Tag Archives: Apple Watch

Dolphin Easy Reader App for iOS Review

Dolphin have recently released their Easy Reader app for iOS. I must admit that I was a little sceptical about whether the app would be any good when considering Dolphin’s speciality is magnification and speech software for Windows computers. It also came as a bit of a surprise as they had managed to keep it quiet pretty much up until it went live.

 

Obviously I work with Dolphin products a lot in my capacity as a Certified Software Specialist and Accredited Trainer for Guide and SuperNova, so I’m fully aware that their software is very good. I’m also a VoiceOver specialist so I was very interested to see how their first foray into the world of iOS apps had turned out.

 

I have no vision at all so am using VoiceOver rather than magnification on my iOS devices, so please bear that in mind when reading my little review.

 

First impressions and layout.

 

The app is free from the iOS App Store, which of course is great news. There are also some in-app purchase options which I’ll talk about later. The first thing you find when you open the Easy Reader app is that the welcome screen is clear and uncluttered. It tells you that you can sign in using your Dolphin account if you already have one and invites you to register for one if you don’t. To register for a Dolphin account is free and as simple as completing a form which consists of using your email as your user name and choosing a password for your Dolphin account. Once you submit the form a verification email is sent to your email address. All you need to do is click on the verification link within the email and you’re done.

 

Once you’ve signed into the app with your Dolphin account details it’s very apparent very quickly that a great deal of effort has gone into making the app simple, uncluttered and easy to use. Along the top of the app screen just beneath the device status bar is a set of options consisting of five items. From left to right the items are:

 

Side Menu button: Single finger double tapping this button opens the app menu where you can find options to manage your ebook libraries, view any text added to your clipboard and find help for the app as well as sign out of the app. 

 

My Books heading: This heading changes depending on which screen of the app you’re in.

 

List/Collection View button: Single finger double tapping this button toggles the view of your downloaded ebooks between list and collection views. From a VoiceOver user point of view I much prefer it in list view as the list is displayed with the title and author of the book and then has a “Book Information” button beneath it. This is a nice little feature which allows you to find out how far you’ve read through the book as well as an option to return to the book.

 

Sort button: Single finger double tapping this button displays a list of sorting options for displaying your downloaded ebooks. The options are; most recent, title and author.

 

Beneath these main options on the app home screen is a search edit box which runs the entire width of the screen.

 

Beneath the search edit box and basically taking up the rest of the screen is, or will be once you’ve downloaded some, a list of all of the books downloaded to your device.

 

Downloading an ebook.

 

Downloading an ebook really is very easy. All you need to do is open the side menu, choose a library from the manage libraries list and open it, search for a book using the search edit box or browse through categories such as Action and Adventure, Science Fiction, Short Stories, Young Reader, Romance, Fiction, Fantasy, Historical Fiction etc. Once you find a book you want single finger double tap on the book title and a screen will open up giving you a download option as well as giving info about the book such as its format, file size and the library you’re downloading it from. You can then navigate back to your list of downloaded books by using the “Back” button found at the top left of the screen and single finger double tapping on the “My Books” button. It’s very straight forward and fully accessible.

 

Reading a downloaded ebook.

 

Reading a downloaded ebook is as simple as single finger double tapping the book title on your “My Books” list then single finger double tapping the Play/Pause button when the book has loaded. There are some really good features on the book screen that you should know about. There are two sets of controls on the book screen, one along the top and one along the bottom. Here’s what the controls are and what they do.

 

Top of screen, from left to right.

 

Side Menu button: Single finger double tapping this button opens the app menu where you can find options to manage your ebook libraries, view any text added to your clipboard and find help for the app as well as sign out of the app.

 

Search button: Single finger double tapping this button allows you to search for a particular word or phrase in the book.

 

Book title heading: This heading displays the title of the book you’re currently reading.

 

Reading progress percentage: Shows you how much of the current book you’ve read.

 

Text Settings button: Single finger double tapping this button allows you to adjust text size, change the book’s font, change the font list for the book, adjust margins, adjust line spacing, adjust letter spacing, change colour themes, change text colour, change background colour, change sentence highlight colour, change word highlight colour and reset everything you’ve changed back to their default settings.

