BESB: Accessible Apps for Smart Phones

­Accessible Apps for Smart Phones

 

By Jolene Nemeth

Rehabilitation Teacher

 

Navigation of this document

 

        This document has been structured for easy navigation for screen reader users. Major sections are heading level one. Subsections are heading level two and the individual app names are heading level three. You can navigate to these using the quick navigation keys for your particular screen reader.

        For JAWS users, when using quick keys in Microsoft Word, you will first need to turn quick keys on. You can do this by pressing insert Z. Then you can navigate the headings by pressing the letter H. To jump to a specific heading level, do the following:

For headings at level 1 press 1

For headings at level 2 press 2

For headings at level 3 press 3

 

For Window-Eyes users, there is an app that comes with the program called wordnav. This allows for quick navigation of word documents with headings, etc. To turn on wordnav press insert Z. To navigate the headings, do the same as you would for JAWS users as mentioned above.

Accessible apps for I/OS devices

 

        At the time of this writing, most of these apps have been tested and proven to have a certain level of accessibility. When updates for apps come out, sometimes things change that may make the app more or less accessible.

        There are thousands of apps available for iPhone and other Apple devices that can be found by searching the app store on your particular device. There may be different versions of an app for the iPad versus the iPhone so there may be some slight differences. For this project, I tried to choose apps that would be helpful and useful to clients of BESB. I encourage you to look for other apps that you might like and give them a test drive.

       

Digital book Readers

 

The first few apps are designed for the blind. There may be membership fees associated with using these apps depending on your circumstances and the book service you choose to use.

 

Read2go

        Bookshare’s daisy book reader

        Download and read daisy books on your phone

        Download from the app store for a fee

 

Learning Ally

        Daisy reader from learning ally

        Is currently free but was a paid app

Requires the use of the internet in addition to the app

 

BARDMobile

        The National Library Service’s book reader

 

Voice Dream Reader - Text to Speech

        Listen to PDF and Word documents, eBooks, articles, and even Bookshare books

        Download from the app store for a fee

 

OverDrive Media Console

This app is for borrowing digital books from the library. You will need to have a library card to use it

        Not all libraries participate in lending overdrive books

 

These next book readers are free but the books cost money unless they are public domain books.

 

iBooks

        Order books and read them on your phone with Apple’s book app

You can also read PDF documents with this app

 

Audiobooks from Audible

        Download and read books from audible.com

        Fee associated with membership to audible

 

Kindle

        Download and read books from Amazon

 

Nook

        Download and read books from Barnes and Noble

 

Education and reference

 

Blackboard Mobile™ Learn for iPhone

        Works with blackboard’s Web-based teaching and learning software

Dictionary.com - Dictionary & Thesaurus

        Get definitions for those tricky words

        May have some paid components but the basic app is free

PocketBraille Lite

        Learn the Braille code on your phone or iPad

 

gFlash+ Flashcards

        Make flash cards right on your phone for numerous subjects

        For students of all ages

iTunes U

        Access to free educational content and more

Speaking Spelling Bee

        Improve your spelling skills

        Some minor accessibility issues

        There is a paid version without ads

Talking calculator

        A good basic calculator for blind or visually impaired

        Download from the app store for a fee

 

Talking scientific calculator

        Accessible scientific calculator for both blind and visually impaired

        Download from the app store for a fee

 

Free graphing calculator

        All buttons are labeled but you cannot read the graph with speech

        Some minor accessibility issues

 

Google translate

        Translate words and phrases into multiple languages

 

News and information

 

AccessWorld

        Official app for the AFB’s newsletter

 

Earl

        Read newspaper articles on your phone

        Can be used without voiceover

There is a cost for subscription

Download from the app store for a fee

 

iBlink Radio

        Listen to music, get news and information right on your phone

        From Serotek

 

NFB Newsline

        News and information from the NFB right in your pocket

 

ViA

        Helps blind and visually impaired users find apps designed for them

 

VO Starter

        Learn and practice using voiceover

 

Independent living apps

 

Saving star

        Get e-coupons right on your phone for products you use everyday

        Some accessibility issues

 

Find My iPhone

        Find a missing phone if you have another Apple Device

 

Peapod

        Order groceries from your phone

        Some accessibility issues

 

Light Detector

        Detects light levels and turns them into sound

Download from the app store for a fee

 

MagLight+

Magnifying Glass Flashlight

 

Vision assist

A great Portable video magnifier

Store images in your camera roll for later viewing

Download from the app store for a fee

 

Yocto Alarm Clock

        Full featured alarm clock with multiple sounds and features

        Attractive display, fully configurable

 

White & Yellow Pages

        Look up phone numbers and addresses

 

Color identification apps

 

Color ID Free

One of the better free color identifiers

 

ColorDetect

        Download from the app store for a fee

 

ColoredEye

        Download from the app store for a fee

 

Recognition apps

 

Prizmo

        Scan and recognize text with your phone

        Download from the app store for a fee

 

Text Grabber

        Scan and recognize text

        Also has translation ability

Download from the app store for a fee

 

Say Text

        Free text recognition for your device

 

ZoomReader

        Text recognition app for low vision users from the makers of Zoomtext

Download from the app store for a fee

 

Text Detective

        Finds and reads text in printed documents within seconds using your iPhone’s camera

Download from the app store for a fee

 

Digit-Eyes Audio Scanner and Labeler

        Scans barcodes to identify products

        You can also make your own barcode labels

        Download from the app store for a fee

 

The following three apps use people to look at the picture you take to identify what the object is. Use caution and do not take pictures of items of a sensitive nature such as credit cards, or anything else with information you would not want anyone else to have.

