Monday, 29 June 2015

Talking Tech for June 30 2015

Before getting on to the story’s for this week

Two points I’d like to make.


The last week end in June 6 years ago I did my first audio demo on the accessible iPhone 3gs with VoiceOver.  It also means I have now been podcasting for 6 years as well.


Secondly, Apple music will launch on June 30.  I thought I’d give it  a week to be out in the wild so to speak before talking about it in next weeks program.


Vision Australia Texpo 2015


Time again to announce the dates and locations for Vision Australia technology exhibition where you will see a range of technologies on display, workshops, and the chance to chat with suppliers.


Newcastle NSW: Friday 9th and Saturday 10th October, and

Coorparoo QLD: Friday 16th and Saturday 17th October. 


donate your old smart phones to assist people who are deaf blind up to July 31 2015


If you have any smart phones laying around, please donate them to Able Australia to support people who are deaf blind who use such smart phone technology to communicate via refreshable Braille displays. 


a device that helps the blind navigate by tingling their tongues


Use your tongue with this device to detect objects/shapes, movement, and distance.  Based on a pair of camera mounted glass’s, the person who is blind via a set of electrodes, in a mouth pice will sense what is going on in front of them via their tongue by bubble   sensations.  Has received approval in Canada, United States, and other places. 


A quick review of the TCL Pulse vibrating alarm from the blog of Jonathan Mosen


Just seemed like a great device, particularly for folks with hearing issues as this device does vibrating alarms and timer, available from Amazon. 


Apple highlights apps on the Apps Store that work well with voiceOver on iOs from iMore


Great to see Apple celebrating and highlighting apps that truly work well with VoiceOver on the iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. 


Amazon is now sharing its voice recognition technology (Alexa)with developers


This sounds interesting.  Alexa is currently in the Amazon Echo voice recognition assistant speaker.  Unfortunately, the actual speaker doesn’t seem to be yet available in Australia.  However, having Amazon expand its technology to other manufacturers will result in (hopefully) a range of accessible voice recognition technologies.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Talking Tech for June 23 2015

Smart oven uses food recognition to cook the perfect meal every time


Just seemed a nifty way of cooking food, not yet available. 


New USB C dock will allow you to connect up to 11 devices


With more and more laptops having USB C ports and not much else, such a USB C hub may come inhandy: the new Macbook comes to mind. 


Converting an older home in to a smart home


Just like to keep track of  different ways of setting up a smart home. 

Google launch’s website to address concerns about self driving cars


This is a great way to keep track of what is happening with self driving cars from Google. 


Getting it all done with Zoomtext Mac and CamReader


Another OCR/Video magnifier on the market, this time  extending the  functionality of Zoomtext for Mac.

Here is the actual page on the AI Squared website: 


Voice Mail


New: Voice Dream mail (from the developer of Voice Dream reader and writer).  Using gestures with speech feedback to read your mail.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Talking Tech for June 16 2015

Today’s show all about the WWDC from Apple June 9 2015: preview of OS X 10.11, iOS 9, watch os, and Apple music.


Note - OS x 10.11, iOS 9, and watchOS 2 are in beta and features may change.  In addition, the new music streaming service from Apple is not yet available.


OS X 10.11


New features in OS x 10.11 (some feature highlights):


Split view: view two apps on the screen at the same time.

Call out your cursor: shake finger on trackpad or shake your mouse and the cursor gets bigger so its easier to spot.

Spotlight: can search for more things, and you  can use natural language when searching for a file.

Improved Notes app: turn a list in to a check list, and easily add photos, urls etc.

Safari: keep favourite websites open with pin sites, easily identify which tab is playing audio, and use Airplay to stream video.

Increased performance: apps open much faster, and games display much more smoothly due to Apple’s metal technology which is already being used on iOs.


Sadly, no mention of Siri for OS X yet 



iOS 9


New in iOS 9 (some of the highlights):


Apps: A new news app, dramatically improved Notes app, Maps with transit info (in selected cities around the world), and improvements to Car play.


Improvements to iPad: 

Better multitasking features - slide view (slide to view another app and back again), and split view (see two apps on screen at same time - only on iPad air 2).

