That Android Show Episode 26: Your Android Is Not My Android


Listen to That Android Show Episode 26: You’re Android Is Not My Android

Welcome back to another month where the mainstream technology meets the Assistive Technology in an open and friendly arena known as “That Android Show”. This month our Alena, Buddy and John cover the recent events from the worlds of Android, Chrome and Google. Come on along and listen to what we think will be a swell and informative discussion about what drives us to use those amazing phones and tablets!

In The News:

Google Releases Huge Text-To-Speech (TTS) For Android Update v3.0 With High-Quality Voices, New Languages, And UI Changes APK Download

Everything You Didn’t Know You Could Do with Google Voice Commands

Link to the Hitchhikers Guide Game mentioned by the crew

In two weeks, Google may have the only OEM-agnostic OS in a market again

Google’s Android Head Sundar Pichai talks Galaxy S6, Tizen, security and Nokia X range

Rumor: Google Picks LG to Create Nexus 6 and Nexus Smartwatch

Android custom experiences are the reason I carry a Moto X

The Nokia X has already been hacked to load Google Apps, access the Play store

Five reasons Microsoft could become a top Android smartphone company

Android low vision games.

Lunar Tabs: An Intelligent Accessible Guitar Tab Reader

Strap on your boots and play Tin Star

How I Droid- Email

10 tips to improve Android battery life

BBC News – AirPnP rent-out-your-toilet app launched for Mardi Gras

Contacting the Team

Follow Alena Roberts on Twitter

Follow Buddy Brannan on Twitter

Follow John Panarese on Twitter

Follow That Android Show on Twitter

Thanks for listening!



Check Out SPN’s 2014 CSUN Coverage!


Joe and JJ, plus Ricky from SeroTalk, were all in San Diego this month for the 29th Annual CSUN Conference. They captured a lot of audio from the event and many of the interviews had an Android component to them. Be sure to check out Code Factory, APH’s comments on Braille Plus 18 upgrades in the works and the HIMS Magnification special featuring Android tablet connections to the new eBot Video Magnifier. And be sure to also check out Blind Bargains for their coverage of CSUN 2014 as well.

CSUN Pre Show Interview Special

SPN CSUN Special: Redefining Magnification

SPN CSUN Special: Maximizing Potential With Mainstream And Assistive Technologies

SPN CSUN HIMS Special: NoteTaker or iPad, or is it the wrong question?

CSUN Special 1

CSUN Special 2

CSUN Special 3

CSUN Special 4

Contacting the Team

We’ve had our say, now its your turn. Drop us a line at or send us a tweet at our official Twitter page.

You can also follow our hosts by visiting

Ana’s Accessible Android blog or

JJ at AndroidAccess.net.

Finally, Check out Steve’s Twitter feed.

Thanks for listening!



That Android Show Episode 25: The Silver Episode


Listen to That Android Show Episode 25: The Silver Episode

February maybe one of the shortest months of the year, however, it doesn’t seem to be a quiet month for Android fans. Google’s buying, selling and updating like crazy and we try to encapsulate the month’s recent news in this episode. Plus, Ana provides an interview with another Android Developer, a discussion on recent critical articles on Android’s accessibility and of course your feedback in the overflowing Mailbag.

In The News:

Google’s $3.2 billion Nest deal is official

Q&A: Lenovo CEO On How To Turn Around Motorola

Nokea launches a trio of Android based phones

Strange bedfellows: Microsoft could bring Android apps to Windows

New Android OEM licensing terms leak; “Open” comes with a lot of restrictions

CamFind is Tap Tap See for Android says Steve

A walk with Project Tango

ideal Group has released GuideDroid Beta

Steve notes that you have to suspend TalkBack first, try Crazy Bat

Why you shouldn’t propose with Google Glass

Google i/o June 25th – 26th

Developer Interview: PDF To Speech Pro

Ana sits down to discuss the parels of development with PDF, alternative formats and the challenges of keeping up with so many changes to it all over so many years. don’t miss this inside look at one of the veteran apps for TalkBack users. Also, not listed here, this app is also available for Amazon kindle users via the Amazon App Market.

App Demo: PDF To Speech

Ana calls this PDF To Speech “a media player for books”. And she may just be right. With options for so many formats, voices and gestures, you will see why this app is one of the best options for those who use TalkBack to read various text formats.

Discussion topic: Android Development Accessibility

The team sits down to discuss recent articles from Marco and Chris about their views on Android Development and how accessible these development tools are. To follow along with the discussion, check out these articles: From Chris: Testing Android Accessibility: I Give Up

He also wrote a post on programming

Marco, previously interviewed on our show, has some info up about the challenges encounterd with firefox for Android

And… Accessibility in Firefox for Android – Some more technical details

Plus… Accessibility in Firefox for Android: Some more technical background, Part II

Be sure to send in your thoughts on these articles, or on our discussion of these articles, in an iReport or email. We’d like to hear what our audience has to say about all this. Who knows, your comments could be featured in an upcoming show!

