AppleVis Unlimited: What's New and Noteworthy for November 2019
Welcome to the November 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
Dawn Chorus (iOS/iPadOS, Free)
Wake up to nature’s chorus with a bird alarm clock developed by Carnegie Museum of Natural History and The Innovation Studio. This artfully designed app is a calming, nature-inspired alternative to your usual blaring alarm. When the alarm goes off, birds begin to appear in trees to create a chorus of song. Choose from 20 birds to create a custom alarm. All of the birds are native to the northeastern United States, and users can hear their calls and learn more about them on bird cards developed with museum scientists.
Current Version: 1.1 (April 21, 2017)
Disney+ (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
Only Disney+ gives you endless access to your favorite movies and TV series from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and more.
From The Lion King, to all-new Originals like The Mandalorian, there's something exciting for everyone. You'll also get access to new movies, complete TV series, shorts, and documentaries.
Best of all, Disney+ is ad-free.
With Disney+, you get:
- Endless access to classic movies and past seasons of your favorite series
- Exclusive new Originals from master storytellers at Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and Nat Geo
- Unlimited downloads on up to 10 devices, so you can take Disney+ with you
- Simultaneous streaming on up to 4 different devices
- View select titles in stunning 4K UHD and HDR
- Something for everyone, including dedicated Kids Profiles
Start your 7-day free trial now.
Current Version: 1.1.6 (November 14, 2019)
Mr. Weather 2 (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
Introduce the brand new Mr. Weather 2, your uniquely personal weather app.
Leave weather to Mr. Weather, stay focused on your life.
- Mr.Weather 2 includes seven categories of cards, more than 50 number of cards you can choose. Realtime precipitation or temperature variation trend, you can always find one card which satisfies what you need. Check what you care, in a brand new way.
- You can create custom weather conditions monitors in Mr. Weather. Mr. Weather will observe it and let you know when the conditions you set been satisfied. What to see if you need to bring an umbrella today, or if it's a poor air quality day? Just let Mr. Weather takes care of what you care about.
- Mr. Weather combines a couple of world top weather forecast data providers. So you can add cities all over the world, and check the weather in multiple cities at one time in Mr. Weather Cities view.
- Mr. Weather app includes one widget so that you can access it from the system home screen or lock screen. And you can customize it, select what you most cared items to the widget.
- Mr. Weather supports cloud sync services. After you sign in to Mr. Weather, your cities, cards, monitors will be synced across all of your devices, which signed into your Mr. Weather account.
- Mr. Weather has fully supported the Accessibility VoiceOver feature. Including cards, monitor contents, navigations, and more.
- And So Much More
Current Version: 2.1 (October 31, 2019)
Noted (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
Bring your notes and audio together with Noted
Noted is a fully-integrated audio recording and note-taking app. Perfect for lectures, meetings, interviews and conferences, everything you type is time-stamped to your audio recording – giving you an instant overview of all the important details.
By bringing them together, you never need to worry about trawling through pages of notes or hours of audio ever again. Just add a #TimeTag, so you can return to key moments instantly, and keep everything neat and tidy.
Streamline your note-taking with the effortless note and audio syncing app for iOS and macOS.
Take your lectures to the next level. By tagging specific moments in lectures and seminars, just quickly leave a tag and use it to fill in any blanks later – You’ll never miss any important point from your professor again. When revising, there’s no need to listen back through hours of recordings. The tags will bring you to the right moment you need.
PERFECT FOR PROFESSIONALS
Boost your productivity with better, more efficient note-taking. Noted lets you stay fully engaged during long business meetings and interviews, then review and share specific points afterwards with colleagues. Intelligent syncing lets you switch easily between smartphone and laptop, ideal for moments when using your phone could appear unprofessional.
Current Version: 2.0.7 (November 24, 2019)
Triode - Internet Radio (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
The best way to enjoy all of your favorite Internet radio stations wherever you go.
Triode goes where you go with your iPhone and iPad. The elegant interface keeps your favorite stations right at your fingertips.
Listen with our Apple TV app and use AirPlay 2 to listen anywhere in your home including HomePod.
Road trip, anyone? Enjoy your favorite stations while driving. CarPlay and Siri Shortcuts means no fumbling with controls.
Triode brings one intuitive experience to all your devices, including your desktop computer.
Start with Our Picks – a curated roster of the best news and music from around the world. Just a tap to discover new sounds from New Orleans to London and beyond.