 

TapTapSee

        Take a picture of something and find out what it is

        Gives great details about the object

 

VizWiz

        Take a picture, ask a question, get answers

 

oMoby

Find out what things are by snapping a picture

 

Money identifiers

 

EyeNote

        Free money identifier from the U.S. Treasury

 

LookTel Money Reader

        Identifies money in real time using iPhone camera

        Download from the app store for a fee

 

Health and safety apps

 

Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker by MyFitnessPal

        Connect with friends for support along your fitness journey

        Gives nutritional facts about a wide variety of foods

 

Diabetes App Lite

 Blood sugar control, glucose tracker and carb counter

 

Emergency Contact

        Emergency information on your phone’s wallpaper

 

WebMD Mobile

        Medical information at your fingertips

 

Lumen Trails 

Track Anything! Make lists, snap photos, take notes, create daily food diary, fitness tracker, etc.

 

Siren Pro™

        Use as a theft deterrent or to help someone find you in an emergency

        Also has a beacon

Download from the app store for a fee

 

My Medical Info

        Organize all of your medical info in one place for easy access

        Download from the app store for a fee

 

Pill Monitor – Medication Reminders and Logs

        Never miss a dose again

        Download from the app store for a fee

 

Pocket Yoga

        Talks you through sessions with pictures

        Dictionary of poses with descriptions

        Download from the app store for a fee

 

PetFirstAid

        In case the guide dog or family pet gets injured

        Download from the app store for a fee

 

Dogs Nutrition Calculator

        Information on what your dog is eating

        Great for deciding what food to feed your guide dog

        Some minor accessibility issues but useable

 

Mobility apps

 

Ariadne GPS

        Touch the map to find out where you are

Download from the app store for a fee

 

BlindSquare

        Find out what’s around you, get contact information and more

Download from the app store for a fee

 

Around Me

        Find out what’s nearby, get directions, and so much more

 

Seeing eye gps

        Get turn by turn instructions with helpful descriptions

        Developed in cooperation with The Seeing Eye

Download from the app store for a fee

 

Sendero GPS LookAround

        Announces the current street, city, cross street, heading and nearby points of interest

Download from the app store for a fee

 

Location Alarm

    Enter your location, receive notifications when you are close to your destination

Download from the app store for a fee

 

Where to go

Use this app to locate points of interest around you

 

Text editors and utilities

 

BrailleTouch

        Type text into your device using a braille keyboard similar to the Perkins Brailler

        There is a free version and a paid version

 

MBraille

        Type text using braille, and post to Facebook, email, etc.

There is a free version and a paid version

 

 

Plaintext

        Simple to use interface

        sync with drop box

 

Drop box

        File sharing and storage

 

Bump

        Share contacts, photos, and apps by bumping phones with another bump user

 

Dictation apps

 

Dictabulus

        Dictate text on your portable device and watch it appear on your Macintosh computer

Download from the app store for a fee

 

Vokul

        Dictation app for those who do not have Siri

Download from the app store for a fee

 

Dragon Dictate

        Dictate text and send emails, post to Facebook, and much more

        The accessibility of this app changes often with updates

 

Dragon Go

        Just speak and this app searches the web for you

        The accessibility of this app changes often with updates

 

Weather apps

 

Forecast Now

Get forecasts and weather alerts on your phone.

 

iMap Weather Radio

        Some minor accessibility issues but useable

        Download from the app store for a fee

 

MyWarn

        Weather warnings and forecasts on the go

        Download from the app store for a fee

 

NOAA Storm Center

        The official app of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association

        Keep tabs on storms

        Some minor accessibility issues but useable

        Download from the app store for a fee

 

NOAA Weather Radio

        Another app from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association

        NOAA Weather Radio in your pocket

        Some minor accessibility issues but useable

        Download from the app store for a fee

 

Social Networking

 

Keep up with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Facebook

        The official Facebook app

 

Friends Planet

        An app that makes Facebook easy to use

 

Twitter

        The official Twitter app

 

Twitterific

        An app that makes Twitter easier to use

 

Entertainment apps

 

iBird Pro Guide to Birds

        Hear bird calls and track various species

        Download from the app store for a fee

        There is a free version- iBird lite

 

Tune in radio

        Listen to radio shows on your phone

        There is a paid version called tune in radio pro

 

I heart radio

        Listen to live shows or create custom stations

 

Pandora

        Get Pandora radio on your phone

There may be some cost for service

 

7 little words

        This word game is a mix between a crossword puzzle and an anagram

 

Clever clues

        A challenging word game

The app is free but you can purchase other packages of puzzles

 

Diceworld

        Play different dice games, post your scores to social media

The app is free but you can purchase dice, etc.

