New navigational app for blind people on Android coming soon.

A group of six grade school girls in Los Fresnos, Texas took it upon themselves to solve a problem for blind kids. They built an app for them.

The app, Hello Navi, first came from the imagination of a particular girl in the group, Grecia Cano. She says her heart went out to the blind students in her school who had a hard time figuring out how to get around.
Continue reading New navigational app for blind people on Android coming soon.

DotWalker – A GPS App for Android

If any of you remember the gps Symbian app called loadstone, you will be happy to know that DotWalker for Android, is able to do many of the same things that Loadstone did and a lot more.

What is it exactly?

DotWalker is a travel assistant application primarily designed for blind and visually impaired users but it also enables eyes free control for everybody else.

This application provides navigation tools by handling a set of discrete points, which can be approached in several modes of control.

Next, you can use a talking compass if you feel like you might have lost your way.

Routes can be created manually, on the move simply by shaking the device, or with the help of Google maps direction service.

Points of interest can be enhanced by recording audio labels or linked to other media sources.

Special approach mode directs you to the desired point by announcing direction and distance.

Open street maps, can also be imported into DotWalker. I was able to do this with loadstone and have quite a few custom maps from those days.

On the point location can be supplemented by audio street view. Address announcement as an option. More is in the making. Currently published as limited lifetime test version.

My experience

I was so excited to check this one out that I didn't really bother about tracking documentation or anything similar. I just jumped right in.

"Irresponsible," I can hear some of you mumble but, not at all.

Unfortunately I ran into some problems when I tried to create a root with a Samsung Galaxy s4.

I wouldn't want you to think that I am trying to hide the good news from you.

So, below, please find the podcast showing you how it crashed on me. I was rather disappointed but, I'm sure a fix will come soon.

In the meanwhile I can report that the screen layout is quite simple to understand and that all buttons on the initial screen are properly labeled. However, it crashes when I attempt to select the nearest or roots options.

When you open the app, it will give an audible indication when it finds satellites.

From the top of the screen, below the status bar, we have:
The title, DotWalker
Then, it shows us the number of satellites that it is able to pick up.

In my case it said:

Sat: 14

In the next line, it said:

Root 1. 0 nearest

I suspect that this is a sort of status message to do with name of the root and how many other roots might be closeby. I might be wrong though.

Then, we have a huge empty space, probably intended for future use, before we hit the bottom of the screen where we are greeted by two rows.

The top row contains three columns and the bottom row contains two columns. Although one could technically say that it contains three columns since the middle column's spot is taken by the phone's physical home button.

Each column contains a button.

In row one, column one, we have the point button.
In row one, column two, there is an info button.

In row one, column three is a button labeled nearest.

In row two, column one, is a compass which works really well.
Then we have a physical home button, in my specific case where column two might have been if we were including the home button but, we are not so, in row two column two, just below column three which is in row one, we have the roots button.

Visit the DotWalker web site at http://www.dotwalker.wz.cz/dotwalker_en.html.

Get DotWalker on the Playstore.

So, that is it for the intro and my first bit of experience with DotWalker.

Below is the podcast to give you an audio version of my failure.