Friday, May 31, 2013

Eyes-Free Typing App Fleksy Coming to Android With One Major Advantage Over iOS Version

Fleksy the eyes-free typing app that originally debuted for iOS is now available in beta for Android. Fleksy uses gestures and text prediction to allow users to type without looking a the screen. Fleksy can be extremely helpful for the blind and visually impaired and can dramatically increase typing speed people who cannot see the screen. Unlike the iOS version the Android version can replace the default keyboard and be used with any app. In iOS you cannot use Fleksy in an email app or with the messages app but on Android you can. Besides integration with Android apps the Android version will be similar to the iOS version. Android users can try the Fleksy by visiting the Fleksy Beta Google+ page.

Click read more below to view a video about Fleksy.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Prizmo 2.0 for iOS Released With Cool New Features

Prizmo 2.0 for iOS was just released in the App Store. Prizmo now works on the iPad as well as the iPhone and iPod Touch. The update includes many exciting new features. The original version of Prizmo included optical character recognition (OCR) but did not include the ability to scan documents to a PDF or text file. The PDF files are not just images but include searchable text. Prizmo 2.0 also allows users to export the documents to other apps.

To create a new document in Prizmo you can simply take a picture of multiple pages. Prizmo will automatically detect the edges of the page. In version 2.0 you no longer have to crop documents manually. Once you have captured all of the pages you can recognize the text of the document which is surprisingly fast and accurate. If the Prizmo does make a mistake you can edit the OCR zones or manually edit the text. After the text has been recognized you can email or export the document as a PDF or text document or read the text using built-in text-to-speech. The text is highlighted as it is read aloud which can be helpful for people with dyslexia  Unfortunately you can only read one page of the document at a time using the built-in text-to-speech. In addition, it is important to note that each text-to-speech voice costs $2.99.

Prizmo is still a great tool for quickly reading printed documents using text-to-speech and now is one of the best PDF scanning apps. Most PDF scanning apps such as Scanner Pro only make an image PDF with no text but Prizmo creates PDFs with searchable text.

Prizmo 2.0 includes a new feature to help blind and visually impaired users line-up a document. Because it would be virtually impossible for the blind to take a well aligned picture of a document with out assistance Prizmo voices directions through VoiceOver. If a user has VoiceOver turned on it will tell a blind or visually impaired user which direction to move their device in order to get the perfect shot.

Prizmo is on sale for $5.99 in the App Store. Click read more below to view screenshots of Prizmo 2.0.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

NaviDys Browser for iPad Makes Reading the Web Easier

NaviDys is a web browser for the iPad. The app allows full customization of a website's font, line spacing, letter spacing, and text size. Currently it is only available on the iPad not the iPhone or iPod Touch. While it feels very much like the built in Safari browser that comes with the iPad, NaviDys has features that make it easier to read the web. For people with low vision the ability to enlarge fonts and increase spacing is beneficial. Also, for dyslexics NaviDys includes the Dyslexie font. But using a third party browser does not come without trade offs. You cannot open links from other apps directly into NaviDys. Unlike Safari NaviDys does not include a reader mode to remove distractions from web pages. NaviDys costs $2.99 from the App Store.

Click read more below to view screenshots of NaviDys.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Kindle App For iOS Updated With VoiceOver Support

Today Amazon updated their Kindle iOS app with VoiceOver support. VoiceOver  is a gesture controlled screen reader for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch designed to help the blind and visually impaired. The text-to-speech feature can benefit people with dyslexia as well. Amazon describes the new features as follows,
"Accessibility features make it easier for blind and visually impaired customers to navigate their Kindle libraries, read & interact with books, and more. Enable VoiceOver in your device settings to begin."
VoiceOver support for the Kindle app comes shortly after the Nook app was updated with VoiceOver support. Despite VoiceOver support it is possible that certain books may have accessibility issues that make them inaccessible. Irronically, the Kindle iOS app is now more accessible for the blind and vissually impaired than physical Kindles. Kindle for iOS is avalible as a free update in the App Store.

Click read more to view screenshots of the Kindle app.