Talking Tech 15th January 2019

January 15, 2019

A Well Done To ABC Radio


Just a congratulation shout out for the ABC for broadcasting on ABC Extra and associated stations the audio description for the Sydney Harbour fire works on New Years Eve.


Speaking of Audio Description - Just Listened to Venum with Owen My Son



Just think it is great that new movies coming out more and more are audio described.


Woolworths App Check Out Now Functional Again


With a release in the first days of the new year, the Woolworths app Check Out function is now accessible again for VoiceOver users.


My Windows 10 Narrator Series Podcasts Underway


At the start of Jan 2019, I have started a series of podcasts on show casing what the Windows 10 Narrator screen reader can do.  To see a list of the podcasts so far, go to my hosting website:



Speaking of Podcasts, Here is one on Tooth Fairy


A great Mac app for putting Bluetooth devices on the Mac menu bar (in VoiceOver terms the Extras Menu).


And one More - How I Use Home, News and Voice Memos not eh Mac


Where Would the New Year be for 2019 Without a Game Suggestion



Have a play of the free Great Toy Robbery from L-Works, a great game to play on both Mac and Windows.


My Thoughts on the RIVO Keyboard



As I have been using this keyboard of the Christmas/new year period, thought I would just share some thoughts about it.


*Has its own Mic/speaker plus the keyboard, so can do phone calls, access Siri, dictate, and navigate iOs.

*Can give me access up to 6 devices.

*Can plug a pair of 3.5mm head phones in to the RIVO.

Power Bank Battery Chargers


Over the break I purchased another 3 of these (20000mah) for the Rest of the Family


Was thinking, it is always good to have on of these around, and if you use the Seeing AI app on the iPhone for example, you can read the display on some of these power banks which tells you how much charge they have left.

WiFi Hard Drives


Another purchase for  the new year, a WiFi hard drive that we can put all our music, audio books etc on to separate from iTunes and access them from our iOS devices as well.


Coverage from the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) From Digital Trends


Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa getting smarter, self driving wheelchair, self driving cars, health devices.


Another source from ZDNet as well


Talking Tech 8th January 2019

January 8, 2019

In this weeks show, Stephen and David continue the conversation from last weeks show with part 2 of looking back at the tech topics and devices that were covered by TT in 2018.


elBraille new version with Focus 40 refreshable Braille display.


Focus 5th generation refreshable Braille display released with scratch pad functionality.


Freedom Scientific announces 2019 versions of JAWS, Zoomtext, and Fusion.


HomePod smart speaker from Apple.


InsideOne Windows 10 Braille Tablet (reviewed)


iOS 12.


iPhone X style VoiceOver gestures come to the iPad with iOS 12 with latest models losing Home button, 3.5mm head phone jack, and lightning port).


iPhone X S, R,  and Max now with dual SIMM support (as end of November 2018 not supported by careers in Australia).


iPad Pro 11 and 12.9 released.

Apple Pencil 2nd gen for new iPad Pros released.


Iris Vision wearable virtual video magnification.


Live Listen with AirPods to allow iPhone to be used as remote listening device back to AirPods.


Mac air 13 update released.


Mac mini update released.


Mac OS Mojave (new apps ported over from iOS News, Home, and Voice mMemo in particular).


Mini Vision (Smart Vision) feature phone.


Mercury video magnifier based on Surface Pro tablet.


Orbit Reader 20 refreshable Braille display.


Orcam II wearable device gets an update and amongst other features supports Bluetooth head phones.


QBraille XL refreshable Braille display with Windows modifier keys.


Quantum RLV is purchased by Vision Australia.


Samsung S9 users still enjoying a Haptic Home button.


Siri ShortCuts comes to iOS 12.


Sunu Band O&M device now available in Australia.


Sound Scape iOS GPS app from Microsoft.


Skype 8 caused concerns for assistive tech users.


Talking Induction Hob


Tap With Us Wearable Keyboard


Tech Hub at Vision Australia Parramatta/Kooyong and Tech Fridays in Parramatta.


Vision Australia Retail store signs Partnership with The Good Guys.


Vision Australia AT Helpdesk gets 3 new Helpdesk staff.


Victor Trek now available in Australia.


Windows 10 October 2018 (Narrator).


Note over the end of the year and the new year, you can still contact the Microsoft and Apple help desk in particular

Apple - 1300 365 083.

