Personal Power; The iOS Edition, Getting the Most From iOS as a Blind User by Michael Feir

Hi all.  Here is an important resource for GTT participants who want to learn more about their iOS devices.

Personal Power; The iOS Edition

Getting the Most From iOS as a Blind User

by Michael Feir

Copyright 2016-2020 By Michael Feir

This guide may be distributed freely in unaltered form. It may be altered in order to make the information more accessible to people with disabilities.

Here is a link to it:

https://michaelfeir.blogspot.com/2020/04/personal-power-ios-edition.html?m=1

 

VoiceOver vs. Talkback: My Time on the Other Side | AppleVis

Having read this well done article I think I remain comfortable with my decision to stay with the iPhone.

###A Fair Look at Talkback and VoiceOver
— Read on www.applevis.com/blog/voiceover-vs-talkback-my-time-other-side

iOS 13 Tip: Quickly Activate Reader Mode in Safari | Thoughts from David Goldfield

In previous versions of iOS it was fairly easy to activate reader mode while on a supported page in the Safari Web browser. All that was needed was to navigate to the Reader button, located toward the upper left hand corner below the status line, and, if you are a VoiceOver user, double-tap. iOS 13…
— Read on davidgoldfield.wordpress.com/2019/10/20/ios-13-tip-quickly-activate-reader-mode-in-safari/

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.

QuickPath

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.

Activities

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

Email: GTTProgram@Gmail.com

Albert: 877-304-0968 Ext. 550

Email: albert.GTT@CCBNational.net

 

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:

GTTsupport+subscribe@groups.io

 

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.

[End]

CCB Tech Articles, Donna’s Low Tech Tips, Apps Round-up, September 2, 2019

September 2, 2019

Apps round up

 

Hi there!  It’s Donna and thank you for allowing me to come into your inbox.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to my apps roundup.

Enjoy!

 

1. App Wish List & Price Tracker (iOS, Free)

 

App Wish List lets you keep track of all the apps you’d like to get at a later time. Here’s how it works:

 

1) Apps are added to your wish list directly from within the App Store Using      the share extension.

2) Notifications are shown when there is a price drop or update of an app  > on      your wishlist.

3) You save money by waiting until the app you are interested in reaches The      perfect price.

4) Share the app discounts you’ve found with your friends and help them      save money too!

 

With App Wish List you can track an unlimited number of apps, there are no ads, and the app is completely free to use. Enjoy!

 

Current Version: 1.2.2 (November 8, 2018)

 

Read? App Wish List & Price Tracker’s AppleVis App Directory entry for more information [8]?

 

Visit? App Wish List & Price Tracker’s App Store page [9]?

https://www.applevis.com/apps/ios/shopping/app-wish-list-price-tracker

 

2. Bedr alarm clock radio (iOS, Free With In-App Purchases)

 

Wake up every day to your favourite radio station! Download this free app now and turn your iPhone into an alarm clock with radio streaming. With over 7,000 radio stations from all over the world, we deliver you the local news, sports, your favorite music and any radio station from any place in the world straight to your home.

 

with the free bedr radio app:

 

* wake up to radio stations from all over the world

* alarm clock with smooth alarm, snooze-timer, vibration and auto-stop

* snooze by simply tapping into the screen, tap twice to stop the alarm

* shake to stop the alarm but to continue the radio streaming (e.g. to Listen in the bathroom)

* artist and title of the current song

* use the night mode feature and turn your phone into a night clock

* adjustable brightness for the night clock

 

Current Version: 2.5.3 (November 15, 2018)

 

Read? Bedr alarm clock radio’s AppleVis App Directory entry for more information [10]?

https://www.applevis.com/apps/ios/music/bedr-alarm-clock-radio

Visit? Bedr alarm clock radio’s App Store page [11]?

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bedr-alarm-clock-

adio/id1053241118?mt=8

 

All recent app entries posted to AppleVis can be found at:

 

iOS [14]

https://www.applevis.com/apps/latest?type=ios_app_directory

Mac [15]

https://www.applevis.com/apps/latest?type=mac_app_directory

Apple Watch [16]

https://www.applevis.com/apps/latest?type=apple_watch_app_directo

y

Apple TV [17]

https://www.applevis.com/apps/latest?type=apple_tv_app_directory

 

That’s it from me for this week.

If you would like to become a member of  my CCB Mysteries chapter you can do so for the price of $10 annually and in return you will receive unlimited access to either of the following libraries.

