Welcome back everyone to hear what J.J., Ana and even our dear friend Steve, have to say about the latest in the world of Android Access. This month is a bit quieter, however, it looks like things won’t be calm for long if the news forcasts are right.
In The News:
App Review: Google Translate
Ana shows us the power of your Android Camera and more with Google Translate. Did you know you could have a conversation with your android? Find out more and hear what’s for dinner in this overview of the free App from Google.
App Review: Google Currents
Over the next few months we will be focusing in on the Nexus 7 as it’s the best, and really affordable, device for keeping up with the latest from the Android release vaults. With that in mind, joe takes us on a tour of the Google Currents App this month. Google Currents is the stock news reader for the nexus 7 and it is easy to use for light reading.
App Review: Ride metra
J.J. is always on the go. So having a great transit app on his phone can be the difference for him either being late or just there in the nick of time. He shows us how this app works with trains in his area and more. You can find this app on the Play Store here.
We were thrilled to receive so many iReports from new users of Android. We focus on a few of those this month in the show, however, we also wanted to share a few of the emails from the mailbag as well.
Chris from the UK writes in with comments about Hotmail.
Loving the show, I’ve recently bought an Archos 80 G9 tablet with ICS now upgraded, and finding it pretty accessible having overcome my fears of buying a touchscreen device, and choosing the Android over Ipad.
I do have a couple questions which I hope you may be able to shed some light on,
1. I could use an accessible hotmail client, I like Microsoft’s only official app, it offers multiple account suppoprt and email notifications, however once I get to my emails it only reads out the subject header not the actual body of the text, not sure if this is something in the incoming text format but it’s a big frustration!
Oddly I have the same thing with ‘Documents to Go’ I’m able to load up documents, but when I touch the screen it simply won’t read what’s there, using talkback and explore by touch with Ivona Amy English voice installed,
Any suggestions would be welcome!
Finally this one may be a little more techy, the Archos has the facility to add a 3G dongle to gain internet connection on the go, however most of the time I use my tablet at home or in hotels, but of course there will be the odd occasion when I’d like to use it in a non wifi area.
I can’t justify buying a data plan on a 3G network, and wanted to tether or access the web through my Nokia N82 mobile phone. I installed a little app on my phone called JoyKuSpot which effectively turns the cellphone into a mobile Adhoc wifi hotspot, I can certainly detect it and use it with a PC laptop, however Android doesn’t recognise it, I installed an app called ‘wifi scanner’ and it’s now visible to the tablet, but it won’t connect.
From what I’ve read Android won’t allow connection to Adhoc hotspots, there is an app called Z-180 Adhoc’ but from some of the reviews it can seriously mess up your wifi on some devices, not being particulary techy I don’t want to take that risk – are they likely to enable adhoc connection in Jellybean or perhaps someone create a safe app to do this?, a friend has an Ipad and is able to connect to Adhoc, why are Android locking out this feature and liniting their users?
Sorry if this is a lot to answer, but thanks in advance,
Keep up the fantastic work,
Chris also writes us again with a follow up to his first email.
It’s certainly odd that there is this inaccessability amongst email apps, one would have thought that reading out a body of text would be relatively simple! I have found an app called ‘Handy Hotmail’ which can do it, the downside is that it’s not really very feature packed, and as far as I can discover only supports one hotmail account, so I’d love one that provides everything under one roof so to speak,
Another app with potential is ‘PDF to Speech’ which has great potential as it does what it claims, however it could use a couple of dedicated play/pause buttons rather than gestures for users with sight loss, and I’ve suggested this to the developers,
The team also mentions ideal K9 for email as well if you want an app that has been known for being reliable and Talkback friendly over the years. Find our thoughts on it from an earlier show on this very blog.
Next, Eugene writes in to talk about file managers and to answer a question from Episode 11.
First, let me tell you how much I’ve been enjoying your android podcasts. I’m anxiously looking forward to the next one.
You asked about apps which might be accessible. Well, I suggest two for your approval.
The first one is Videos App. There are times when I wish to play a video which I downloaded (such as the news) and the browser won’t recognize the file when I click on it. In cases like this, I need an app which simply finds and plays the video. Videos does just that.
You click on the icon, and the app will look for videos and list them.
Then all you do is touch the video’s name, or use the keyboard, and away you go. When you’re done, close it. That’s that.
The other app is AndroZip File Manager, which reminds me of a Unix file manager. If you wish to get a look at your files, or possibly archive them, this is the app you’d use. The buttons on AndroZip are nicely marked, and keyboard access is very good, too. In fact, the only problem with it is that it’s not flashy, but if you don’t care for sizzle, but you care about functionality and accessibility, you’ll love AndroZip.
AndroZip File Manager is put out by AgileSoft, while Videos is put out by Android Code Monkey (AndroidCodeMonkey.com). I’m sure you’ll love both of these apps.
Finally, I suspect that with the advent of ICE and JB, the arena of accessible apps will grow like mushrooms. I’ve already noticed that I’ve gotten to parts of the screen that were not accessible in earlier versions of Android, and I’m sure this opening up will continue.
Continued good luck, and have a good evening.
Eugene A. Hetzer Jr.
Eugene also writes in to mention marco’s blog from Episode 10’s great interview segment.
I wanted to mention to you that I went to Marco Zehe’s blog. It’s a very interesting place to be, and in there there’s an engaging article about making apps accessible.
It turns out that there’s a lot more to it than simply labeling buttons. This is especially true on the web, which is mouse-driven.
For more about this, go to the blog and read the article, which was well thought out.
Thank you, and have a good day.
Eugene A. Hetzer Jr.
Contacting the Team
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