J.J. is back from New York City and he brought an interview with him to boot. Joe takes us on a short trip with the Blind Knight as his companion. Plus the regular stuff like a tip, "Sound Off" and some strangeness that always comes along in "The Last Word".
In The News:
Kevin, a pretty reliable commenter you may have seen in "sound Off", offered this shortly after the new Bard app went live.
After more than two years of waiting we finally received an update to the
BARD app on IOS. Was it worth the wait? Are you kidding? The only
improvement appears to be the addition of a sleep timer which should have
been there from the beginning.
In the bookshelf tab it still, annoyingly, shows the categories which are
empty. In my case that is braille magazines and braille books. Why show them
if they are empty? You add titles from a different place.
There is still no good way to switch from one title to another. You must
first hit the bookshelf tab, then go into the particular shelf you want
(which may involve backing out of the one you are already in) then scrolling
down through your titles to find what you want. The very least they could
have done was have a tab for some number of most recently read titles.
In the original version there was a setting to turn off the key clicks.
This setting did not work. They resolved this problem in the new version by
removing the setting. Good thinking.
Magazines still do not default to the "article" reading level. Speaking of
which, the level adjustment should be a swipe control much as the speed
control is now.
And as if not fixing issues wasn't bad enough they saw fit to introduce a
new problem. When scrolling through the list of titles on the site the
button for more info now says "double tap for more info". This is beyond
stupid. Double tap is in the form of a hint and thus should never be what it
says on its own. On top of that it doesn't mention for what you are getting
more info. Standard good practice is not to leave a button without such
Likely, the specifications drawn up by NLS were not done by anybody who
knew what he was doing.
It would appear beta testers were not used, were ignored or were using
Interview: Lynnette Tatum and ML Word Tips
J.J. caught up with Lynnette Tatum in New York who tells us about a forthcoming app call ML Word Tips, from her company MaLynWorks. If you're a Microsoft Word user and rely on the keyboard for editing, this educational how-to app may be worth a look.
Demonstration: A Blind Legend
Do you have what it takes to help the Blind Knight reunite his family? Download "A Blind Legend" for iOS and put your steel to the test. Along the way your daughter will guide you through a series of challenges. You will travel through many lands and battle vicious foes on your quest. The game works on the freemium model. So, if you are patient, you can play the game for free. however, if you are clumsy or want to get right back into the action, you can purchase additional lives in order to finish the tale. There are little to no graphics with all the action taking place between your ear buds. Touch, swipe and pinch your device to assist the Knight. he will be doing all the running while you sit comfortably in your chair. unless you make a mistake, then you might just end up moving without realizing it. The game does contain a lot of audio, therefore if you have a 16 GB device, you may want to clean some space for the app before you start off on your mission.
Steve sent in a follow up story from a previous episode.
RT @ed_edwardson From BBQ34, pricing for the Blackberry Priv announced. IMHO, not worth the money. #blindbargains
And this story was just posted on Ars Technica
BlackBerry s first Android phone ships November 6th for $699
Joe notes on the podcast that you might have a better time with a Pixel C and the keyboard accessory if you want to spend that much on an Android keyboarding experience. you might not want to use a Pixel C as a phone, man would someone's arm ever get tired from holding it up, there is probably a really good chance the C will be getting the latest Android releases far sooner than the Blackberry phone. next up, an email...
""Hi To You All,
I've been hearing about a new notetaker which has no braille display but has
everything that the I-Phone has in it with buttons, that the I-Phone is only
part of the notetaker, and that there's no screen with this notetaker, meaning
we blind folks who get it for the price of $2600.00 could be assured of
anonimity when we want to put bank records into this machine. Do you have any
information on who makes or is in the process of making this notetaker and when
it will be on the market? I've longed for a notetaker without braille display,
not wanting to spend the extra money for something so fragile as a braille
display usually is. Any more information you could give me about this notetaker
would be very welcome.
We aren't aware of any new notetakers coming with those specific feature sets. But that doesn't mean there isn't a notetaker coming on the way that does fit the description. If anyone has any info about this one, or any other rumors out there, send them in to us. Because nothing is more cool than all of us finding out if all these rumors are true! Next, an email from Adam asking for some musical suggestions...
"Hello there, my name is Adam Thomas and I am a blind DJ as well as music composer. I was just wondering if you know of any other apps that can compose full songs on the iPhone. Right now I am using Korg iKaosilator and that is only good for composing loops.
I am a long-time listener and this is my first time writing into your show. Keep up the good work, love the technology and demonstrations on your show. Maybe one day I will demonstrate the iKaosilator program for others. Thank you for your time and interest concerning this message.:
If you have a suggestion for Adam, drop it into the comments below, or send it along to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be sharing them with Adam and mentioning them in an upcoming show.
Next week the show is haunted by ghosts, ghouls and zombies. Have a wonderful week everyone!
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A new cool thing we all missed with either this or the last JAWS 16 update is allow reserved web application keystrokes which you can find in the settings center or quick settings. Enable it globally or as a personalized web setting, and either way, JAWS automatically will pass through keystrokes used by FaceBook, Gmail and those Yahoo thingies that use accessibility keystrokes.
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Joe Steinkamp is no stranger to the world of technology, having been a user of video magnification and blindness related electronic devices since 1979. Joe has worked in radio, retail management and Vocational Rehabilitation for blind and low vision individuals in Texas. He has been writing about the A.T. Industry for 15 years and podcasting about it for almost a decade.