Recipes –

http://www.donnajodhan.com/library-recipes.html

Audio mysteries for all ages –

http://www.donnajodhan.com/library-audio-mysteries.html

Or you can subscribe to both for the price of $20 annually.

Now you  can subscribe to “‘Let’s Talk Tips”‘ which is my monthly resource for the most

current and reliable informational tips available in the areas of Technology, Nutrition, Media, Business, and Advocacy.

http://bit.ly/ADJSubscribe

 

To contact me, send me an email at info@sterlingcreations.ca and I’ll be happy to respond.

Have yourselves a great day and see you next week.

Donna

 

 

Yes, Alexa, Siri, and Google are listening — 6 ways to stop devices from recording you by Janet Perez, Komando.com

Yes, Alexa, Siri, and Google are listening — 6 ways to stop devices from recording you

komando.com

 

Yes, Alexa, Siri, and Google are listening — 6 ways to stop devices from recording you

Janet Perez, Komando.com

Full text of the article follows this URL:

 

Seems like we owe the tinfoil hat club a big apology. Yes, there are eyes and ears everywhere in just about any large city in the world. Here in the good,

old U-S-of-A, our smartphones, tablets, computers, cars, voice assistants and cameras are watching and listening to you.

 

We don’t know what is more troubling — that these devices keep track of us or that we shrug our shoulders and say, “Oh well?” That attitude of surrender

may stem from an overwhelming sense of helplessness. ”

Technology is everywhere.

Why fight it?”

 

Truth is, it’s not a fight. It’s a series of tap-or-click settings, which we’ll walk you through.

 

You can take control of what your devices hear and record, and it’s not that hard. We have 6 ways to help you turn off and tune out Alexa, Siri, and Google,

as well as smartphones, third-party apps, tablets, and computers.

 

How to stop Alexa from listening to you

 

Weeks after the public discovered that Alexa, and by extension Echo devices

are always listening,

Amazon announced a

new Alexa feature that’s already available.

It allows you to command the voice assistant to delete recent commands. Just say, “Alexa, delete everything I said today.”

 

Sounds great, but there’s still the problems of Alexa always listening and your old recordings. Let’s tackle the old recordings first. Unless the delete

command is expanded to include all recordings, you still have to remove old files manually. Here’s what to do:

 

list of 4 items

  1. Open the Alexa app and go into the “Settings” section.
  2. Select “History” and you’ll see a list of all the entries.
  3. Select an entry and tap the Delete button.
  4. If you want to delete all the recordings with a single click, you must visit the “Manage Your Content and Devices” page at amazon.com/mycd.

list end

 

As for Alexa and Echo devices always listening, well you could turn off each of the devices, but then what’s the point of having them? The real issue is

that we discovered Amazon employees around the world are listening to us and making transcriptions.

 

Here’s how to stop that:

 

list of 7 items

  1. Open the Alexa app on your phone.
  2. Tap the menu button on the top left of the screen.
  3. Select “Settings” then “Alexa Account.”
  4. Choose “Alexa Privacy.”
  5. Select “Manage how your data improves Alexa.”
  6. Turn off the toggle next to “Help Develop New Features.”
  7. Turn off the toggle next to your name under “Use Messages to Improve Transcriptions.”

list end

 

For extra privacy, there’s also a way to mute the Echo’s mics. To turn the Echo’s mic off, press the microphone’s off/on button at the top of the device.

Whenever this button is red, the mic is off. To reactivate it, just press the button again and it will turn blue.

 

How to stop Siri from recording what you say

 

Alexa isn’t the only nosey assistant. Don’t forget the ones on your iPhones and Androids. On your iPhone,

“Hey Siri” is always on

waiting to receive your command to call someone or send a text message, etc. Apple says your iPhone’s mic is always on as it waits for the “Hey Siri”

command, but swears it is not recording.

 

If it still makes you nervous, you don’t have to disable Siri completely to stop the “Hey Siri” feature. On your iPhone, go to Settings >> Siri & Search >>

toggle off “Listen for Hey Siri.”

 

Note: “Hey Siri” only works for iPhone 6s or later. iPhone 6 or earlier has to be plugged in for the “Hey Siri” wake phrase to work.

 

How to delete your recordings from Google Assistant

 

Google Assistant has the

“OK Google” wake-up call,

but the company introduced the My Account tool that lets you access your recordings and delete them if you want. You can also tell Google to stop recording

your voice for good.

 

Here’s how to turn off the “OK Google” wake phrase: On Android, go to Settings >> Google >> Search & Now >> Voice and turn “Ok Google” detection off.

