Sunday, 28 September 2014

Talking Tech for September 30 2014

Using Home Plus Power or just Power on your IOS device


Last episode I mentioned that if an app got stuck on your iOS device (iPhone, iPod touch or iPad) you could use Home plus Power to reboot your device.  Whilst this does work, it really should only be used as a last ditch method as it is much lie cold booting your computer.  


Adam Morris who runs the iOS Mailing List from Australia, reminded me that it is probably safer in the long run to try and Power off your iOS device from the Power button and turn it back on again first.  If this fails, try the Home plus Power button combination. 

World Site Day and Eye Health Heroes


Vision 2020 Australia is hosting a number of events surrounding World Site Day coming up on the 9th of October including a Talk at the National Press Club on the 8th of October, and a dinner at parliament house Canberra 30th of September to celebrate Eye Health Heroes in the research and prevention of blindness but also for those who support people who are blind or vision impaired in the community.


I will be attending the parliamentary dinner as a hero representing Vision Australia sharing our positive stories in relation to gaining access to technology and information.


For more information, go to:


Talking Tech is now on iTunes:


You can now subscribe to Talking Tech via iTunes at: 


Talking Vision also Available from iTunes


Another popular program from Vision Australia is also available from iTunes: Talking Vision: 


Just Under Two Weeks for Vision Australia Texpo in Melbourne (Kooyong)


A reminder that Vision Australia Texpo is coming up on the 10th and 11th of October to be held at Vision Australia Kooyong from 10-4 Friday and 10-3 Saturday.


This will be followed by Vision Australia Texpo Sydney the following week on the 17th and 18th of October.


More information to be had at:


Learning to Touch Type: an Online Downloadable Resource from Vision Australia


These set of 23 mp3 files are available for anyone to download who wish’s to learn how to touch type.  Rather than having to get access to a typing training program, just download and listen to these MP3 files.


These mp3 files are located at:!-technology-podcasts-and-resources/computer-access


JAWS 16 Beta


The public beta version of JAWS 16 has been available for a few weeks.


Some of the new features include:

Command Search,

JAWS Standard changing to JAWS Home Addition which will now work on both Windows Home and Professional,

Semi Auto Forms Mode,

Convenient OCR for PDF documents,

improved performance for Microsoft Word 2013,

Enhanced  language support in voice profiles,

JAWS discontinues support for Windows XP (only Vista and above support),

Windows 8.1 Reading List app support,

Windows 8.1 People app support,

New touch screen gesture for unloading JAWS, and

Improve JAWS recovery.


To get more info and to listen to FSCast go through the new features in JAWS 16, go to:

Other Screen reading Options for Windows


Window-Eyes For Office


If you have Microsoft Office 2010 or 2013 installed, you can get a free copy of Window-Eyes, rather than having to pay full price:


NVDA (Non Visual Desktop Access) is also Available to Windows Users


NVDA is a free (donations welcome) screen reader for Windows which can be installed on a PC or on a UsB stick.


For more information or to download a copy of NVDA, go to: 

Talking Tech for September 22 2014

Some of the general, Settings, Siri, and accessibility features that you will find in iOS 8.


General Features


1. Lock screen Notifications: 

Can do more with items on your lock screen: e.g. reply to a message, Facebook, Twitter etc by flicking up.

2. Notifications Centre now has today and Notifications tabs.

3. On the Home screen, clock now displays the time.

4. Recent contacts from the App switcher:

Allows you to quickly contact your recent contacts.

5. Word prediction:

When you are typing, iOS will now give you a list of word predictions to choose from when you are typing in to an edit field such as typing in to Notes.

6. Maps: adjust the tracking options in Maps to give you more details and the next cross street.

7. Send an audio message via Messages.

Hold up to your ear, wait for ding, speak, and then put phone down to send.

8. The Weather app now gives you more information concerning daily information.  The app also uses the Weather channel.

9. FaceTime: new look:

Separates video from Audio calls.

10. Go to desktop version of a webpage in Safari:

Go to right of address and select desktop site.

11. Hand off.

Hand off what you are doing on one device to another such as Mail etc.

12. New apps: the tips app and the Health app.

iBooks and Podcasts get installed by default now.





1. Battery usage: tell what apps are draining your battery.

Settings, Usage, Battery usage.

2. Settings, iCloud, iCloud drive

Contains list of apps that are using the iCloud drive.

3. Last known Location:

Settings, General, iCloud, Find My iPhone, send last location:

If battery goes dead, you will be able to find your iPhone where the battery went dead.

Can turn cellular use of iCloud drive off.

