Besides the Apple WWDC 2019 Developers conference which happened today on June 4 and which we’ll dedicate a full program to next week, Stephen and I covered the following topics:
Free Site Access at Sydney AirPort via the Aira Service
This will make people who are blind travelling through Sydney airport a lot more comfortable as you can use the free Aira service to get around the airport.
And no, you don’t have to have a paid subscription to use the Aira service at free site access zones like the airport or Vision Australia offices: just sign up for free.
New MacBook Pro From Apple
Just to say it’s out, and really really aimed at professional folks who need the power of this new MacBook Pro.
Of course, we’ll talk about the Mac Pro next week, amazing machine.
for the MacBook Pro, up to 8 cores and turbo boost up to 4.8GHZ. $4099 for base model which isn’t to bad: well at least for Apple smile.
My Recent Appearance on Chat Across The Pond with Allison Sheridan in episode 594: 3rd time around with first time in 2012 then 2015 smile.
Having a bit of a chat about Samsung verses Apple, and some other stuff like electric cars.
Windows 10 Spring Update 2019
Narrator improvements as previously talked about on TT, more large cursors etc.
VA Parramatta Store Now Can Demo the Tile Tracking System
Pop in to one of the Vision Australia flag ship Vision Stores and have a play with the new Tile tag system which allows you to keep track of keys etc and also to use the actual tag to buzz your smart phone so you can find it as well.
My Beginning Adventures In To the LIFX Smart Globe System
Just some comments on my ventures in to setting up coloured lights with my boys and the fun of using a not quite accessible app.
How Voice Computing Will Change Our Lives
Just an interesting article.
As A Geek, I Celebrated Towel Day Last Week
One of my Absolute Fav Science Fiction Books, Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy, and of course, always make sure you know where your towel is.
Brailliant BI32 End Of Line
This display is now end of line, does not affect the BI14, 40 or 80.
Where To Find Continuous Conversation Mode on Google Home
This setting as the name imply’s is for you to have a continuous conversation with the google Home after the initial Ok Google, subsequent prompts will not need the wake word and you can just ask questions. However, its a bit hard to find so here is where you find this function within the Google Home app:
Settings button, More Settings button, Assistant tab, Continued Conversation button, and toggle it on.
Google Home Verbose Mode for Chromcasting Videos To Get Description Of Choices On Screen:
When you want to get a list of video choices when chrome casting to a TV, just say Turn On Verbose Mode and then next time you say “watch Subaru Forester Videos on Office TV, you’ll get the choices spoken out to you, and then just say the number of the choice you want: nice and accessible.
National Australia Bank NAB Now Supporting Apple Pay
Excellent news, now if the other major banks like Westpac will come and join the game that would be accessible fantastic. Whether with your Apple Watch or iPhone, Apple Pay is secure, private, and independent: you don’t need to give your PIN number over to anyone.
A Nifty Trick I’ve Come Across: How To Get Rid of Gunky Rubber Residue
Good old fashion ;pure alcohol. My first Airplay speakers from 2013 (AQ Audio Smart Speakers) had a rubber back which has been slowly deteriorating especially in the last 2 years. I tweeted the fact I was throwing them out on Twitter, and then a kind person told me about the alcohol solution: which I did to all the speakers including the ones in the bin smile.
How Voice Computing Will Change Our Lives
Just some ideas about current and future thoughts about voice computing.
Amongst the topics this week, two applications of specific Note - one for the Mac in the form of a web browser and a pretty amazing app for the iPhone.
DayRadar - O & M iOS App to Detect Objects Using the iPhone Camera
Pretty amazing use of AR using the iPhone camera to detect how far you are away from objects: almost like a mini guide or Sunu Band in your iPhone.
Here is the link to Dayradar in the App Store:
Microsoft Edge Available for Testing Including the Mac
Yes, you can now use Microsoft Edge on the Mac in beta form.