Mailbag

Our first email is from Kelsey:

“Hi Guys, I just want to start off with a big thank you for all the great work you include in your Android podcasts and wish you all the best for 2014… bring it on podcast 25! My main topic is about Android – specifically, the Nexus 7.
I’m a dedicated iOS user; I started off with an iPod Touch 4, merged to the iPhone 4 when my Owasys 22c blind phone broke down and now have an iPhone 4S. However, I took a risk just before the new year and dived into Android with the Google Nexus 7. This was after reading many articles with blind people moaning about how awful Android was compared to iOS and how it should be killed or destroyed or beaten up but I decided that I would decide for myself thank you very much. After un-boxing the Nexus 7 (which happened to fly across the room when I finally persuaded it to rather violently pop out of the box), I managed to set it up with TalkBack with no sighted assistance – one aspect I was very impressed with. I checked out the TalkBack tutorial and got my head around the basics. Next, I updated it to 4,4,2 KitKat and then set to work. The first thing I did was go to the Play Store, go to my iPhone and see which of the applications on my phone were available on the Nexus 7. I found a few and then went with the ones I knew.
Plume for Twitter just didn’t do it for me so I soon uninstalled that. I think that may be because I’m so used to checking Twitter on Twitterrific (a big shout-out to those guys) that I just couldn’t get used to doing it on the Nexus. It took me a while to hunt down what I think is one of the most important aspects of getting a new device – a case. Eventually, I chose a wired keyboard case with has a keyboard sewn into the case and room for the tablet to stand on top. I was very impressed with the ease of touch typing on a 7 inch physical keyboard. So, about four weeks into this Android experience, my reaction is far from I'm a iPhone-ian... Get Me out of Here. I’m more in the Android-ian Idol. I’m loving the Google Play / KitKat experience and I think I’ve found the key to why people are so reluctant to accept Android after using an iDevice. Android is different. It is a very unique experience and user interface compared to any operating system – mobile or desktop – that I have ever seen but once you get that idea and learn the way it works, it is so easy to learn about Android. And to be honest, your device isn’t exactly going to explode in your hands so you need to explore, customise and exercise your thirst for adventure. Try it in different situations, see how it works for you in day to day life and see if it fits your needs. Also, we Android people all seem to stare at people who say that Android is rubbish but we also have to accept that it is not going to be for everyone just as Windows is not going to be for everyone and nor is OS 10. Finally, I do have a few questions about Android (yes, hello Jo). Do you have any applications that may help me in day to day life? I’m talking about Twitter applications (I’m still open to that idea). How about other cool applications, mainstream or blindness specific? Really, free applications are for me as I’m under a tight budget but I’m interested all round. I’ve currently got iBlink Radio, Accapella TTS, WordPress, Skype, BBC News, BBC Weather, CamFind, Kindle, Hatchi, StemStumper and TuneIn Radio. Also, I know the basic gestures: flicks, double-taps, single-tap option, scrolling with left right flick, two finger scroll and the two-part, rightangle gestures. Is there any of gestures that I’m missing here? Well, thanks for your help guys and keep going with the good work. All hands on deck for promoting Android accessibility to all around!!!!

Best Wishes,

Kelsey

London, England”

Thanks for that awesome report. Ana did a good job about describing gestures last year. moreover, most of the apps we’ve discussed over the years are still pretty much useable with Android [barring if they have not been abandoned by the Developer]. Take a look through our archives to see if any past recommendations strike your fancy.

Next, thoughts from Mike Arigo …

“I mainly wanted to agree with something Steve said on this show. I also wish developers would pay more attention to android. I too wish the developer of blind square would develope a version for android. The number of blind android users is continuously growing, and to say there is not enough blind android users is simply wrong. Hopefully developers will stop treating android like a second class platform and give it as much attention as they do on IOS.”

Wise words sir. Now we turn to an email from Christene.

“To Whom It May Concern, I am looking at getting the Samsung as my next cell phone. However, I understand that there is a new Samsung phone coming out in March. Here are some questions that I have they are as follows. What do you think of the Samsung mini cell phone? Also what do you think of the regular size Samsung cell phone? I would appreciate any information that you may be able to provide in this matter.

Thank you for your time regarding this matter.

Sincerely,

Christine Chaikin

Whenever someone considers a Samsung device, in the realm of android, the reality of it coming with Touch Wiz has to be considered. Unless, as some do, you choose the Google Play editions of a device that sports stock android instead of Touch Wiz. If you aare a low vision user, then you may find touch Wiz’s “Easy mode” helpful. And TalkBack users might find the extra chattiness of notification and tags helpful in learning android. We’ve also mentioned before that we wish more makers would add the ability to place the Accessibility menu in the Power Options like the option within Touch Wiz. And if you can deal with all of that, and some of Samsung’s bloatware, then you might enjoy using a Samsung device. If not, then go the play Edition route or look at using another device.

Next, an email from Robin

“I have tried a number of magnifiers on my Android JellyBean device. Cozy Magnifier and Microscope Free and Cozy Magnifier and Microscope Plus, No Ads, 99Cents, by Hantor, are great. The developer has responded to suggestions for increasing accessibility with updates and email responses. I have tried every magnifier I can find for my device, and this is by far the best. I read small things at close range and signs far away, and much in between.
I love That Android Show.

Robin Switzer Brunner”

Cool suggestions Robin! We hope to hear from our listeners to see what else they have tried or have seen with both of those apps you recommend.

Contacting the Team

We’ve had our say, now its your turn. Drop us a line at or send us a tweet at our official Twitter page.

You can also follow our hosts by visiting

Ana’s Accessible Android blog or

JJ at AndroidAccess.net.

Finally, Check out Steve’s Twitter feed.

Thanks for listening!



That Android Show Episode 24: Jeff Bezos’s Kidneystone


Listen to That Android Show Episode 24: Jeff Bezos’s Kidneystone

The polar Vortex doesn’t just bring cold, ice and snow. It also brings missing hosts and the happy return of our very first Developer interviewed on our very first independent show away from the, now called SeroSpectives, Tech Chats we did in the days of 1.6. Ah the memories. And what fantastic ones we will have with the cool games we demo in this latest episode!