4. Settings, Safari: choose search engine: i.e. DuckDuckGo so that your search’s will not be traced.

5. Message history:

Settings, Messages, Message history, keep message for: 30 days, 1 year or forever.

6. in Settings for each app: you have iPhone settings, and the actual app settings.

7. Settings: Privacy: each app can now - allow location access: never, or only while using the app.




1. Settings, Siri: voice activation on.

Uses “hay Siri” when on power.

2. Using Siri to identify music:

Identify this song.

3. Using Siri to find and download an app:

“Download Downcast”.








1. Braille keyboard: turned on in Settings, General, Accessibility, VoiceOver, Rotor, Braille keyboard.

Use the rotor to access the Braille keyboard in the same way you access the hand writing mode.

2. Braille display option: Settings, General, Accessibility, VoiceOver, Braille: Turn pages when panning, separate Braille display output, Braille display input, and Braille screen input.

3. Direct typing mode accessed via the rotor when in an edit field.

4. Alex Voice available for the iPhone 5s and above.

Within Speech/dialects/English voices, you can select Alex.  Just a warning it is a very large file: close to 900mb.

5. Audio ducking now available to toggle on or off from the rotor: Settings, General, Accessibility, VoiceOver, rotor.


Other accessibility changes


1. New Zoom options:

Follow focus toggle,

Zoom keyboard toggle,

Show controller toggle,

Zoom region (window, full screen or lens), and

Maximum zoom.

3. Gray scale toggle.

4. Buttons shapes toggle.

5. Speech: Speak screen toggle: swipe two fingers down from the top of the screen.

6. Increase contrast:

Reduce transparency,

Darken colours, and

Reduce white point.

7. Now under media we have:

sub titles and captioning, and

Video description.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Talking Tech for September 16 2014

Apple Keynote for September 9 2014 

Apple mentioned 5 items in their September 9 2014 keynote announcement:

iPhone and iPhone Plus,

Apple Pay,,

The release date for iOS 8,

Apple Watch, &

U2 did an album release on the iTunes Store.


There was one extra thing which happened very quietly, this was the discontinuation of the iPod classic, leaving the nano, and the iOS range now with all lightning cables: except for the iPod shuffle of course with the 3.5 connector


If you want to listen to the Apple September 9 keynote, here is the link:


iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus


iPhone 6 from $869 and iPhone plus from $999.


I have ordered the iPhone 6 plus 128GB due to turn up on either the 19th (Friday) or 22nd (Monday) of September.  I also ordered the iPhone Plus leather case.


By the way, Apple sold 4 million iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in the first 24 hours.





4.7 and 5.5 inch displays.

Silver, gold, and space grey.

16, 64 & 128GB.

a8 chip and the new M8 chip.

6.9 or 7.1MM thin.

High resolution screen.

50 or 80 hours of audio.

Standby: up to10 or 16 days.

8MP camera with new sensor and other improvements.


Supports VOLTE and wifi calling.

With the larger screen, Apple has utilised the extra space to fit more stuff on the screen with the default iOS apps.

New Reachability function by tapping twice on Home button to scroll the screen down to reach higher items on the screen with your thumb: i.e. one handed mode with the larger screen.

Another feature to encourage one handed operation was the physical relocation of the Power/Sleep button from the top of the phone to the right hand side.


iPhone 6 and 6 plus was available to order Sep 12, and shipping September 19.


iPhone 5S now with 16 or 32GB from $749.

iPhone 5c: 8GB $529


iOS 8


iOS 8 available 17 September.


I will be talking more about iOS 8 and its new features next week after it is officially released.


Interestingly, whilst iOS 8 was talked about, no mention was made of Yosemite (OS X 10.10) particularly in relation to hand off.


Apple Pay with NFC


fast, secure and private: starting off in the US.  Can also use it online.

Works with a secure chip in the iPhone Six or iPhone Plus together with touch id and passbook.

Just hold your finger on the touch ID, and a vibration and a discrete beep will announce that you have paid successfully.


This will be a lot more secure particularly with the current use of credit cards and contact payment options where you can just tap your card and under a certain amount (such as $100 in Pet Barn for example) you don’t even have to use your pin.  Consequently, if someone stole your card, they could quite happily make these types of purchases.  With Apple Pay, it is all bit around your finger print.

Starting off in the US in October.


Apple Watch




2 watch sizes:

3.8 or 4.2 thickness.

Square or rectangular shape with rounded edges..


3 models:

Apple Watch:

Stainless Steel or space black stainless steel cases.

A range of stylish bands.


