Hello Everyone !
I hope you are all well, my family and I have been enjoying our holidays and are dreading going back to reality in a few days, but it was sure nice while it lasted !
There are so many products and apps out there geared towards people who are blind or partially sighted, so today I am going to tell you about some of my favourites. The ones that I use on a daily or almost daily basis are the ones that I am going to focus on.
These are the ones that work for me and that I like, they may not work for everyone. This will be a two part blog post to keep it from being too long. The second post will go up tomorrow. The second post will focus on the products and this post will focus on the apps.
The apps that I have on my iPhone 6 that I use daily or almost daily are:
Be My Eyes – This is a great app that you are able to ask questions to a volunteer on the other end such as “what colour is this shirt”, “what temperature does this need to be cooked at ?” You are able to do this by the app accessing your camera on the back of your phone. This app works pretty well you are able to ask questions rather than just take a picture, however sometimes it can take quite a while to get someone to answer your call as it is all volunteers. The other downfall is that it is only available for iPhone right now. The app is free for those with an iPhone.
Crowd Viz – This is an app very similar to Be My Eyes and has the same concept, but you do need to pay to use the volunteers help, you get so many free calls when you download the app, then you will need to pay for the rest. Some people don’t like to have to pay for things like this, but the app does have a much quicker response time than Be My Eyes. I like to have options and never be stranded when I need to borrow someone’s eyes. So I am willing to pay for this service if necessary.
Tap Tap See – This app takes pictures using your phones camera again. After it takes a picture of say a price tag it will tell you what it is in the picture. So it works well if you are looking for say a can of tomato soup and you have two options. This app can be useful but you do have to pay for the pictures after you use up the initial amount you get with the download of the app. This isn’t great because if you don’t have something facing the right way you can use up 3 or 4 pictures trying to get the information that you are looking for depending on what you are using it for. It does pretty well for colour recognition if you are using it to determine say your pink shirt from your black shirt. I have also used it to determine if the bathroom sign is the women or mens when there is no braille, it works really well for that.
FaceTime or Facebook Video Messenger – These are great options when you are out and about and need to ask someone you trust a question about something. For example when I go makeup shopping I will usually ask the store clerk if something looks good and then I will FaceTime my friend and ask her opinion because she knows me and my style and I trust her more than a stranger. Also say you are at the store looking for tampons and don’t feel like using Be My Eyes and asking a complete stranger if the ones you are looking at are super or regular you can video chat with family or friend someone who will just laugh along with you. I also use this when I am clothes shopping if something fits and I think I like it I will call and ask my husband or friend if it looks good. I like that I can go out alone and live my life but have the option to get a little help with the visual things when I need to. I have also used this when I have gotten turned around and a little lost. I called a friend and asked her what was around me and where did I need to go. There are many many uses for these two options.
Blind Square – This is a GPS app that is intended for people who are blind or partially sighted. It will give you turn by turn directions to a location you have put in, or it will help you to locate what is around you. For instance if you are travelling alone and want to find a coffee shop you can use this app to help you find what coffee shops are around you and then it will give you the turn by turn directions to get there. It is nice to have this right on your phone so that you do not need to carry around another device with you. You can put in your favourite and most used places as well. This app is great if you get turned around or are not sure where you are exactly as well. I think it is always important to have a GPS with you whether it be on your phone or a external GPS because when you can not see where you are going it is not hard to get a little mixed up and no one wants to feel the panic of “I don’t know where I am”. This app has been great and I really like using it.
Direct To Player / Overdrive – These are apps that I can borrow audio books from the library and listen to them on my phone. This is great because I can still use the library services and read books for free rather than paying for them all. These apps are very easy to use and are geared towards people who have low vision and are using a screen reader.
Audible – I am sure we all know what Audible is at this point, but for those who may not, it is a audio book app. You can purchase audio books and listen on the go. I may have a slight problem with reading books and needing to have many on the go at once. It is great to pass time and I love to read so this way I am never without a book !
These are the most used apps on my phone that make life easier and more accessible. If you have an app that you love please let me know, I am always on the look out for new apps that will make life more accessible.
Thanks for reading !
Until Next Time !
Ashley and Rick