Talking Tech
Talking Tech 20th August 2019

Talking Tech 20th August 2019

August 20, 2019

To give you a bit of time to shop for Father’s Day, Stephen and I invited Amanda Daizli  (Retail Coordinator from the Vision Australia Parramatta Vision Store) to come on to the program to chat about some Father's Day gift ideas from the Vision Store.


Large Silver Talking Watch


Explore 8 electronic magnifier


Book Light


Clover 5 electronic magnifier


My own two picks from the Vision Store which I’ve already purchased smile are:

Google Home

Google Home:


Talking Builders Tape Measure


I also talk about my early Father’s day present: the Ember Temperature controlled mug, keeps your coffee, tea ETC  hot up to an hour on its own charge or all day when back on the charging pad:

Yes, I know it is not necessary, but drinking a whole cup of nicely brewed coffee hot from the top to the bottom of the mug I think is fantastic smile.


Whilst I am talking about Father's Day, here are some Apple gift ideas which you can also order from the Vision Australia Store:

Apple Watch, AirPods, Apple TV, iPod touch, and an iPhone 8 or 8 plus.

Ring 1300 847 466 to order.


Enjoy Father's Day from the Talking Tech Team.

Talking Tech 13th August 2019

Talking Tech 13th August 2019

August 13, 2019

Apple WWDC 2019 Videos and Transcripts Now Available


Blind Alive Eyes Free Fitness is Still Available to Download Free Workouts etc


A Twist on - What Technology is Most Likely to be Obsolete in Fifty Years


BrailleNote Touch Verses BrailleSense Polaris from AccessWorld


Blind Bargains Podcast Interviews from NFB and ACB 2019

Quite a wide ranging number of podcasts from both the NFB and ACB conferences.


Two Recent Tech Friday Sessions Worth a Chat About: Daisy Players, and Sunu Band verses the Buzz Clip


In the Daisy workshop I went through the Victor Stratas, Victor Reader Stream, and the Envoy Connect and discussed the differences.

Had a great discussion on the pros and cons of either using the Sunu Band or the Buzz Clip.

Catch the podcasts from the Vision Store at

Talking Tech 6th August 2019

Talking Tech 6th August 2019

August 6, 2019

Just an Article to Consider from Apple’s Recent Financial 3rd Quarter Update


Apple Watch and AirPods now outselling iPads.


Amazon and Google Follow Apples Lead on Human Voice Assistant Review Policies


Looks like human review of speaking to your smart device snippet recordings is on hold whilst there is a review on privacy.


Register for Game Your Way with Xbox - Webinar from Microsoft


This Webinar which is part of the Microsoft Accessibility series will be on August 21 from 12PM to 1PM Pacific US time and will be great to find out the state of Xbox accessibility/gaming, and ask any questions.


Web Aim Screen Reader Survey Number 8



This is a great way of adding to the knowledge of what devices, operating systems, web browsers or apps, and access technology is used by people with a disability to access info via the web.


Top Tech Tips for Using Technology with Arthritis


Excellent reminder that there are other ways besides the mouse on using a smart phone or computer.


The Complete List of Google Home and Google Assistant Commands as of august 2019


Excellent refresher on what you can say to a Google smart speaker or the app running on a smart device,


Essential Tips for Using the amazon Echo


Some top tips on using the Amazon Echo.


Apple WWDC 2019 Videos and Transcripts Now Available


Having transcriptions from the various workshops from WWDC 2019 will allow you to search for content that you are most interested in.  Great resource.


Talking Tech 30th July 2019

Talking Tech 30th July 2019

July 30, 2019

In this weeks show, Stephen and David catch up with Ray again to have a chat about a couple of GPS apps that Ray has been looking at from a low vision perspective.

Also a handy reminder from the folks at Sydney Airport. Remember that you can use Aira for free on your smart phone to get sighted assistance when you are navigating the airport, you don’t have to be a paid subscriber (Explorer) to use the service when you are at Sydney Airport, similar to visiting all Vision Australia office locations.

For more info about Aira go to:

both iPhone and Android supported.

Talking Tech 23rd July 2019

Talking Tech 23rd July 2019

July 23, 2019

In this show, Stephen and David catch up with one of our Tech volunteers to get his opinions on iOS 13 from a low vision perspective.

