“While there are other apps that provide text-to-speech features, users of Voice Dream who have tried many other tools are aware of the uniquely fluid user experience.” – Quartz
Greg, Leo and Cory welcome a new crew member, Dan Mathis to the show to discuss what’s new and up-coming with the world of Google and the latest from Google IO.
After having the Apple Watch for one month, I can truthfully say that as Apple wishes, “It just works.” Make no mistake, the Apple Watch is no iPhone, and it does have a lot to improve on, but overall, the potential for this device is exceptional. What it currently does, it does well. Apple’s first ever Smartwatch is phenomenal in the context of a regular day while having great hardware and design that aren’t currently matched by any other competitor on the market, and as a result, the use of this device is incredible.
For the longest time, Talkback has been the only good and useful screen reader on Android — though this was not always the case. Senior Android users might fondly recall Spiel, which was alive around 2011 last, a screen reader that even surpassed Talkback in functionality and speed. Google then suddenly changed the entire framework for how accessibility is done on their platform, and Spiel was no more. Although current compiled releases of it can be run successfully even under Android 5.1, the code is not often maintained and needs a lot of work to be a daily driver.
Late last month, We wrote about a brand new version of Talkback , Google’s screen reader for mobile devices. Fresh out of the Googleplex, it tried to fool us by using a minor version number which in reality included numerous major enhancements.
So, let’s start things off with a couple of questions… When was the last time you as a blind or visually impaired person went into your mobile carrier’s store and purchased a new device? What was the experience like? Was it smooth as silk or was it a bit awkward? If the latter, that’s typical when a sighted sales rep deals with a blind or visually impaired person. The experience I had yesterday, on the other hand could not have gone better, and I’d like to share it with you folks as an example of what the ideal interaction should be like between a blind/visually impaired customer and their mobile carrier.
By this point, Android users are quite accustomed to the version number of their beloved screen reader jumping from minor to major numbers without much consolation. For example, our jump from 3.5.x to 4.0 only introduced lollipop specific device compatibility, nothing too tangible for the average user.
Microsoft promised us that they would provide more frequent Windows 10 preview updates? For the most adventurous, the company is delivering on that with a brand new release today, numbered 10049. For now, it is only being sent out to those using the “fast ring” of the update mechanism, so users who prefer to still remain on the track of stability should stick to the slow branch.