You can also search thousands of broadcast stations by genre, name, city, or call letters. Find your favorite iTunes Radio station or set up things manually using a URL if that’s your thing.
iCloud syncs your favorite stations seamlessly across every device. Handoff lets you move seamlessly between your iPhone & Mac so you won’t miss a beat or the latest news.
Supports Apple Music and iTunes Store:
- Learn more about an artist
- Purchase a streaming song
- Update your playlists
Triode is completely free to use. We don't put any ads in the interface or add them to the audio. An inexpensive subscription improves your experience with these options:
- Add Favorites - Your favorite stations are synced across all devices.
- High Quality Artwork - When available, album cover art is clean and crisp.
All recent app entries posted to AppleVis can be found at:
Notable App Updates
AudioWizards (iOS/iPadOS, US$3.99)
Accessible Audio Game experience full of arcade action and charm at your hands! Embark on an audiotastic journey to defend the world of Sondveiw. Master the sounds and defeat elemental imbued monster together with your mentor Saundaman.
Grab your headphones and immerse yourself in the Story Mode to uncover the mysteries behind the Distortions in 20 fully voice acted story levels. Not down for a bed time story? Challenge yourself and your listening skills in the Endless Mode to compete for the highest score and crown of the master wizard!
- HIGH QUALITY SOUND
- AS ACCESSIBLE AS THEY GET
- CARTOONY 3D GRAPHICS
- ACTION PACKED GAMEPLAY
- BREATHTAKING SOUNDTRACK
- CHARMING STORY MODE
- CHALLENGING ENDLESS MODE
Current Version: 1.1.0 (November 13, 2019)
Changes in Version 1.1.0
Released a new update titled "Saundaman is Missing"! Play through 5 brand new story levels to solve the mystery behind Saundaman's disappearance! Unlocks 3 additional hats for the Endless Mode!
Bug Fixes & Miscellaneous Features
- Music volume ducking during intro and outro sequences.
- Adjusted the volume for good and bad affinity sound effects.
- Fixed some issues with certain hats when restarting Endless Mode.
BitLife (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: 1.27 (November 29, 2019)
Changes in Version 1.27
Bitizens! Sitting before your very eyes is yet another BitLife update, laced with drama and brimming with some of your more popular requests of recent weeks. We're not going to spoil the fun and tell you exactly what hilarity was added this time, but instead we'll leave it to your own exploratory delight. Hit us up on our socials with your discoveries!
OK fine, we'll tell you one major thing that is included: multiple save slots! So you can now have unlimited lives going at once.
Changes in Version 1.26
This is a huge update, Bitizens: the Office Update! You loved the School Update so much that we figured you'd like to take some of that interpersonal drama and spread it out across the course of a career. And now you can. Annoying co-workers, unprofessional supervisors, hostile work environments, inappropriate behavior, HR investigations, reprimands & grievances, office love (and manipulation) all lie within. Enjoy and be sure to follow us on our socials for up-to-the-minute BitLife announcements, news, and happenings!
Here's the full list of new things in this update:
- Job/military life overhauled
- Hundreds of workplace scenarios
- Manage your relationships with co-workers and supervisors
- Report troublesome colleagues to HR (but don't get reported yourself!)
- Beg your supervisor to let you keep your job after being fired
- Renovate your houses
- Properties now have street addresses!
- New processes for selling real estate, cars, and heirlooms
- Asset interface reorganization
- A slew of subtle improvements across the game
- Tons of bug fixes and textual content refinements
BlindSquare (iOS/iPadOS, US$39.99)
BlindSquare is pioneering accessible navigation both indoors and outdoors. Know where you are, know where you're going, travel with confidence.
BlindSquare is a new solution that combines the latest technology to help the blind with their daily lives. It has been developed in collaboration with blind people and carefully field tested. You need either an iPhone or an iPad to get started. It also supports some additional accessories to enhance the experience.
BlindSquare uses GPS and the compass to locate you. It then gathers information about the surrounding environment from FourSquare. BlindSquare has some unique algorithms to decide what information is the most relevant and then speaks it to you with high quality speech synthesis.
Current Version: 4.9952 (November 16, 2019)
Changes in Version 4.9952
- Fixed issue with shake feature causing App to crash.
- We are happy to announce the return of direct access to UBER ride sharing service. This popular feature has been missing for a few months while UBER made some new magic.
Dolphin EasyReader (iOS/iPadOS, 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: 2.6 (November 14, 2019)
Changes in Version 2.6
- We have added a new library named Bookshare Ireland, previously known as the NCBI Library.
