That Android Show Episode 29: Ye Skeptical Bodies


Listen to That Android Show Episode 29: Ye Skeptical Bodies

Google i/o is just about to descend upon San Francisco. However, there is still a lot of news and info to cover before that event. Plus, our own Access Ana is on the gound at i/o and we’ll get a first hand account of the show next month on Episode 30. But we are getting ahead of our selves aren’t we? Episode 29 is here with talk of hardware, games and what’s new in access. Oh, and a really full Mailbag!

In the news:

Chrome 35 for Android now has native accessibility support

What Android 4.4.3 could mean about the future of Android updates

KitKat hits 13.6 percent of all Android devices, eclipses Ice Cream Sandwich

The Master Plan: Why Samsung Is Ditching Android

Google to sell Project Tango tablet dev kits for $1,024

Check out the new app Oculi

fleksy is trying to set up beta testing for Eyes-Free users in June.

Google Now can set an alarm to help remind you when it’s your stop on public transit

Hardware Demo: Galaxy S5

Steve and joe are now sporting the Galaxy S5. As we discovered last month, this phone has many access options not seen in stock versions of Android. Steve takes us on a small tour of what you might encounter when using the new phone. And find out how it got him to give up Nova launcher!

Developer Interview: Nick Barbato of Diceworld

Joe sits down with one of the developers of the game that has taken the blind iOS community, and probably your social media feed, by storm. Heark Nick and Joe discuss what challenges the team faced when making their app accessible with Talkback, ow much friendlier the development platform is on Android and how you can help make the DiceWorld experience even better with your feedback.

App Review: Quizup

Did you know our host JJ adores game shows? Well he does and he can’t wait to shae just how this new TalkBack friendly app is perfect for scratching that casual game itch. Leaderboards, experience points and all in the time span it takes to answer seven questions.

Mailbag

Wow did you all ever send in the iReports, er um A Reports thanks to Ana, this go around. Check out the show to hear those, however, take a gander at this from Jessica too.

“Long winded as usual (sigh). But if you read this I think it will please you and maybe be an encouragement to others to try android os out perhaps. Hello. First I would ask something. Why is android access.net and anna’s site out of date? People aren’t likely to try things out if info is out of date and hasn’t been updated for a while. Enough with the negative. I was an iphone person since iPhone 3gs. I guess you could say I was a pioneer in the touch screen accessibility field. I have a lot more computer experience but when I talk about it I fear people think I am bragging so I am going to leave it out of this message. I know nothing about programming however. Or very little. And if I had to administrate a system I probably would have a headache. I am more about showing people how to use their devices properly although I am not certified to do so. For years I told people stay away from android. Please bear with me. There is good news. I got my iPhone 5 in 2012 or 2013. Huge update from the 3gs. I also got the iPad mini first generation around this time. The iPad mini did not connect with me very well and just sat on my desk a majority of the time. And I got to thinking. My friend over here needs something he can use and he actually likes it now. He can download books from bard among other things and although he doesn’t have things down as well as I like he knows how to delete books and how to download ones from the recently added audio books and magazines and is having the time of his life. For him the bigger screen works. For me it does not. Around this time. I still told people to stay away from android. But I was becoming less anti android. I would read anything I could find and occasionally tuned in to your android show podcast. I also briefly would listen to other android related podcasts. And slowly my attitude changed. I still growled at google and amazon a bit from time to time. But things began to change at a much faster rate by then. This brings me up to about a few weeks ago and why I am emailing you now. I needed another device besides my iPhone for playing radio or books in the background. Not liking the iPad mini and not liking the iPad I figured ok maybe it is finally time to dip my feet into android. I was able to get a nexus 7. And although the size was better than the iPad mini I had had it was still slightly too big. But I got enough of a glimpse into android that I totally switched gears. Which I am sure shocked most of my friends who knew how anti android I was. As I told a friend of mine. I used to be all apple nothing else. But now I am almost all android. And some apple. I suppose balance is a good thing. And it taught me to not be so judgmental. I was able to find out that I could get a galaxy s5 if I wanted too. I had already had listened to podcasts talking about the galaxy s5 and said I may as well. It has to be smaller than the nexus 7 and it may just be that missing link. I do not have mine here yet. I will probably have it by the time you all read this however. A person in the house however got one and I was briefly able to play with it. And I knew as soon as my finger hit the screen that this is what I was looking for. A big phone. Bigger than i am used too. But small enough screen for me to not get lost on. And my gestures were actually behaving much much better on the smaller screen. I fell in love with it and can’t wait for my own. Although I have too. So. What about the nexus 7 I got. I gave it to a person in the house who really needed a tablet. What about my iPhone 5. It will be an iPod touch for those apps that will not work on the android one for some reason or that simply aren’t available on android os for some reason. So all that to say this. Thank you for being there. Thank you for not giving up. Listening to your show thank you for being truthful and honest and to the point. And don’t stop. Although I wish the information sites were more up to date. Some people don’t have time to listen to an hour long or longer podcast at times. And if info is out of date on the sites they think man so is the android really accessible or not. I will close by saying what some people on the show have already said. iOS works better in some areas. And android os in certain areas. I myself think the size of the device does matter. But it depends on the person. I work better with smaller screens. Many people I know however do much much better with the bigger screens. So it really does depend on the individual. But now I believe everyone who can anyway should have at least one android os device. And one iOS device. However I am pro android now. And not anti apple. But not as pro apple as I used to be. Apple started it all. And for me I will never forget that. And will be always grateful to them for that. But android works better with my brain than iOS does. And I haven’t a clue why. It just works.”