 

How to control third-party apps that record you

 

Even if you do all these steps for your Apple and Android devices, third-party apps you download could have their own listening feature. Case in point:

Facebook (although it denies it. But it’s still a good practice to check to see if third-party apps are listening).

 

Here’s how to stop Facebook from listening to you:

 

If you are an iPhone user, go to Settings >> Facebook >> slide the toggle next to Microphone to the left so it turns from green to white.

 

Or, you can go to Settings >> Privacy >> Microphone >> look for Facebook and slide the toggle next to it to the left to turn off the mic. You can toggle

the mic on and off for other apps this way, too.

 

For Android users go to Settings >> Applications >> Application Manager >> look for Facebook >> Permissions >> turn off the mic.

 

Tricks to disable screen recorders on tablets

 

Certain Apple iPads have the phone’s “Hey Siri” wake-up command feature. They are the 2nd-gen 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. Other iPad

and iPad Touch models have to be plugged in for the “Hey Siri” wake phrase to work.

 

The bad news for privacy seekers is that iPads come with a screen recording feature that also records audio.  It may pose issues in terms of both privacy

and security.

 

You can disable the screen recording feature through another feature, “Screen Time”:

 

list of 4 items

  1. Open the Settings app, and then tap Screen Time. On the Screen Time panel, tap “Content & Privacy Settings.”
  2. Tap “Content Restrictions.” If you don’t see this option, turn on the switch next to “Content & Privacy Restrictions” to unhide it.
  3. Under “Game Center,” tap “Screen Recording.”
  4. Tap “Don’t Allow” and then exit the Settings app. The screen recording control should no longer work, even if it is enabled within the Control Center.

list end

 

Screen Time is available in iOS 12 and above. If you are still using iOS 11 or iOS 10 on your iPhone or iPad, the above steps can be found under Settings

>> General >> Restrictions.

 

Android tablets also can record video and audio. However, you have to use a third-party app to disable the camera.

 

On your Android device, go to the Play Store, then download and install the app called “Cameraless.”

 

list of 5 items

  1. Once installed, launch the app from your app drawer.
  2. On the app’s main menu, tap the option for “Camera Manager On/Off.” By default, the camera manager is set to “Off,” so you need to enable the app first

as one of your device administrators before you can switch it “On.”

  1. Once your camera manager is “On,” just tap the option for “Disable camera” then wait until the notice disappears on your screen.
  2. Once you’re done, just close the app then go to your tablet’s camera icon.
  3. If successfully disabled, you’ll immediately get a notice that your device camera has been disabled due to security policy violations. This is the notice

that you’ll get from the “Cameraless” app. If you click “OK” you’ll be taken back to your home screen.

list end

 

Desktop and laptops are watching and listening too

Computer monitor and keyboard

 

We’ve been warned for years about hackers taking control of cameras on your computer screen. No need for elaborate instructions on disabling and enabling

the camera. Just slap a sticker on it and only remove it if you have to use Skype. Sometimes the best solutions are the simplest ones.

 

Unfortunately, you do have to root around your computer a bit to turn off mics.

 

For PCs running Windows 10, the process is actually quite painless. Right-click on the “Start Button” and open “Device Manager.” In the “Device Manager”

window, expand the audio inputs and outputs section and you will see your microphone listed as one of the interfaces. Right-click on “Microphone” and select

“Disable.” You’re done.

 

For Macs, there are two methods depending on how old your operating system is. For Macs with newer operating systems:

 

list of 5 items

  1. Launch “System Preferences” from the Apple menu in the upper left corner.
  2. Click on the “Sound” preference panel.
  3. Click on the “Input” tab.
  4. Drag the “Input volume” slider all the way to the left so it can’t pick up any sound.
  5. Close “System Preferences.”

list end

 

If you have an older operating system, use this method:

 

list of 5 items

  1. Launch the “System Preferences.”
  2. Click on “Sound.”
  3. Click on the “Input” tab.
  4. Select “Line-in.”
  5. Close System Preferences

list end

 

Now you know how to take control of your devices and how they listen and record you. It’s a pretty simple way to get your privacy back, at least some of

it.

 

Stop Facebook’s targeted advertising by changing your account settings

 

Let me be frank: I only keep a Facebook account to engage with listeners of my national radio show. I don’t use my personal account. I stepped away from

the social media platform, and I never looked back.

 

Click here to read more about Facebook advertising.

 

Please share this information with everyone. Just click on any of the social media buttons on the side.

