February 28, 2011
RFB&D Releases their RFB&D Audio App for iOS devices. For details, please see, RFB&D Audio App for iOS devices
March 2, 2011
Apple announced that the release of iOS 4.3, the next version of their software for their iDevices, is scheduled for March 11. This upgrade will include improvements to Safari web browsing, the addition of iTunes home sharing, AirPLay enhancements, the inclusion of the personal hotspot feature for iPhone 4, and several other features. For complete details, Rsee here
March 2, 2011
Apple also announced that the iPad 2 will also be released on March 11 as well. This version of the original iPad will be thinner, faster, lighter and will include two cameras and their FaceTime application for video chat, as well as 10 hour battery life. For complete details, see here
March 9, 2011
Apple released iOS version 4.3 today. For details about the upgrade, See Here
March 11, 2011
Apple released the iPad2 today. The faster, lighter and thinner newest model of the iPad features a Dual-core A5 chip and two cameras. Also, like with the original model, the iPad2 comes with VoiceOver onboard to give the blind user full access to the device. For details on the new iPad2, see here To learn about VoiceOver on the iPad, see here
April 19, 2011
A new, accessible puzzle game for iOS devices was released by Ananse Productions. This game uses a combination of music and audio cues, and is completely accessible with VoiceOver. It involves a garden scenario in which you play a vine seeking fertilizer and having to navigate and remove various obstacles in the garden to find and eat the fertilizer. For specific details on the game, see here
April 28, 2011
Serotek Corporation, makers of the System Access screen reader program for Windows, , and creators of the System Access Network, released a Mac version of their DocuScan Plus OCR application. This is a cloud-based application that utilizes a Mac compatible scanner or a Hovercam external camera that can be purchased separately. Actual OCR is done online, and, thus, one must have an internet connection to use it. There is a free trial available from the Mac App store, which gives you 7 days of full use before one can decide to purchase it. For complete details, see here
May 3, 2011
Apple updated their iMac line of desktop computers today. The new iMacs feature a quad-core processor, up to 3x faster graphics , Thunderbolt high-speed i/o, and a Facetime HD camera. These new, all-in-one systems start at $1199. For complete details, see here
May 31, 2011
The highly anticipated “Vizwiz” app from ROCHCI was released to day. This is an application for the iPhone in which a blind person can get information about an object or item in their environment by taking a picture of it, recording a question and sending it where a response is returned within a couple of minutes from a human volunteer. For information on this app from the iTunes store, please see here For a very informative blog post written by Martin Courcelles, see here
July 20, 2011
Mac OS X Lion is now available for download from the Mac App store. Apple made it official today, and for $29, you can get your copy of Lion. There are some additions to VoiceOver, including new voices, An “Activities” feature, and a new Quicknav Commander, among other improvements and additions. For details about 10.7 Lion, go here. Also, Apple announced the new line of Mac Mini and Mac Book Airs, which feature Thunderbolt and faster processors, as well as other improvements. It was also announced the the white Mac Book model has been discontinued. For information about the new Mac Book Airs, see here. For information about the new Mac Minis, see here.
August 10, 2011
Accessibility meets the “mainstream” as Josh de Lioncourt of the Maccessibility network talks about VoiceOver in OS X Lion, as well as the state of accessibility of the iOS devices in a Mac World Podcast done by Christopher Breen. You can find the article here which has download files of the podcast.
August 24, 2011
Steve Jobs Resigns As CEO of Apple After dealing with medical issues, including a liver transplant, Steve Jobs announced his resignation as CEO of Apple. He will remain as part of the Board of Directors and, I’m sure, will still have a major hand in product development, but Tim Cook has taken over as CEO. Mr. Jobs’s letter to the Apple board of directors was as follows; “To the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community: I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come. I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee. As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple. I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role. I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you. Steve It is amazing how much his presence with Apple effected the technology world, and how far Apple has come with him at the helm over the last decade plus. I can recall Michael Dell once commenting when Apple was at its lowest point that they should “lock the doors” and “give the money back to the shareholders”. It’s ironic that Apple is now worth 13 times more than Dell. Additionally, they have the largest market cap of any company in the world, including, Microsoft …. I guess no one will by that $500 phone without a keyboard, right Mr. Balmer? Words cannot describe what kind of visionary Steve Jobs is, and how much his guidance meant to the resurgence of Apple. I don’t foresee his departure effecting the accessibility strides Apple has made in its products nor the do I believe the innovations will stop coming. Mr. Jobs will continue to have his hands in things, so I still feel that the best is still yet to come for Apple. Finally, I Thank him for all he has done for the world of technology and for accessibility to the best products in the world. What roll he played in the development of VoiceOver is not known, but it all came under his watch, and I’ll never forget him talking about VoiceOver during one of his keynote addresses a few years ago at, I believe, a WWDc.