Talking Tech 16th July 2019

Talking Tech 16th July 2019

July 16, 2019

Another Interesting Product from the Vision Store - Braille Overlay for the 



Some Thoughts from David on his Coding with Dash podcast series


Talking Tech 9th July 2019

Talking Tech 9th July 2019

July 9, 2019

New Amazing Product Comes to the Vision Store - Olitech Easy Tel 3G Desktop Phone


Oh My Goodness - Why Didn’t I Know This Existed - Lost Your WiFi Password Find It on your Mac


Sunu Band and Aftershokz Trekz Special Offer


Braille Canute  360 Multi Line Braille display.Reader


Apple Adds over 100.000 Radio Stations to Siri Ahead of iOs 13 Launch in September


iPod touch 7th Generation Review Notes


Excellent entry level iOS device.

4 inch touch screen.

Aluminium back.

A10 Fusion chip.

2GB RM (up from 1GB).

8MPS back and 1.2MPS front camera (same as V6).

Between the back camera bump and the flash, the microphone is located.

WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity.

Speaker bottom left.

Starting at 32GB for $299.

Besides 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB (finally bigger than the original iPod Classic).

6 colours including project red.

Physical Home button, 3.5MM ear phone jack, lightning connector, volume up/down buttons, and power button.

AR supported with the A10 Fusion chip.

Able to do FaceTime video Group calling up to 30 participants (V6 only supported audio for Group FaceTime).

No Face ID, finger print ID, 3D Touch, haptic feedback or wireless charging.

Talking Tech 2nd July 2019

Talking Tech 2nd July 2019

July 2, 2019

In this weeks Talking tech amongst other topics, is David’s review of the new Powerbeats Pro from Apple.


Here is David’s full review.


Powerbeats Pro draft review notes


The Powerbeats Pro consist of two Bluetooth ear phones, charging case, and lightning cable to plug the charging case in to power.  The ear phones can be used separately or together to maximise use.


The ear phones of the Powerbeats Pro consist of each ear phone unit being rectangular in shape with a volume rocker on top and a tactile Beats button on the rear of the outside face, a moulded angled ear hook which fits over the left or right ear, and an angled ear piece to deliver sound more in to the ear canal.


Powerbeats Pro last up to 9 hours on a single charge.


Charging case is square and quite chunky,, about 4 times the size of the AirPods charging case.  Has a hinged lid.  When open, has two slots with charging connectors to take each of the ear phones.  In front of these slots in the middle at the front of the case when open, there is a connect button which allows connection to other Bluetooth devices.

The top of the  charging case has an indented raised Beats symbol, and the bottom of the charging case is concave.


I appreciate the size of the charging case, given its size, a lot less chance of getting lost in my computer bag.


Charging case offers 24 hours of recharge for the Powerbeats Pro.  If ear phones low on charge, 5 minutes in the charging case will give another 1.5 hours of use.


Check the charge of the charging case by opening the case up near the iPhone to have the popup come up and give the charge state of both the case and the ear phones.


To connect the Powerbeats Pro, similar to AirPods. Open up case near iPhone, choose connect when presented with the popup dialog.


As soon as you put the Powerbeats pro on, they connect with an audible tone straight away.  Take them off, and they turn off.  When wearing the Powerbeats pro, they are in an intelligent standby mode when audio is not playing, saving battery.


As the Powerbeats last up to 9 hours, I tend to use both ear phones at the same time, only needing to charge at the end of the day when home.  Unlike the AirPods, where I need to swap one in and out of the charging case to give me a full day of use.


There is something nice of having physical controls for volume (rocker), and the Beats button to control audio as well as answering/hanging up on a phone call on each of the ear phones.  As the Beats button is tactile, easy to locate with touch.



The actual microphone that is used for Hey Siri, phone calls, and recording is located on the bottom side of the Powerbeats Pro, the opposite end to the Beats button.


As I mainly use audio for VoiceOver, listening to eBooks, podcasts, radio, and mainly chill out music, I find the audio quality for me is excellent.


Volume of the Powerbeats Pro is certainly louder than the AirPods plus the fact that they are more in your ear, means that in a noisey environment they work well.


Very responsive when using Voiceover gestures, doesn’t feel like you are using BT ear phones, especially when using the on-screen keyboard.


Hey Siri is great with these now wireless Powerbeats Pro.  However, I find my HomePod jumps in if I am near by, unlike the AirPods.


Like the AirPods, Powerbeats Pro work with Live Listen.


Phone call quality is reasonable with the Powerbeats Pro, seem to be slightly clearer than if you were using just hands free on the iPhone.


As the Powerbeats Pro has flexible ear hooks, no chance of having them just drop out of your ears.


The Powerbeats Pro are available in various colours - ivory, moss, navy, and black.


Simple control operation of Volume rocker and Beats button:

Hold down or keep pressing front of Volume rocker to increase volume.