In The News:

Android was featured twice on SPN’s This Year In A T

And check out “Triple Click Home” host Buddy Brannan talking about Android on the Kindle in his review of the HDX

Why the Kindle Fire HDX is a far better tablet than the iPad

Nest’s CEO Tony Fadell explains why he teamed up with Google: it’s about infrastructure

Why Nest will be bigger for Google than Android

Former Nest fans return their thermostats after Google acquisition

Leveling the Android Playing Field with the EqualEyes Launcher and Suite of Accessible Smartphone Apps

Tipa Reader, accessible document reading app released

Google Play Services 4.1 Released

Slow Down: Why Fast Android Updates Don’t Matter Anymore – Lifehacker

Motorola offers free Chromecast with off-contract Moto X purchase

“Google Glass for the Visually Impaired,” and episode from the Eyes on Success podcast

Putting Windows and Android on the same PC doesn’t solve anyone’s problems

Developer Spotlight: Ananse Productions

We sit down with the man behind the Stems and the Stacks, Mr. Kwasi Mensah, and talk about how things have changed over the past 23 episodes of our show for him and his games. He talks about the challenges of developing on Android, iOS, VoiceOver and TtalkBack. Plus, we hit him up for tips on the newly released SpellStack. Find more info about it, and the awesome Stem Stumper, at the Ananse Productions website.

Need help with your stacking? Check out the Player’s Guide for SpellStack

If you need more help, check out these recently posted YouTube links for the game;

Tutorial Walkthrough

Advanced Tutorial Walkthrough

And you can always email Support for more assistance at kwasi.mensah@anansepproductions.com

Contacting the Team

We’ve had our say, now its your turn. Drop us a line at resources@serotalk.com or send us a tweet at our official Twitter page.

You can also follow our hosts by visiting

Ana’s Accessible Android blog or

JJ at AndroidAccess.net.

Finally, Check out Steve’s Twitter feed.

Thanks for listening!



That Android Show Episode 23: Drive By Google You


Listen to That Android Show Episode 23: Drive By Google You

2013 brought us many surprises, versions of Android and tons of TalkBack updates. We take some time to look at the year that was for Google Mobile Access from both a low vision and blindness perspective. Plus we may have created some new controversies as an early start on 2014. See if you can spot them during this jam packed episode.

In The News:

Android v4.4.2 Released

New TalkBack Released

New Just Speak update

New Kindle App update adds Talkback support! Steve recommends this app, Screen Time Out Toggle, for use with the Kindle app to avoid screen time outs when reading books

New Eyes Free Shell update released

new Samsung Core Advanced Phone aimed at the Disabled market

New update to iBlink Radio

New Ideal Web Reader

MIT professor tears into Samsung’s ‘painful’ smartphone software

Google approves first CyanogenMod phone

Low Vision Discussion With Rodeny Edgar:

Rodney, the host of our SPN sister show “High Contrast”, sits down with joe to talk what is good and bad and just plain hard to see in the latest version of Android. Rodney has both versions of the Nexus 7, being the 2012 and 2013 editions, and that comes into play during their discussion.

A Look Back At 2013:

Ana, JJ, Joe and Steve take a look back at the last 12 months of Android news and events. What did they like? What didn’ they like? There is a ton of praise and a lot of scorn, plus many rapid releases, with our look at the year that was in Android.

Mailbag:

We didn’t have time this month to feature iReports and emails on the show itself, however, here are some of the comments we found in the That Android Show Inbox. Up first, Mike Arigo:

“Great show. Actually the cyanogen installer is not supported on any of my devices, they’re a bit older phones, and even if I had a supported phone, it’s only used for the first install, after that, you use rom manager to install new builds. Steve should test that with his galaxy s 3, if it’s still on android 4.1, he could go to 4.3 soon to be 4.4, there’s really no reason to stay with the samsung firmware. Hopefully swype will become even more accessible in a future update, for me though, it’s still worth the switch. It’s much more forgiving about not typing the wrong letter, that in itself is worth the switch. I did install cyanogen 10.2 based on android 4.3 on my samsung galaxy relay, my samsung captivate glide and my htc my touch 4g slide, works great on all of those. Waiting for cyanogen 11 which will be based on kit kat.”

Thanks for the update Mike, here’s pat with her thoughts on becoming a new Android user…

“”Hi Everyone, I just finished listening to the last podcast called: Flowers, Rainbows and Puppies. I loved it. I have a little suggestion, please I noticed that you talk about Android phones a lot. There is little mention of Android Tablets. Can you please include info on what Android Tablets work best for Blind folks, please? I’m really new to this Android stuff. I don’t have an Android phone yet, but I just received an Android Tablet. It’s the DOPO (Double Power Technologies) Model EM63 Tablet. Keep up the excellent work. Thanks so much. Pat Ferguson”

Well, we do sorta discuss this one on air a bit, but for those skimming the show notes, we try our very best to feature devices that are popular and affordable. Moreover, and this is super important, we try to feature stock Android as others will try to reproduce what we say on their devices at home. Through trial and error, and through the two formats over three years of doing a show on Android Access, we’ve learned to stick with devices like the Nexus 7 tablet as it will provide the most consistent experience for those who want to learn or replicate our demos. We hope that info helps explain why we try not to complicate matters too much on the show.

Finally, here is a series of running thoughts from jim as he wrote in to tell us about his Nexus 5.