 

list of 14 items

  • Fraud/Security/Privacy
  • Alexa
  • Amazon
  • Android
  • Apple
  • Echo
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • iPad
  • Mac
  • PC
  • Privacy
  • Security
  • Siri

list end

 

_._,_._,_

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You receive all messages sent to this group.

View/Reply Online (#18797) | Reply To Group | Reply To Sender | Mute This Topic | New Topic

Your Subscription | Contact Group Owner | Unsubscribe [albert.gtt@ccbnational.net]

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Voice Dream Scanner: A New Kind of OCR by Bill Holton, AccessWorld

Voice Dream Scanner: A New Kind of OCR | AccessWorld
Author Bill Holton
9-11 minutes

Bill Holton
There is a new player in the optical character recognition (OCR) space, and it comes from an old friend: Winston Chen, the developer of Voice Dream Reader and Voice Dream Writer, both of which we’ve reviewed in past issues of AccessWorld. In this article we’ll start out with a brief conversation with Chen. Then we’ll take a look at the developer’s latest offering: Voice Dream Scanner. Spoiler alert—it will probably be the best $5.99 you’ll ever spend on a text recognition app!
AccessWorld readers who use their phones to audibly read e-Pub books, PDFs or Bookshare titles are likely already familiar with Voice Dream Reader. It works so well with VoiceOver and TalkBack, it’s hard to believe it wasn’t developed specifically for the access market. But according to Chen, “I just wanted to build a pocket reader I could use to store all my books and files so I could listen to them on the go. No one was more surprised than me when I began receiving feedback from dyslexic and blind users describing how helpful Voice Dream Reader was for their needs and making some simple suggestions to improve the app’s accessibility.”
Chen’s second offering, Voice Dream Writer, was also directed at the mainstream market. “Sometimes it’s easier to proofread your document by listening to it instead of simply rereading the text,” says Chen. At the time, Apple’s VoiceOver cut and paste features and other block text manipulation capabilities were,shall we say, not quite what they are today? The innovative way Chen handled these functions made Voice Dream Writer equally useful to users with visual impairments.
Reinventing the OCR Engine
“I’ve been wanting to add OCR to Voice Dream Reader for a few years now,” says Chen. “It would be useful for reading protected PDF’s and handouts and memos from school and work.”
The hurdle Chen kept encountering was finding a useable OCR engine. “There are some free, open source engines, but they don’t work well enough for my purposes,” he says. “The ones that do work well are quite expensive, either as a one-time license purchase with each app sold or with ongoing pay-by-the-use options. Either of these would have raised the price I have to charge too much for my value proposition.”
Last year, however, Chen began experimenting with Apple’s artificial intelligence (AI), called Vision Framework, that’s built into the latest iOS versions, along with Google’s Tesseract, TensorFlow Lite, and ML Kit.
“Instead of using a single standard OCR engine, I combined the best aspects of each of these freely available tools, and I was pleasantly surprised by the results.”
Instead of making OCR a Voice Dream Reader feature, Chen decided to incorporate his discovery into a separate app called Voice Dream Scanner. “I considered turning it into an in-app purchase, only there are a lot of schools that use Reader and they aren’t allowed to make in-app purchases,” he says. As to why he didn’t simply make it a new Reader feature, he smiles, “I do have a family to feed.”
Chen has been careful to integrate the new Voice Dream Scanner functionality into VD Reader, however. For example, if you load a protected PDF file into the app and open it, the Documents tab now offers a recognition feature. You can now also add to your Voice Dream Reader Library not only from Dropbox, Google Drive, and other sources, including Bookshare, but using your device’s camera as well.
To take advantage of this integration you’ll need both Voice Dream Reader and Voice Dream Scanner. Both can be purchased from the iOS App Store. VD Reader is also available for Android, but currently VD Scanner is iOS only.
Of course you don’t have to have VD Reader to enjoy the benefits of the new Voice Dream Scanner.
A Voice Dream Scanner Snapshot