Hold down or keep pressing back of Volume rocker to decrease volume.

Hold down Beats button to invoke Siri (remember Hey Siri).

Press beats button once to start/stop audio or answer/hang up a phone call.

Whilst playing music - Beats button twice for next track or 3 times for previous track.


As I wasn’t used to having a rubber ear hook over my ear or the ear piece more in my ear then the AirPods, has taken several days to get use to the feeling. As the Powerbeats Pro come with 3 extra sets of ear tips, important to find the correct size for comfort.

It took a bit of time of getting used to putting the Beats on,  and positioning in the case.  However, after a week or so don’t even think about either process.


The ear phones only slightly block sound coming in to your ear.  Need to be aware of the size of the ear tip in use.


A bit disappointing that the Powerbeats Pro do not work with Find My iPhone, and unlike the AirPods, do not come up as a used device across Apple products.


The charging case of the Powerbeats Pro is not a wireless charging case.


Recording quality with the Powerbeats Pro is ok.  However, no where near the clarity of the internal iPhone microphone.


Cost: $349Au.


Talking Tech 25th June 2019

Talking Tech 25th June 2019

June 25, 2019

Until the End of This Week - Drop In to Your Local Vision Australia Office to See What Low Tech and High Tech Bargains can be Had


If You Want to Grab the Iris Vision for Only $2300 Australian with the S7 only 10 Units Left from VA, online shop link below.


For Thos Interested in Australia, Both ACB and NFB Conferences Coming Up in the US.


Posted My Original Demo of the iPhone 3GS Last Week to Celebrate 10 years of VoiceOver on the iPhone


Two Podcasts on Dash the Educational Robot - Intro and Making Dash Move


Intro to Dash


Making Dash Move


My Feedback on the Bose Frames


Like the fact that when you take the Bose Frames off and turn them upside down, they disconnect.

Easy to connect using the Bose Connect app to my iPhone.

The fact that you have both sunglasses and audio in the same unit is quite a benefit.

From a quiet to a medium noisy environment, the sound of the Bose Frames can be heard.

When speaking on the phone, sound quality is ok, you can hear background noise, but quite usable.

Do get caller ID coming through the Frames, can answer/hangup call with with the single button.

Total of 3 hours for playing audio before a full charge still gives a whole day of using VoiceOver now and then through the day

The 3D audio apps that you can download from the iOS App Store are in some ways a bit of a gimmick and don’t work well with VoiceOver.  However, Sound Scape works well the Bose.

Not happy with the fact that the Bose Frames have a dedicated magnetic UsB charging cable.

I found that they regularly slip down on my nose.

They do bleed audio: i.e. someone can hear that you’re listening to audio.  Turn them down to %50 works to reduce this audio bleed.

As sound being sent to your ear, rather than bone conduction or over/in ear, these aren’t much good for noisy environments.

Holding in the single button to invoke Siri feels quite slow compared to my AirPods 2, up to about 2.5 second to respond.

Besides being told when the Bose Frames are about to run out of battery, there is no audio indication when the Frames are plugged in to power.  When connected, a user can either use the Bose Connect app or check in Notifications Centre battery status for how much battery is remaining: i.e. charge them up, take them off charge, and check when connected.


A Note About the Belkin Boost Up Wireless Chargers from Vision Australia Store


These ones are smaller than my original Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charger, and a great point they use a Micro USB connection for power rather than a dedicated AC adapter.

Talking Tech 18th June 2019

Talking Tech 18th June 2019

June 18, 2019

iPod touch 7th Generation Now Available


Nice to have the entry level iOS device back again with a processor update.

If you can’t afford an iPad or an iPhone, this is a great way of getting in to the iOS universe.


One of my Favourite  Wireless Chargers Now in Vision Store


The Belkin Boost Up wireless charger is now on sale through the VA Store only for $40.  It can charge iPhone, Samsung, AirPods, the Samsung Watch etc.

Just a nifty accessory to have in your home.


Playing Around with Ballyland Coding Apps and the Dash Robot


Looking at the Ballyland basic coding app for primary school students which are self voicing and more advanced using Swift Playgrounds to code the Dash Robot using then Dash Template (third party playground from Wonder workshop the manufacture of Dash.


Comments On The BrailleMe from Quantum Technology


Device similar to the Orbit Reader 20 cell Braille Display, and note taker.


10 Years since the iPhone 3GS was Released with iOS 3.31 to Support VoiceOver


Can’t say enough on how the intro of VoiceOver and of course the smart phone changed my work and personal life.