Really enjoying the experience on the Mac with VoiceOver so far. Are is the link to the Mac version.
Apple Is holding Accessibility Workshops on May 16 to Celebrate GAAD 2019
Great way to get the most out of your Apple products.
Another GAAD Event, A11Y Bytes in Most Capital Cities
Update from Microsoft Build and Google iO Developers Conference Last week May 2019
Microsoft was extremely interesting for enterprise customers.
However, they did talk about Microsoft Edge using Chrome, Office 365, and what caught my attention was the potential to have a voice input interface which would allow the user to talk to any personal assistant: i.e. you don’t have to remember any specific wake up keywords.
Google IO was squarely aimed at consumers.
Hardware: Google Pixel 3A, and Google Nest Hub Max.
Software: lots of improvements to the Assistant, Privacy, Android Q (coming with Dark Theeme), Android Auto, Android TV, and my big ones
Project Euphonia, and
Speaking of Conferences - Apple’s WWDC June 3 2019
Microsoft Edge Beta Available for Testing Including the Mac
Really enjoying the experience on the Mac with VoiceOver so far.
Here is a link to the Mac version.
Global Access Awareness Day May 16 2019
Just a reminder that this is coming up soon, and is a great way of not only raising awareness of digital accessibility, but celebrating the changes that have already been achieved.
If you stick in Global Access Awareness Day 2019 in to your fav search engine, you’ll certainly find a lot of events going on.
May 16 2019.
Another Recent Purchase: Samsung Power Buds
My thoughts on the Samsung Power Buds, especially when compared to my AirPods and bone conduction head phones.
Outline Reader URL
This is like the Reader function in Safari where all the html stuff is removed from an article page: in this case just stick in the URL to read the article.
Mac and Windows Endless Scroller Game
A developer is developing this app for Mac and Windows and would like some feedback on the app, so play for free with the beta and give some feedback.. Basically a shooter game.
Amazon Alexa for iOS Finally Fix’s The Issue For VoiceOver Users in the Skills/Games Tab (Now Works)
Before the latest update to this iOS app, the controls in the Skills/Games link wasn’t reading at all properly with VoiceOver, well, it now reads properly with VoiceOver which makes it of course much more usable again.
A Odd but Great Siri Short-Cut
A Great Siri Shortcut: Hey Siri to Hey Ok Google
Minimising My Music Streaming Services
Finally got around to trimming down my streaming services to Apple Music and Spotify rather than also having Amazon Music, and Google Play Music: don’t really need all of them. Spotify covers my Amazon Echo and the Google Home, and Apple Music is what the rest of the family uses.
Stephen’s Experience Of His Neck Lanyard, Sounds A Bit Better Than Mine
If you are using a video streaming app of any kind, a neck lanyard to hang your smart phone from comes in handy so you can use the camera in your smart phone hands free.
Be My Guide
Talking About Video Streaming Services: Check Out Be My Guide
This app links you up with your Friends etc for them to assist you via your camera on your smart phone: Android or iOS.
Clew Object Recognition Path Finder Gets An Amazing Update
With this update, you can save your path in both directions, not just finding your way back.
have a play, but it seems a bit more fiddly now.
Bindi Maps (Beacon Technology) Test Site Comes to Vision Australia Parramatta
A few months ago we had Tony on from Bindi Maps to talk about the test site at VA Gosford, well it is now available at Vision Australia Parramatta and you can use it on the main floor level 7 by just downloading the app and choosing Vision Australia Parramatta.
Lazarillo GPS for the Blind
A not very much talked about GPS app, but works very well for both iOS and Android.
Some Aira News, Jonathan Mosen Moves on from Aira
AccessWorld App Discontinued - But Still on the Web
If you want to read AccessWorld, you will need to go to the new updated AccessWorld page as the AccessWorld app has now be turned off as it were and no longer supported. Great thing about the webpage it will work across anything that runs a web browser smile.