Better keyboard short-cuts when using a wireless keyboard.


Siri: improvements to Siri.


Searching: improvements to spotlight including searching within apps.


Proactive assistant: based on what time of day you use apps, get intelligent suggestions on what you may want to do next.


Listening to music and audio: bt in the car, start listening to your music or plug in your head phones and start listening to a podcast.


Who’s calling: if an unknown number, if the number has appeared in an email, iOS 9 will suggest who the caller may be.


Better power management:

if iPhone face down on table, screen will not be on.

New low power mode will extend battery life but turning off a number of features.


Move from Android with the Move to /iOS app: makes the transition to iOS from your Android device by copying relevant data over from your Android device such as Mail, Contacts, music etc. 

watchOS 2


New features in watch os2 (some feature highlights):


New clock faces, complications and night stand mode:

New clock faces - 24 hour time lapsed faces from iconic places around the world, use your own photo or randomise photos by choosing an album.

New complications: complications data can be drawn directly from apps.

Time travel: use the digital crown to scroll to the previous day today or next day to look at what is happening at a particualr time in a complications: eg weather, calendar or news item you may have missed).


Night stand mode - automatically goes in to night stand mode when charger connected and Apple watch on its side, time will display when you touch the screen,  or side/digital crown, and side button will stop and digital crown will snooze an alarm.


Better apps: apps run natively, can take advantage of hardware features in the watch (such as using the mic or internal speaker), improvements to existing apps including: 

Mail - reply to mail.

Friends: add more multiple screens of friends with each screen up to 12 friends.

Maps: get transit directions (in select cities around the world).

Siri: Siri does more on Apple watch.

Activation lock: protect your watch with your Apple id, same as iPhone.



Apple music


3 months trial, $9.99  single or $14.99 USD family subscription.  Available June 30 this year.  Provides curated music (along side your own music), Beats1 radio, and Connect (where artists  can connect with their followers).  Without a subscription, can still listen to Beats1, see what artists are posting on connect, and listen to ads supported stations.


Available with iOS 8.4, watchOS via paired iPhone, Mac/PC via updated iTunes, and Android later on this year.


I’m not sure how Apple music will differ from such online streaming music services such as Pandora radio, and Connect to me sounds like the failed Ping social sharing function that was available in iTunes a number of years ago.  With the 3 months trial certainly nothing to loose in giving it a go.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Talking Tech for June 9 and 2 2015

Just catching up with Talking Tech for the last two weeks, Google changed some options and MarsEdit which I use to do these blog posts didn’t work, and it has taken me a bit more time than expected to get back to updating the blog after Marsedit was fixed: hence blogs posts for Talking Tech for June 2 and 9 2015.


Talking Tech for June 9 2015 


Busting the myths about technology and children: 

Audio Rally racing game


A new game for Mac or PC users.



Life line Text Adventure game with a twist


Couldn’t help put this one in, a new twist on playing a text adventure on iOs and the Apple watch.


Apple watch working with Halo hearing aids


iPhone lightening Dock now available for iPhone


New book from Jonathan Mosen on the Apple tv.


Apple tv catch up concerning more channels


Along with Netflix on the Apple tv, we now have the other streaming service available in Australia: stan.


Talking Tech June 2015


Apple watch OS 1.01 update is out squashing a number of VoiceOver bugs


Apple watch update 1.01 came out in mid may, but this has been the first chance to update it during Talking Tech.


1. Can delete Mail and Messages via the 1 finger flick up or down action gesture,

2. Clearing all notifications doesn’t lock out VoiceOver users any more.

3. VoiceOver no longer getting stuck after accessing last glance.

4. Improvements under the hood for better VoiceOver accessibility with 3rd party apps.


Vision Australia trialling remote training


Vision Australia has almost completed a trial of remote training for a selected group of clients.  This pilot will allow Vision Australia to move forward in the future in providing remote training to clients in both desktop and mobile systems.


Deaf/blind phone being trialled   in Australia and the US



Talkback 4.2 for Android released 

AccessWorld for May 2015 

Victor stream now does I-Access from Vision Australia 

Keysoft v9.5 released for Braillenote and Voicenote