Microsoft - 1800 280 300.


Talking Tech 1st January 2019

January 2, 2019

A Look Back on 2018 and Some of the Tech That Impacted Our/My lives and most of which we covered on Talking Tech


Apple Watch S4 40mm and 44mm released.


Apple TV 4k released.


Amazon Finally in Australia.

Amazon Blueprints comes to Australia.

Amazon Prime Video comes to Australia.

Amazon Echo calling Via Skype.

Amazon Alexa can be accessed via Cortana on Windows 10.

Amazon Echo Followup feature comes to Australia.


Amazon Echo Dot update released.

Amazon Echo Show update released.

Amazon Paper White released with Bluetooth support for VoiceView.


Aira remote assistance via sighted agent either via smart phone camera or glasses comes 

to Australia.


Apple Watch S4 with fall detection.


Brilliant 14 refreshable Braille display arrives in Australia.


BrailleSense Polaris Braille note taker replacing the BrailleSense  U2.


Buzz Clip O&M device now available in Australia.


Envoy Connect available through Vision Australia Library and shop in 2019


Feer (Running Blind) - Endless runner game.


FlickType pattern recognition keyboard is back for iPhone or Apple Watch.


Google Releases the Google Home Hub (with screen), disappointing screen reader support.


Google Releases Google Max in to Australia.


Google Play Books now having Audio Books.


elBraille new version with Focus 40 refreshable Braille display.


Focus 5th generation refreshable Braille display released with scratch pad functionality.


Freedom Scientific announces 2019 versions of JAWS, Zoomtext, and Fusion.


HomePod smart speaker from Apple.


Note in the early new year, you can still contact the Microsoft and Apple help desk in particular

Apple - 1300 365 083.

Microsoft - 1800 280 300.

Vision australia and the AT Help Desk back in business as of Jan 7 2019.


Talking Tech 25th December 2018

December 20, 2018

So Christmas Day - What I got This Time Grin


Lovely custom Apple Watch Bands, and a case to hold my 15 Apple Watch Bands.


My Last Tech Friday for the Year for 2018 - Discussion of Available Podcasts from VA Radio and Other Sources


I posted this on the day of the Tech Hub for sourcing podcasts produced by Vision Australia Radio and other sources that you can listen to on Desktop, Mobile, custom Devices, and Smart Speakers.


Something That I Will be Looking At in 2019 - the RIVO 2 keyboard


The RIVO keyboard which is a Bluetooth custom keyboard for VoiceOver users (and Android) which allows you to control the smart phone I last reviewed and did a demo on back in May 2014.

The RIVO has been updated since and is now version 2, and will be looking forward to taking it through its paces and doing a demo on it in Jan 2019.


If you want to listen to my original demo, the link is below plus the link to the RIVO 2 manual.


My Demo of the RIVO from May 2014


RIVO 2 Manual


BlindAlive EyesFree Fitness work outs is closing Down as of the 31st of December 2018 - but you can grab their Programs For Free


Excellent set out of work outs for people who are blind or low vision.


Great News for Commonwealth Bank of Australia Customers - Apple Pay Coming in Jann 2019


This is like a Christmas present all on its own, this just leaves the NAB and Westpac to come onbaord.


Apple Music Available on the amazon Echo (at least in the US)


Great news that you can subscribe to Apple Music on the Amazon Echo.  Here is hoping that it will roll out to Australia soon.


Digital Ownership - Do You Truly Own Your Movies ETC


Short answer for this article is no you don’t.


If you are  getting an amazon Echo, Google Home, HomePod, Android phone, iPhone, Mac 

or Windows device, tips on getting your screen reader or speech output working.


iOS - iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

Can simply use Siri to say “Voiceover on” or “VoiceOver off”.

Otherwise, Settings, Accessibility, Voiceover, and turn it on.

Can also set VoiceOver as a shortcut within accessibility settings as well.


Mac OS

Can simply use Siri to say “VoiceOver on” or VoiceOver off”.

Otherwise System Preferences, Accessibility, VoiceOver, and turn it on.

Shortcut key for VoiceOver toggle is Command+F5.


Windows 10

At search edit field, type in Narrator and select to use.

Shortcut key toggle is Caps lock+Control+Windows+Enter.


Accessibility Start and End sounds for Amazon Echo

Amazon Alexa app - Settings tab, All Devices button, choose device (Davids Echo), Edit button, Sounds, Start Of ReQuest (Turn toggle on), and End Of Request (Turn toggle on).

