For years, blind and visually impaired people who wanted to use a Kindle were left with a lot of frustration and even hassle. Amazon released their Kindle readers with only the barest of text to speech. Amazon did make their apps on iOS and Android accessible but only after significant push back from the visually impaired community. That, however, looks like it’s going to change. Recently, Amazon has announced, publically, that they are bringing VoiceView to their Kindle e-readers, starting with Kindle Paperwhite, so that visually impaired customers can enjoy reading on Kindle devices.
Across the internet, many people and various tech sites were disappointed by the developer-focused conference Google holds every year, known as IO. Much of the major news out of IO was revealed on the first keynote two weeks ago, but we wanted the hubbub to die down first, so that our analysis and idea of what has changed is more clear. It’s easy to dismiss an event when we first hear or read about it. It is far more difficult, then, to still keep an objective viewpoint and understand what we’re shown. Nevertheless, our aim is to provide you this non-bias, no-nonsense perspective.
When iOS 8 launched last year, it was definitely not a smooth start to the life of a new operating system. It was the first year during which you could install iOS as a public beta; This opened up an entirely new avenue of people who would now be streaming their feedback to Cupertino. The release was no slouch, either. Building upon the momentum of iOS 7, 8 included such niceties as a redesigned notification center, health kit and a health app, Continuity features, spotlight redesign, and a new multitasking switcher. A month after release, we had 8.0.1, which completely broke the radio of the new iPhone 6, and apps crashed more frequently. VoiceOver was riddled with a far greater number of bugs, including the famous “app store clearing search” issue.
“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.