This week our guest is Allison Hartley. Allison is the Manager of the Napa Branch of the California department of Rehabilitation, and a podcaster. She co-hosts both the Tech Doctor Podcast with Dr. Robert Carter (dr-carter.com/…) and That Blind Tech Show (blindabilities.com/…).
Allison joins us to talk about the less than smooth experience she had upgrading to iPhone X. You might think it was hard because she’s blind, but accessibility had nothing to do with it. We talk a bit about whether Apple has taken their eye off the ball about quality lately (spoiler alert, yes!).
If you ever find your Apple Watch talking to you but the screen is staying blank, you might find some tips in this story. As is often the case with tech stories, this one ends in success but contains an unsolved mystery.
You know I like to experiment with VoiceOver to keep increasing my knowledge about how the blind use iOS and Mac devices, right? After my review of the new Apple Watch Series 2, Kevin Jones sent me a direct tweet explaining that VoiceOver is much faster with the Series 2 Apple Watch.
Intrigued, I opened up Settings on my Apple Watch, selected General, then Accessibility and flipped the toggle to turn on VoiceOver. I expected to have my Apple Watch start talking to me, but I wasn’t prepared for the second thing that happened. Very briefly I was shown a screen with a toggle for Screen Curtain. Most people using VoiceOver have no need to see the screen, so Screen Curtain is a useful option to save battery and increase privacy. Unfortunately, when i turned on VoiceOver, the watch defaulted to turning on Screen Curtain so my watch turned black.
Send in your questions you’d like to have Professor Maryanne Garry answer on the show about the brain, memory or how we perceive things for a show in a few weeks. I have an argument with myself about whether the use of ad blockers are essentially stealing or whether their our only defense against emotional damage. My octogenarian father-in-law explains how 1Password made his computing experience so much easier in a video interview I hope you’ll use to convince others to use a password manager. A quick review of a USB-C dongle for $20 from Aerb that does 90% of what I need on my 12″ MacBook. In Chit Chat Across the Pond Bart takes us through part 2 of his explanation of how to use HSXKpasswd from the command line and how to create our own configuration files. It’s one that really would be helpful if you read along with his shownotes while you work it out on your own!
I’ve been doing the rounds at local user groups about why the members might want to use a password manager. User groups tend to be in the older age group and while they politely listen to me and ask insightful questions, many of them are suspicious of these new fangled ideas I’m pushing.
That got me thinking, what if I could get my awesome father-in-law Ken Sheridan to explain how it makes his life easier? He’s just turned 80 years old so I know they would respect his opinion. My hope is that others will show this video to their friends and that it will help them move to higher security with a password manager.
In this five minute interview Ken explains why passwords were hard for him in the past, how much easier it is now with 1Password, and what the process was like for him getting his passwords transferred to 1Password.
Live video broadcasting via Periscope on iOS. I walk you through the fun we had ordering the Apple Watch and then trying them on at the Apple Store and finally playing with the new 12″ Retina Macbook. We Periscoped our fun trying on the Apple Watch too so you can watch that over at the website. I explain in video why Don McAllister is the master in a very short video here. In Chit Chat Across the Pond I talk to Mike Calvo and Matt Campbell from the company Serotek. Their company creates assistive websites for blind people to be able to access social media tools like Facebook. The reason we’re talking today is because Facebook is going to abandon the API they’ve been using that allows them to make Facebook accessible to more people. It’s an interesting discussion of technology that I hope you’ll enjoy.
On this week’s segment of Chit Chat Across the Pond, Shelly Brisbin is going to demonstrate how to use VoiceOver for the blind on iOS. We needed a way to record just our voices, but we also wanted to be able to record (in high quality audio) the audio coming out of our phones. I figured out how to do this with a combination of the new QuickTime in Yosemite plus Soundflower and Audio Hijack 3 from Rogue Amoeba.
I used it to capture VoiceOver but you could use it to record any sound from your iOS device – games, songs, podcasts, even a phone call!
This tutorial explains how to use Rogue Amoeba’s Audio Hijack 3 (http://rogueamoeba.com) to capture both sides of a Skype call to separate channels and also include high quality sound coming from an iOS device plugged into a Mac. This technique can be used to capture music, podcasts, games, VoiceOver, any sound coming from an iOS device. Heck, you could even record audio from a phone call coming from your iOS device with this technique.
Mac running Yosemite or higher
QuickTime in Yosemite
iOS 8 device
Audio Hijack 3
Soundflower (also from Rogue Amoeba)
Overview: We’re going to use QuickTime to capture the audio from the iPhone, and we’ll combine it with our microphone using Soundflower (2ch) via Audio Hijack. We’ll use Soundflower (2ch) as the audio input to Skype. Then we’ll set up a stereo recording in Audio Hijack so that we can hear the caller but not our own voice.
Allison interviews Teresa Hammond from 4moms about their two new products for infants: the MamaRoo robotic rocker and the Origami GO automated collapsable stroller. The setting is the Pepcom Digital Experience at the Mirage Hotel.
Allison interviews Stephan Floyd from Tobii about their assistive technologies for people with communication and mobility disabilities. Stephan describes Tobii’s new eye tracking technology while Allison visualizes scenes through the device. The setting is CES Unveiled at the Mandalay Bay Hotel.
A little while ago, good friend of the show Slau wrote to the Mac Geek Gab boys, Dave Hamilton and John F Braun with a very interesting request. Dave included me on distribution thinking I might have some ideas. Here’s Slau’s original question:
Hi Dave and John,
I have an issue that I’ve been trying to solve for quite some time. In fact, it would help a great deal of blind Mac users such as me.
I’m trying to find a way to move the mouse pointer in fixed increments (pixels or inches, whatever) using only the keyboard or preferably the numeric key pad. While there’s a way to move the pointer using Mouse Keys (within the Accessibility pane of System Preferences), the result is based on factors like delay and speed and vary according to how long you hold down the key so results aren’t exactly repeatable or translatable from user to user.
With VoiceOver, it’s possible to read the mouse coordinates in inches relative to screen or window but it’s not possible to enter coordinates manually. An example of where moving the pointer manually would be helpful and even necessary is when there are invisible elements on screen that are not recognized by voiceOver but need to be clicked. One can navigate to the closest recognizable element and then manually move the pointer from there. I’m thinking there might be an AppleScript or something that could perform the mouse pointer movement and it could be triggered by a keyboard shortcut. What do you think?