Accessibility Start and End sounds for Google Home

Google Home app - choose device (Davids Speaker), Settings button, Accessibility sounds, and tick on Start of Request and End of Request (if using a Google Home Hub, you can also tick on screen reader)


HomePod with VoiceOver

Can simply use Siri to say “VoiceOver on” or VoiceOver off”.

Otherwise, Home app, choose speaker (kitchen speaker) and select Controls, Settings, Accessibility, VoiceOver, and turn it on.


Apple TV

Can simply use Siri to say “VoiceOver on” or VoiceOver off”.

Otherwise, Settings, General, Accessibility, VoiceOver, and turn VoiceOver on.


Apple Watch

Can simply use Siri to say “VoiceOver on” or VoiceOver off”.

Otherwise, turn VoiceOver on via the Watch app and go in to Settings, General, Accessibility, VoiceOver, and turn it on.


Note over the end of the year and the new year, you can still contact the Microsoft and Apple help desk in particular

Apple - 1300 365 083.

Microsoft - 1800 280 300.


Talking Tech 18th December 2018

December 18, 2018

In this weeks show, David and Stephen catch up with Rob and Rebecca from Quantum RLV (Reading Learning vision).


Rob gives us a run down on the Mercury 12 Windows Video Magnifier

And Rebecca updates us on the Mountbatten Whisperer Brailler, Embosser, and all round fantastic device for school and beyond


Talking Tech 11th December 2018

December 11, 2018

Ok Big News, I or My Wife Actually Now Has a Brand New Shiny Subaru Forester I-S 2019 SUV


Great for our family to have a new car, and of course, I did a podcast on it:

Using Car Play with the Subaru Forester I-S 2019.


Also for me some great features like using Car Play in particular, using voice recognition in the Car to adjust temperature/fan speed in the cabin, rear 2 charging ports for my boys, and of course the very nice sun roof which gives me a bit of outside environmental noise without having to much wind noise coming in to the car if we had the windows down.


Interview with Jamie Kelly from the Vision Australia Library about the Envoy Connect


As of December 20 2018, the Vision Australia Library will stop distributing CDS.  As part of this process, Vision Australia has introduced a new, cheap, solar powered daisy player.


To find out more and to get more info use this following link:


Microsoft Confirms that Microsoft Edge Will Be Moving To Chromium


This will be the same rendering engine that the Google Chrome Browser is based upon.  Hoping for screen reader developers this should make a huge difference.


Voice Dream Reader app Now Supported on the Apple Watch


You can now listen to your documents via Bluetooth head phones on your Apple Watch using Voice Dream Reader.


Using Skype on the Amazon Echo.


Linking up Skype to your Amazon Echo is a great feature.  Its even more great if you pay for the function that allows you to call land lines or mobile phones Via Skype, in this way, you can call anyone Via Skype from your amazon Echo.



Talking Tech 4th December 2018

December 4, 2018

Last weeks show focused on general tech gift ideas for Christmas.


This time around, Stephen and I will be going through some gift ideas from the Vision Australia Store itself.


To find any of the below products or any other products, you can visit a Vision Australia office, email, give us a ring on 1300 847 466 or shop online at:


Now for the Tech Gift Ideas


Orbit Reader 20 - low cost 20 cell refreshable Braille display and note taker.


Sunu Band - wearable ultra sound obstacle detection device.


Talking Induction Hob - only Induction Hob (hot plate) around that actually talks smile.


Talking Microwave - like the name says, a microwave that talks, really pleased that one of these is back on the market for the last year or so: I miss my original LG Talking Microwave from the late 90s.


Apple Pay


Whilst we’re talking about the Vision Retail Store, I recently got around to setting up Apple Pay with my bank (ImB), and found out that pretty much most EFTPOS machines work with Apple Pay from my Apple Watch including Aldi, Taxi, and most Exciting Vision Australia Retail Store purchases smile.


So you can go in to a vision Australia office or one of our flagship Vision Australia offices in NSW, WLD or Vic with our Vision Store high Tech Hub and use Apple Pay on your iPhone or Apple Watch.


Merry Christmas to all from Stephen, David, and the VA Radio staff that make this at all possible.



We’ll be back as usual next week, and we have some great Talking Tech Shows for you coming  up over the Christmas and new year period.