 

Audio Settings button: Single finger double tapping this button allows you to change the reading voice, adjust voice speed, change voice pitch, adjust voice volume, add pronunciations, toggle the app to play a sound when you reach a bookmark and an option to reset everything you’ve changed back to their default settings. There’s also an option to add new voices should you wish to and this is where the in-app purchases come in. There’s a large list of voices for you to choose from, so if there’s a particular voice that you prefer it’s likely to be available here.

 

Bottom of screen, from left to right.

 

Book Navigation button: Single finger double tapping on this button opens a screen which allows you to navigate by chapter.

 

Navigation Modes button: Single finger double tapping this button opens a screen which allows you to choose the way you navigate books. The options are by word, by heading 1, by bookmarks and by document. There’s also a default option which is predictably, the default setting.

 

Previous button: Single finger double tapping this button navigates you to the previous chapter, heading etc depending on what you’ve chosen to navigate by in your Navigation Modes settings.

 

Play/Pause button: Single finger double tapping this button plays or pauses the book.

 

Next button: Single finger double tapping this button navigates you to the next chapter, heading etc depending on what you’ve chosen to navigate by in your Navigation Modes settings.

 

Sleep Timer button: Single finger double tapping this button allows you to set a sleep timer for 15, 30, 45 or 60 minutes.

 

Bookmarks button: Single finger double tapping this button allows you to set an audio bookmark at the current book position. Note that you’ll need to give the app permission to use the device microphone to be able to do this.

 

Deleting a book.

 

Once you’ve finished reading an ebook that you’ve downloaded you can of course delete it from your device. As with everything else in this app it’s dead easy. Simply select the book title on your “My Books” list and single finger flick up or down to highlight the Delete option then single finger double tap. A dialogue window opens asking you if you’d like to delete the book from the device and gives you “Yes” and “Cancel” button options. Simply single finger double tap the “Yes” button and the book will be deleted from your device.

 

Summary.

 

I really like this app. It’s fully accessible with VoiceOver; VoiceOver reads all of the buttons and labels, it’s well laid out and uncluttered, it’s easy to use and it’s free. I think Dolphin have done an excellent job with this app and I really hope they produce some more fully accessible iOS apps in the future.

 

If you’d like to try out the Dolphin Easy Reader app you can get it on the iOS App Store at: https://appsto.re/gb/Zazpfb.i

My Experience of the Twitterific App for iOS

It took me quite a while to get into using Twitter, initially for personal use and later for my business. One of the reasons it took some time was because I simply didn’t find the standard Twitter app for iOS to be particularly easy to use nor its home feed screen to flow particularly well. I also found that although the Twitter app itself is perfectly accessible with VoiceOver I really didn’t enjoy using it at all. As a result I began looking for an alternative Twitter client that would be easy to use, would give me a clean flowing home feed and of course would be fully accessible with VoiceOver.

 

When I was searching for information online I read a lot of good things from both visually impaired and sighted people about the Twitterific app for iOS. Not only that but it’s a free app! Needless to say I immediately found it on the App Store and downloaded it. I’ve been using the app for a few months now and have to say that I love it.

 

The first thing to impress me when I initially opened the app was that if you don’t already have a Twitter account you can actually sign up and create one directly using the Twitterific app. This really is excellent whether you’re a VoiceOver user or not as you can create your entire account and profile without ever needing to leave the app. Not only that but it’s completely accessible with VoiceOver and takes you through the process step by step.

 

The second thing to impress me was that every single button, tab and menu is labelled and fully accessible with VoiceOver. The app layout is simple, easy to navigate and crucially, is uncluttered.

 

There’s also a great help section which lists gestures that you can use for all manner of tasks and functions whilst using the app. The app is also customisable in terms of the notifications you receive, marking your current position in your home feed and how you view tabs and menu bars.

 

As you’d expect you can do everything with the Twitterific app that you can on the standard Twitter app, including posting and deleting tweets, replying to tweets, retweeting, liking and sharing other people’s tweets, private messaging, searching for and following other Twitter profiles etc.

 

There’s also an AppleWatch app which works smoothly with the iOS app allowing you to receive notifications directly to your AppleWatch.

 

Everything I’ve mentioned so far is excellent, functional and accessible, the most striking and impressive thing about the Twitterific app for me however is the simplicity of the home feed. It’s completely uncluttered, is wonderfully easy to navigate and works beautifully.