The app installs quickly and easily, and displays with the icon name “Scanner” on your iOS device. Aim the camera toward a page of text. The app displays a real-time video image preview which is also the “Capture Image” button. Double tap this button, the camera clicks, and the image is converted to text almost immediately. You are placed on the “Play” button, give a quick double tap and the text is spoken using either a purchased VD Reader voice or your chosen iOS voice. Note: You can instruct Scanner to speak recognized text automatically in the Settings Menu.
From the very first beta version of this app I tested, I was amazed by the speed and accuracy of the recognition. The app is amazingly forgiving as far as camera position and lighting. Envelopes read the return addresses, postmarks and addresses. Entire pages of text voiced without a single mistake. Scanner even did an excellent job with a bag of potato chips, even after it was crumpled and uncrumpled several times. Despite the fact there is no OCR engine to download, and the recognition is done locally, a network connection is not required. I used the app with equal success even with Airplane mode turned on.
After each scan you are offered the choice to swipe left once to reach the Discard button, twice to reach the Save button. Note: the VoiceOver two-finger scrub gesture also deletes the current text.
Scanner does not save your work automatically. You have the choice to save it as a text file, a PDF, or to send it directly to Voice Dream Reader. You probably wouldn’t send a single page to Reader, but the app comes with a batch mode. Use this mode to scan several pages at once and then save them together: perfect for that 10-page print report your boss dropped on your desk, or maybe the short story a creative writing classmate passed out for review.
Other Scanner features of interest to those with visual impairments are edge detection and a beta version of auto capture.
Edge detection plays a tone that grows increasingly steady until all four edges are visible, at which time it becomes a solid tone. Auto-capture does just that, but since the AI currently detects any number of squares where there is no text this feature is only available in beta. However, if you’re using a scanner stand it will move along quite nicely, nearly as fast as you can rearrange the pages.
You can also import an image to be recognized. Unfortunately, as of now, this feature is limited to pictures in your photo library. There is currently no way to send an e-mail or file image to Scanner. Look for this to change in an upcoming version.
The benefits of Voice Dream Scanner are by no means limited to the blindness community. Chen developed the app to be used as a pocket player for documents and other printed material he wishes to scan and keep. Low vision users can do the same, then use either iOS magnification or another text-magnification app to review documents. It doesn’t matter in which direction the material is scanned. Even upside-down documents are saved right-side up. Performance is improved by the “Image Enhancement” feature, which attempts to locate the edges of scanned documents and save them more or less as pages.
The Bottom Line
I never thought I’d see the day when I would move KNFB-Reader off my iPhone’s Home screen. Microsoft’s Seeing AI gave it a good run for its money and until now I kept them both on my Home screen. But I have now moved KNFB-Reader to a back screen and given that honored spot to Voice Dream Scanner.
Most of my phone scanning is done when I sort through the mail. Seeing AI’s “Short Text” feature does a decent job helping me sort out which envelopes to keep and which to toss into my hardware recycle bin. But Scanner is just as accurate as any OCR-engine based app, and so quick, the confirmation announcement of the Play button often voices after the scanned document has begun to read.
This is the initial release. Chen himself says there is still work to be done. “Column recognition is not yet what I hope it will be,” he says. “I’d also like to improve auto-capture and maybe offer users the choice to use the volume buttons to initiate a scan.
Stay tuned.
This article is made possible in part by generous funding from the James H. and Alice Teubert Charitable Trust, Huntington, West Virginia.
Comment on this article.
Related articles:
• Envision AI and Seeing AI: Two Multi-Purpose Recognition Apps by Janet Ingber
• An Evaluation of OrCam MyEye 2.0 by Jamie Pauls
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• Letters, We Get Letters: Receiving Digital Scans of Your Mail Envelopes Using Informed Delivery
• A Look at the New Narrator, Microsoft’s Built-In Windows Screen Reader
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GTT Edmonton Summary Notes, Using Netflix on Your iDevice, April 8, 2019