Talking Tech 27th November 2018

November 27, 2018

Tech Christmas Present Ideas (and no, not to expensive - mostly under $500)


Before we launch in to the tech present ideas, I’d like to point you to a trial of me doing a Facebook live video from the Vision Australia Parramatta Store on the 23rd of November discussing some Christmas ideas.  We’re (me) are thinking of at least doing one of these a month to get more information out to customers of the VA Store in particular: sort of me doing a video based podcast smile.

At any rate, here is the link and enjoy:[0]=68.ARClkRGWWQuBqihvMphEqUsL6bRWU49j6IleAXPYolAlF9nHX8TuT9diVVEPi47_zzYRqo3no0ELi0ZF2ExtDkUau6MW_ms5Fvygooa7msgmHbidNfKd92S4x71zwRemXIN6ay5AD5vQ-dT4LWwfT-7DFD5SIscsKeb_l0W7OiEtXLTIxxO06yEQFNYd7O-1e2TKSdB5ZYAUTrvLeqLcEX9ni9jZQh0OrtdJLPKdBV8OUNuljkTWDAEl47iF4JiEuPY32oobjLyepRLTxwl4URglmUj7mYj8vXN0rdA-wlDXrrBoMdZaZK7w4IOMgXxOgVj9psfb3UfdSzfXO0TSpw&__tn__=-R


Ok Presents.  Main stream first for this weeks show and and then some assistive specific products from the Vision Australia Retail Store next week.


I have to put my Apple favourite products first smile.



Apple Magic Keyboard.

Apple TV 4th Gen.

Apple Watch Sports (GPS).


iPhone 7 32GB.

iPad 9.7 WiFi 32GB.


And two  3rd PartP Related Apple Products


Belkin Boost Up Charging iPad (wireless charging for iPhone 8 and iPhone X), and

to go with the iPad, where would the iPad be without a case with a keyboard (this is for the iPad 9.7 recommended above):

Logitech Slim Line Folio Case with Integrated Bluetooth Keyboard for iPad.


Aftershokz Bone Conduction Head phones.


Amazon Echo Dot.

Amazon Echo Show.


Google Home.

Google Home Mini.


Samsung TV Range of Smart TVs.

Samsung Powerbot Vacuum Cleaner.


Portable charging power banks.

UsB Outlet adapters with 2 or 4 USB ports.


Don’t Forget Gift Cards to shops, Audible, Amazon, Apple (iTunes) etc.


Talking Tech 20th November 2017

November 20, 2018

Using The Assistive Touch Menu for people having issues with the iPhone X VoiceOver gestures for Home, App Switcher etc.


Another podcast from me regarding a great feature in iOS 12 where you can use your AirPods and iPhone as a remote listening device, great for listening to your wife read out a menu in a noisy restaurant.


Revisiting AccessWorld for November 2018


I think my stand out article from AccessWorld for November 2018 is the amazing job that Microsoft has done with Narrator in the October 2018 release of Windows.  Truly a screen reader now in its own wright.


The 2nd article that spurred my imagination was Christmas gift ideas including Amazon Echo Dot, Google Home Mini, Power Banks, The Tile Tracking System and others.


Whilst We’re Talking About Gift Ideas: Vision Store is launching a relationship with The Good Guys


I’ll be talking about this in the coming weeks.


Finally, the article concerning iOS 12 An Accessibility Overview is a good reminder of what exactly iOS 12 gave us.


Tip For Entering the Apple iOS Universe


A great reminder, to enter the iOS world, starting from entry level,  is still reasonably affordable (Au dollars) - iPod touch $299, iPad $469, iPad mini 4 $579, and iPhone 7 $749.  All work well with VoiceOver


Talking Tech 13th November 2018

November 13, 2018

In this weeks show, Stephen and David catch up with Leon Pauls from OrCam Technologies to discuss the OrCam Eye Reader and OrCam Reader.
Essentially, OrCam is a wearable device that simply attach’s to the side of your glasses and can recognise print, bar codes, and speak back what it see’s through the camera. Plus it can recognise up to 100 faces and tell you who is standing in front of the camera pretty much instantaneously.
The OrCam Eye Reader has all the features plus Face Recognition with the cheaper OrCam Reader being mainly a print reading device.
For more information on the OrCam (either the Eye Reader or Reader), phone Vision Australia on 1300 847 466 and ask for the Vision Store.