Monday, 26 October 2015

Talking Tech for October 27 2015

Another Great Game: The Blind Legend


Blind Fold Balling from Blind Kids Friendly Software


A really great free game with in-app purchases. 


Attention, all Audio Description users! In Sydney


Ericsson Broadcast and Media Services creates audio description for:

•       Feature films

•       Short films

•       Promotional DVDs

•       Film festivals

•       Online videos

•       Television


We want to hear what you think of the examples of Audio Description you’ve experienced so far, including anything produced by us (or when we were operating as Red Bee Media Australia). If you haven’t yet viewed any programs or films with our Audio Description, we’d like to show you some brief examples and hear any feedback you have to offer.


We invite you to attend a Consumer Forum on Saturday 14th November so we can hear your views and exchange ideas in an informal, friendly discussion at our Sydney office, based in Rosebery.


Attending from Ericsson will be in-house audio describers Jo Ellis and Frances Mathey, Client Liaison Manager Iain Humphrey and a member of our technical team to set up our clips and record the event.


Please note, any recording of our discussion will be used strictly within Ericsson for reference purposes only.


This event is hosted solely by Ericsson and not in conjunction with any broadcaster, content producer or legislative body.


The discussion will be followed by light refreshments.

Places are limited, so please RSVP if you’d like to come along and contribute to the discussion!


When:                   10:00am-12:00pm, Saturday 14th November 2015

Where:  Ericsson Broadcast and Media Services, 5-11 Mentmore Ave, Rosebery NSW 2018


How to get here:

-       Link to map (please note, Ericsson is still listed on the map as Red Bee Media Australia):,151.2049525,15z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0xad11962b432f3d01

-       If you will be arriving by car, there is secure, off-street parking inside our front gate, where there will be someone waiting to greet you.

-       If you are using public transport, our office is a 15-minute walk from Green Square station on the Airport Line.  From Green Square Station, you can also take Bus 309 from the Botany Road stop opposite the station (Stop 201715) to Botany Road near Epsom Road, Zetland (Stop 201717), and then walk left up Epsom Road and turn right onto Mentmore Avenue in 125m.

-       If you are coming from Redfern Station, you can walk to Regent Street after Redfern Street (Bus Stop 201622) and catch Bus 309 as above.

-       If you are coming from Central Station, you can catch Bus 343 from outside the station on Elizabeth Street near Kippax Street (Stop 20180) to Rothschild Ave opposite Cressy Street in Rosebery (Stop 201835). Walking from there, you turn right from Rothschild Ave into Cressy Street, then take the first right into Mentmore Avenue.


Please let us know if you need any further assistance in finding the venue, otherwise there will be someone waiting to greet you at the front of the Ericsson Building.


RSVP:   By Friday 6th November 2015

To Jo Ellis and Frances Mathey, Audio Describers at Ericsson Broadcast and Media Services


A Day In My Life Using Apple Products Apple Store Workshop Oct 29 2015 at 5PM


I will be presenting at the Brisbane Apple Store on October 29 at 5pm on how I use Apple products during the course of the day: should be lots of fun. 


KNFB Reader Comes to the Google Play Store


We have had the KNFB Reader OCR app for iOs for quite a while, now it is the turn for the Android platform.  According to the Play Store, the first 25 scans are free then you have to purchase the app. 


In The Future, How Will We Talk To Our Technology


An interesting article on the future of talking to our mobile devices.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Talking Tech for October 20 2015

New Accessible Technology Users Group


A new group has recently formed called the Accessible Technology Users Group (ATUG).  This will be an on-going group meeting on the second Wednesday of the month.


Guest speakers will be presenting to us on all sorts of subjects to do with accessible technology for those who are blind or have low vision – from Microsoft to Apple products – iPhones and androids – - Apps – zoom text to gadgets that enhance our daily lives.


The meeting begins at 7:30 pm eastern daylight saving time and concludes at 9:00 pm.


There is no cost to join the group just the cost of the call.


To join the meeting you will need to dial yourself in using the following phone number and access code:


Dial-in Number:

03 8672 0100

Participant Access Code:

767530 then press hash.


We request anyone participating by phone to call five minutes before the start of the meeting if possible to avoid disruption.


For further information about this meeting please email Susie Barrington


If you know of anyone else who may enjoy and benefit from any of our discussions then by all means tell them about this group.  Give them Susie’s email address.  This group is for everyone who wants to learn more and to find out what resources are out there for those who are blind or have low vision.


This group is not affiliated with any organisation.


Apple Updates Siri Resource Page


Ever wondered what commands you can use with Siri, this is a fairly comprehensive list from Apple itself. 


A Siri Tip


Disable “Hey Siri” by Putting your iPhone Screen face Down. 


A Day In My Life Using “Hey Siri”


A podcast in a day of me using “Hey Siri”.


Apple Updates Popular Apps Using VoiceOver Page


This is the US list for popular apps using Voiceover from Applevis. 


Apple Updates iOs and OS X iWork Suite (Pages, Numbers and Keynote)


Accessibility improvements for VoiceOver users across Pages, Numbers, and Keynote.  In particular, ability to track changes and comments on both iOS and OS X. 

Apple’s Updated OS X 10.11 El Capitan


Contains VoiceOver and low vision improvements.

VoiceOver: VoiceOver modifier keys, changes to interaction command, and Window Spots.

Low vision: wriggle mouse to locate mouse pointer.


Demo of changing the VoiceOver modifier keys:


Demo of new ways to interact:


Demo of Window Spots:


In particular, like with iOS 9, I really like the fact that you can use Notes to make checkable lists: very useful for crating shopping lists. 


Apple Releases New 21 and 27 Inch iMacs


4k ain 21 inch and 5k in 27 inch iMacs with improved performance and storage.

