The Double Tap Canada Blog

Double Tap Canada Episode 52 – Google event post-mortem, Top 5 iOS 12 features

A hand holds an Apple iPhone.

On this week’s episode of Double Tap Canada, Tim Schwartz and Shaun Preece discuss a wide range of topics as usual in their own inimitable style.

Listen to episode 51 of Double Tap Canada or subscribe to the podcast.

Google Event - worth the hype?

Tim and Shaun discuss the latest announcements from Google's "Made By Google" event and ask if it was worth the hype. Since the tech giant has launched a range of new devices they guys ask if they've gone far enough to stand out from the crowd. Find out all about the Google Home Hub, which is a way of controlling your smart home, as well as the new tablet called the Google Slate (with a 12.3 inch screen) and the two new Pixel 3 phones, one larger than the other by clicking here.

Tim's Bits: Top 5 Features in Apple's iOS 12

Tim Schwartz lays out his thoughts on the major features that have now been included in Apple's latest operating system for iPhones and iPads.

You can read Tim's full list of features and why he likes them here

Siri Shortcuts

Shaun and Tim try their best to make sense of one of Tim's favourite features in iOS 12 - Siri Shortcuts. It's a feature that lets you create a bunch of shortcuts together to make something happen in the way you want, such as play a certain playlist when you arrive home, or turn off the lights and switch on your alarm as you leave the house. It's a useful feature but it's quite in-depth and we think Steven is glad he wasn't around for this discussion!

A blog in Siri Shortcuts is coming soon to show you what it's capable of but in the meantime check out this article on Applevis for more information.

Other News

Facebook launched their own smart screen called the Portal in both 10 and 15 inch sizes. No detail yet on how these screens work and whether it'll be accessible to us as blind people but we will update with more information as we get it.

Click here for more information on the Portal from Facebook's website

Double Tap Canada airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. Eastern on AMI-audio and is available as a podcast.

Get in touch and email your thoughts to feedback@ami.ca

Double Tap Canada Episode 51 – JAWS screenreader, Google event rumours and accessibility issues with iPhone?

Logo of the JAWS screenreader

On this week’s episode of Double Tap Canada the team of Steven Scott, Tim Schwartz and Shaun Preece discuss a wide range of topics as usual in their own inimitable style.

Listen to episode 51 of Double Tap Canada or subscribe to the podcast.

First Steps With Screenreaders

It's not unusual for Steven Scott to start the show off talking about himself - and yes he's done it again. Declaring himself the "best husband ever," he tells us how he has been helping his wife learn JAWS following a dramatic reduction in her vision has forced her to begin using the screenreader. The discussion that follows explains the challenges that everyone on the team has faced in learning new software like this as it is such a departure from the usual ways to use a computer.

Jaws 2019

Lots of new features in the new public beta of JAWS 2019 which was released this week. Improvements on handling Office 365, new custom key commands for Skype and the ability to mute certain of the most-used keys on the keyboard such as Esc or Tab are just some of the features. The guys suggest, however, that you do not update to this if you are a fairly intermediate user who is happy with the way your computer works just now!

Read our blog on the full list of new features in Jaws 2019.

Listen to the latest FSCast from Freedom Scientific talking to Eric Damery from Vispero about the new features in Jaws 2019.

Google Event Rumours

There are many rumours out there ahead of Google's launch event on October 9th, and Double Tap Canada is cutting through the noise and bringing you what it thinks is the most plausible rumours and suggestions for next week's event. These include:

Likely
•    There will be a new Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL smartphone
•    A new Google Pixelbook 2 with a 4K screen, thinner bezels and the possibility of an LTE SIM card slot built-in
•    New Google Pixel Buds (or at least some software making them better than the original ones)
•    A Google Home Hub of some kind - a sort of competitor to the Amazon Echo Show
•    A Google Pixel docking station which could offer a way to turn your charging smartphone into a Google Home assistant

Unlikely
•    Any new Google Home hardware, such as the Mini, Home or Max
•    A new Google Pixel smartwatch featuring Wear OS software (despite it possibly becoming a major competitor to Apple, especially for blind people if they get the accessibility right)
•    Listen to next week's Double Tap Canada (Episode 52) for full coverage and to see if we got anything right!

No Home Button For New iPhones - Is It An Accessibility Issue?

Listener Gordon got in touch to ask if not having a home button on Steven's new iPhone XS meant he had issues turning Voiceover on and off. If set up, you can use the home button to open the accessibility settings (three presses on the home button once set up) and you can select Voiceover, which speaks the menu options even if it's turned off.

The new iPhone XS range, like the X last year, only has a side button. The good news, though, is by doing the same three-press action on the side button you can achieve the same result. So no major loss there!

Double Tap Canada airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. Eastern on AMI-audio and is available as a podcast.

Get in touch and email your thoughts to feedback@ami.ca

Double Tap Canada Episode 50 – Oculus Quest, Bugs in Apple software and Steven’s new gadgets

An image of Oculus Quest

Oculus Quest is the world’s first all-in-one gaming system built for virtual reality. According to the Facebook-owned company, you can now play almost anywhere with just a VR headset and controllers. This is new to the world of virtual reality as up until now you had to connect the headset to a PC or console, or slip your smartphone into a headset.

While this might not seem like the type of tech that blind or partially sighted people could enjoy, there is some benefit to those who have certain eye conditions, in particular those who still have some central vision. It’s fairly obvious that someone with no vision wouldn’t benefit in any way visually, however VR may still have its uses as it offers 3D stereo and positional audio. Perhaps audio games could be played using this system as well – who knows?

Check out the latest about the new Oculus Quest

Bugs in Apple are Software?

The new operating systems for Apple’s iPhone, Watch and Mac were launched this week. One major bug was spotted in the WatchOS software by Tim and Steven, however since our recording the issue has been resolved. The guys spotted a flaw where you couldn’t activate any of the options in the Watch control centre despite all of the buttons being accessible. This has now been fixed in the latest update of the Watch software.

Check out the Applevis website for updated info on bugs and support for all Apple tech

Steven’s New Gadgets

As unusual as it may seem, Steven Scott has been buying again! This time around he’s bought a new iPhone XS and an Apple Watch Series 4.

But why make those choices? Steven says the iPhone XS is the perfect size for him as he doesn’t want the larger screen size but he did want to experience the new OLED screen as apparently it is better for some eye conditions as the light emitted from the screen is less sharp, the light is cooler and the colours are more vibrant. He will report back soon.

Find out more about the new iPhones

As for the Watch, Steven admits he didn’t really need a new watch as he had the Series 3, but he wanted the larger 44mm screen. He doesn’t want to look at the screen but he wants a larger screen for his ‘larger fingers’! He will again report back soon.

Find out more about the new Apple Watch Series 4

Double Tap Canada airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. Eastern on AMI-audio and is available as a podcast.

Get in touch and email your thoughts to feedback@ami.ca

Keywords: Double Tap Canada, AMI-audio, AMI, Assistive Technology, Technology, Technology News