            Summary Notes

GTT Edmonton Meeting April 8, 2019

 

The most recent meeting of the Get Together with Technology (GTT) Edmonton Chapter was held April 8 at 7pm at Ascension Lutheran Church 8405 83 Street in Edmonton.

15 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.

 

April Topic – USING NETFLIX On YOUR iDevice

Wendy Edey demonstrated how a blind person can use their iPhone to find and play described video movies and other programs on the Netflix service.

 

Netflix is a streaming service that allows you to watch movies, documentaries and TV shows on- a computer, a tablet or a smart phone.

This presentation focused on using Netflix with iPhone with Voice Over. Accessibility is not perfect, but it is usable.

 

Netflix Fees

Netflix charges a monthly fee and can be cancelled at any time. You can pay for one, two or four users. Four users costs $16.99 per month.

One user costs $9.99 per month. The cost for two screens is $13.99. If you pay for more than one person, all the users can use Netflix on different devices at the same time. The users do not need to be in the same home. They can even be in different cities. If you know someone who has a spare screen on their account, you can ask them to register for you.

If not, you will need your own account.

The Netflix Ap is free from the Ap Store, but you will need a Netflix account to use it. If you are using one of the screens on somebody else’s account, you will need their email and password to sign in the first time.

 

App Navigation

From the Home screen you can view all the content by flicking through the items one at a time. For a more efficient journey, set your rotor to Headings and flip through the available headings.

There are four tabs at the bottom of the Home screen: Home, search, Downloads and More. You can view all available titles by flicking through the items one by one on the Home screen, or by setting your rotor to Headings and flicking through the headings that Netflix provides. On the search screen, you can type in the name of a movie or TV show to see if it is available. The Downloads screen shows items you have downloaded for off line use, and the More screen contains options for adjusting your account and profile preferences.

 

Playing Content

To play an item, tap twice with one finger and flick through the options. You will have the option to play it or add it to My List. If you choose to play it, the playback will begin. If you choose to add it, tap twice on My List. Then you can flick down through the options and choose Download. This will place the item in your iPhone. You will be able to watch it at any time without connecting to the Internet. When you want to remove the item from your iPhone, you can go back to My List and delete it there.

 

Controlling the Playback

All content will play in Landscape Mode even if you have locked the orientation of your screen. To control the playback, you will want to tip your phone into the landscape position. Tap twice in the middle of the screen to see the control menu when the content is playing. The control menu only stays on the screen for a very short time, so you may have to get it back a few times. On the control menu you will find options to pause, go back or forward by time or percentage, and change audio and subtitle options.

 

Audio description

Quite a few of the Netflix titles have audio description. You can set up your personal screen to enable audio description whenever it is available without affecting the settings on other screens using the same account. This can be done on your computer. Alternately  the people in the Help centre can do it for you. Indeed, the help line people provide very good support. When you set up the ap on your iPhone you can set Audio Description as a default. You can turn it off during the playback for any individual item.

 

Next Meeting (Monday May 13, 2019 at 7pm)

  • Stephannie Leach, independent Living Skills coordinator for CNIB, will demonstrate several low tech gadgets and apps that promote independent living.
  • As always, for help with technology bring your devices and/or questions to the meeting.

 

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.
  • 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 meeting consists of a feature technology topic, questions and answers about technology, and one-on-one training where possible.
  • Participants are encouraged to come to each meeting even if they are not interested in the feature topic because questions on any technology are welcome. The more participants the more talent and experience we will have to help each other.
  • There are GTT groups across Canada as well as a national GTT monthly toll free teleconference. You may subscribe to the National GTT blog to get email notices of teleconferences and notes from other GTT chapters. Visit:

http://www.gttprogram.wordpress.com/

To subscribe, activate the “Follow “link at the bottom of that web page to enter your email.

 

National GTT Email Support List

CCB 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:

GTTsupport+subscribe@groups.io

[End of Document]

 

 

Resources: Google Photos Will Now Automatically Detect Your Documents by Paul Monckton, Forbes.com

Google Photos Will Now Automatically Detect Your Documents

Author: Paul Monckton

Date Written: Mar 30, 2019 at 8:00 AM

Date Saved: 3/30/19, 11:01 PM

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/paulmonckton/2019/03/30/google-photos-will-now-automatically-detect-your-documents/

Smartphone cameras are useful for a lot more than selfies and landscapes; they also make very handy portable document scanners. Now Google Photos has launched a new feature designed specifically to make your documents look more presentable and legible.

 

Google’s new Crop and Adjust feature takes care of photographed documents and receipts Documents, unlike people or places, are designed to be read rather than admired and this usually requires an entirely different approach when it comes to processing them and making them look their best. This often involves using functions such as rotating, cropping, sharpening and perhaps converting them to black and white for maximum readability.

The new “Crop and Adjust” feature in Google Photos will detect any photographed documents and suggest suitable edits such as those listed above which can then be implemented automatically in a single tap.

The result is a correctly-rotated document with the background removed and any text made as clear as possible.

Google Photos users will find the Crop and Adjust rolling out soon on iOS and Android.

If you find this function useful, then it’s worth checking out the ‘Scan’ function built into the Google Drive app. The app provides a similar set of automatic enhancements to the new Google Photos function, with the added facility of saving your documents directly to your Google Drive as a PDF rather than a jpeg. Android users can also place a Google Scan widget for one-touch access to the document scanning function.

 

 

CCB Tech Articles, Donna’s Low Tech Tips, Apps round up, April 1, 2019

April 01 2019

Apps round up

 

Hi there!  It’s Donna and thank you for allowing me to come into your inbox.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to my apps roundup.

