Archive for April, 2013

Personality, Android and iOS

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

In this Tech Doctor episode, Allison and Robert speak with Steve Sawczyn a longtime user, consultant and teacher in the field of access technology. In recent years, Steve has made extensive use of both iOS and Android.

In our roundtable discussion, we explore the idea that your personality type and work habits make a huge difference in whether you prefer Android or iOS. If you are a person who values efficiency and simplicity over having control of what is going on under the hood of your mobile device, then you are likely to be happier with iOS. If, on the other hand, you prefer having control even if figuring out how to make it work takes more time and patience, then you just might have a personality that is more suited to Android. That said, you could be like the three of us and enjoy both depending on the situation.

We prefer the efficiency of iOS for getting our work done but enjoy experimenting with and learning about Android. The podcast concludes with a brief discussion of some of our favorite hardware and software.


Hims Gets It Right With Braille Sense Version Eight

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Allison and Robert are in agreement that if the stand-alone Notetaker is going to survive, it will have to provide users with a way to access many of the most popular accessible smartphone apps. In version eight, Hims takes a giant step in this direction by giving Braille Sense users excellent access to Youtube, Dropbox, RSS Excel and more.

Version Eight has two web browsers, the original one and a “quick browser.” The original one is need because the quick browser cannot load all sites but the ones that it does open load amazingly fast. Fortunately, the quick browser works with many of the sites that a Braille Sense user would likely be interested in.

In this podcast, Robert and Allison demo some of these new apps and discuss other highlights of Braille Sense version eight.

We are excited about this advancement and encourage you to learn more by going to
The Hims Website.


Innovative RSS Reader

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

In this podcast, Robert and Allison learn what life is like for an international iOS app developer who lives and works in India. Kunal Sood wanted an RSS reader that would allow him to read his RSS feeds even when he didn’t have a live internet connection. He designed the “Lire” RSS Reader to cache and store the entire text of articles on the iOS device. Like Instapaper, Lire strips out everything but the text which is great for reading on a small screen either with your eyes or with VoiceOver.

When Kunal discovered that Lire and VoiceOver were an excellent marriage, he began adding features to make the app even more customizable for VoiceOver users. At present, the app works great with VoiceOver but Kunal hints that it will soon get even better.

With the pending demise of Google Reader, Lire is a great alternative for reading and managing RSS feeds. The app has the ability to search websites for RSS feeds and feeds can be imported from Google Reader.

We think this app is fabulous and encourage you to
Check It Out.


Orbit Plus APH Equals Accessible Calculator

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

In this Tech Doctor episode, Robert and Allison speak with Sina Bahram. Sina is a doctoral student at North Carolina State University.

As part of his work in computer science, he is working with Orbit Research and the American Printing House for the Blind who are partnering to make an off-the-shelf graphing calculator fully accessible to people who are blind. Although currently a prototype, this calculator already provides a blind student with access to both basic and advanced mathematics.

After listening to Sina’s explanation and demonstration of the calculator, I am confident that you will agree that it will be of tremendous help to any visually impaired student wishing to study science, technology, engineering or math.

As we talk, it becomes clear that Sina is a serious thinker who does an excellent job of articulating the potential opportunities that this calculator will open up for future students.

To visit Sina’s home page click
To learn more about what Sina is up to,
Read his blog
Sina’s twitter name is @SinaBahram
You can
Click Here
to find all the other ways to contact Sina.
To email someone at the American Printing House for the Blind about the calculator,
Click Here
Click Here
to email someone at Orbit Research.
Finally, to join an email list regarding the development of the calculator,
Click Here
Put the word “subscribe” in the subject line of the email.

We hope you enjoy this podcast as much as we enjoyed bringing it to you.