“Hi, hearing that they have been able to deal with the web view constraints and make them natively accessible makes me very happy for sure. I honestly was concerned that the web view issue may not be able to be corrected due to the constraints of the accessibility implementation. I did not know enough to know for sure, but I was concerned about what I thought was a good possibility of that being the case. I am quite happy to be wrong. I would have loved to have been told for certain I was wrong a long time ago. I was concerned it limited the potential for us to use the platform under commonly found conditions. Now I am sure I am going to buy a Nexus 5, I do wish I could get the damn play store to be accessible to do it on my windows 7 64 bit box with any screen reader and browser combination. I haven’t been successful yet. I am about to just purchase it on amazon and pay the hundred dollars more for hopefully much quicker delivery and an accessible purchasing experience. This play store crap with not leaving the warehouse until possibly December 11th is a bit unacceptable anyway. I feel as though possibly customers are played with this limited constraint crap by many, yes, including Apple for sure.

Jim”

Here’s a second with more on the new phone,

“Hi that android show, I just thought I’d write with an update after playing with my new Nexus 5 for a few days. I am really liking the improvements they have made in 4.4. Native support for web views is awesome! It makes using the gmail app way better and it really needed it. You could get what you needed out of it before, but it wasn’t a good user experience. It wasn’t really reliable and predictable. The web view support is great in other places too. One thing I am concerned about for the future is what impact, if any, that ART will have on accessibility. I hope it won’t impact it, but I don’t know enough to know and can imagine it completely destroying what allows accessibility to work? I just don’t know enough at the detailed level to know if it will destroy it or have no impact. The nexus 5 is very fast. The negatives of the nexus 5 are the speaker and its lack of volume capability and battery life is ok, but not great. Neither of those issues are as bad as they could sound though. I prefer a good microphone that the nexus 5 has over the nexus 4 and, while I would love a good speaker, one can always fall back to other sound output sources as necessary. Talkback with the google TTS (haven’t tried others yet) is plenty loud enough and so are other media sources.Where the speaker volume deficiency shows itself most is speaker phone. If the sound is low from the other side of the call, you are screwed for trying to use speaker phone unless your environment is very quiet. Plan on other output sources. The ear piece is fine by the way. Personally I don’t like putting my phone up to my ear much. I don’t like skin oil all over my screen.”

And here’s another mail with an update upon further use…

“Hi Jo,

Thanks for the reply. Here are some additional thoughts after further use. Most are good. Let’s get the only negative one out of the way. I have found that the web views don’t always consistently work with explore by touch. There was one I could never get to work and others worked sometimes and not other times pulling up the same thing. The one I could not get to work for whatever the reason was bringing up the shipping email in a google now card from an Amazon shipment. It worked perfectly well on the IOS version. Nothing would get it to read at all by doing anything on the Android side. The example I found that would read sometimes and not others was an email so far. Pulling up the same email in gmail would sometimes read and other times would not. Fortunately swiping through the email from gmail would still get it to read. Not so with the shipping email in google now. At least if we are truly thankfully beyond the limitation of depending on web scripts, maybe they can fix the inconsistent reading or not reading at this point. I don’t know. At least if swiping will still read it, it can be reliable. The good things I alluded to above are native stuff that are not web views. Google Plus works way better than the IOS version because the explore by touch and swiping are working nicely where I can’t say the same for voiceover. Voiceover is being a real PITA right now in such types of situations. I also picked up a MOto X along side my Nexus 5. You may know I like being able to try out gadgets and I like it much more when I like them and they work too. The Nexus 5 is relatively fast and there is no lag in the screen reader experience. The first generation Nexus 5 I have though has a weak speaker, which I hear they are now shipping a revised version which does not, and battery life is relatively weak too. The Moto X is better on these issues and feels just slightly sluggish on screen reader response. The Acapela TTS helps this some, but there is still a gap in performance. It would probably not be noticed without a direct comparison, which includes a comparison by familiarity from daily use, with the Nexus and also voiceover performance. The later I know is comparing Apples and Googles. One thing I have to say I am not so happy they took away is the ability to touch anywhere on the screen and for Talkback to place focus there to register a tap by double tapping, even where there is not a recognized object on the screen there. The ability to do that was useful. I have some theory’s why they took that away which may or may not be correct. Some have to do with people maybe wining instead of learning how to use stuff and that thought is extremely frustrating. Not a big deal in the big picture though. I still have and use my 5s and an IPad mini retina. I want everything to work great. I like all of it.

Jim”

Contacting the Team

We’ve had our say, now its your turn. Drop us a line at or send us a tweet at our official Twitter page.

You can also follow our hosts by visiting

Ana’s Accessible Android blog or

JJ at AndroidAccess.net.

Finally, Check out Steve’s Twitter feed.

Thanks for listening!



That Android Show Episode 22: Do It With Your Voice


Listen to That Android Show Episode 22: Do It With Your Voice

Android v4.4 has landed and we are all busy playing with the freshness that is Kitt-Katt. This month we sit down and catch up on the new version of Android exclusively. Well except for the news that is….