Enjoy!

 

  1. Cash Reader Tool for Blind (iOS, Free With In-App Purchases)

Cash Reader identifies banknote denomination for the largest number of currencies.

Point your camera to the money in hand and hear, see or feel its value.

All banknotes supported by Cash Reader are listed below alphabetically by region.

European Union:

Euro, British pound, Bulgarian lev, Croation kuna, Czech Crown, Danish krone, Hungarian

Forint, Polish zloty, Romanian leu, Swedish krona

Europe:

Bosnian mark, Icelandic crown, Norwegian krone, Russian Ruble, Swiss franc, Turkish

Lira, Ukrainian hryvnia

North America:

Canadian dollar, United States dollar

Middle East:

Jordanian Dinar, Kuwaiti Dinar, Saudi riyal

Asia:

Chinese yuan, Japanese yen

Oceania:

Australlian dollar

Africa:

Tunisian Dinar

App is localised to these languages:

English, German, French, Czech, Slovak, Arabic, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Bulgarian,

Swedish, Turkish.

Current Version: 1.20 (December 28, 2018)

 

Read Cash Reader Tool for Blind’s AppleVis App Directory entry for more information

https://www.applevis.com/apps/ios/utilities/backpack-studio

Visit Cash Reader Tool for Blind’s App Store page

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/backpack-studio/id1438882186?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D8

 

  1. MusicHarbor (iOS, Free)

Keeping up with the latest releases from your favorite artists has never been so easy.

With MusicHarbor you can follow artists closely and be the first to know about new

albums, singles and EP’s.

Apple Music Integration: You can import artists from your Apple Music library, or add

them manually.

Stay organized: MusicHarbor brings the feed concept to music releases. See all albums

from artists you follow on a single centralized timeline, chronologically ordered. Also,

you can filter by types like album, EP, single or remix.

Be notified: Receive notification when a new album is available and be the first to know!

 

Current Version: 1.6.0 (December 17, 2018)

Read MusicHarbor’s AppleVis App Directory entry for more information

https://www.applevis.com/apps/ios/music/musicharbor

Visit MusicHarbor’s App Store page

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/musicharbor/id1440405750?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D8

 

That’s it from me for this week.

If you would like to become a member of  my CCB Mysteries chapter you can do so for the price of $10 annually and in return you will receive unlimited access to either of the following libraries.

Recipes –

http://www.donnajodhan.com/library-recipes.html

Audio mysteries for all ages –

http://www.donnajodhan.com/library-audio-mysteries.html

Or you can subscribe to both for the price of $20 annually.

Now you  can subscribe to “‘Let’s Talk Tips”‘ which is my monthly resource for the most

current and reliable

informational tips available in the areas of Technology, Nutrition, Media,

Business, and Advocacy.

http://bit.ly/ADJSubscribe

 

To contact me, send me an email at info@sterlingcreations.ca and I’d be happy to respond.

Have yourselves a great day and see you next week.

Donna

 

 

Repost: Siri Shortcuts gets more useful: A shortcut guide to animating routines on your iPhone By Edward C. Baig,

Siri Shortcuts gets more useful: A shortcut guide to animating routines on your iPhone

By Edward C. Baig,

USA TODAY, 11:01 a.m. PST Feb. 28, 2019

 

The original article is found here:

 

The Siri Shortcuts feature that Apple launched last fall as part of iOS 12 has always had oodles of potential. And for some of you this feature, which lets you use your voice to automate a string of tasks or routines, may have just gotten a whole lot more useful.

On Thursday, Apple announced a fresh set of integrated Siri Shortcuts, which are just now available or coming soon, and which the company says joins the thousands of other apps that already take advantage of the feature. American Airlines and Airbnb join existing app partners such as Marriott’s Bonvoy, Pandora, Waze and The Weather Channel.

 

The basic idea behind the Shortcuts feature is that Siri can learn your app preferences and routines over a period of time to suggest shortcuts that can streamline tasks or commands on your iPhone or iPad, and in more limited instances on the Apple Watch, HomePod or AirPods. (The feature doesn’t work with Macs or on Apple TV, despite Siri’s presence on the hardware.)

 

Shortcuts work with the apps you already have on your devices. Some suggested shortcuts will appear automatically on the lock screen of your device or when you do a search, recommending, right then and there, for example, to call or message your spouse. You tap the button to activate the particular shortcut that shows up. You can initiate other shortcuts yourself by uttering a short designated phrase out loud.