 

The only thing you can’t do with the Twitterific app that you can with the standard Twitter app is post tweets using Siri. I think I’ve only ever posted one or possibly two tweets using Siri on the standard Twitter app over the entire time that I’ve been using it. I much prefer typing my tweets on the virtual keyboard or using my Magic Keyboard as I find it a lot more accurate. However, the lack of Siri interaction with Twitterific might be something to consider if you normally post most of your tweets using Siri.

 

Finally, although the Twitterific app is free there are optional in app purchases. In a nutshell, when you get the app some adverts do appear on the home feed screen, the adverts aren’t actually too annoying and the app works perfectly regardless of them being there. However, if you prefer not to have adverts appear you can choose an in app purchase option to remove them. The in app purchase is a very small amount and in my opinion well worth it, not only because it removes the adverts but also because it contributes to the ongoing development of the app. Not to mention that by making an in app purchase you’re helping support a great and fully accessible product.

 

If you haven’t tried Twitterific for iOS yet you can download it from the app store at: https://appsto.re/gb/_GTLI.i

 

 

If you’d like to follow me on Twitter you can find me on @AVCoaching

VoiceOver accessible iOS apps suitable for kids

As we all know there are literally thousands of third party apps out there for smart phones and tablets, but sadly very few of them are actually accessible to those of us who are visually impaired and rely on using screen reading technology to operate our devices, let alone ones that are good for kids. As I’m a VoiceOver specialist this blog focuses on apps useful and suitable for kids using Apple iOS devices, there are of course apps for Android devices too, but as I’m not a trainer for Android and don’t have specific knowledge about them I’m afraid I’m unable to give any meaningful advice or opinions about them. So, in the spirit of Christmas I’ve pulled together a list of 12 apps that are fully accessible with VoiceOver, are suitable for kids and that work well. I’ve tried to get together a reasonable mixture of apps that are useful, educational and fun, but that can also be used by kids and families alike. In the list below you’ll find the name of the app, a brief description of what it does as well as which devices and operating systems it will work with, its cost and finally a link to its page on the Apple iOS app store.

 

 

App name: Accessible Letter Soup.

Price: £0.79.

Description: Learn words and spelling with Accessible Letter Soup. Words can be found vertically, horizontally or diagonally. You can also choose the size of board and difficulty of words. There are lots of different categories of words to choose from including, animals, musical instruments, colours, professions and jobs, human body. Good for most ages, and particularly good for learning spellings as you can start easy and work your way up.

Devices this app is suitable for: iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch running iOS 7.0 or later.

Get the app in the iOS app store at: https://appsto.re/gb/nKih6.i

 

App name: Blindfold Bowling.

Price: Free with some in app purchases.

Description: A good app for all ages. In this game you can play on your own, with friends and family or against computer opponents. The game is fully accessible and relies purely on the player’s hearing. It has excellent sound effects as you hear yourself get strikes and half strikes along with frustrating gutter balls.

Devices this app is suitable for: iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch running iOS 7.0 or later.

Get the app in the iOS app store at: https://appsto.re/gb/xTC79.i

 

App name: Blindfold Hopper.

Price: Free with some in app purchases.

Description: A really fun game for younger kids, this game is audio only and is fully accessible. In the game the player is a frog trying to jump from lily pad to lily pad as they pass by. The further through the game the player gets the quicker the lily pads pass by. Lots of great sound effects of animals give this game a really nice feel. But don’t get too distracted, if you miss the lily pad and fall in you’ll get eaten by an alligator!

Devices this app is suitable for: iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch running iOS 7.0 or later.

Get the app in the iOS app store at:  https://appsto.re/gb/8Ibq6.i

 

App name: Blindfold Simon.

Price: Free with some in app purchases.

Description: This is a great fun app for all ages. Really good for the memory and helping kids get used to gestures on the touch screen. Just like the game Simon Says, this app gives the player a sequence, touch screen gestures are then used to replicate the sequence. Each time a sequence is successfully replicated another gesture is added to the next sequence and so on. This app has 1 and 2 player modes. In 2 player mode the iOS device is passed from one player to the next each time a sequence is successfully passed.

Devices this app is suitable for: iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch running iOS 7.0 or later.

Get the app in the iOS app store at:  https://appsto.re/gb/h5VF7.i

 

App name: Blindfold Pong.

