant experience at every turn.
Unparalleled productivity Get your work done faster with streamlined workflows and the deepest integration with macOS ever.
Uncompromising security & privacy 1Password 8 adds even more tools and integrations to help you stay secure online.
All your 1Password data is just a shortcut away.
Current Version: 8.0 (May 1, 2022)
Changes in Version 8.0
This is a major version upgrade with too many new features and changes to document here, so please visit the 1Password 8 showcase page for full details.
BC4000 - Civilization Model (iOS/iPadOS, Free)
The BC4000 App is a turn-based strategy game. You take on the role of the ruler of a civilization, attempt to build an empire in competition with other civilizations. The game begins in 4000 BC, before the Bronze Age, and can last through to AD 2100 with Space Age.
Along with the larger tasks of exploration, warfare and diplomacy, you have to make decisions about where to build new cities, which improvements or units to build in each city, when to expand your empire by new settlers, and how to transform the land surrounding the cities for maximum benefit. From time to time your cities may be harassed by units from other nations or barbarians. You should protect borders and maintain zones of control.
You can gain a large advantage if your civilization is the first to learn a particular technology and put it to use in a military or other context. Since only one technology may be researched at any given time, the order in which technologies are chosen makes a considerable difference in the outcome of the game and generally reflects your preferred style of gameplay. Please carefully consider about forms of government, tax rates and research priorities.
You can also build Wonders of the World after obtaining the prerequisite knowledge. These wonders are important achievements of society, science, culture and defense, ranging from the Pyramids and the Great Wall in the Ancient age, to Copernicus' Observatory and Magellan's Expedition in the middle period, up to the Apollo program in the modern era. Each wonder can only be built once in the world, and requires a lot of resources to build, far more than most other city buildings or units. Wonders provide unique benefits to the controlling civilization. For example, Magellan's Expedition increases the movement rate of naval units.
The game can be won by conquering all other civilizations or by winning the space race by reaching the star system of Alpha Centauri.
Current Version: 1.5.3 (May 25, 2022)
Changes in May
- Add multiplayer online mode
- Add speedrun contest leaderboard
- Support to edit embassy and attitude in the map editor
- Update the firepower parameters for the Civ2Civ3 Ruleset
- Add a new speedrun campaign: china @ Far East
- Render the mini-map with players color
- Decrease difficulty of the novice level
- Support to custom the zoom level
- Add new speedrun campaign: British @ Spanish Civil War
- Support to incite partisans when city transferred
- Support to disband the current unit
BitLife - Life Simulator (iOS/iPadOS, 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: 3.2 (May 31, 2022)
Changes in Version 3.1.11
Bitizens! This update includes voice-supported accessibility features for our loyal vision impaired community!
ReadKit (iOS/iPadOS/Mac, Free With In-App Purchases)
ReadKit is a full-featured read later and RSS client that supports all major provider and it has a built in RSS engine too.
- All your reading in one place, multiple account support.
- Universal app: same features and same services are supported on iOS and macOS
- Sync with all major RSS aggregator and read later provider or use it with built-in RSS engine.
- Feed and folder management for RSS services.
- Organize subscriptions / articles into folder / tags.
- Offline reading and image caching.
- Sync in the background.
- Built-in reader mode to extract full content of articles.
- Automatic reader mode.
- Share extension that save articles from Safari and other application for later reading.
- Subscribe to YouTube channels and playlists.
- Customizable user interface.
- Support for light and dark mode and color themes.
- Save content for offline viewing.
- In-app browser for viewing links and other references.
- Preference to display unread items on the app badge.
- Search for articles by content, title or source.
- Full support for hardware keyboard.
- Import and export of feed subscriptions via OPML.
- Mark articles as read on scroll or mark them all by a tap of a button.
- Mark as read above or below from context menu.
- Filter articles by read or starred status.
- Send articles in email.
- Share articles with apps, social media accounts, and other services via share sheet.
Current Version: 3.0.3 (May 19, 2022)
Changes in Version 3.0
- Universal app: same features and same services are supported on iOS and macOS.
- Brand new macOS application with new design and improved functionality.
- New supported services on macOS: BazQux, FreshRSS, Inoreader, Miniflux, The Old Reader, Tiny Tiny RSS.
- New app icon (on both platforms) and new alternate icons (on iOS).
- Share extension that save articles from Safari and other application for later reading.