In this weeks talking Tech, Stephen and David talk to Tony Wu (DVA and Product Advisor from the Vision Australia Vision Store) on how Vision Australia assists Veterans who are blind or have low vision.
Amongst other topics, the new Aira (subscription video assistant service) plans for Australia were discussed including the $215 shipping cost to Australia for the new smart glasses.
In this weeks show, David talks about his experiences with the Samsung Galaxy Phone (S10) and Galaxy Watch (46MM)
A Few Weeks In With Using The Samsung Galaxy S10 and the Galaxy Watch
Well, I’m actually enjoying the experience.
All the apps I need to use work more or less fine such as Microsoft Outlook. Twitter, Audible, Kindle, Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Tripview Sydney, ABC Listen.
Apple Music, Google Play music, and Amazon Music all work well. Spotify has a few unlabelled buttons.
Face ID for unlocking the phone almost seems easier to locate my face and unlock to that of the iPhone X.
I know this is my bugbear, but the S10 still has a physical 3.5mm head phone jack which means if I BT head phones run out of power, I can still use old traditional head phone that don’t need power to operate.
Great feature of Samsung, I’ve assigned the volume up button to answer a call and the Power button to end a call. Not possible on the iPhone.
The Weather icon on the home screen actually gives me the weather without having to go in to the app.
Seems to be a heck of more life in the S10 battery than my iPhone X, I can get a good day and a half out of the S10. With the iPhone X, usually flat after about 12 hours.
UsB C charging for the S10 which does make things a bit easier.
Plugging in and using the S10 as an external drive from my clmputer is great.
I have the choice of a PIN number, finger print or Face ID to unlock the phone. However, since the finger print sensor is under the screen where the Home button would be on an iPhone before the iPhone X, I had to get my son to let me know where it was and setting it up was a bit hit and miss: certainly not as easy on the iPhone 7 or 8. Mainly use Face ID or PIN number.
I can use my favourite speech synthesiser of all time on the S10, Eloquence as the Samsung/Android system has lots of Text To Speech TTS synthesisers to choose from.
I can choose to use either Samsung’s default screen reader Voice Assistant or Android’s generic screen reader Talk Back which still annoys me from time to time.
You still have the magic two finger double tap for starting/stopping music, at least when running Voice Assistant.
One thing that I actually turn off for Voice Assistant are the navigation sounds, drives me crazy although not to bad with Talkback these days.
With Voice Assistant you have dark screen same as Screen Curtain for VoiceOver, so nice blank screen for privacy.
Braille is still not that good on Samsung/Adnroid, but its there via BrailleBack which you need to download from the Google Play Store.
Bluetooth keyboard is supported for navigation, but no screen reader extra commands, just navigating and activating controls.
Bixby (which you can invoke by saying Hey Bixby) doesn’t seem to be as powerful as Ok Google (or Siri) so I use both on the S10: i.e. Hey Bixby or Ok Google.
Its nice that I can ask Bixby how many steps have I taken for the day, something which Siri doesn’t really do.
Excited About the Wireless Power Sharing Option on the Samsung Galaxy S10
Works very well, literally turns the back of the S10 in to a Qi wireless charger.
Comparing the Galaxy Watch to the Apple Watch
Both smart watch’s offer phone connectivity and cellular connectivity.
Two sizes - Galaxy Watch 42MM and 46MM, and Apple Watch 40MM and 44MM.
Galaxy Watch band pins need to be removed to change the band. Apple Watch bands can be slid off to change by holding in spring loaded button for each side of band.
Galaxy Watch battery 2 days. Apple Watch 18 hours.
Both smart watch’s charge by their own wireless charger.
Physical controls on Galaxy Watch, clicking bezel, touch screen, Back and a Home button.
Physical controls on Apple Watch touch screen, Digital Crown, and Side button.
Galaxy Watch can be used with Samsung, and iPhone (less functionality on iPhone via the Samsung Gear app)
Apple Watch works with the iPhone.