Price: Free with some in app purchases.

Description: Based on the classic arcade game Pong, this app is audio only and the player wears headphones to hear the direction that the ball or balls are travelling. The app uses the gyroscope built into the iOS device to determine when the player is swinging the bat (the phone or iPod) to hit the ball. It has progressive levels that get harder and harder the further you get. Good fun for all ages and also great for developing motor skills.

Devices this app is suitable for: iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch running iOS 7.0 or later. However, it is rather difficult to play the game on an iPad due to the device size.

Get the app in the iOS app store at: https://appsto.re/gb/UjqE7.i

 

App name: Braille Reference.

Price: £0.79.

Description: A great app for kids learning braille or for those who don’t use it very often. The app has over 250 braille symbols and contractions that can be easily looked up for reference. The app is fully accessible with VoiceOver and a great tool to have in your bag or pocket if you’re a braille user.

Devices this app is suitable for: iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch running iOS 6.1 or later.

Get the app in the iOS app store at: https://appsto.re/gb/TwoZE.i

 

App name: Chime.

Price: Free.

Description: This is a great little app that enables your iOS device to make quarterly, half hourly or hourly time announcements. You can choose between several different sounds and two voices for the announcements. It’s a very useful app and is fully accessible with VoiceOver.

Devices this app is suitable for: iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch running iOS 7.0 or later.

Get the app in the iOS app store at: https://appsto.re/gb/c5CUy.i

 

App name: Double Post.

Price: Free with an optional in app upgrade purchase.

Description: A great app for older kids who have their own Facebook and/or Twitter accounts, it enables you to post to both simultaneously very quickly and easily as well as adding photos etc. It is fully accessible with VoiceOver and even works with AppleWatch.

Devices this app is suitable for: iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch running iOS 8.0 or later.

Get the app in the iOS app store at: https://appsto.re/gb/IhXdN.i

 

App name: JumpInSaucers.

Price: Free, there is also a paid version of the game that you can purchase.

Description: This is a game developed by parents of visually impaired children initially to allow their kids to play with their siblings. The game is an alien shoot ‘em up that utilises the iOS device’s gyroscope to allow the player to control the character. It’s fully accessible and suitable for all ages. It has good sound effects and interesting alien noises. This app is also available for Android devices on Google Play.

Devices this app is suitable for: iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch running iOS 6.0 or later.

Get the app in the iOS app store at: https://appsto.re/gb/kRB54.i

 

App name: Listerine Smile Detector.

Price: Free.

Description: This is a lovely fun little app that enables visually impaired and blind kids to see when people are smiling at them. The app is supported by the RNIB, is fully accessible with VoiceOver and also has built in magnification. The app can use the front or rear facing cameras and makes sounds or vibrates when a smile is detected. I think this is a really nice app that was created for all the right reasons.

Devices this app is suitable for: iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch running iOS 7.1 or later.

Get the app in the iOS app store at: https://appsto.re/gb/K-KV8.i

 

App name: Pages.

Price: Free.

Description: Pages is actually an Apple app and is fully accessible with VoiceOver. It’s a powerful word processing app that enables you to create, edit, read and save documents in multiple formats including Microsoft Word and PDF. It’s great for general word processing and good for school work as it offers a large selection of pre loaded documents templates for things like reports, posters, flyers, CVs, letters etc as well as enabling you to create your own unique documents. This app is fully accessible when using the touch screen on devices but it becomes even more viable as a tool for school work when a bluetooth keyboard is used with the iOS device.

Devices this app is suitable for: iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch running iOS 8.4 or later.

Get the app in the iOS app store at: https://appsto.re/gb/EysIv.i

 

App name: Spelling Bee.

Price: Free with some in app purchases.

Description: A fully accessible spelling app great for improving kids’ spelling. The app comes with 1,000 pre loaded spelling tests organised into different difficulty levels. The spelling tests are made into games to help kids enjoy doing them. This app is aimed at children aged 9 to 11 years.

Devices this app is suitable for: iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch running iOS 6.0 or later.

Get the app in the iOS app store at: https://appsto.re/gb/lqQY0.i

 

 

This blog has made me think about doing the occasional article about apps that I find to be accessible and useful, so watch this space for future instalments.