September 27, 2011
Looktel releases version 2.0 of their Money Reader applications for the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPod Touch (4th generation). Besides being able to identify US currency, Money Reader also now can identify Euros, British Pounds and the Australian and Canadian dollars. This product has worked extremely well with American money, and it is great to see it expand to other countries. Visit them here for more information on the Money Reader product.
October 4, 2011
Apple announced at their “Talk iPhone” event today that the iPhone 4S will be released next week. The new iPhone 4S features a dual-core A5 processor, an 8 MP camera and over 200 new features, including the Siri Assistant. The phone will come in 16, 32 and 64 GB models, and will be available for preorder on the Apple Online Store on October 7, and in retail stores on October 14. For complete details, go here. Besides the iPhone, it was also announced that iOS 5 will be released October 12, and will be available for the iPhone 4 and 3GS models, though older ones will not work with all the features. Apple’s online cloud service, iCloud, is also going to officially be launched on October 12 as well. Finally, new features and pricing for the iPod Touch and iPod Nano were also announced today as well. The new Nanos now start at $129, while the iPod Touch starts at $199. See here for information on the iPods and iCloud announcements.
October 11, 2011
Via software update for Mac and Windows, iTunes 10.5 is now available. This update is needed for the iOS 5 update coming tomorrow. Also, iTunes 10.5 brings iCloud support as well. Apple’s cloud-based online service will enable wireless syncing between multiple computers and iOS devices, as well as free 5 GB storage. Additional space can be purchased, if needed. At the moment, the iTunes Match service is not available though.
October 12, 2011
Apple released iOS 5 and Mac OS 10.7.2. Today, iOS 5 has been released for the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4, as well as the iPod and 3rd and 4th generation iPod Touch models. With over 200 new features, including iMessage and Notifications, it is the best version of the software yet. For complete details, see here. Additionally, the update for the Mac OS, OS 10.7.2, is also available. This will enable support for iCloud, Apple’s online cloud storage service.
October 14, 2011
The iPhone 4S is now available! With huge lines all over the world at their retail stores and some 2 to 3 million devices already preordered, the iPhone 4S was officially released today by Apple. You can now try to buy them at your local Apple retail store or AT&T store, as well as in Best Buy and a few other places. As mentioned above, the phone comes in 16, 32 and 64 GB models, and features a dual-core A5 processor, a new 8 MP camera and the Siri Assistant voice recognition software, as well as several additions and improvements to VoiceOver.
November 10, 2011
Apple released their first update to iOS 5.0 today. The iOS 5.01 update is meant to address the battery bug some users have been experiencing. You can now upgrade your device directly from the device itself now. Just look in Settings under General and SoftwareUpdate. Note that you will be prompted to plug in the phone to AC power for the actual update. This, of course, is to prevent the device losing charge during the process. Details for other bugs addressed can be found when you first initiate the update.
January 19, 2012
Apple’s Education Event Apple held an event that specifically focused on education. This included news about a new update to the iBooks app, as well as an iBooks authoring tool and exciting iTunes-U announcements for college students and teachers. Since the Maccessibility Network, as usual, did a great job of summarizing the news, please read about it here.
February 16, 2012
The Mountain Lion is Coming Today, it was announced that a preview version of the next major update, the 9th, to the Mac operating system, OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, was made available to developers. From what is being written, a summer release is expected for the update. Mountain Lion will, from all reports, continue to move the Mac OS to a much more iOS feel. This will include apps and features familiar to those of you using an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, such as the Reminders app, Game Center and Notification Center, as well as the iMessage capability, which is called, Messages. In fact, there is a public beta of the, Messages, App for the Mac that you can download and try. This will replace iChat, though all of the iChat services will still be available. If you’d like to try the beta, go here. To read about some detailed information about what to expect in Mountain Lion, See here.
March 7, 2012
The iPad 3 is Coming! Today, Apple announced the release of their 3rd tablet device, the iPad 3. This is the 3rd generation of the iPad, which features a breakthrough retina display, a Dual-core Apple A5X custom-designed, high-performance, low-power system-on-a-chip with quad-core graphic, a 5 MP iSight camera and 4G LTE. There is also updates to the iLife and iWork seets for the iPad as well, which includes some great new features for the popular Garage Band application. Additionally, iOS 5.1 was also released today with bug fixes and added languages to the Siri Assistant. For all of the details on the iPad 3, which includes links to the iPad video and keynote speech for today’s event, go here. The iPad 3 pricing remains in line with the previous models, starting at $499 for the 16 GB version without 4G LTE. Preordering is now available, while the official shipping date will be March 16. It must also be noted that there have been price reductions to the iPad 2, which now starts at $399 for the 16 GB model.