In The News:

Android 4.4 KitKat, thoroughly reviewed

Nexus 5 Review: Flagship hardware for half the price

The Nexus 5’s “exclusive” launcher suspiciously receives support for other devices

Tablet dollars: Android passed Apple for first time in Q3 – Fortune

Android ROMs, the easy way: Testing the new CyanogenMod Installer

Update: Google removes CyanogenMod Installer from Play Store

Google Search Update Brings Android 4.4 KitKat Features To Older Versions –MakeUseOf

Google Search for Android now does Siri-style conversational voice commands

Google launches Play Newsstand: A hybrid magazine store and RSS reader

From YouTube, Michael Babcock demonstrating Newsstand with TalkBack

Swipe adds the ability to use it with TalkBack

Google Play rolls out “designed for phones” tag of shame for apps on tablets

Google just launched the Play for Education app store

Physical Google Wallet Card launches; drain your balance without NFC

Google releases Google Text To Speech update on Google Play

An app previously mentioned on our low vision coverage, Review of BIG Launcher from Access World

Google appears to be working on burst mode and face detection for Android cameras

Next Google Glass Tricks Include Translating the World From Your Eyes

Google Glass throws open its doors to developers

Google Books wins lawsuit as federal judge invokes fair use

Authors Guild responds to Google Books ruling (SlashCloud)

You could soon control a Chromebook by saying “Ok Google”

The Verge’s own Sean Hollister on the life and death of physical phone keyboards

App Demo: update To v4.4!

Ana shows us just how the process goes with the update to Kitt-Katt.

Roundtable Discussion: Initial Impression of Android v4.4

Ana, JJ, Steve and joe talk about Talkback, Kitt-Katts and how it runs on the Nexus 7 old and new. We’re still exploring, however, we give some feedback on what we have noticed so far. Here is a link to a Google Groups discussion on the Google Experience Launcher, or GEL, for those who want the look and feel on their device that came with the customized version for the Nexus 5

Contacting the Team

We’ve had our say, now its your turn. Drop us a line at or send us a tweet at our official Twitter page.

You can also follow our hosts by visiting

Ana’s Accessible Android blog or

JJ at AndroidAccess.net.

Finally, Check out Steve’s Twitter feed.

Thanks for listening! Listen to That Android Show Episode 22: Do It With Your Voice

Android v4.4 has landed and we are all busy playing with the freshness that is Kitt-Katt. This month we sit down and catch up on the new version of Android exclusively. Well except for the news that is….

In The News:

Android 4.4 KitKat, thoroughly reviewed

Nexus 5 Review: Flagship hardware for half the price

The Nexus 5’s “exclusive” launcher suspiciously receives support for other devices

Tablet dollars: Android passed Apple for first time in Q3 – Fortune

Android ROMs, the easy way: Testing the new CyanogenMod Installer

Update: Google removes CyanogenMod Installer from Play Store

Google Search Update Brings Android 4.4 KitKat Features To Older Versions –MakeUseOf

Google Search for Android now does Siri-style conversational voice commands

Google launches Play Newsstand: A hybrid magazine store and RSS reader

From YouTube, Michael Babcock demonstrating Newsstand with TalkBack

Swipe adds the ability to use it with TalkBack

Google Play rolls out “designed for phones” tag of shame for apps on tablets

Google just launched the Play for Education app store

Physical Google Wallet Card launches; drain your balance without NFC

Google releases Google Text To Speech update on Google Play

An app previously mentioned on our low vision coverage, Review of BIG Launcher from Access World

Google appears to be working on burst mode and face detection for Android cameras

Next Google Glass Tricks Include Translating the World From Your Eyes

Google Glass throws open its doors to developers

Google Books wins lawsuit as federal judge invokes fair use

Authors Guild responds to Google Books ruling (SlashCloud)

You could soon control a Chromebook by saying “Ok Google”

The Verge’s own Sean Hollister on the life and death of physical phone keyboards

App Demo: update To v4.4!

Ana shows us just how the process goes with the update to Kitt-Katt.

Roundtable Discussion: Initial Impression of Android v4.4

Ana, JJ, Steve and joe talk about Talkback, Kitt-Katts and how it runs on the Nexus 7 old and new. We’re still exploring, however, we give some feedback on what we have noticed so far. Here is a link to a Google Groups discussion on the Google Experience Launcher, or GEL, for those who want the look and feel on their device that came with the customized version for the Nexus 5

Contacting the Team

We’ve had our say, now its your turn. Drop us a line at or send us a tweet at our official Twitter page.

You can also follow our hosts by visiting

Ana’s Accessible Android blog or

JJ at AndroidAccess.net.

Finally, Check out Steve’s Twitter feed.

Thanks for listening!



That Android Show Episode 21: Flowers, Rainbows And Puppies


Listen to That Android Show Episode 21: Flowers, Rainbows And Puppies

Welcome back everyone to one of the longest running Android Accessibility podcasts, now legal age at 21! In this episode we’ll hear about Point Finder, Ana shows us a neat app in beta and she even drops a hint to the boys on what she wants as a holiday gift. Oh, and some pointy remarks in the mailbag too. So sit right down and enjoy a Kit Katt with us as we wait for that update to arrive.

In The News:

Nexus 5 leaked on Google Play: $349 for 16GB

Google’s iron grip on Android: Controlling open source by any means necessary

Kindle HDX Released, Talkback, BrailleBack and Ivona voice on board

new Talkback update is live

Just Speak released

Netflix v3.0 For Android Begins A Slow Rollout – Complete Redesign With Slide-Out Navigation, Action Bar,

Photos of a redesigned Google Play Store for Android have leaked

Nike’s no-Android stance on FuelBand is a huge mistake – CNET

For Samsung, All Roads Lead Away From Android

HTC Seeks to Outsource Smartphone Production

The Problem with Android is Choice

Google advantage, Google Now and Replacement Keyboards

GOOGLE STOCK HAS BROKEN $1,000 — AN ALL-TIME HIGH

How long will Google keep burning money on Motorola?