- New languages: Spanish and Finnish
- We have added support for DAISY 3 text/audio books from the CELA library in Canada.
- EasyReader now includes support for SVG images for DAISY and EPUB books.
- We have increased the text zoom level from 600% to 1000%.
- Your smartphone or tablet will now auto-lock once the sleep timer reaches the end.
Eye-D (iOS/iPadOS, Free)
Eye-D is here to assit the visually imapired in independent living by helping them evaluate the world around them with help of their smartphone.
It will work as your companion when you travel, help you explore places, tell you about the objects in front of you and read text whenever you need.
This is what we have built for you:
- Where Am I: Be it the busiest suburbs of Mumbai or the loneliest roads of Siberia, whether you are a common man or zombie, Eye-D will make sure that you are never lost. Tap on “Where Am I” and let the magic happen. You get to know your location with a list of landmarks nearby. Found any of the landmark interesting? Then why wait tap the preferred landmark and Eye-D guides you to it with directions (currently by opening Apple/ Google maps for navigation).
- Around Me: Stuck in an alien town? Calm down, fire the Eye-D app and select “Around Me”. Bingo!! You can now find ATM’s, Banks, Bus stops, Cinemas, Restaurants, Hospitals, Stores and even the Religious places nearby. Select the desired category and navigate to the preferred place. To ensure that you never miss out a place we have provided a search radius controller. So the next time you don’t find a relevant place nearby try adjusting the search radius to anything in the range of 500 to 5500 meters.
- See Object: I’m facing the gate… No the lemon tree…. No the bike, Easy pal!! Use the See Object mode in the Eye-D app to evaluate your surroundings. Click on this mode, take a picture and Eye-D app will tell you what’s in front. So the next time you are standing at the window use the See Object mode to check what’s happening on the other side. In case you missed the description the first time simply swipe right to hear again.
- Read Text: We designed this feature so that next time your visit a restaurant or want to get a novel for you friend you won’t have to ask anyone for help. Open read text mode, click a picture and Eye-D app will read the text in front you. You can swipe right to hear the text again in case you missed it the first time.
Current Version: 1.4.0 (November 21, 2019)
Changes in Version 1.3.9
Introducing PDF Reader! Now you can also read PDF documents using your favourite EYE-D Pro App. Go to EYE-D Market and tap on PDF Reader, purchase the module and start reading all those PDF Files on your device. Yes, you can read the scanned PDFs too. Please note that the PDF Reader currently supports latin based languages only.
Godville (iOS/iPadOS, Free With In-App Purchases)
“Not playing videogames has never been this much fun” - Jim Sterling, GamesRadar (iPhone Game of the Day)
"This game has made me laugh more than any other I've played in recent memory" - GamePro (App Store Games of the Week)
"Ultimately, GodVille is a fun, funny, incredibly clever little game" - Destructoid
Have a look at these awesome game features:
- auto-RPG where your hero levels up by himself!
- play it with your own pace - once a day or once a month
- hilarious game world with thousand of witty and funny texts to unleash your imagination
- extend the game by offering new ideas and content
- daily newspaper, ideabox, game wiki, pantheons pvp, guilds, friends and lots of other stuff!
Tired of the games where you have to play 24x7x365 just not to feel like a loser? Godville is the answer! All you need to do is to create your own hero and he will do all these boring things you had to do in the other games, leaving you to enjoy the only thing that matters in any game - lean back and have fun.
Current Version: 9.1.4 (October 21, 2019)
Changes in Version 9.1.4
- two quick in-fight notification options: end of the duel; timer
- Lab can now show the time when boss auto-awake will happen if all boss parts and pairs are gathered
- pantheons screen now highlights changes in position since the last time you opened it
- compatibility with iOS13 and dark mode
- fixes for accessibility/VoiceOver issues when running on iOS13
Microsoft Soundscape (iOS/iPadOS, Free)
Microsoft Soundscape uses 3D audio technology to enhance your awareness of what is around you, and thereby help you get around and explore your surroundings.
Soundscape will place audio cues and labels in 3D space such that they sound like they are coming from the direction of the points of interest, parks, roads and other features in your surroundings.
You will need a pair of stereo headsets that you feel comfortable wearing outdoors. For example, bone conduction headsets, Apple AirPods and in-ear open headphones have proven to work well.
Soundscape is designed to live in the background and provide you with effortless ambient awareness. Therefore, feel free to use it in conjunction with other apps such as podcasts, audio books, email and even GPS navigation.