Step count on the Samsung Galaxy Watch seems to be no where as sensitive on the Apple Watch.
Ability to toggle Voice Assistant on the Galaxy Watch, same on the Apple Watch.
With Voice Assistant running, you can get haptic time from the watch face on the Galaxy Watch, similar as with VoiceOver on then Apple Watch.
Watch faces (i.e. the controls on the watch face screen) on the Galaxy Watch seem to not be accessible with Voice Assistant. Fully accessible on the Apple Watch.
Most internal apps on the Galaxy Watch work with Voice Assistant besides the Samsung Flow (work outs), and the stop watch app. All internal apps work with VoiceOver on the Apple Watch.
Samsung decides which apps work with Voice Assistant on the Galaxy Watch stopping an app from launching. Apple Watch use any app you like with VoiceOver and decide yourself whether you can use it.
New Videos from Me from the Vision Australia Parramatta Store
Using Bar Code readers, and
Using various fitness devices.
New App In The OCR iOS Market Place - Voice Dream Scan
From the same developer of Voice Dream Reader, we now have Voice Scanner.
Some Initial Thoughts on the New Airpods
Hands free Hey Siri is fantastic.
Wireless charging works well (yes, no AirPower).
Very responsive with VoiceOver on iOS.
Connects very quickly.
$319 for the full wireless case and AirPods.
Podcast demo from me on the new AirPods.
Apple also announced the new Beats Power head phones due for lease in May, here is an article comparing the new AirPods to the wireless Beats Power from 9 to 5 Mac.
In Australian dollars the Beats Wireless Power is $349.
iPad Round Up
iPad 9.7 10 fusion chip starting at 32GB.
iPad mini and iPad Air same specs, just different size. 12 bionic chip, back camera 12MP, and 7MP front camera.
iPad Air 10.5 inch.
All iPads besides the iPad Pro have the Home button, and the 3.5mm head phone jack.
All iPads with the option of a physical SIMM, have the ability to work with an ESIMM, great when traveling OS.
iPad Pro 11 and 12.9 inch.
iPad pros Face ID, all other iPads Touch ID.
iPad pros have edged sides whilst all other iPads have rounded edges.
4 speaker grills on the iPad Pro at top/bottom (8 speakers in total), all other iPads two speaker grills.
Very high display features on the iPad Pro.
iPad pros support USB C charging, and the ability to plug in UsB C devices such as monitors, network, audio devices, drives etc. Can also charge iPhone from the iPad via a UsB C to lightning
iPad Pros go up to 1TB.
Smart keyboards for the iPad Air, and iPad pros. 3rd keyboards for the iPad, and iPad mini.
Smart Keyboard connecter moved to the back right hand side middle.
Appencil 1 generation do not work on the iPad Pro, all other iPads.
Apple 2nd generation iPad Pro only.
iPad 9.7 entry level
iPad mini aimed at consumers who want a smaller footprint device.
iPad Air for consumers who want an up to date device plus the larger screen.
iPad pros aimed at professional market.
iPad mini faster than last years iPad Pro 10.5 inch which is now discontinued.
Appencil 1 generation comes with a lightning adapter to allow the Apple Pencil to be charged from a lightning cable rather than having to plug it in to the lightning port of the iPad.
Apple Pencil 1 generation will only work with the iPad mini, iPad, and iPad Air as it needs the lightning port to pair.
Apple Pencil 2nd generation has a flat side where it magnetically connects to the iPad. For people who have fine hand motor issues for gripping, the 2nd generation is easier to hold/grip.
Note for VoiceOver users - to perform a Quick Nav Perform Action command it is Left, Up, and Down Arrow keys rather than the usual Up/Down Arrow keys (this is due to the Down/Up Arrow keys being moulded in to the same key housing).
Did You Know? There is an adapter with the Pencil 1 to plug it in to power.
And no, I didn’t know after all these years.