- Safari Extension to subscribe to feeds from Safari on macOS.
- Improved focus-based navigation with left/right arrow keys.
- New themes and improved theme selection.
- Verious performance improvements.
- Using relative dates for articles and sync times.
- Added "Increased contrast" option to reading preferences.
- Improvements on detecting and fetching feeds of YouTube channels and playlists.
- Improved representation of unread items and added "Dim read items" preference to Appearance settings.
- Improved favicon and thumbnail detection.
- Improved Reader mode performance and content detection.
- Various UI improvements on rendering articles.
- Tons of enhancements and fixes.
Steps - Activity Tracker (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
Track how far you walk and how many steps you take. Always on, works on all iPhones.
Steps is a pedometer and activity tracker. It shows you just how much you're moving in a simple, elegant way. Set a goal. As you walk, the colors change to show your progress like a sunrise. No noise, no extra gadget to wear and nothing to distract you.
Everyone should walk 10,000 steps every day for their health, but many of us don't go that far. With Steps, you can easily track how far you go every day, set a goal, and get moving!
- Clear, uncluttered design and changing color tells you at a glance how far you've gone today
- Easily set and adjust goals
- Calorie tracking, customized for your body and activity
- Track and share your full activity history
- Going for a walk? Record a workout, measure your performance and track your route using GPS
- Integrated with Apple Health to combine data from your Apple Watch or other connected devices, share workouts and more
- Check in quickly from your Apple Watch or one of our Widgets on your iPhone
- Customize to match your style with themes
Current Version: 1.7.27 (May 4, 2022)
Changes in Version 1.7.26
Happy springtime! In this update, we've added a new, refreshed Workout tab:
- Redesigned view workout screen, with an updated look, improved typography, additional info and more.
- New chart visualizations showing goal progress, walking pace, flights climbed, cadence and heart rate (when available).
- Press and hold on any workout chart to explore interactive details.
- For our VoiceOver users: we tuned every part of the Workout tab to read well, and the new charts all support audio graphs!
Weather Gods (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
Meet the Gods: Fire, Ice, Water, Air & Moon delivering you the Weather as you have never experienced it before. Weather Gods redefines the weather app with painstakingly crafted data visualizations, procedural graphics and audio that enable you to literally see, hear and feel the weather. With no more weather icons to decode, the Weather Gods is simply the quickest, most engaging, most enjoyable way to get the accurate weather information you need.
The Weather Gods skillfully integrates premium weather data into an elegant, iOS Exclusive, easy-to-use interface that will delight casual users and weather enthusiasts alike.
With a wealth of rich weather data from the world’s most respected providers, the Weather Gods provide detailed site-based forecasts for over a million locations worldwide. Our advanced, next-generation notifications are easy to setup and bring you exactly the information you want right when you need it.
With 24 hour charts, observed weather, built in moon phase, widget, world clock and much, much more, the Weather Gods is a powerful personal time machine that lets you travel the world and visit the future. Please come join us on this exciting journey as we begin our mission to bring you the finest, most practical, most enjoyable weather app experience ever. We can’t wait to hear what you think!
Current Version: 3.7 (May 23, 2022)
Changes in Version 3.7
- Potential storm threats affecting the USA, Puerto Rico, and Guam have been added to the Extended Forecast subscription.
- Share the weather with the people you care about.
- Tap to refresh the weather at any time.
- Search and Places screens now support Dark Mode.
- Lots of small improvements throughout the App.
- Fixed 14 day Weather Wheel scrolling for Voiceover users.
Recent News and Views
My Thoughts on the Current State of macOS as a Blind User
By Tyler | May 30, 2022
Since 2005, I have used a variety of Macs, and have regularly used every version of macOS from Tiger to Monterey since then. Over that time, I’ve witnessed the various changes to VoiceOver, both major and minor, as well as how VoiceOver on macOS helped usher in a whole new world of mobile accessibility on iOS and iPadOS.
Today, with the Mac’s transition to Apple Silicon and the performance potential that it’s helped to unleash, it can be argued that the Mac is experiencing something of a renaissance. Indeed, as an AppleVis member, I’ve noticed an uptick in posts related to macOS, including from those who are potentially interested in buying their first Mac, those enquiring about how to complete various tasks on macOS, those experiencing issues, and others. No, I don’t have a hard number to back that up, just my observation.