What’s more, though fewer of you are likely to do so, you can also fetch the Apple Shortcuts app for free in the App Store and create your own custom shortcuts built around a personalized voice phrase you record.

The Amazon smart home: From Echo to Ring doorbell and Fire TV, are you comfortable with Amazon controlling your smart home?

Fortnite dip: Has ‘Fortnite’ peaked? As season 8 arrives, research suggests revenue dipped in January Apple is seeking ways to make Siri more helpful, especially in light of the fact that many pundits believe that its digital assistant lags Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Assistant, both of which also let you create customized routines via voice, often through Echo or Google Home smart speakers.

Samsung has similar designs with the Quick Commands feature associated with its Bixby assistant.

Among the newly announced Siri Shortcuts is one from American Airlines that will let you summon flight updates by voice (“Hey Siri, flight update”).

Such updates are contextual: Before leaving your house, you can get the drive time to the airport along with a map. After checking in, you’ll receive an updated flight status with a map of the terminal showing the gate location, walking time to that gate and boarding time.

 

Another new shortcut, from Merriam Webster Dictionary, will let you ask Siri for the word of the day.

A third new shortcut, from the Caviar local food delivery app, responds to commands such as “Hey Siri, order my usual pizza” or “Hey Siri, Caviar order status.”

Some of the Apple shortcuts integrate with some of your connected smart home appliances  For example, shortcuts tied to the Drop and Smarter apps will let you control coffee makers by voice.

Others shortcuts are meant to work with health devices you may use in conjunction with the iPhone. The Dexcom Continuous Glucose Monitoring System, for example, launched a shortcut that enables diabetics better manage glucose levels through their app (“Hey Siri, what’s my blood glucose?”).

Coming soon is a shortcut for ReSound hearing aids that will enable a person who is hard of hearing change the device settings, depending on the environment (“Hey Siri, restaurant mode.”) Building your own shortcuts To see which of your favorite apps have shortcut integrations, on your iPhone, visit Settings > Siri & Search > All Shortcuts.

To build your own shortcut, launch the Shortcuts app, and choose actions or building blocks, which are each of the basic steps that will make up your app. Apple presents a number of suggestions inside the app. For example, if you want to add a shortcut called Log Workout in conjunction with the Health app on your phone, you’d choose the type of activity (running, swimming, etc.), the duration, the calories burned or distance. You can then record the personalized phrase that would tell Siri to run the shortcut.

Inside the app you’ll also find a Gallery of premade Shortcuts that you might take advantage of.  Among the Morning Routine options, you’ll see, are shortcuts that let you know when to leave home so you won’t be late for work, as well as a brushing teeth timer that will make you sure you’re at it for a full two minutes.

 

Since shortcuts can be shared, you might want to pass that one along to your kids.

 

 

Primer on Converting Photos of Text on Facebook for Blind Screen Reader Users

A quick primer on how to convert a Facebook photo from your iPhone/iPad containing text so that screen reader users can enjoy the learning/laughter as well.  This primer supposes you are using iOS 12.x.

 

  1. download and install the free iOS app called Seeing AI. It’ll be your conversion tool.
  2. With focus on the target photo in Facebook one finger double tap to open it.
  3. Scroll through the page to find the More Button and one finger double tap to reveal a list of options, the first of which will be the Save Button. One finger double tap that button and the photo will be saved to the Camera Roll in your Photos Folder.
  4. Navigate to your Photos Folder and locate the last photo saved in the Camera Roll and open it with a one finger double tap.
  5. With the photo opened navigate to the bottom of the page and one finger double tap on the Share Button.
  6. Scroll through the list to find Seeing AI in the list and one finger double tap to launch it. It will convert the photo and any text therein for you. If the photo contains a picture it will attempt to interpret it, and in another section of the screen it will present the converted text.
  7. copy the text to the clipboard with a three finger quadruple tap.
  8. Navigate back to Facebook and locate the photo in question. You may have left it open when you navigated to the Photo Folder, so locate the Close Button and one finger double tap it. Otherwise, scroll to the original photo and perform a two finger double tap and hold to launch the edit field where you will paste the converted text.
  9. In the active Edit Field you will spin your Rotor to the item called Edit, then swipe up or down with one finger to find the Paste Button and one finger double tap it to paste the text from the clipboard.
  10. Once the text is pasted you can scroll to, and one finger double tap the Save Button.

 

Thank you in advance for making the FB world a little more accessible and enjoyable for blind, partially sighted and deaf-blind Facebook users.