GTT Edmonton October 17 Meeting Notes, iOS 13, October 18, 2019

            Summary Notes

GTT Edmonton Meeting October 17, 2019


The most recent meeting of the Get Together with Technology (GTT) Edmonton Chapter was held October17 at 7pm at Ascension Lutheran Church 8405 83 Street in Edmonton.

19 people attended.

Reading Tip: These summary notes apply HTML headings to help navigate the document. With screen readers, you may press the H key to jump forward or Shift H to jump backward from heading to heading. Read the Additional Resources section following the meeting notes to learn about our one on one telephone support, the National monthly teleconference, and the support email list.


2020 Membership Dues

Thank you to those who paid their CCB 2020 membership. 5 members renewed and we had 2 new members. Membership of $10 will continue to be collected in the November meeting.


October Topic –iOS 13

Apple continues to demonstrate its commitment to inclusive design with many new accessibility features  in iOS version 13. Thanks to the GTT Edmonton Team who discussed and demonstrated many of the new features in the October meeting.


AppleVIS iOS 13 Resources

You are encouraged to read the comprehensive summary on the AppleVis web site because we only have space for a brief summary of the iOS features in these notes.

As well, on the AppleVIS Podcast Page, Thomas Domville has posted excellent podcasts in which he discusses and demonstrates the new iOS 13 features. Use your favorite podcast app or the Victor Reader Stream and search for the AppleVIS podcast feed. Then scroll through the iOS 13 episodes. Here are several direct links to relevant episodes.

What’s New in iOS 13 Part 1

What’s New in iOS 13 Part 2

How to Use Voice Control on iOS 13

How to Use the New QuickPath Swipe Keyboard

How to Create and Use New VoiceOver Activity Profiles

How to Customize VoiceOver Haptic Feedback

How to Customize VoiceOver Gestures

How to Check Battery Life and Optimize Battery Charging


How to Update Your Phone

To determine your iPhone software version, go to Settings > General > About. To update your phone software, be sure you are connected to the Internet and then  go to Settings > General > Software Update and follow the prompts. The most recent version is 13.1.3.


List of iOS New Accessibility Features

If you don’t want to read about the iOS 13 features described on AppleVIS or listen to their podcasts, you can jump right in and try them. Here is a list to get you started.


Accessibility Menu

Apple Has moved Accessibility out of the General Settings to the top level of Settings to make it easier to find.

New Siri Voice

iOS 13 introduces a new female voice for Siri that is considered more natural sounding. It is the default Siri voice in iOS 13. It is available only as a female English U.S. voice.

Dark Mode

There  is a new screen appearance called Dark Mode which low vision users may want to investigate at Settings>Display and Brightness. This is a general feature not an accessibility feature. Some say it is a calmer, more unified appearance with less stress on the eyes. It’s also available in the Control Centre.

Voice Control

New Voice Control feature lets you control the phone by voice. To set it up go to Settings > Accessibility > Voice Control. Before using it, you will need to download 250MB of data so that Voice Control can work even if you are not connected to the internet.

VoiceOver Sounds and Haptics

VoiceOver now provides haptic feedback for many gestures and actions. You can control the haptics feedback and sound feedback by going to

Settings > Accessibility > VoiceOver > Audio > Sounds

& Haptics.  The haptics are on by default so you will likely notice them after you install iOS 13.

No more 3D Touch

Apple has replaced 3D Touch with a Context Menu  available on the rotor wherever 3D Touch was previously used such as the Home Screen.

Vertical Scroll Bar

On screens with lots of data such as Settings,  Messages, web pages, and many other places you can touch the right edge of the screen to find a vertical scroll bar. Flick up or down with your finger to quickly scroll through the data. For example, flicking to the 50% position on the scroll bar will position you halfway down the data.

Help with Photos

IN the camera app, VoiceOver now provides hints to help you better frame a photo such as whether the camera is level, the person or object is centred and even what it thinks the object might be.