Next up, two comments from Mike Arigo from our SeroTalk Podcast network forum on SAMNet. What is SAMNet you say? Well just one of the coolest places to hang out and talk with like minded others while enjoying hundreds of hours of content. pick up a 14 day free trial by heading to the Serotek Downloads page at

“Hopefully the folks on the show read this forum, or, let me know if I should use the resources@serotalk.com email address instead. Regarding the article on bloatware, Steve has it right, custom rom. Once you try a rom like cyanogen, you will never go back to stock firmware. I just ordered an unlocked galaxy s 3, I may try the samsung software, but will probably install cyanogen pretty quickly. And, there is a program on windows and the mac that will automate the process, so it’s very simple now. This is another reason to avoid carrier phones, in particular, verizon and at&t lock the boot loader on all of their phones now.”

And here is comment number two….

“Got an idea for the next show. You should do a segment on the cyanogen installer. I got my galaxy s 3 and have tried it, it really works well and lets you easily replace your stock rom with cyanogen. The only thing is, cyanogen uses its own set up screen, so you can’t enable talkback on this screen. Aside from that, it works great. My galaxy s 3 is now running cyanogen 11, based on android 4.4.2 and it’s very fast. Now my next task is to get a galaxy s 4 and give that a try.”

You know its kind of tough enough for us to cover just stock apps and the stock experience. While platforms like amazon OS and the ones of which you speak are becoming more and more access friendly all the time, its just a portion of Android that would take a lot of time for us to cover on our current format. Maybe, one day, we could do a special? Until then, we’ve got i/o and tons more to dicuss in Episode 30 next month.

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 28: Chips and Beer


Listen to That Android Show Episode 28: Chips And Beer

To help remake accessibility training as we know it, visit to view training subscription options and make your contribution to EZFire’s A11YTV funding campaign.

Welcome back everyone to a show that has lots of talk, demos and an awesome interview from a phone retailer. JJ is a world traveler this month, therefore, the other guy with a J in his name steps in to host with Ana and steve. We have a ton of iReports in the Mailbag, an app to help you relax and your next TTS for Halloween.

In The News:

Our own Ana appeared on the Eyes on Success show talking about the kindle Fire HDX. Check it out here…

Android Silver: everything you need to know – TechRadar UK

In relation to the Silver discussion, Google Now launcher Recently Updated

Flounder” could be the codename for Google’s next Nexus device

Motorola’s Moto E runs KitKat, resists scratches, costs $129 unlocked

HTC-made Nexus device shows up in Android source code

Google added the ability to take photos while recording video back to the stock camera app. Neat!

Google Maps 8 brings lane guidance, Uber integration, and more

From JJ on Twitter, if you use Android and Uber, sign up for the beta of 3.0 so accessibility comments can be heard.

Google Now Shows You a List of Stores When You Go to a Mall

Steve had a chance to use Guide Dots. To learn more about this app, check out the google Play page

The Eyes Free List found a way around the “Okay Google” bug by using OpenMic

Sample Phone Setup Options for Android

From Our That Android Show Twitter Feed, Kyle Borah ?@KyleBorah May 10 If any Talkback android users are looking for a good trivia game, check out quizup. Its very accessible. @thatandroidshow

Federal court overturns Google v. Oracle decision, setting disastrous precedent

The Ever-Sorrier State of Android Bloatware

Your Android can now endlessly play relaxing music for free, thanks to Doze

App Demo: Doze

After all the news, Ana needed time to relax. An what better way to relax than for free on your Android with the Doze app. Rain, music and more. Find inner peace or at least something to just have on in the background for white noise. Ana also sent in this note after we went to press…. “Doze has been updated. There is now an additional unlabeled button for donating to the developer. If you swipe through the UI, the donate button is before Doze and Recline. Tapping it takes users to the Play Store, where they can donate a little over a dollar.” Discussion, New voices

The team sits down and talks about Eloquent Witches. No wait, the team sat down to discuss Elequence and yes, a Witch voice. Jarrod Jicha ?@JichaMan1974 wrote on Twitter,

This is got to be the weirdest android voice I have ever heard!

