Listen to That Android Show Episode 14: A Good Problem To Have

Yep, it’s been a while since you heard us last. We figured a whopping 150 minute podcast might need a little separation time before we showed up again in the RSS feed. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, etc. Still, we’ve been storing up your feedback and we’re back with another show on topics like OCR, ePub and more!

In The News:

The number 1 story of 2012, Fleksy, is coming to Android in 2013

Here’s an example of how the mainstream media is finding the Fleksy app useful and promoting it to other sighted users. “Are you prone to touch-screen typos? The Fleksy app is here to save you from yourself”

Check out the SPN SeroSpectives “Year in AT” for even more Android related news with JJ and Joe!

Verizon brings Mobile Accessibility to the Google Play market as a free service for those on Verizon Wireless

AT&T Launches Corporate Accessibility Technology Office and Further Expands Commitment to Customers with Disabilities

The official Nexus 7 Dock has arrived on store shelves. Here’s a review from Android Central.

Don’t forget, if you haven’t heard it already, we cover the Nexus 7 in-depth in episode 13. And this month Steve gives his opinion now that he was able to open his holiday gifts and join the Nexus 7 set.

You can find the page for the Martian watches Steve mentioned here

Braile Back officially released

And here is another link for BrailleBack information and supported displays

Ray Kurzweil joins google

Dropbox to be included on all Samsung flagship phones and cameras

Great Android Apps to Help the Visually Impaired

Some people stray from the path and then return to the fold. Such is the case with this blog post on “Adventures In Android”.

A T Guys seeking feedback on a possible @SpeedDots protector for the Nexus 7 with a short survey.

App Review: Moon Plus Reader Pro:

Steve has been telling the team about this app for months. Now he lets everyone else in on the party with a demo of this app that lets you read ePub files and so much more. Find the link to the app in the Play Market if you want to know more. Note, as Steve says in his review, you want to choose the paid option over the free one in order to have better luck with TalkBack.

App Review: Google Voice Actions:

Continuing our look at the Nexus 7, and Jellybean, Ana shows us just how powerful and amazing this built in app is for things beyond just searching the web on the topic of socks. You can learn more about Voice Actions from the official page and you can also read more about them from this link.

Second link non official

Ana also wanted to mention this helpful tip for a common question we get asked about all the time in regards to this app.

“Google Now often speaks results in its own voice, so users sometimes hear two voices, the voice of Google Now and the voice of the screen reader. To prevent this from happening, go to Settings>Language and

Input>Voice Search and set Speech Output to Only When Hands Free.”

Developer Interview: ScanThing:

Throughout our series we have gotten many questions about OCR apps and what is it like to develop them for Android. We were lucky enough to sit down with the ScanThing Developers for a long chat about their app and what the future may hold for an upcoming release. We would like to thank Eric and Razi for their time and for giving us such an open look at their process of development. Also, check out the demo of the app with Ana and Rusty perez that follows the Developer Interview segment. And, most importantly, you can find the app on the Play Market by heading over to the product page.

Mailbag:

There were so many emails and iReports from everyone that we can’t feature them all in one show. We did want to say thank you for sending in your feedback and please continue sending it as it helps us create the show you, the listener, wants to hear on SPN! Many of your comments on episode 13 mirrored the below email;

““Hi guys,

I just wanted to thank you for your recent Jellybean coverage; it’s helping me decide on a mobile platform for college. I’ve been an iOS gal for a while, but I’m sort of between platforms at the moment, so I went to you guys to see the other side of the fence, so to speak. I appreciate the strengths of both platforms, but for my current needs and constraints I think the Nexus 7 is a viable option.

I do have a question about office type apps for the Nexus– are there any accessible solutions for browsing and editing Word documents? I have a desktop at home, but I’m interested in something portable. I’ve also been looking at keyboard cases for the Nexus 7 online; have any of you gotten to try one of those?

Again, thank you to everyone on SPN for providing such quality information and commentary. Especially for the Android team–TAS 13 was just what I needed.”

We’re happy so many enjoyed the nexus 7 show. It took a long time, however, you liked it. You really liked it! That wasn’t the only remarks we got in since lucky 13. Here’s just a smattering of the other comments we cover this episode.

Sebastian left us an iReport on another phone in the Samsung Galaxy line for T Mobile. And it has a keyboard! Want to know more? Check out this unboxing video from PhoneDog

We’ve gotten in several calls about that other Galaxy phone you may have heard of called the S III. Here are some tips we found about the phone that may answer some of the questions we’ve been hearing from our listeners.

Jane left us an iReport about games. There are really  some out there, check out our first episode for an interview with the creators of Stem Stumper, but the crew would love for our fans to give us some reviews of Audio Ping Pong from the Google Play Market!

Now for the emails, Greg writes in with the following;

“Hey That Android Show, I decided to go with the Galaxy s3 using Android and have just a couple questions

How do you maneuver seek controls with Talkback such as the 1 that controls screen brightness?

How do you cut/copy and paste text using Talkback?

Finally, what’s the best way to make use of the playbooks application in conjunction with Talkback?