Tick tock, my Apple Watch experience, using the Friends button on Apple Watch 2.0

Using the Friends button on the Apple Watch:

 

This blog post refers to Apple Watches running Apple Watch 2.0 software.

 

Easily one of the best features of the Apple Watch is the ability to access contacts quickly and make calls using the watch itself. There’s something wonderfully sci fi about talking at your wrist and having a two way conversation through it.

 

One of the easiest and quickest ways to get to some of your favourite contacts is to use the Friends button found below the Digital crown on the right side of the watch. This function is really useful as you can choose up to 12 people from your contacts list on your iPhone to create something called the ‘Friends Circle’ on your watch. To create your friends Circle do the following:

 

HOT TIP: First go to the Contacts setting in the Apple Watch app and make sure that ‘Mirror my iPhone’ is selected. This will mean that your entire contacts list from your iPhone will also be available on your Apple Watch. It will also mean that any contacts on your iPhone contacts list that are blocked will also be blocked on your Apple Watch.

 

1. Go to the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and go to Friends.

 

2. Once in the Friends setting area you will be presented with 12 spaces in which to add contacts of your choosing. The way Apple have done this is very clever and very easy for those of us who are blind or visually impaired to imagine. Basically the screen displays a list laid out as a watch face numbered 1 to 12 going around in a clockwise direction. It displays, “Add friend, 12 o’clock on friends circle”, “Add friend, 1 o’clock on friends circle” and so on until all 12 hour positions on a clock face are accounted for.

 

3. Single finger double tap on the clock face position you want to add a contact to.

 

4. Your contacts list will open on your iPhone to allow you to select who to add. Simply find the person you want and single finger double tap on their name. That person will then be added to the Friends Circle position you selected.

 

It is in theory possible to reorder the contacts around the clock face in your friends circle, however I have found it very awkward to do as it is no longer as simple as moving the contact up or down a list as it was in Apple Watch 1.1. In Apple Watch 2.0 VoiceOver will tell you to swipe up or down to reorder the person when you highlight their name with your finger tip. In practice this is very difficult to achieve as VoiceOver doesn’t seem to recognise what your doing. My best piece of advice regarding this would be to add the person in the clock face position you want them in the first place to avoid having to try and reorder them. This is a shame because I think the method of doing this in Apple Watch 1.1 was far more user friendly for those of us using VoiceOver.

 

Deleting contacts from your friends circle has also changed in Apple Watch 2.0. I’ve found that the easiest way to remove contacts is to do the following:

 

1. Single finger double tap the contact name and a Remove button is announced by VoiceOver.

 

2. Single finger double tap anywhere on the screen to activate the Remove button.

 

3. An alert will pop up and will be announced by VoiceOver displaying a Remove Friend button and a Cancel button. Single finger left or right swipe on the screen to navigate to the button you wish to use and then single finger double tap anywhere on the screen to activate it. If you activate the Remove Friend button then obviously the contact you selected will be removed. The contact will be removed from your Friends Circle but will remain in your iPhone contacts list. If you activate the Cancel button the contact will not be removed and you will be returned to your Friends Circle screen.

 

4. Repeat steps 1, 2 and 3 for each contact you wish to delete from your Friends Circle. Then, once you’ve finished single finger double tap the My Watch button found at the top left corner of the screen under your phone’s cellular signal display.

 

 

Now you’ve created your Friends Circle here is how you can use it .

 

1. Press and release the Friends button on your Apple Watch to display your Friends Circle.

 

2. Use Digital Crown Navigation or a finger tip on the Apple Watch screen to move around the names of contacts in the Friends Circle.

 

3. Single finger double tap on the name button of the person you want to call or message. A new screen will be displayed giving you options to call, message, digital touch or send a tap. Note that the digital touch/tap option button will be greyed out/dimmed if the person does not have an Apple Watch.

 

4. Use Digital Crown Navigation or a fingertip on the screen to move around the option buttons and do the following :

 

Single finger double tap on the person’s name button to send a digital touch.

 

Single finger triple tap on the person’s name button to send a tap.

 

Single finger double tap on the Phone button to call the person.

 

Single finger double tap on the Message button to send the person a message.

 

You can also single finger double tap on the Back button found at the top left of the screen to return you to your Friends Circle list.