Why Making a $6,000 Smartphone May Not Be Crazy After All

App Review: Point Finder

Want to remember where that comfy chair is? Need an app to assist you in finding that particular spot is for finding that tricky door at the shops? Or, how about marking the hard to find bus stop? Ana shows us that we can do it all and more with Point Finder.

Developer Interview: Point Finder

Ana sits down with the gang from ico Space to discuss the point Finder Accessibility app. Hear about the inspiration for the app, the development process and how the features of the app changed over time.

App Demo:: Just Speak Beta

We talk about it in the News section and now ana shows us how it works in this short demo of the app.

Mailbag:

We thank you all for your tweets, iReports and your emails. Speaking of emails, here is one from Bruce.

“Hi Guys, I really appreciate the information you make available to us. Thanks. I’m in the process of choosing a phone. I had the “cheap” iPhone in mind but it’s not cheap and I think Apple have shot themselves in the foot. So I’m back to looking at Android solutions again. I have a few questions I hope you can help with. a) Do you need a quad core phone for Talkback? What would be the minimum spec you need for good Talkback performance? Would a Galaxy S4 Mini (dual core 1.7GHz) do the job, or even a Galaxy Ace 3? I’d want to be running GPS and travel planning apps. b) I have some vision but really need white text on a black background. Can this be achieved for the menus and apps? I came across a ROM you can installed which does this but I’m not sure if it would compromise accessibility. (It’s bizarre to me that the term “ROM” is used for software! Had me confused for a while.) c) Do you know of any apps that will read MP3 audiobooks and allow you to vary the speed? I have a Victor Reader Stream but it would be nice to be able to use the phone for this. Thanks in advance, and keep up the good work.

Bruce Cambridge, UK”

The team feels strongly that you should be fine on any of the modern phones being released today. You may want to think more along the lines of being outdated with the tech in your phone over the lifetime of a contract rather than if you need a hardware bump for access. With this in mind, you may want to look at mid line phones like the motto X and then work your way up to Galaxy S4, Note 3 or others. And, for sure, you may just want to hang on and see what the nexus 5 may bring as well. The same goes for checking into any access changes on v4.4. Currently, unlike iOS, there is no toggle for inverting colors. There is the triple tap for screen magnification and a few other shortcuts in Jellybean though.

Also, the team mentions several apps for the audio books question. Check out Smart Audio here if you want to know more about one recommended by all.

Next up, a comment from James Mannion…

“Hi,

I have to say I really like the podcasts on serotalk and listen to be informed. I am not even writing this to get into a debate. Honestly I see the good and the bad in both platforms. No, neither is perfect and that extends to the accessibility on either one. Listening to the That Android show though all too often pisses me off because it feels like there are as many Apple bashing comments as can be engineered into the show. If Apple and IOS is that bad, if their market share is so low as not to matter, if they have so lost their way, then why do you feel such a need to bash and bash and bash what doesn’t matter to you anyway? Know I don’t hate Apple and it seems to be a requirement to listen to your show all too often.

Jim”

JJ and Ana disagree, however, Steve agrees with the comment above. Possibly because, as he puts it, he wasn’t there to keep the rest of us in check. But there is a bit of a double standard when it comes to this kind of thing with some out there on the internet. And if you don’t believe us, check out our sister SPN show “Triple click Home” and count the number of snide comments made about android. We think you will find we are not even close to the number of remarks made on our last episode.

Contacting the Team

We’ve had our say, now its your turn. Drop us a line at or send us a tweet at our official Twitter page.

You can also follow our hosts by visiting

Ana’s Accessible Android blog or

JJ at AndroidAccess.net.

Finally, Check out Steve’s Twitter feed.

Thanks for listening!



That Android Show Episode 20: Copied in Cupertino


Listen to That Android Show Episode 20: Copied In Cupertino

It’s a blast from the past with Ana, JJ and Joe [subbing for Steve] in the line up for what is technically three years of the trio talking Android. The first show appeared under the now retired “SeroTalk: Tech Chat” name. One year later, and two years ago, the team formed this very Podcast as an SPN original. Today, on the month that celebrates the 5th Birthday of Android, we bring you a fun filled look at what is on the horizon before the end of the year for the little OS we use daily. Come listen in as we talk Kit-Katts, OREOs and other possible flavors of upcoming Android releases.

In The News:

Google Nexus 5: Leaked video, Android KitKat, and more – The Week Magazine

Cyanogen raises $7 million to build a better version of Android

More GPS options with Point Finder Accessibility

Ana is really excited by the addition of Textbooks On Google Play

Firefox for Android 24 has been released to Google Play. Here’s what’s new for TalkBack users

Google is preparing for screenless computers.

Is NFC Dead? oogle buys Bump, the smartphone file sharing company

Google Wallet Now On Non Android Platforms

Surprise! 64-bit support in Android may not be far off – GigaOM

Celebrating the show’s two year birthday, our first interview from show number one!, Stem Stumper returns to Google Play

App Demonstration: EqualEyes

Ana takes us on a tour of another of the Home Screen Replacement/Suite of apps that lets you have shortcuts and simpler menus to get to what you want faster. Listen to the demo as Ana shows us what all can be done from this suite available now on the google Play Market.

Interview: EqualEyes

Ana sits down with the Developer Team behind EqualEyes and learns about their background in android, their family focus and what drives them to provide their User Interface Experience.

Mailbag

First up, an email from Kenny….