 

Audio archery

Use your ears to track the target and fire your arrow

Completely audio app, no pictures

 

Accessible Fruit Machine     

        Play slots on your phone

 

You Tube

    Audio and videos for just about anything   

This is listed under entertainment but you can use it to do so much more

Learn to do various projects, get great tips, or just entertain yourself

 

More Information on Apple devices and apps

 

This is only a partial listing. There are numerous other accessible apps out there. A good resource for searching for such apps is a website called applevis. The address is www.applevis.com. There is a lot of information on this site including reviews of the apps, detailed information on the level of accessibility of each app, as well as a short description.

Other blind users also can write their comments and rate the apps.

 

Below is the direct link to browse the Applevis site for iPhone and iPad apps.

http://www.applevis.com/ios-app-directory/browse

 

There is also a site called Mac for the Blind that might have some useful information.

www.macfortheblind.com

 

You might also want to sign up for the Top Tech Tidbits email newsletter from Flying Blind.

http://www.flying-blind.com

 

Here is a link to the archives of the 2013 issues

http://www.flying-blind.com/tidbits2013.html

 

Accessible apps for android devices

 

This is a list that was compiled by doing some research on the internet. We at BESB have not personally tested these apps for their accessibility using an android device. These results are from other blind users who have experimented with the apps.

You can download all of these apps directly onto your android device through the market app or by visiting Google play.

 

Accessibility

 

TalkBack

    An open source screen reader for Android devices

TalkBack, Kickback, and SoundBack are apps for the Android Accessibility Service to help blind and vision-impaired users use their devices more easily.

 

Mobile accessibility by Code Factory

    12 accessible apps in one

    Screen reader for android devices

    Includes web browser

    There is a 30 day trial available

Download for a fee through the market app

 

Social networking

 

Facebook

    The official Facebook app

Twitter

    The official Twitter app

Tweetings for Twitter

    Another popular way to access your Twitter account

 

Google Plus

        Google’s social media app

 

Multimedia

 

Hi-Q MP3 Voice Recorder

    There is a lite version and a full version which costs money

 

Accessible music player from Code Factory

    An easy interface for playing your favorite tunes

Download from the market for a fee

 

Pandora

    Listen to your favorite music on your device

    There may be some subscription cost but the app is free

 

Recognition and independent living apps

 

Google Goggles

    Object recognition and simple text recognition

 

Color ID

    Color identifier

 

Your Magnifying Glass

    Full-featured magnifying app

 

Book readers

 

Nook

    Buy, download, and read books on your device

    The app itself is free

 

Ideal Group Reader

    Read Bookshare books and more

 

Learning Ally

    Read books from Learning Ally (formerly RFB&D)

This app was in beta when this article was written

 

Email apps

 

K-9 Mail

    An accessible email program based on the native Android app.

 

Enhanced Gmail Reader

    Reads Gmail messages for you

 

Aqua Mail

    Easy to set up Yahoo, Gmail, and other popular email accounts

    There is a free version and a paid version

 

News and information apps

 

NPR News

    News from National Public Radio

 

CNN News

    CNN’s latest news right on your phone

 

Internet browsers

 

IDEAL Web Reader

    An accessible gesture-based browser

 

Firefox

    Gesture based browser from Mozilla

 

Mobility apps

 

Google Maps

    Get directions to anywhere

Talking compass

    Use if your device has an internal compass

 

Walky Talky

    Gives you turn by turn instructions as you walk

    Speaks nearby addresses as you pass them

 

Intersection Explorer

    Speaks names of streets as you drag your finger on the map

 

Sendero GPS LookAround

    Self-voicing GPS app for the blind

Download from the market for a fee

 

Text editors and utilities

 

Checkmark Calendar

    Full-featured calendar app

 

Quick Calendar

    Places appointments in the notifications bar

 

Notes

    An app for taking notes and more

 

Drop box

    File sharing and storage

 

Google Translate

    Translate words and phrases into different languages

 

Bump

    Share contacts, photos, and apps by bumping phones with another bump user

 

Weather apps

 

Weather notification

    Forecast and weather alerts

 

Simple Weather Alert

    Stay informed with weather warnings and watches

 

 

More information on Android devices and apps

 

More information on TalkBack and other accessibility features on Android devices:

 

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.marvin.talkback&hl=enhttps://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.marvin.talkback&hl=en

 

More information on mobile accessibility

http://www.codefactory.es/en/products.asp?id=415

 

This is a link to information provided by Google on the accessibility of their products:

http://www.google.com/accessibility/products/

 

Note: Google offers a 15 minute refund for purchased apps. If you buy an app and decide it doesn’t meet your needs, you can get your money back.

 

 





Content Last Modified on 11/14/2013 4:02:39 PM