- As you walk, Soundscape will automatically call out the key points of interest, roads and intersections that you pass. These can be adjusted and turned on and off.
- An audio beacon can be placed on a point of interest, and you will hear it as you move around. You can place an audio beacon on a point of interest that you would like to track such as your destination, a point to return to or a landmark you are familiar with.
- “My Location” describes your current location and the direction you are facing.
- "Nearby Markers" describes nearby places you have marked.
- “Around Me” describes nearby points of interest in each of the four cardinal directions, helping with orientation. Try this out when getting off a bus or leaving a train station.
- “Ahead of Me” describes points of interest in front of you, for example when walking down the street.
Current Version: 2.0.2 (November 27, 2019)
Changes in Version 2.0.0
Welcome to Soundscape version 2: Introducing Audio AR for a hands-free ambient experience!
Soundscape now supports audio augmented reality headsets, starting with the newly released Bose Frames. With the Bose Frames you can put away your phone in your bag or pocket and enjoy a hands free Soundscape experience. The headset will track the direction of your head, allowing you to effortlessly hear the audio beacon and callouts in 3D. If you have the Bose Frames you’ll need to set them up in Soundscape by tapping the Audio AR Headset item in the menu.
Other changes to look out for in this release:
- When setting an audio beacon or creating a marker you will now find it much easier to locate and open the list of nearby places and filter for nearby bus stops or restaurants.
- The menu and settings pages have changed to simplify your experience and make it easier to find what you need.
- Soundscape has been updated to work with the newly released iOS 13
Ulysses (iOS/iPadOS, Free to download but needs subscription)
Ulysses is your one-stop writing environment for Mac, iPhone and iPad. Its pleasant, focused writing experience, combined with effective document management, seamless sync, and flexible export, make Ulysses the first choice for writers of all kinds.
Ulysses’ markup-based, distraction-free editor lets you focus on your most important task: Write, edit, and write some more. Formatting is kept for later, so you can completely immerse yourself in the text. Ulysses’ uniquely streamlined toolset covers the entire writing process, and its clean and simple interface will boost your productivity. From first to final draft, from prologue to closing chapter – Ulysses keeps you in the flow, so you can get stuff done.
Everything you’ll ever write is stored in Ulysses’ unified library. You can manage projects of all kinds and sizes, be it novels, diaries or study notes – they are always saved, and automatically in sync. And since Ulysses offers feature parity across macOS and iOS, it doesn’t matter where you are or when inspiration hits: All its tools, and all your texts, are always at your fingertips.
Ulysses’ export is flexible enough to cover any writer’s needs: Transform your text into beautiful PDFs, Word documents or eBooks. Or export HTML code, ready to be used anywhere on the web. You can even choose between a variety of pre-made formatting styles for all kinds of purposes, or create your own and share it with other users.
Do you blog? Ulysses’ offers best-in-class publishing to WordPress, Ghost, and Medium. You can post to WordPress and Ghost from right within the app – complete with images, tags, categories etc. Publishing to Medium works just as easy, and all three offer a built-in preview to proof-read before submission.
Ulysses requires a subscription. We offer monthly and yearly subscription plans. They include a fully functional 14-day trial, so you can test Ulysses (including export and sync). There’s also a special discount for students.
Current Version: 18.4 (November 25, 2019)
Changes in Version 18.4
- Added Dutch and Traditional Chinese localization
- You can now toggle Dark Mode independently from the system setting
- Improved performance when running shortcut actions
- The default theme now adjusts the editor background when in Dark Mode and Split View
- Improved VoiceOver labels in export preview
- Improved VoiceOver performance when editing text
- Fixed a number of crashes on launch (sorry about that!)
- Smart quotes work again when using an external keyboard and editor fullscreen
- Fixed opening plain text files in the External Files section
- Fixed opening external files from OneDrive
- Fixed editing lists when using multi-stage input
- Fixed adding keywords at the end of the keyword list
- Fixed crash when rotating iPhone while the keyboard menu was open
- Fixed display of line breaks in WordPress preview
- Fixed a crash when using the “Create Sheet” shortcut
Recent News and Views
VoiceOver vs. Talkback: My Time on the Other Side
By mehgcap | November 26, 2019
Hello there, reader. Did you come here because you're the world's biggest Apple fan, and are excited to join in some Android bashing? Are you in love with Android, with visions of finally hearing someone put those Apple idiots in their place? Well, my goal is to do neither. You see, I've used iOS for years, and recently spent some time learning Talkback. I found it an interesting experience. I want to compare VoiceOver and Talkback, because each has strengths and shortcomings, and each could learn some major lessons from the other. Don't worry, though: there is a winner.