 

5. If you wish to switch your Apple Watch off, press and hold the Friends button for 2 seconds. A new screen will then be displayed giving you 4 options. You can single finger swipe left or right to find Cancel, Power off, Power reserve and Lock device buttons. Simply single finger double tap on the button for the action you want to perform.

 

6. To switch your Apple Watch on, press and hold the Friends button for 2 seconds. The watch will take approximately 90 seconds to boot up. It will then ask you to enter your watch passcode.

 

 

In my next blog I will be talking about adding and removing third party apps from the Apple Watch.

Tick tock, my Apple Watch experience, using the Friends button on the Apple Watch

Using the Friends button on the Apple Watch:

 

This blog post refers to Apple Watches running Apple Watch 1.1 software.

 

Easily one of the best features of the Apple Watch is the ability to access contacts quickly and make calls using the watch itself. There’s something wonderfully sci fi about talking at your wrist and having a two way conversation through it.

 

One of the easiest and quickest ways to get to some of your favourite contacts is to use the Friends button found below the Digital crown on the right side of the watch. This function is really useful as you can choose up to 12 people from your contacts list on your iPhone to create something called the ‘Friends Circle’ on your watch. To create your friends Circle do the following:

 

HOT TIP: First go to the Contacts setting in the Apple Watch app and make sure that ‘Mirror my iPhone’ is selected. This will mean that your entire contacts list from your iPhone will also be available on your Apple Watch. It will also mean that any contacts on your iPhone contacts list that are blocked will also be blocked on your Apple Watch.

 

1. Go to the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and go to Friends.

 

2. Once in the Friends setting area you will be presented with 12 spaces in which to add contacts of your choosing. The way Apple have done this is very clever and very easy for those of us who are blind or visually impaired to imagine. Basically the screen displays a list numbered 1 to 12 and starting from the top going down the list it displays, “Add friend, 12 o’clock on friends circle”, “Add friend, 1 o’clock on friends circle” and so on until all 12 hour positions on a metaphorical clock face are accounted for.

 

3. Single finger double tap on the clock face position you want to add a contact to. Note that you can reorder the position of contacts in your Friends Circle once you’ve filled some or all of the available spaces.

 

4. Your contacts list will open on your iPhone to allow you to select who to add. Simply find the person you want and single finger double tap on their name. That person will then be added to the Friends Circle position you selected.

 

To reorder contacts that you’ve added to your Friends Circle do the following:

 

1. When in the Friends screen in the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, single finger double tap on the Edit button found at the top right corner of the screen under your phone’s battery percentage display.

 

2. There will now be a “reorder” button down the right side of the screen next to each contact you’ve added to your Friends Circle. Single finger double tap and hold on the reorder button next to the contact you wish to move and wait for the popping sound.

 

3. Now move your finger up or down the list. VoiceOver will announce where you are moving the contact to. For example “Moved above Bob” or “Moved below Sarah”.

 

4. Lift your finger off the screen and repeat step 3 for each contact you wish to reorder.

 

5. Once you’ve finished single finger double tap on the Done button found at the top right corner of the screen under your phone’s battery percentage display.

 

To delete contacts from your Friends Circle do the following:

 

1. When in the Friends screen in the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, single finger double tap on the Edit button found at the top right corner of the screen under your phone’s battery percentage display.

 

2. There will now be a “Delete” button down the left side of the screen just after the name of each contact you’ve added to your Friends Circle. Single finger double tap on the delete button.

 

3. A “Remove”  button will now appear on the right side of the screen next to the contact you selected the delete button on. Single finger double tap the Remove button and the contact will be removed from your Friends Circle but will remain in your iPhone contacts list.

 

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for each contact you wish to delete from your Friends Circle. Then, once you’ve finished single finger double tap the Done button found at the top right corner of the screen under your phone’s battery percentage display.

 

Now you’ve created your Friends Circle here is how you can use it .

 

1. Press and release the Friends button on your Apple Watch to display your Friends Circle.

 

2. Use Digital Crown Navigation or a finger tip on the Apple Watch screen to move around the names of contacts in the Friends Circle.

 

3. Single finger double tap on the name button of the person you want to call or message. A new screen will be displayed giving you options to call, message, digital touch or send a tap. Note that the digital touch/tap option button will be greyed out/dimmed if the person does not have an Apple Watch.