“dear That Android Show team,
Does any one of you know if the following is accessible with the latest version of talkback, and android jellybean 4.3?
Netflix?
hulu plus?
Amazon instant video?
and red box? the app that will let you stream red box content to your device?
If so can y’all do a demo of any and all of these video streaming apps.
Thank you.
Kenny “

Thanks Kenny, the good news is that most of the services you listed have free trials and you can try them out yourself no matter when you decide to use them with Android. Well, everything but amazon Video. There isn’t an app for that just yet. Beyond the Kindle Fire itself that is currently. Joe noted that he uses Netflix constantly. Steve has called it “pants” from time to time, however, Joe hasn’t run into many issues with the U.S. version of the app.

Permission Manager, the tool Joe mentions during this portion of Mailbag, is a great way to get to a feature buried within android v4.3. Be very careful, however, with the apps you say “No!” to as this is a pretty powerful tool.

Next, Louis writes in with a question…

“Hi Anna, JJ, and Steve,
I was wandering about Google updating their apps via the PlayStore instead of updating their OS. To somewhat eliminate some of the fragmentation dealing with older handsets not getting the newer versions of the OS or even of the apps. Though this may be a great thing for the average user, do you know how or if it will affect accessibility for the blind user using Talk Back?
Only reason I’m asking is, because I notice that some apps when I first got a Nexas7 weren’t fully accessible. But when I got the update of Talk Back, the app without updating became a lot more accessible. Also, how will it affect the average app? I have both Nexas7 2012, and Nexas7 2013. And say with Netflix, when 4.3 first came out. on the Nexas7 2012 I was able to access Netflix without a problem. But with the Nexas7
2013 Netflix had a hard time reaching the servers. It wasn’t until the newest version of 4.3 that fixed the GPS and other stuff on the 2013 model, that Netflix began to work properly on both devices.
Thank you and great job you 3 have been doing.
Luis”

Thanks Louis for the question. To hear the full answer, listen to this part of the show. But, in short, the beauty of Android is that access is not directly tied to the Operating System. In the past four months we have discussed multiple updates to BrailleBack and Talkback where as some other company just now updated their OS and won’t be doing anything that major again for perhaps half a year at the very least.

We also had a Tweet question from Mark about the TED Talks app in Google Play. While not an official app from TED, JJ’s walkthrough on the show during the Mailbag showed it was useable but with a few unlabeled buttons that you can now label with the TalkBack beta in v.4.3.

Contacting the Team

We’ve had our say, now its your turn. Drop us a line at resources@serotalk.com or send us a tweet at our official Twitter page.

You can also follow our hosts by visiting

Ana’s Accessible Android blog or

JJ at AndroidAccess.net.

Finally, Check out Steve’s Twitter feed.

Thanks for listening!



That Android Show Episode 19: Rumor Rumor Rumor!


Listen to That Android Show Episode 19: Rumor Rumor Rumor!

This is by far one of the most jam packed content shows we’ve done since the Nexus 7 episode. And we even managed to talk about that new version of the 7 too. Therefore, by decree of the hosts, we claim that this show is a must listen. So many listener questions answered,all at once, we may have just run aground for topics on next month’s show!

In The News:

Nexus 7 receives bug fix update, should solve multitouch and GPS issues

Google begins rollout of Android Device Manager to help track your lost phone

Google Now just got a big update! It can now track concert tickets, transit times, rental cars, and much more

Google Helpouts to let you buy and sell video chats with experts

Nearby Explorer sees an update and here’s what is new…

Another Android list? Yep, and if you are interested add the word subscribe in the subject line of a message to:
vi-android-request@freelists.org

Check out the Podcast, Extreme Call Blocker for Android

Droid 5 on the horizon?

Feature Preview: Graphic Labeling In TalkBack

Its one of the most asked questions to the crew of the podcast. When will it happen? How can I get it? Why isn’t it already there? Well, even though it is still in the beta stage, Ana takes us an early look at the Graphics Labeling feature in Android. Note, since this is still a beta, the final product may not resemble what is demonstrated in this episode.

Interview: Greg Stilson Of Humanware

We’ve been asked by many of you out there to do a segment on Brail and BraileBack. And we couldn’t be happier that Greg Stilson, Product Manager at Humanware, jumped at the chance to help us out with an interview about this very subject. Greg talks about the process, the approach and how humanware products are working with Android. This chat should do much to answer many of our recent mailbag questions about Braille and more!

Apps, Apps, Apps:

Tyler sent in an iReport about what were some good TalkBack friendly apps for the new Android user. The gang sat down and gave their thoughts on not only the new user, but some new apps as well.

The update to Barns And Noble’s “Nook” app is worth a look Steve says

JJ talks about the new Learning Ally app

Ana discusses the new GPS app Dotwalker

Steve has recently posted some fantastic deep dives into Android and TalkBack on the long running “Our Place” podcast. To hear, subscribe and share, visit the “Our Place” site.

And be sure to visit Ana’s new relaunched Accessible Android blog. She’d like feedback, suggestions and conversation about the new site!

Feature Preview: Text Selection

Knocking those Mailbag questions down one by one. This time Ana takes on the commonly asked question “How can I select text in Android?”. Remember, like Graphics Labeling earlier, this is in beta and so it may just change by the time the feature becomes officially supported. However, we wanted to show our listeners that it is coming and you can help give your feedback to the Development team before this finalizes later this year.