Apple watch sport:

Anodised aluminium cases in silver or space grey. Strengthened Ion-X glass. Colourful  durable bands


Apple Watch Edition:

18-karat gold cases in yellow or rose. Sapphire crystal. Exquisitely crafted bands and closures


Uses the crown of the watch (the winder on old watch’s) for digital navigation, plus can determine the difference between a tap or press.

Precise time keeping.

Personalise watch faces.

Similar clock app functions: stop watch, timer, world clock etc.

Ping your iPhone to determine its location.

Hand over to your iPhone such as writing a Mail msg on your Apple Watch and then finishing it off on the iPhone.

Sends notifications and alerts including by tactile feedback on your wrist.

Runs its own apps, and there is an Apple Watch SDK for developers.

Health and fitness device.

Press a button on the crown to bring up a list of your closest friends and easily send them a message etc.

Answer a call on the watch and then transfer to the iPhone, car system or Bluetooth.

Silence an incoming call by putting your hand over the Apple watch.

For fun, use the builtin walkie talkie to talk to other Apple watch users send them a drawing or send them a tactile tap to let them know your thinking about them: you can also send your heart beat by holding 2 fingers down on the screen.

Will work with the iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, iPhone six, and iPhone plus.

Works with Apple Pay and passbook.

Play your music on the Apple Watch or on your iPhone and control your Apple TV.

Has common apps to that of the iPhone including Calendar, Weather, and Maps.   Nice feature with Maps is that the Apple Watch will vibrate to tell you which way to turn: i.e. different tactile feedback for left or right turn.  

Doubles as a remote for the Eyesight camera.

Mag Safe Charging.

Internal water resistant speaker.


Voice dictation.


Available in early 2015 starting at US $354


U2 Album Release


The album that U2 Launched on the iTunes Store: Songs of Innocence: will be available for free to all iTunes customers from the 9th of September through to October 13 2014.


iPod Classic Discontinued


After 13 years, the iPod Classic finally got quietly retired.  This makes all of the portable Apple products accessible, and most using the lightening connector (besides the 3.5mm port on the iPod shuffle).

Monday, 8 September 2014

Talking Tech for September 9 2014

How To Pause Music Or Podcasts on the iPhone Without Touching The Screen


This is a very simple tip but sometimes forgotten, if you have your head phones plugged in to your iOS device or an audio cable going to your car stereo, just pulling out the cable will stop your music or podcast playing.


How To Get Your iPhone Or iPad Ready for iOS 8


These tips are quite good if you are thinking of updating to iOS 8: check your device compatibility, free up some storage space (usually updates require at least 3GB of space free), check for current OS or app updates and update, backup your device, and particularly if you have an iPhones 4s or iPad 2, hold off for a few weeks to see how other folks are going running iOS 8.


Majority Of Time Taken Up on Digital Apps On Mobile


At least from my experience, I spend a lot more time using the apps on my iPhone, than I do using the desktop.


The Everyday Tasks That Your Phone Does Better Than Your Computer


I agree with this article and certainly use my iPhone for all of them: checking email, banking, reminders, searching google, and reading through your news feeds.


A Guide To Using Twitter:


This is an excellent article on introducing new users to Twitter and explains a lot of the functionality in simple terms.


30 Days With Android


Marco blogs his experience of using Android for 30 days, lasting 18 days with some interesting observations.


Accessibility Head to Head - Apple Verses Android


A neutral discussion of Apple verses android in respect to blind or low vision usage.


Are Smart Phone Users Loosing Their Appetite for New Apps


This article mainly points out that most people are satisfied with the apps they have, and see know need to change/purchase another app that does the same thing.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Talking Tech for September 2 2014

iPhone 6 Rumor Round Up


This Talking Tech show all about the iPhone 6 rumors.


September 9 announcement with pre-orders two weeks later as usual on September 19 with delivery early in October: well according to the rumors at least.


Now for the actual rumored features of the iPhone 6 starting from the most unlikely to the most likely.


Haptic feedback.

Enhanced GPs functionality through the use of sensors.

Protruding rear facing camera (as with the iPod touch).


Reversible UsB to lightening cable.

1GB RAM (still the same as the iPhone 5s).

Removing the rear top/bottom glass inserts.

Rounded front panel bezel.

Safire glass.

Increased display resolution.

1800 MAH battery

Up to 128GB storage.

4.7 and a 5.5 inch model.

Larger iPhone 6 to be called the iPhone 6L.


5 Things that Some Android phones Have That iPhone 6 will Most Likely Not




Infrared for remote control.

Micro SD card expansion slot.

A longer life battery.



Of Course The Other Rumored device


In the September 9 announcement we might also see some type of iWatch of some sort: guess we’ll soon know.