What This Article Is and Is Not
I want to be very clear about this: my goal with this article is not to provide details on how to use Talkback or Android. It's not to offer a handy list of Android resources. It's not to explain the ins and outs of VoiceOver. I assume you have at least a basic familiarity with VoiceOver on iOS, and an understanding of the idea of touch screen gestures and other mobile screen reader concepts. Finally, I don't want the comments to turn into a free-for-all. Keep things respectful and helpful. And again, don't ask me for step-by-step details on Talkback, because that's not why we're here. I will sometimes give descriptions of how features work in the below text, but that's only so readers can understand how the feature in question works. I'll try not to go beyond the basics needed to understand what I'm referencing.
The Hardware and Software
I've used an iPhone 7 since the model came out in 2016. My Android device for this experiment was a refurbished Pixel 1, a phone released that same year. I got the blue one. The Pixel seems to be in perfect working order, with a good battery, functional parts, and no cosmetic problems I or sighted people who have seen the device have found.
For this experiment, I was using Android 9 with the latest Talkback and other Google accessibility updates installed. My iPhone was running iOS 13.
- Apple Releases iOS 13.2.3 and iPadOS 13.2.3 with Mail, Messages, and Search Fixes and Background App Performance Improvements
- Apple Announces New 16-Inch MacBook Pro with Redesigned Keyboard, up to 80% Faster Performance, Audio Improvements, and Thinner Bezels
- Apple Releases iOS 13.2.2 and iPadOS 13.2.2 to Address Background App Performance Issues and More
This Month in Podcasts
AppleVis Unleashed November 2019: Sorry, No TiVo Here
In this month's edition of AppleVis Unleashed, Thomas Domville and guest co-host Serena Gilbert discuss recent Apple news and other topics of interest. Topics featured in this podcast include:
- Apple destroys Street with highest Q4 revenue ever
- Apple announces new 16-inch MacBook Pro: scissor switch 'Magic Keyboard', louder speakers, $2399
- Apple TV+ is now live in the TV app: Start watching Apple's original TV shows and movies
- Apple Renews 'See,' 'For All Mankind,' 'Dickinson,' and 'The Morning Show' for Season 2
- Apple and Disney look to disrupt Netflix's binge-watching model
- iOS 13.2.2 now available with fix for background app performance, more
- Apple releases iOS 13.2.3 with more background app improvements, Mail fixes, more
- Apple Changes Internal Approach to Software Development for iOS 14 Following Buggy iOS 13 Release
- Apple holding 'special event' for December 2nd in New York City
- Microsoft's new Office app for mobile combines Word, Excel and Powerpoint
- Amazon Music App for iOS Now Offers Free Ad-Supported Streaming
- Disney plus
- Triode - Internet Radio
- How to turn off private browsing on an iPhone, or turn it on
- How to Turn Your Mac into a Talking Clock - The Sweet Setup
Podcasts by Thomas Domville
- Tune In to Scanner Radio for iOS for LIVE Incidents and Others as They Happen
- Put your Mickey Ears on for Disney+ for iOS
- How to use LIVE Radio with Siri on iOS
- How to Set Chimes on your Apple Watch in Watch OS
Quick Tip: How to Delete Your Siri Audio History and Opt Out of Siri Audio Sharing
Earlier this year Apple came under some criticism after a report by the Guardian on how Apple hired contractors to listen to a small percentage of anonymized Siri recordings to evaluate the responses with the purpose of improving accuracy and reliability.
In response, Apple promised that it would introduce options in a forthcoming update that would allow users to opt out of sharing their audio recordings.
Those options arrived with the releases of iOS 13.2, iPadOS 13.2, and macOS 10.15.1.
In this podcast, Tyler walks us through how to access and change these new options.
A complete list of all podcasts posted to the AppleVis website can be found at www.applevis.com/podcasts
Hot AppleVis Content
Here are some of our forum topics which have got people talking in the past month:
- When will all of the Sega, Nintendo and the Atari/Tetris games be made accessible for the blind?
- What in the world is up with Siri voices? This is becoming annoying real fast!
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To learn more about Club AppleVis; the perks of membership; and how you can join, please visit www.applevis.com/club-applevis