Mailbag:

Greg, not the one from Humanware, writes in with this question…

“Hello all, is there a way to quickly mark emails for deletion and delete all at once using the native email/gmail applications in jellybean using brailleback? I’ll be on a road trip later this week and would like to be able to clean out emails while on the road. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
I’m using a Sprint Samsung Galaxy s3 with Jellybean 4.1, Talkback 3.5 beta1, and the latest version of Brailleback and an Alva bc640.
Thanks,
Greg Rogers”

Steve recommends Aquamail as a possible solution to Greg’s question

Ana also suggests looking at the batch function in K9 Mail too

Hardware Review: Chromecast

JJ describes the device, his setup process and he shares his thoughts on this new $35 device that connects to your Android or iDevice to share tabs and video from Chrome.

Contacting the Team

We’ve had our say, now its your turn. Drop us a line at resources@serotalk.com or send us a tweet at our official Twitter page.

You can also follow our hosts by visiting

Ana’s Accessible Android blog or

JJ at AndroidAccess.net.

Finally, Check out Steve’s Twitter feed.

Thanks for listening!



That Android Show Episode 18: They’re Called Earcons


Listen to That Android Show Episode 18: They’re Called Earcons

Google I/O, a huge app review special and summer Conventions all within the last 2 months since Episode 17. You would think we wouldn’t have any news, products or services to discuss right? Well no. We’ve just hit another event where Google drops the info bomb on us like it was Google glass wearing skydivers. Wait, that was last year. so what did Google talk about this month? Check out the news section, the app review and our mailbag below to know more.

**In The News:

Android 4.3 images for the Nexus 4, 7, 10, and Galaxy Nexus now available

Release notes for Android v4.3

Talkback v3.4 available in the Google Play Store

Google announces thinner, lighter Nexus 7 with higher-res screen, arrives July 30th for $230

The 2013 Nexus 7 performance preview: a huge speed upgrade in every way

Official Blog: From TVs to tablets: Everything you love, across all your screens

New “Chromecast,” a $35 HDMI dongle to get video streams to your TV

A new version of Brailleback is now online

Here are a few stories from our Twitter feed we thought you should know about. Be sure to follow us to get all the news between now and our next episode!

Textbooks coming to the Google Play Store

Google launches Android’s answer to Apple’s Game Center: The Google Play Games app

New Droids Offer a Glimpse of What’s to Come From Motorola

Ultra, Mini, and Maxx: hands-on with Verizon’s newest, longest-lasting Droids

Motorola now exclusive Droid partner to Verizon

AT&T: $32 Billion in Revenue, 6.8 Million Smartphones Including Record Number of Androids

Samsung Dethrones Apple As Most Profitable Smartphone company

Google Has Another Machine Vision Breakthrough?

**App Review: Nova Launcher

We have gotten in lots of questions from new and not so new Android users about alternative launchers for our favorite OS. And this month Steve took it upon himself to demo one that he uses daily. Nova Launcher isn’t just friendly for Talkback users, its one of the most popular mainstream alternative launchers period. Tune into Steve’s review and find out why this is and why you will be heading to the Play market in no time to get this one on your device.

**Mailbag:

Brandon, Ben and Tony all sent in great iReports this month. Jane’s, however, asked the team about note taking apps that they use on a regular basis. Here are some of their suggestions… Dropbox for Android has a simple note taking section within the app ana says

O.I. Notepad

My Notes

Steve has also heard good things about Apex launcher for alternatives for the default Home Screen

here are a couple of emails from Carolyn about learning her new Android tablet:

“Hi,

I just purchased the 10 inch Google tablet. Am so excited, but need a resource to really get started. I listened to the show 13 about tablets again today. My Talkback is on. Since I don’t have an Android phone, I really need to begin truly from the beginning.

Do you have the link for the google pages that discuss gestures, etc. I think Ana said there were about 12 or 13 pages with Google help.

The tablet show was fabulous and I thank all of you for your shows and all that you do.

Dennis is truly enjoying his 10 inch tablet, but if much, much farther down the road than me.

Sincerely,

Carolyn Ranker”

And…

“Hello,

After sending my first email about finding resources for learning to use my new Nexus 10, I googled to find the Nexus manual available besides on the tablet itself.

I wanted to have it on the computer, and walk through some of the parts of the manual with tablet in hand. Though the PDF file was difficult to download, I finally managed to get it into a readable file for me, so it’s helping quite a bit.

You might want to mention that parts of the manual deal with accessability, so newby users like me might really benefit from using the manual.

Thanks again for all that you and the show team do. Always great shows.

Carolyn Ranker”

Thanks for your emails Carolyn. Using Google Play Books on an iDevice works while you learn your Android one or you can also visit the Google Accessibility page as well.

And this feedback from David about HTC…

“Hello team,

I have every single TAS show on my computer and in ep 16 Anna made a little gaff. She was referring to the HTC Sense UI, but it came out as “HTC Sense UI phone.”

Wonder what an HTC Sense UIPhone would do and look like? Hahahahahahaha!

David Harvey”

**Contacting the Team We’ve had our say, now its your turn. Drop us a line at or send us a tweet at our official Twitter page.

You can also follow our hosts by visiting

Ana’s Accessible Android blog or

JJ at AndroidAccess.net.

Finally, Check out Steve’s Twitter feed.

Thanks for listening!

Join Serotek as we take part in an Access chat via Twitter which takes place on August 6 beginning at 8:00 PM Eastern. The event is sponsored by Fedora Outlier. Use the hash tag #accesschat to participate in the event. You can also follow Fedora Outlier on Twitter.

Join Lisa Salinger on August 19 at 8 PM in the Pat Price Tech Talk Training room over at Accessible World to discuss our exciting new SAMNet Socializer. We look forward to seeing you there.

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