As more blind and low vision people consider whether or not a Mac is right for them, the common discourse may lead them to one of two conclusions, either that macOS is great and people who discuss bugs they’ve experienced or Apple’s failure to address them are “Whining” and “being negative,” or that Apple doesn’t care at all about VoiceOver on macOS, and thus the accessibility of the platform is hopelessly destined to decay. As a totally blind long-time Mac user, I hope to provide a more nuanced perspective to this debate. In saying this, it should be noted that the things mentioned in this post are my opinions based on my use case, as well as my observations of other users’ reported experiences. Personally, I don’t unquestioningly love or hate any platform, and think all have their strengths, weaknesses, and appropriate places.
Apple Previews New Accessibility Features Coming Later This Year, Including Door Detection and More Languages, Locales, and Voices for VoiceOver
By AppleVis | May 17, 2022
Ahead of Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) on Thursday 19 May, Apple has previewed new accessibility features that will be coming to its platforms later this year.
Of particular note for blind and low vision users is Door Detection on supported iPhones and iPads, which will enable you to navigate the last few feet to your destination. Apple will also be expanding support for VoiceOver with over 20 new languages and locales.
Apple says that Door Detection “can help users locate a door upon arriving at a new destination, understand how far they are from it, and describe door attributes — including if it is open or closed, and when it’s closed, whether it can be opened by pushing, turning a knob, or pulling a handle.”
Door Detection will also be able to read signs and symbols around the door. Apple gives the room number at an office, or the presence of an accessible entrance symbol as examples. Additionally, it should be able to identify and speak such things as a store name, opening hours, fire exit symbols, and the material construction and colour of the door. Users will have the option to disable the announcements of some of these types of information to suit their circumstances and use case.
- Apple Releases iOS 15.5, iPadOS 15.5, macOS Monterey 12.4, watchOS 8.6, tvOS 15.5, and HomePod Software 15.5
- Apple Releases tvOS 15.5.1 and HomePod Software 15.5.1
The AppleVis Community Inducts Blind Drive and Dolphin EasyReader into its iOS App Hall of Fame
By AppleVis | May 27, 2022
We are pleased to announce that our Community has chosen Blind Drive and Dolphin EasyReader to be this year's inductees into the AppleVis iOS App Hall of Fame.
First opened in 2011, the AppleVis iOS App Hall of Fame showcases and acknowledges the passion and hard work that app developers put into creating great iOS apps that are fully accessible to VoiceOver users. These apps place powerful tools and inclusive experiences into the palms of our hands, and give access to services, information, media or entertainment that the sighted world typically takes for granted.
In short, ourHall of Fame represents the best of the best in accessible iOS applications, as decided by the AppleVis community.
This Month in Podcasts
AppleVis Unleashed May 2022: Can You Say Dongles?
In this month's edition of AppleVis Unleashed, Thomas Domville and Mike Malarsie discuss recent Apple news and other topics of interest. Topics featured in this podcast include:
- Apple Previews New Accessibility Features Coming Later This Year, Including Door Detection and More Languages, Locales, and Voices for VoiceOver
- End of an era: Apple's last iPod has been discontinued
- EU edges towards laws that could blow Apple's walled garden wide open
- Heads Up: iPhone apps can now increase subscription prices without permission
- This Month News Update on iOS 15 and 16
- Say It Isn't So: Apple to Finally Ditch the Lightning Port in iPhone 15 in Favor of USB-C
- Apple's mixed reality headset is Coming Closer
- Other Hardware News Update to Watch For
- Notes of interest from Apple's Q2 2022 earnings report and conference call
- What's in this month AppleVis News
Mixonset, your Smart DJ for Music Streaming
In this podcast, Orinks gives us a walk-through and demonstration of Mixonset, an iOS app that offers to be your smart DJ with support for locally stored music and a number of music streaming services.
Quick Tip: How to Enable Audio Descriptions for the TV app and Safari on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS
In this podcast, Tyler demonstrates how to enable audio descriptions for the TV app, as well as for videos on supported websites in Safari on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS.
Hot AppleVis Content
Here are some of our posts which have got people talking in the past month:
- does anyone think a female version of Alex would be really nice?
- Apple Discontinues the iPod after 20 Years
- Latest Release Notes For BitLife Mention Accessibility
- Accessible Letteronic now available for iPhone and iPad
- Weather Gods 3.7
- Seeking ideas and suggestions for new puzzle app
- thoughts on the iPhone SE third gen?
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