June 11, 2012
What a WWDC! Apple is holding their World Wide Developer Conference for 2012 this week, and the always anticipated keynote address came earlier today. There was news a plenty, including new Mac models, information about Mountain Lion and iOS6. Some of the high points included:
- Mountain Lion, the next update to Apples operating system for Mac computers, will be released in July. New features, include a Notes and Reminders apps like are currently available on the iDevices, a new version of Safari and improved dictation.
- iOS 6, the next update to Apples operating system for their mobile devices, will be coming in September. New features include a new Maps application, improvements to Siri, Facebook integration, shared Photo Streams and a new Passbook application .
- A refresh to the Mac Book Air and Mac Book Pro lines of portable computers. All of the models received a bump to their specs, which are highlighted by use of the new Intel Ivy Bridge processor technology.
- A new, “next generation” Mac Book Pro model with a 15.4 inch screen and the same thickness as the Mac Book Air. This is a high end laptop model that has some of the most powerful features available on any laptop, including Apple’s retina display technology.
- A new Airport Express model. The portable router now will have the same dual-band Wi-Fi capabilities as the Airport Extreme and Time Capsule models of Apple’s airport equipment, while maintaining its $99 price tag.
- Although it was not announced in the keynote, the Mac Pro desktop line also received an upgrade as well. They now use th Intel Xeon E5 CPU.
It is best to visit Apple’s website. for all of the details on what was announced, such as pricing for the Mac computers. Additionally, there is a link to the keynote address that can be listened to as well.
July 25, 2012
Apple Releases OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion! Mountain Lion, the latest operating system for the Mac platform, was made available by Apple today. Note that it can only be purchased through the Mac App store, which means that you have to be running either Snow Leopard or Lion. The cost is only $19.99, and one will find some VoiceOver improvements and some new features as well. For general information, please visit Apple’s Mountain Lion page here.
September 12, 2012
Apple held its long anticipated iPhone 5 event today. There were several announcements that I will briefly sum up here. • The new iPhone 5 was the featured device that was shown. This includes a new thinner and lighter design and an A6 chip that give it twice the speed as the 4S, but, at the same time, it features a longer battery life than the 4S. Graphics are improved with a 4 inch Retina display , and its wireless capabilities are fast in now supports Dual-band 802.11n wireless connectivity and LTE. The iPhone 5 also includes an 8MP iSight camera and improved audio capabilities. You can go here to read about the iPhone 5 in detail. Preorders for the iPhone 5 start on September 14, while the device will begin to ship on September 21. • iOS 6 will be available on September 19. All of the features presented in the keynote today were discussed at the WWDC event. ONce again, notable features include, a new Maps application, improvements to Siri, Facebook integration, shared Photo Streams and a new Passbook application, among may others. See here for all of the details on iOS 6 • New iPod Touch models and a new iPod Nano were also announced. This includes upgrades to capabilities and color selections as well. The new iPod Touch 5th generation basically are equivalent to the iPhone 4S in tech specs, and has been designed to be lighter and thinner than the 4th generation models. . You can visit here to learn about the new iPod Touch 5th generation. Information on the iPod Nano 7th Generation model can be found here. • There will be changes to simplify iTunes in iTunes 11, as well as a new look to the App store and iTunes store, which are all coming in October. • Apple has released a new universal connector to replace the traditional one for the iDevices they call, Lightning. • Finally, Apple also redesigned their earphones and will be including what they call, EarPods, with the iPhone 5 and iPod models. They also are available for separate purchase as well.
September 19, 2012
Today, Apple made iOS 6 available for supported iDevices. Users can now download the update either through iTunes or, if running iOS 5.x, as an over the air update on the device. For information on specific accessibility and VoiceOver improvements or additions, I recommend reading this post by the Maccessibility people. Also today, OS X 10.8.2 for Mountain Lion became available. You can download that through the Mac App store. There, as far as is known, no changes to VoiceOver, but, instead, bug fixes and other improvements. Facebook integration is one new feature.
October 23, 2012
Apple held its October event today. There were, of course, rumors a plenty as to what would be announced by them. Most of it was no surprise to those who have been following all of the buzz, but there were a couple of unexpected items. Most of this does not relate to VoiceOver, so I am going to list the relevant links one can access to read details about each product that was introduced by Tim Cook and staff.
Note that according to the
there are some VoiceOver improvements in iBooks 3.0.
November 29, 2012
Apple Releases iTunes 11!
It was talked about in the previous events, but iTunes 11 is finally here. It has received a complete overhaul in its interface. In many ways, it seems simplified and easier to use.
If you are running Lion or Mountain Lion, you can use either the Mac App store’s update facility or just launch Software update from the Apple menu. For Snow Leopard users, just launch Software Update.