Freedom With Aira

I signed up with Aira a week or two ago and have just been using it around home. Things like identifying packages in our mail room, taking pictures of cats etc.. Today I went to CVS here in Kansas City to get my booster shot & had planned in advance to use Aira & it was a sense of freedom that I have not felt in a long time. I took Uber from our apartment to CVS & once I felt us driving into the parking lot, I opened Aira on my Nokia X100 and told the agent that we are pulling up to CVS and that I need help in getting from Uber to inside of CVS. She held on until I was getting out of the car. At this point, the Uber driver asked if I needed help getting inside. I was so happy to say I've got someone connected to my phone that is going to help me do that. This is an issue I've had for years as a guy who is totally blind. Sure a Taxi, Uber, Lyft or someone can get me to an address, but which way do I go from there? In the past that m

Nokia X100 Review

Nokia X100 Tmobile 5 out of 5 stars I recently purchased the Nokia X100 from Tmobile. It seems that is the only place in the US to buy this phone, which is okay for my needs, as I am a Tmobile customer. What led me down the road to getting this phone was the disappointment in the delay of getting Pixel 6 Pro phones to the Tmobile store, the price of the 6 Pro, & the list of issues that are being experienced. I first wanted one but started to look to see what else in the Android world was out there. I found the Nokia X100 one day while browsing around & took a look at the specs, 6GB Ram & 128GB storage. I thought wow, that's pretty good and in a phone that was only $252. I got to thinking, I wonder if as a blind guy, if the apps that I use would run okay enough on this phone. First, let me say I was only looking for what will work for me. I'm totally blind so the quality or performance of the video quality on the phone's s

The Eight Voices Of Android

The Eight Voices Of Android You might not know but your Android phone has eight different sounding voices you can pick from for use with Talkback or other Accessibility services. They are free and are likely already a part of your phone. There are voices still available for purchase on the Play Store from third party sources. The problem is they are older & haven't been updated in over two years. That is related to when Android started to require apps be created in a 64 bit programming mode which left some of these third party sources behind as they didn't or couldn't make the move to change how their app was written. While many of these third party text to speech engines still work on Android 12 they are buggy and don't provide a great experience these days as they once did. Thankfully Google has developed what is currently called Speech Services By Google which does just more than Text To Speech. They have eight very clear sounding v

Using Netflix With TalkBack

I didn't realize until today while using Netflix on Android with TalkBack enabled, I can now easily move around to the settings while a show or movie is playing. Once upon a time one had to find a small part of the screen to double tap on for a list of options to appear. If you didn't make a selection fast enough, the options would disappear. Now you can swipe left or right to volume controls, audio & language settings & much more. I'm using the current version of Netflix on an up to date Pixel 4 running Android 11. If you have an external keyboard connected you can also use the following keyboard commands. Using keyboard shortcuts on Netflix The following shortcuts are supported by Netflix. Action Keyboard shortcut Play / Pause Space bar Full screen F Exit full screen Esc Rewind 10 seconds Left arrow Fast forward 10 seconds Right arrow Increase volume Up arrow Decrease volume Down arrow Mute M Skip in

Using an external keyboard with Android

I am someone who is a slow typist when it comes to on screen keyboards. I am okay with a short password or a couple of words reply to a message but that is about it. I have long preferred to use either a USB or Bluetooth keyboard with my phone. I remember one of the first Motorola phones I had, I bought a Motorola Bluetooth keyboard at the same time & got the sales guy's help in pairing, since I was so new to android. These days I use a Logitech K380 keyboard. I love the size as it easily slips into a bag or backpack. It has a physical power switch on the left edge, so no random keypresses when in my backpack.  I've had this model for years & its still available from Amazon. I also found a carrying case that the K380 fits in perfectly and helps keep it safe while traveling. That too can be found at Amazon as well as other places. More often though while at home, I just grab a wired USB keyboard and plug into my phone. It does have a USB A to

ChromeCast With Google TV Setup Accessible

I got my ChromeCast with Google TV back in January 2021. At that time the directions were to setup using the Google Home app on your phone. That was partially accessible until it was ready to make some changes & install updates, then things just crashed & there was no way to turn on Talkback. I got help from my Wife & after we got things working, using the device was an excellent experience. I read a tweet today about the setup part of the device being available on the play store for updating the ChromeCast with Google TV. I wondered at that point if accessibility changes could be made & rolled out to the device. I sent a few tweets & hadn't checked to see if anything had changed yet in the process of setting up this great device. After tweeting I thought I should check that. One of the sites I was reading mentioned setting it up with the help of the Home app or just doing it all on device. I thought I should try just setting it up on

Lookout By Google, one of my favorite apps

One app that I use often is Lookout By Google. Here is the info from the Play store. Lookout by Google Google LLC Productivity Everyone Rated 4.1 stars out of five stars 891 Lookout uses computer vision to assist people with low vision or blindness get things done faster and more easily. Using your phone's camera, Lookout makes it easier to get more information about the world around you and do daily tasks more efficiently like sorting mail, putting away groceries, and more. Built with guidance from the blind and low-vision community, Lookout supports Google's mission to make the world's information universally accessible to everyone. Lookout has five modes for a variety of activities: • Use Food Labels mode (beta) to quickly identify packaged foods by their label, in addition to scanning barcodes. Available in more than 20 countries. • Read a whole page of text with Documents mode. Take a snapshot of a document, and Looko