This page includes computer programs for the blind such as Jaws, Window-Eyes, ZoomText, Kurzweil 1000, OpenBook, Mobile Speak, Talks, and many others as well as mainstream accessible programs like Sound Forge, Nero, and Omnipage.
If you're a premium subscriber to Spotify and have trouble accessing Spotify content on your PC, you now have a solution. A new app called Blindspot has been released. The app gives screen reader users access to their Spotify account and more. The app can be used in five languages including English, French, German, Spanish, and Swedish. The app uses a set of hot keys for navigation which users can learn about by visiting the documentation section of the website. At this time, the app only works with premium accounts, but the developer hopes that at some point, people who only want to use the free features in Spotify will be able to use Blindspot. Spotify currently only allows the use of their API for premium accounts, thus the limitation. Spotify Premium costs $9.95 a month and also gives you offline playlists and full access to their mobile apps.
Back in my PC days, Winamp was definitely my favorite music player. It was simple to use, and worked well with screen readers. I know there are still people who do internet radio shows using Winamp playlists. Sadly though, the times have changed, and the developers of Winamp have decided to bring this chapter to a close. There will be no new updates for the software, and you will only have until December 20 to download the application because after that day, it won't be available anymore. Tell us about your experience with Winamp in the comments. Will you find a new media player or just hold on forever?
TapTapSee is one of my favorite apps. I've used it to identify many objects over the last year. I even had a chance to interview the developers about the app. It is truly the best object recognition app available, and two of it's best features were that it is super easy to use and it was free.
According to the TapTapSee website, due to the high cost of image recognition, the company will no longer be able to offer the service for free. Over the next few days, they will be rolling out their new paid subscription options. You can either spend $7.99 for 100 images to be recognized, or $9.99 for an unlimited monthly subscription. When you've hit the cap of 100 images or the month has run out, you'll be prompted to renew. If you find that you're not using the app as much or you find that you need more than 100 images to be identified in a month, you can change to the other plan when you renew.
Many people are likely going to be outraged by this change, but it's important to remember that the company kept the service free for over a year. According to one of their staff, they really didn't want to charge for the service, but that the costs have just gotten too high for them to handle.
AI Squared has just released a new version of ZoomText for the Mac that is compatible with the New Mac OS Mavericks. The upgrade is free for users, and you can find the download instructions by following the headline link. According to their website, this is only for users that are running Mavericks. If you're still using Lion or Mountain Lion then you don't need to upgrade.
The American Printing House is currently developing an iOS version of their Math Flash software, currently available for Windows computers. According to APH's Research and Development Report, Math Robot will allow students to be drilled on math products using the touchscreen or a refreshable braille display. The software is currently being tested and a release is expected within the next year.
The makers of Zombie's Run are developing a new game that will encourage you to walk rather then run. The makers of the game find that when there's a narration connected with your exercise, you're more likely to enjoy the exercise. According to an article in Polygon, this is the premise of the game, "You're given a vital package that needs to be couriered to Edinburgh, Scotland. You're about to get on the train when terrorists, attempting to get hold of this thing you have, blow up the station. An electromagnetic pulse kills all things electronic — cars no longer work. Now you're forced to walk the distance with the police on your tail." So instead of running from zombie's, you're walking quickly away from the police.
Unlike in Zombie's Run, the app does not just assume that you're exercising. The app will check in with you during the day, take samples of your movements, and estimate how much walking you've done for each day. Zombie's Run is accessible for both iOS and Android users.
Earlier this week, Apple released it’s newest operating system for the mac, OSX Mavericks.. The best part, it’s free and it comes with some pretty cool new features. After playing with it for a few days, there are some things I’m really pleased about and some bugs that I look forward to Apple fixing.
If you've been waiting for JAWS 15 to be released, it's finally here. Now that Windows works with touch screens, JAWS has been updated to support touch screens and gestures. There are also a number of other new features. Read our previous post about JAWS 15 to learn more about the new version.
Code Factory's Mobile Accessibility Suite Bringing Limited Access to the Next Version of Windows Phone 8
A degree of accessibility is finally coming to Windows Phone. Code Factory announced that their Mobile Accessibility suite of apps will be available for free in the next version of Windows Phone 8. The apps will provide access to contacts, text messaging, email, web browsing, and settings. They will also have caller ID and access to Voicemail.
This announcement is a long time in coming. The question is, how will the community react. Windows phone is far more popular in developing countries than it is in the US and Europe. Hopefully this means that the blind and visually impaired community in the developing world will be gaining access to technology they've never had. Unfortunately, the access available here may be far inferior when compared with iOS or Anroid. Still,it may be better than nothing for some.
When I was a PC user, some of my favorite games were from Spoonbill Software. All of the games are free of charge and do not require a screen reader to play. Ian has just released six new titles in his Blind Gamers series. There are three new word games and three new card games.