Thanks,

Greg”

Ana, in reply to Greg’s email, writes…

“1. To change the value of a slider, long-press (i.e., double-tap, keeping the finger on the screen after the second tap), then swipe left or right.

2. As far as I know, we don’t have a way to select text accessibly. I’ve been able to do it off and on, but I haven’t figured out how to do this predictably. This is the only area where there is a major gap in accessibility.

3. I use Play Books, but I’m not sure how I do it. I’ll pay attention so I can do an app review on the next show maybe.”

Just a little Inside Baseball, like so much that happened during the Nexus 7 special, the app changed in an recent update. So we will revisit Google Books, and Google Currents, again in a future show.

And talking about recent updates, our regular pen Pal Chris from across the pond fills us in on a few things since our last show;

“Just an update to my previous email, I’ve now learnt that Adobe Flash is still available but has to be downloaded from the Adobe archive page rather than from Google Play store.

I’ve also heard that Google may enable conection to adhoc connections at some stage, this means that a temporary wifi hotspot can be created on a mobile phone with 3g, and can be connected to by your tablet thus negating the need for a separate data plan or even buying a more expensive tablet with a 3g capability.

This kind of connection was only previously possible using ‘tethering’ to another Android phone, I have no details on when this will happen, just read it on the ‘smart wifi scanner’ app page, Google really should address this, as it’s already possible on Apple ipad’s so it’d be another strong selling point for Android devices.

Looking forward to TAS 13

Kind regards,

Chris

UK”

And another from Chris…

“Hi Guys,

Well show 13 was a long time coming, but well worth the wait!, really enjoyed listening to your in depth view on the Nexus 7, there’s nowhere else in the world to get that all important perspective from a visually impaired person’s point of view, so thanks!

An update on the Adobe flash saga, I managed to download it from the archive section of the Adobe site, it means you have to temorarily enable the option to accept third party apps to install it, but it’s now back on my ICS Archos tablet.

I heard on a UK tech podcast called ‘Frequency Cast’ that Google may be bringing out a sub $100 Nexus tablet in Spring 2013 which will be interesting.

Meanwhile on the Google Playstore the Nexus 4 in both 8 and 16Gb versions remains elusive.  The 16Gb model briefly became avaiable as an advance order of 6 weeks, and then promptly got updated back to ‘sold out’.  The LG factory must be working 24/7 at the moment and it seems very odd that Google should launch a product and then not be able to complete orders, they must have grossly under estimated the demand.

I do own an Archos G9 80 tablet, and despite some firmware issues which saw my tablet having to be replaced, I am actually pretty happy with it, at the time I was having the problems I swore I’d never buy another Archos product again then low and behold on their website http://www.archos.com/products/home/archos_tv_connect/index.html   they have announced the release of the ‘Archos TV Connect’.

This is a samall box that connects directly to your TV via HDMI, has a host USB and SD card slot, has ethernet and WI-FI connectivity and is running Jellybean Android.  The clever bit is that it comes with a bluetooth remote which has a touch surface allowing users to swipe and tap the same way as you would your phone or tablet, thus effectively turning your TV into a huge tablet.  The prospects are great for low vision or even blind users because you can of course enable ‘talkback’ and access all your usual apps, but it’ll be really handy for accessing YouTube and Catch-up TV, I see it as a universal media centre that is Android powered – the best new is that it’s only going to cost £99 in the UK so I guess under $150

With these exciting innovations starting to filter through, I’m thinking that Android really will be the new Apple!

Best regards,

Chris Ankin

UK”

In episode 13, joe and Ana wanted to know if anyone had been using keyboard editing on their Nexus 7 units. Check out the show for an iReport and discussion on this topic. And take a gander at the email below for even more info;

“Hi,

Yes, you can copy and paste, etc., using a qwerty keyboard connected via a micro USB/USB cable. I use my Nexus 7 this way all the time. However, and this is a big one, I haven’t found any way to control echoing using talkback. It echoes every key you type and every word you type. It is also sluggish if you are used to a computer. This has meant I am not as anxious to compose on my tablet. It’s good for editing when all those details are really important.

The keyboard is also handy to find those pesky menu/more options buttons though you can’t right click anything. You still have to double tap and hold the screen.

hth, Rill””

Next, Carolyn’s email started quite the debate between all the team members. Here’s the email in question that set off the firestorm.

“Hello,

 Santa brought my husband, Dennis, the Nexis 10 for Christmas.  He loves it.  I gave him the 10 instead of the 7, reasoning that with the vision he has, the bigger screen would be best.

However, for me with no vision, I’m wondering which Nexis tablet is best.  The 7, 10, isn’t there a 4?

Or does it really make a difference for us totally blind guys?

Just curious to see what the team thinks.

Thanks and keep up the fabulous work!

Carolyn”

Thanks for the email about the nexus 10. We think it comes down to the individual, okay some of us do, but many choose the 7 because of its size and weight. To each their own use case. Still, go to the shops and hold each in your hands before you make any purchases. Better to know in person than make a guess at it online.  

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 Android Access.net.

Finally, Check out Steve’s Twitter feed.

Thanks for listening!