Also comes with Apple’s new Magic keyboard 2 and Magic Mouse 2 (which you can change when purchasing for the Magic Trackpad 2 which works better with VoiceOver as mouse doesn’t support VoiceOver).


Apple’s new Magic Keyboard 2, Magic Trackpad 2, and Magic mouse 2


All products can be paired by plugging in a lightening cable to the Mac, and now have a inbuilt rechargeable battery.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Talking Tech for End of September and early to middle October

Talking Tech Sep 29 2015


ABC iView with Audio Description Update


Now available with Audio Described option on the Android Play Store.


According to Media Access Australia in a recent podcast from them, over 20.000 have used ABC iView since the the 15 month trial started in April 2015.


Considering it was only available on iOs, and recently Android, its a great number.


the ABC iView website should be supporting audio description late October or November, but no date has been announced.


So far I have listened to Glitch, Humans, and now currently Doctor Who.


A Small Number of Disney Audio Described movies on iTunes


In iTunes, if you type in “Blind Viewers” you will get a listing of several dedicated audio described movies.


A small number, but hopefully the start of better things to come.


Apps Specific for Seniors page Launched on the Australian iTunes Store 



Keynote - Free Typing Tutor for Mac and Windows


Very excited that there is now a typing tutor application now available for the first time for the Mac that works with VoiceOver. 



Guide Dogs NSW/ACT GPs app


This is a subscription based GPs app.  At the moment it’s being offered for $12.99 for a yearly subscription, but I believe after the first 500 downloads of the app, that the price of the subscription will increase dramatically.


Interesting app, although I’m not certain about why we need Altitude, why round abouts are identified as unnamed, and why include a Maps section if it’s not accessible.


One thing I do like is the orientation to an intersection: e.g. if its running left or right.




Voice Dream Reader Now Available in the Android Play Store


This excellent app for reading out docs with text to speech for iOS, is now available for Android.



Access World for September 2015


The item of note in this issue was: Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac: a first look. 


Games from kids friendly software


I’ve tried a few of these games in the past and found them quite good, but didn’t realise until recently that they have quite a few including:


Blindfold Blackjack,

Blindfold simon,

Blindfold dominos,

Blindfold pong,

Blindfold Hopper,

Blindfold Cryptogram,

Blind Video Poker,

Blindfold Sudoku,

Blindfold Sudoku mini, and

Blindfold racer.


And quite a few card games from Kid Friendly Games:

Blindfold Hearts,

Blindfold Spades,

Blindfold War,

Blindfold Solitair,

Blindfold Wildcard, and

Blindfold Crazy Eights.



Talking Tech for  first week of October 6 2015


Watch OS 2

Mail: Can now reply from watch.

Activity: get weekly stats via force touch.

Alarm: press Digital crown to snooze alarm or Friends button to stop.

FaceTime audio calling: can make/receive FaceTime audio calls.

Add groups of friends to Friends with the standard 12 contacts per friends group.

 Mute Stand Reminder for rest of day: great when your stuck in the car.

Time Travel: scroll digital crown on Clock Face to see current complications change in past or in the future: i.e. next Calendar item, Weather at 2PM etc.

Support for 3rd party complications.

New watch clock faces: time elapsed and Photos.

New colours in complications:

Switching from clock face to home screen, no interim jump to Clock on home screen.

Settings Glance: AirPlay options for choosing Apple watch speaker or BT device.

Can check Apple watch battery level from iOS 9 Notifications Today screen.



Ask Siri to open a glance “open heart beat glance” or “open settings glance”.

Start a workout directly by saying “start Indoor Walk Workout”.

Get a definition of a word “define telephone”.




Wake up watch mis-labelled but with new time setting.


Apple watch on iPhone renamed to watch and contains the new complications screen.



Can set an alarm, but can’t edit or delete.


More about iPhone 6 3D Touch and Watch OS 2


How to use 3D Touch on iPhone 6s from iMore 


A demo from Jonathan Mosen concerning iPhone 6s Siri issues and a quick demo of 3d touch 


An initial blog post from Applevis first 3 hours with the iPhone 6s 


Talking tech for 2nd week of Oct 2015


Catch up on Podcasts from September


Podcasts from me concerning iOS 9 and the Apple watch os 2 update


Watch os 2

Checking battery level of Apple watch from iOS 9 Notifications Today screen on iPhone,

Replying to email on the Apple watch,

Muting Stand Reminders for the day,

Demo of Night Stand mode and snoozing or stopping an alarm via the digital crown and friends buttons

Demo of Time Travel in watch os 2, and

Demo of upgrading from watch os 1.01 to watch os 2,

demo of accessing the new clock faces and a play around with the Time Lapse clock face in watch os 2

Demo of the slight change in watch os 2 to navigate between clock face and Home screen icons

Demo of using Siri and Glances in watch os 2


iOS 9

Demo of hand writing or Braille Screen Input if selected in VoiceOver practise in iOS 9,

Demo of the new text selection feature in VoiceOver, and

Hay Siri training tutorial.


Other Podcasts

Mac Cast podcast for Sep 24 2015: a chat about the upcoming Apple tv 

Media Access Australia


An update of the aBC iView trial from April this year for 15 months and how it is progressing. 

The Mosen at large podcast


Actually didn’t know this existed, but its Jonathan Mosen’s podcast feed on tech stuff which grabs his attention.


Besides the demo talking about Siri and 3d touch with the iPhone 6s, an interesting demo of live photos on the iPhone 6s and potential accessibility benefits. 


Other Podcasts to keep track of

Blind Bargains

Tech  Doctor

Main Menu

Mac Break Weekly

iOS Today