The AppleVis Community Names the Apps and Developers that were its Golden Apples of 2016

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

We are pleased to announce the winners of the fifth annual AppleVis Golden Apple Awards.

Since their launch in 2012, the AppleVis Golden Apple Awards have afforded blind and low vision users an opportunity to recognize and acknowledge the hard work and dedication which developers have put into making great and accessible iOS and Mac applications during the given year.

To be shortlisted for this year's Golden Apple Awards, apps must:

  • Be fully accessible to blind and low vision users;
  • Have been launched, significantly updated, or meaningfully maintained during 2016;
  • Be from a developer with a demonstrated commitment to full accessibility for blind and low vision users; and
  • Be best-in-class in terms of design, functionality, and operation.

Candidates for Developer of the Year must:

  • Have an exemplary commitment to making their apps fully accessible to blind and low vision users;
  • Be receptive and responsive to the needs of blind and low vision users in a timely manner; and
  • Have delivered significant new features or updates to their app(s) during 2016, particularly updates which directly benefit blind and low vision users.

The AppleVis Golden Apple Winners of 2016

Below are the winners of the 2016 Golden Apples, as decided by members of the AppleVis community in a public vote held between 19-23 December:

Best iOS App: Voice Dream Reader

Voice Dream Reader is a widely-acclaimed app that reads articles, documents and books aloud. With advanced text-to-speech and a highly configurable visual layout, it can be tailored to suit every reading style and level.

2016 saw the much anticipated 4.0 release of Voice Dream Reader, which was described by the developer as “a massive update which improves just about every aspect of the app. We rewrote everything down to the very core to support these new features, which is why it's taken more than a year.”

Read the AppleVis iOS App Directory entry for Voice Dream Reader

Best iOS Game: Timecrest: The Door

With its developer actively engaging with the AppleVis community to learn how to improve the accessibility of the app and then acting on this feedback, it is no surprise that Timecrest has become a firm favorite with many blind gamers.

In Timecrest, where epic fantasy meets interactive fiction, author Lisa J. Skye introduces you to Ash Elden, where together you both must scramble to solve the puzzle of who unfroze the meteors to destroy Ash’s world of Alyncia. You discover that you have access to a forbidden magic–the ability to turn back time.

Every choice you make matters, and will change the outcome of this massive 225,000-word interactive story, leading to one of multiple endings. Immerse yourself within the emotional soundtrack and explore the non-linear maps.

Read the AppleVis iOS App Directory entry for Timecrest: The Door

Best Assistive iOS App: knfbReader

The knfbReader iOS app converts printed text into high-quality speech to provide accurate, fast, and efficient access to both single and multiple-page documents with the tap of a button on the iPhone. Picture accuracy is facilitated by a Field of View Report, Automatic Page Detection, and Tilt Control.

In addition to being a powerful and feature-rich portable document scanner, knfbReader is also optimized to work with document stands. When used with a document stand, the app will automatically detect when you turn the page of a book in the stand or insert a different sheet.

Read the AppleVis iOS App Directory entry for knfbReader

Best Mac App: A Blind Legend

In what is described as an epic and , perilous rite of passage, this Mac game has you live the adventures of Edward Blake, the famous blind knight. Guided by your daughter Louise, you must find your way and avoid the many traps that lie in the High Castle Kingdom--while confronting dangerous enemies.

Read the AppleVis Mac App Directory entry for A Blind Legend

Developer of the Year: American Printing House for the Blind & Sneaky Crab

In a first for the Golden Apples, two developers gained exactly the same number of votes from our community; meaning that we have joint winners for this award in 2016.

The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) is the world’s largest nonprofit organization creating educational, workplace, and independent living products and services for people who are visually impaired. Mathematics, braille practice, and enhanced navigation are featured in a growing collection of mobile apps developed by APH.

Launched on iOS in 2016, Nearby Explorer is the most high-profile app from APH. Designed specifically for the blind and visually impaired, it is a full-featured GPS app that enables you to explore and navigate independently as you walk or ride in a vehicle.

Instead of just providing directions, Nearby Explorer describes the environment in ways comparable to reading signage or observing road characteristics. The app includes built-in maps covering millions of points of interest in the United States and Canada.

Other iOS apps from The American Printing House for the Blind:

Sneaky Crab is the developer of Timecrest: The Door, winner of the Best iOS Game in this year’s Golden Apples.

The team behind Timecrest has developed a close and positive relationship with the AppleVis community since being asked to improve the accessibility of the game. Not only has this resulted in the game being made fully accessible, but Sneaky Crab has also made improvements to specifically enhance the gameplay experience for blind gamers.

We would like to extend our congratulations to the winners of the 2016 AppleVis Golden Apple Awards. We wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season and a prosperous 2017.

The complete list of all the apps and developers shortlisted for the 2016 AppleVis Golden Apple Awards is available here.



Submitted by OhioBuckeye on Sunday, December 25, 2016

Congratulations Winston Chen and company! This is a well-deserved recognition of your outstanding app. It is because of VDR that I was able to finish my Masters. I was able to load it on my iPad and read my books from it.

Again, congratulations to Voice Dream Reeader.