 

4. Use Digital Crown Navigation or a fingertip on the screen to move around the option buttons and do the following :

 

Single finger double tap on the person’s name button to send a digital touch.

 

Single finger triple tap on the person’s name button to send a tap.

 

Single finger double tap on the Phone button to call the person.

 

Single finger double tap on the Message button to send the person a message.

 

You can also single finger double tap on the Back button found at the top left of the screen to return you to your Friends Circle list.

 

5. If you wish to switch your Apple Watch off, press and hold the Friends button for 2 seconds. A new screen will then be displayed giving you 4 options. You can single finger swipe left or right to find Cancel, Power off, Power reserve and Lock device buttons. Simply single finger double tap on the button for the action you want to perform.

 

6. To switch your Apple Watch on, press and hold the Friends button for 2 seconds. The watch will take approximately 90 seconds to boot up. It will then ask you to enter your watch passcode.

 

 

In my next blog I will be talking about adding and removing third party apps from the Apple Watch.

Tick tock, my Apple Watch experience, using Siri on the Apple Watch

Using Siri on the Apple Watch.

 

Love it or hate it Siri is one of the many reasons that so many visually impaired and blind people buy iOS devices. Although sometimes Siri can be a pain in the backside if it doesn’t understand what you’ve asked it or occasionally gets words wrong when dictating emails or texts, the fact remains that the majority of the time it makes things quick and easy.

 

The Apple Watch incorporates Siri and as a result many of the things we are familiar with using it for on our iPhones, iPads and iPods are also possible on the watch. There are some differences of course, mainly in the way that the watch communicates to us through Siri, but in most cases it’s possible to make Siri work effectively for us.

 

The most noticeable difference is that Siri doesn’t speak as he/she does on iOS devices. Instead the response appears on the screen of the watch and the wearer either drags their finger around to have the VoiceOver voice read the content or uses Digital Crown Navigation to do so. This may at first seem a bit odd, but in actual fact you don’t even notice once you’ve got used to it. As the wearer is going to have raised their wrist to use Siri in the first place it’s not a great stretch to using your finger or the Digital Crown to read the screen once Siri responds. As with most new things it’s worth spending some time getting used to the slightly different functionality of the Apple Watch, you will certainly find that it is well worth it.

 

There are a couple of ways to use Siri on the Apple Watch. The first is to tap the screen once to wake the watch up, raise your wrist and say “Hey Siri.” The second is to press and hold the Digital Crown before giving Siri an instruction or asking it a question. In both cases and assuming that you have haptic feedback enabled on your Apple Watch, you will feel two taps in quick succession on your wrist when Siri is awake and ready to receive instructions/questions. These haptic taps are the Apple Watch equivalent of the audible pips that iOS devices produce when Siri is ready to receive instructions/questions.

 

Another big difference is when creating new emails. For example, once you’ve told Siri to “send email to Dad” the watch will tell you that he/she can help you create a new email using HAND OFF on your iPhone.

 

Note: For this to work you will of course need to ensure that you have HAND OFF enabled on your iPhone. This is done by going to SETTINGS, then GENERAL, then HAND OFF AND SUGGESTED APPS. You will find a button near the top centre of the screen that says HAND OFF. Simply single finger double tap to toggle the button on or off.

 

Once you pick up your iPhone you will find a Siri button displayed at the bottom left corner of the locked screen. Single finger double tap the button and Siri will tell you that you need to unlock the phone first. Once you’ve unlocked the phone Siri takes you through the steps of creating and sending the email as he/she normally would. Interestingly Siri re-locks the phone once the email is sent, which I think is quite useful.

 

Similarly Siri asks you to use HAND OFF if you ask him/her to check for new emails via the Apple Watch. The process is the same as detailed above for the purposes of opening Siri for HAND OFF and unlocking the phone, Siri will then take you through the normal process of checking for new mail.

 

In conclusion I think some good advice is to get used to Siri on the Apple Watch by using it and becoming familiar with using HAND OFF for things like emails etc. As you can ask it all of the usual things like what the weather forecast for tomorrow is, what time it is in another country, ask it to tell you a joke etc etc, there’s plenty of things you can do to help familiarise yourself.

 

In my next blog post I will be talking about using the FRIENDS button on the Apple Watch.