[BCAB] Top 10 iOS Recommendations

David Quarmby david.quarmby at btconnect.com
Wed Mar 20 13:07:53 GMT 2013


Thanks,  yes, this sounds like the right one.

regards
David Quarmby
www.kvin.org.uk
www.tail.org.uk
quarmby at ntlworld.com
Tel 07736 087019

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "David Griffith" <d.griffith at btinternet.com>
To: "'BCAB Discussion List'" <bcab at lists.bcab.org.uk>
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 12:46 PM
Subject: Re: [BCAB] Top 10 iOS Recommendations


I think this is it.

* Ultra thin Slim Bluetooth 2.0 Wireless Keyboard Keypad for iPad 16GB
32GB WiFi, iPhone...
<http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004J4B0MA/ref=pe_217191_31005151_dp_1>
Sold by POP GATE

-----Original Message-----
From: Bcab [mailto:bcab-bounces at lists.bcab.org.uk] On Behalf Of David
Quarmby
Sent: 20 March 2013 11:39
To: BCAB Discussion List
Subject: Re: [BCAB] Top 10 iOS Recommendations

Hi David,
you mention the Amazon Basic keyboard at £9.99.
Do you have a model number for this as I cannot find it on the web site?

regards
David Quarmby
www.kvin.org.uk
www.tail.org.uk
quarmby at ntlworld.com
Tel 07736 087019

----- Original Message -----
From: "David Griffith" <d.griffith at btinternet.com>
To: "'BCAB Discussion List'" <bcab at lists.bcab.org.uk>
Sent: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 5:56 PM
Subject: [BCAB] Top 10 iOS Recommendations


I realise that many of you are old iOS hands.  You may not want to continue
reading. However based on using an iPod for about a month now I would
mention the following 10 apps I have found most useful. Other people
starting out may find this list useful.

1. VO Starter. . This educational tutorial in using Voiceover on a Touch
Screen was essential in getting me started. I had to  pay 69p for it.  You
quickly forget how incompetent you can be when you are unused to a touch
screen and baffled by the weird noises it makes when you feel the screen.
All very basic but the crucial leg up  I needed to get me started.
Personally I think Apple should buy this app and integrate it as a training
option in the Voiceover Accessibility settings.   It should also be heard at
first use of the device as is possible with the getting started guide on a
Mac.

2.  Voice Dream text to Speech.
This has become one of my most heavily used apps. EBook and other document
types which have lain unread are being gobbled up by this app. Heather is
provided ass a free voice and there is a range of cheaply purchased high
quality  Acapella voices available for in app purchase at £1.49 each. . I
love the way it copes with any format I can throw at it and simply reads
books and documents with a quality of voice which approximates to an audio
book. I can lock the screen and just put the iPod in my pocket and it
continues to read. The developers are very aware of Voiceover and visual
impairment usage and are constantly trying to improve access features or so
they say. You can link directly, for example into Bookshare if you have an
account.
You can set bookmarks, navigate, adjust speech rate, change voices, and
there is even a sleep timer if you want to go to sleep listening to a book.
It has transformed my approach to E Books.
Unfortunately it cannot cope with copy protected books but there are ways
around that.
You can download books directly from a number of sources including Email
attachments, Project Gutenberg, web pages, and Drop Box. Getting books into
the app is a breeze.

3. Dropbox.
I was suspicious of this app but on iOS it has become an essential tool. It
provides easy data integration without having to handle the  hassle of
itunes. I now like it so much I was considering purchasing extra space but
have found  this impossible to do without a credit card. I only have a UK
Debit card. If anybody has got around this I would be interested to hear.
4. Earl
I experimented with various news RSS readers and web sites but they have all
been junked in favour of Earl.
Earl is a voice driven Talking Newspaper with provides content from a range
of English Speaking Newspapers in 24 countries.
Basically you tap the screen twice and give either a command or number after
hearing a prompt.
So Tapping the screen and saying Newspaper then The guardian and then
national news will bring up a list of article on national news in the
guardian . All the other sections are available including sports world news
etc.
You can select the article to be read by either the number of the article or
repeating key words from the article headline.
The voice is high quality and can be set to slow medium or fast.
The article is read immediately without all the annoying links and junk you
have to navigate on the web.
To read the next article just tap the screen twice and say next. To hear the
list of article again say article. To go to a different newspaper say
Newspaper. To set up favourite newspaper say Favourites.
You can use the app to get 3 free articles a day.
Fairly quickly I paid £6 for a monthly subscription for unlimited access.

I have added The Guardian, The Independent , Daily Mail (I know!({  Rolling
Stone , new York Times, BBC, Sky News, as well as a bunch of other more
novelty publications like Pravda from Russia.
All of this content is presumably freely available on the web but I much
prefer using Earl to access, for example, BBC news now.
The range of papers available appear to be growing all the time. People from
Liverpool may be interested that the Liverpool Daily Post is available . I
really think this is the future of talking newspapers.
I will almost certainly take out a yearly subscription next time.
I suspect the only downside to this app is that it will not work whilst off
line. Occasionally I get a network failure but this is probably related to
my flaky router.
5. Amazon Cloud player.

To my surprise this app, which is difficult on a Windows machine is very
usable on iOS. The only frustrating thing is that there is a problem with
importing music at the moment on the Cloud Player so I am currently
restricted to playing my purchased Amazon downloads. All the songs you have
up on Cloud player can be downloaded for offline playing.  I now never
bother importing mucus Purchase on Amazon  but simply use this app on my
iPod.
6. Audible
Although I still use my Pocket Plextalk as my main Audible reader I do like
this app. Particularly I like the ability to review my whole library of
books and download them on the fly directly on to my iPod. I tend to have
one book on the go on my iPod and one on my Pocket Plextalk .
All the normal commands you would expect are in this app.

7. TapTapsee.
A lot has been written about this app but I can confirm it works. Great free
app. I  Was a bit confused at first but it is truly a marvel of modern
access.

8. pages. I am not absolutely thrilled by this app in all aspects but it
does appear the only realistic option for editing Microsoft word documents
on iOS that I have found. I would recommend listening to the 3 journey
through Pages podcasts on Apple Vis to help get people started. I purchased
the Amazon clone of the apple Wireless keyboard for use with this app which
was a bargain at £9.99., is light and suits my needs fine.
9. BBC I Player. Unfortunately no Audio Describe content but still a useful
app. I tend to use it for the radio repeats rather than the TV anyway.

10. sky sports news. A mind numbing way to get sports news to escape from
the real world from time to time. Knocks spots of the flaky and horrible BBC
Sports app which seems to crash my iPod every time I use it and constantly
complains of connection failures. I only use the sky sports app for headline
news and the radio service which is straightforward and fine unlike the BBC
version.

David Griffith.

I am still experimenting with a lot of other apps, some of which are
terrible. If people find it helpful I will update on these, including
productivity solutions in future.
n

David Griffith,,


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