The three word games are Word Jumble, Word Builder, and Word Solitaire. the Word Jumble and Word Solitaire sound like games I would really enjoy. Word Solitaire is like Boggle, only backwards. You're given the 25 letters and you have to place them in the 5 by 5 grid to form as many horizontal and vertical words as possible.
The three new card games are all versions of Solitaire. In Eleven's Solitaire, your goal is to discard as many cards as possible. You can discard cards if they add up to eleven or if they are a set of three face cards.
Descriptions of all of the new titles, as well as the many other games available in the Blind gamers series, can be found by visiting the Blind Gamers section of the website.
Games can be ordered by following the How to Order instructions. I hope everyone gets as much enjoyment out of these games as I did.
In one week, Apple has come out with two new iPhones, a new version of iTunes, and now new software for the Apple TV. The 6.0 released actually came out last Friday but then was pulled after some users were experiencing some major usability issues. There are a number of new features in this update. Users will now be able to stream music, photos, and videos from iCloud, use the new iTunes radio, and buy music from the iTunes store.
The much anticipated BARD app is finally here. For me, this means I no longer have to carry more then one device, which in my opinion is huge. I can now access all of my books on my iPhone. So what's the new BARD Mobile app like, and what should you expect?
One important part of setting up VoiceOver is choosing what will be included in the rotor. The rotor options change depending on the app that you're in, but each setting can be very useful for navigating quickly. To change what rotor settings you will have access to, visit the Rotor menu within the VoiceOver menu in settings/General/Accessibility. One of the new rotor settings in VoiceOver is called handwriting. As with many features, there is no explanation of what this does or how to use it, but that's why we have this tutorial.
In June we learned about the 200 new features that would be coming in iOS 7. Most of the announced changes though had nothing to do with accessibility. With this in mind, we wanted to bring you a list of the changes that would be coming for VoiceOver users. To begin let's start with how you set VoiceOver to the settings you want.
GPS apps can be a great asset to the blind, but most of them will only get the person close to their destination. One solution for this problem is to allow the user to set their own points of interest (POI). A new app developed in Australia, called Point Finder, allows users to do just that. The app, which can be purchased for a dollar allows users to set their own POI's and get navigation instructions to reach their POI. If the destination is on a map, the user can interface with Google Maps to get turn by turn instructions. The app uses a continuous sound as the person moves toward the chosen POI. As they get closer, the pitch of the sound gets lower.
Starting tuesday, Windows users will be able to download the first JAWS 15 public beta. The Freedom Scientific website lists all of the changes that are coming in this version of JAWS. Some of the new features include: a new cursor called the touch cursor that allows users to interact with objects found in apps in Windows 8, JAWS specific touch screen gestures in Windows 8, support for Vocalizer voices from Nuance, new FS Reader, automatic detection of braille displays, drivers of third party braille displays included in the JAWS installation, and updated Skype support.
The FS Cast this month features an interview with Eric Damery discussing the new features in the JAWS 15 beta.
Paying with your cell phone seems to be the direction that many companies are heading. Paypal has just released a new version of their iOS app that will allow you to pay businesses with your iPhone. The app will search for businesses around you so that you'll know where you can use the app. The interface works great with Voiceover allowing users to pay for items on their phone and transfer money between accounts.
Less than a week after the game launched, the developers of Codename Cygnus have submitted an update to address the concerns about using Facebook authentication to save game play. According to the press release, Jonathan Myers said, "We needed a way to support our dedicated players with the creation of save game profiles online, but requiring a Facebook login from all players was far too much to ask. We really regret it, and we're very happy to listen to our fans and make this immediate change."
Once the update goes through, players will now have the option of saving their game online without having to login to Facebook. The company is also running a limited time promotion that will give players the first episode for free and allow users to purchase all 5 of the episodes for $6.99, a dollar off the price they had at launch.
To learn more about Codename Cygnus, read our review .
Starting today, users of the Victor Reader Stream will now have the option of downloading content from NFB Newsline and Bookshare wirelessly. After downloading the newest firmware version 4.2, users can then enter their credentials in for both services and start downloading content. Users can also get the upgrade by using the Humanware Companion software on their PC.
Other features in this update include support for Windows media and speak audio files, improvements to text to speech and audio playback, and improvements to the automatic software update check.
Humanware is offering a webinar to discuss the new features in this update on September 26. Register for the webinar by visiting the Humanware Events page.
GW Micro has released a free maintenance release of Window-Eyes, version 8.3. This version includes support for Windows 8.1, better support for Windows 8 modern apps, support for Internet Explorer 11 including the spell checker, improved support for apps using the QT5 framework, and numerous stability and speed improvements. It's a free update for those running version 8.0 or later.
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