Code Factory ETI on Google Play

Interview: Odin Mobile

Ana sits down with the team at odin mobile to discuss the many options they offer in phones, in support and now a few options for those who live in particular states to gain an even cheapr mobile device. You won’t want to miss this interview and you definitely want to visit their site to learn more.

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 27: Lovely Cognitive Dissidence


Listen to That Android Show Episode 27: Lovely Cognitive Dissidence

The TAS team returns, no really, and we’re back to discuss a somewhat busy mainstream news month. Ana wasn’t able to join us in studio, however, she turns in a stellar overview of Google Calendar and takes an in-depth look at the new Galaxy S5’s new accessibility features. All that, and more, on a “back to normal’ That Android Show!

In The News:

CSUN 2014 has come and gone. Yet the news from that show continues to make waves. Take a gander at this article on highlights from the Exhibit Hall floor, written by our own JJ, for an example of some news on Android related products.

And Blind Bargains conducted interviews from the show floor as well. Check this one out on a popular synth being released through Code Factory to Google Play soon.

And even more on video magnifiers, Access Note and other Android news can be heard on our SPN flagship feed at SeroTalk.

And then there was the really big story this month. How to tell if your Android device is vulnerable to Heartbleed

Android 4.1.1 Still Vulnerable to Heartbleed

[Google now constantly scans your installed Android apps for malware[(http://liliputing.com/2014/04/google-now-constantly-scans-your-installed-android-apps-for-malware.html)

[Android fragmentation turning devices into a toxic hellstew of vulnerabilities[(http://dlvr.it/5N2GwS)

Android's KitKat is rolling out even more slowly than Jelly Bean did

Fingerprint lock in Samsung Galaxy 5 easily defeated by whitehat hackers

PayPal Debuts Its Biometrics And Smartwatch Integrations With Samsung

It’s out and being talked about. Samsung Focuses On Accessibility With An Ultrasonic Case, A Text-Reading Stand And Voice Labels

Tap Tap See Comes To Android

The following stories we may not have discussed directly, however, we thought them worth a read regardless.

Pre-iPhone Android envisioned with no touch-screen support

Google Play Still Tops iOS App Store Downloads, And Now Narrowing Revenue Gap, Too

Google Glass gets KitKat update, video calling removed

I Was Assaulted For Wearing Google Glass In The Wrong Part Of San Francisco

Google Patents Tiny Cameras Embedded In Contact Lenses

App Demo: Ana And Her Calendar

Ana is a very busy person and she has a super grasp of the Google ?Calendar as it’s how she keeps all her schedules together in one place. She shows us some basics and discusses the power that is in mastering dates and times. Also, check out this article for some advanced features.

The Coolest Things You Can Automatically Add to Google Calendar

Discussion Topic: In The Shadow Of Google i/o 2014, What Is Android Doing For Us Now

3d printing, pointy Braille and CSUN aftermath. We sit down and talk about various ways of access with Android and beyond.

Blind Bargains asks some tough questions about cross platform apps in relation to the latest release of TapTapSee

Joe recommends Access Talk for another look at what happened recently at CSUN and to get thoughts on a new user to the world of Android.

its good vs. evil? Its mets vs. Yankees? No, it is a battle that has always been around for one reason or another. Its “Is the note taker dead? 2014. While not directly Android related, except if you consider the Braille Plus 18 or the upcoming Access note from AFB, this discussion from HIMS started a lot of emails on so many Blind related lists.

Google Reveals the Crazy Modular Phones Ara Will Let You Build

Hardware Close Look: Samsung S5

Triple click Home to bring up… TalkBack? No, its not April Fools again. Ana sits down with Nimer Jaber to learn how this is a real thing on the newly released Samsung Galaxy S5. Touch Wiz has been improved and a whole slew of new access options came along in the box. Hear what’s new before you sign that next cell phone contract!

Mailbag:

We got in lots and lots of mail, iReports and tweets about how you liked [or in many cases didn’t] our April Fools programming on our show, our Sister show “Triple Click Home” and of course “SeroTalk”. After we sterilize some of the keyboards and Braille Displays from reading those comments… we’ll share them. For now, even if you didn’t like the show, be sure to check out how well our gang did over at 3ch. There is some sly Google content in that show. We promise!

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 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!