More Customization of braille commands, Bluetooth keyboard commands, and gestures

Go to settings > Accessibility > VoiceOver > Commands to find what you can customize. For example, do you have difficulty with the rotor gesture or using the rotor on a web page to select heading navigation? You may want to create a custom gesture to set up a 2 finger flick to rotate the rotor or navigate web pages by heading.

Improved Braille screen typing

Some users are saying that with iOS 13 they can now type in braille on their iPhone screen faster than they can on an electronic braille hardware keyboard.

Chart Data Comprehension

iOS 13 has a data comprehension feature that attempts to describe and/or render in audio tones the information contained in graphical charts. For example, the Stocks app, Health app, and the battery level section of Settings>Battery have this feature. When you flick to a chart and hear the words, “Data Comprehension “, you can flick up multiple times to hear different interpretations of the chart data in speech and braille as well as an audio tone analog of the data.


There is a new general feature (not accessibility feature) for touch typing called Quick Path slide to type where iOS will announce the word it thinks you are trying to type as you slide and pause over successive keys. Some like it and others do not. It is on by default in iOS 13. If you find it more difficult to touch type in iOS 13, you may want to turn off this feature. Go to Settings > General > Keyboard and toggle off “Slide to Type”. You can also add Slide to Type to the VoiceOver rotor if you think you will want to enable/disable it frequently.


VoiceOver now has a feature called, Activities. It allows you to set up VoiceOver

profiles that will permit you to automatically switch from one set of VoiceOver settings to another based on launching an app, or on demand through the rotor. For example, in a News app or book reading app you may want a different Voice, language, speaking rate, volume, and different punctuation verbosity. Every time you launch the app, VoiceOver will switch to the customized settings profile and return to your default VoiceOver settings when you close the app. The profile settings also include choice of braille translation tables and choice of Bluetooth keyboard modifier keys. To create a custom Activity profile, go to Settings > Accessibility > VoiceOver > Activities and select “Add Activity”. To add Activities to the rotor, go to Settings > Accessibility >VoiceOver > rotor and select activities.


Speaking Punctuation

In iOS 13, you have much more control over which punctuation is spoken and how it is spoken.  Check it out in Settings>Accessibility>VoiceOver>Verbosity>Punctuation.

Detect Text

VoiceOver will attempt to detect text on unlabeled buttons. If you wish to disable this feature, go to Settings > Accessibility> Verbosity > Speak Detected Text.

Auto language switching

You can now enable or disable VoiceOver auto language switching. Go to Settings > Accessibility> VoiceOver > Speech.

New Braille Tables

You can download and use many more braille translation tables including Liblouis tables. Go to Settings > Accessibility > VoiceOver > Braille > Braille Tables.


Next Meeting (Monday November 11 at 7pm)

  • Topic will be computer security and how to stay safe in the modern online world.
  • As always, for help with technology bring your devices and/or questions to the meeting.


Additional Resources

Telephone Support

Contact our GTT coordinators, Kim Kilpatrick in the East or Albert Ruel in the West to book one on one telephone support.

Kim: 877-304-0968 Ext. 513


Albert: 877-304-0968 Ext. 550



GTT Blog and Monthly Teleconference

CCB sponsors a national GTT monthly teleconference. You may subscribe to the GTT blog to get email notices of teleconferences, meeting notes from GTT chapters, and other information. To subscribe, activate the Follow link at the bottom of the blog web page to enter your email.

GTT Email Support List

CCB also sponsors a GTT email support list to provide help and support with technology for blind and low vision Canadians.  To subscribe to the email list, send an empty email to:


Meeting Location and Logistics

  • Ascension Lutheran Church 8405 – 83 Street NW, Edmonton.
  • We meet in the basement hall. There is elevator access.
  • Enter the church from the back door. There is parking at the back and drop off space for taxis, DATS.
  • Meetings are every second Monday of the month at 7pm.
  • If you have someone helping you your assistant is welcome to remain for the meeting.


GTT Edmonton Overview

  • GTT Edmonton is a chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB).
  • GTT Edmonton promotes a self-help learning experience by holding monthly meetings to assist participants with assistive technology.
  • Each 2 hour meeting consists of a feature technology topic in the first hour and a general tech discussion in the second hour.


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