The Accessible Phones mailing list for South African visually impaired and blind persons

If you are a South African visually impaired or blind person interested in accessible phones in a local context, feel free to join the Accessible phones mailing list.

 

To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit the list info page. or, via email, send a message with the word ‘subscribe’ in the subject or message body to: accessiblephones-request@accesstech.co.za

 

Once subscribed, you can send your submissions to: accessiblephones@accesstech.co.za

 

And should you run into any trouble, you can reach the person managing the list at accessiblephones-owner@accesstech.co.za

Fleksy – A very quick audio intro

Fleksy is a text input system specifically designed for people with visual impairments.

This free app gives you the full Fleksy typing experience, with the option to upgrade to the full version to email, copy, or message the text you enter from within the application itself.

For those who are too lazy to install the demo yourself, or if you don’t have access to an IOS device, I’ve given a very basic demonstration of how fleksy works. No word correction or anything more complicated.

The podcast is right at the end of this post.

How to use Fleksy

Fleksy is complementary to Apple’s VoiceOver technology.

With Fleksy, you don’t have to hover over the keyboard to find the correct letter You need to lightly tap once where you think the letter roughly is, and continue with the next letter. Avoid pressing and holding on each key and waiting to hear feedback.

To type “bananas” for example, first tap approximately where you think the letter B is. That should be near the middle and bottom part of the screen, and you only need to do a single tap. Don’t worry about being too accurate. You will hear a clicking sound to indicate that a keypress has been registered. Next tap where you think the letter A is. That should be on the left part of the screen, and somewhat higher than your previous tap. Continue tapping the rest of the letters N A N A S to form the word “bananas”.

Once you are done typing a word, perform a right swipe gesture to indicate a space. The system will automatically correct your input and read out the word that you typed.

To type your next word, you simply start tapping on the next letters as described. Make sure to spell words correctly.

If the suggestion was not right the first time, you can swipe down to navigate between alternative suggestions. Or swipe left to delete the last word you entered and enter a different one.

Fleksy has more functions for entering punctuation marks, typing custom words (such as names), and includes innovative ways to help you type easily. Make sure you read the instructions contained within the app.

Visit the developer’s web site.

Get fleksy on the appstore.

[appstore id=”520337246″ country=”za” style=”full”]

Seika Mini Braille Display, affordable, portable and stylish

Note to current users of the Seika Mini Braille Display:
A new firmware version has been released for the Seika Mini Braille Display.
Download the new firmware Ver1.007 from here.

NIPPON TELESOFT CO., LTD. brings you the new Seika Mini Braille display. Sporting 16 cells of high quality 8 dot Braille, in a truely light and portable package; weighing a mere 300 Grams.

I’ve had the pleasure to put this Braille display through its paces for two weeks, thanks to Neville Clarence of
NCTec,
who made the Seika Mini available to me for evaluation.

Before I get down to my opinion, here’s the specifications for the Seika Mini Braille Display:

Specifications:

  • Display Capacity: 16 refreshable 8-dots Braille cells
  • Cursor routing Key: 16 keys
  • Function Keys: 4 function keys, 2 Navigation joystick keys
  • Braille input keys: 8 keys
  • Character code: Original 8 code
  • Memory: 4GB (Embedded Micro SD card)
  • Connectivity: USB, Mini USB, Micro SD card slot
  • Internal battery: Lithium rechargeable battery
  • Charge time: 2.5 hours(the charge time will longer if use Mini at the same time)
  • Power Supply: USB/AC Adapter/ Internal battery
  • Size: 6.3(W) 3.78(D) 0.9(H) inches.
  • Weight: 300g
  • Accessories:
    • Leather carry case,Neck strap,
    • AC adaptor (5V / 1A)
    • USB Cable (one head is USB male, the other head is mini USB male), it is primarily used for battery charging and screen reader data transfer)
    • Bluetooth USB Adapter
    • 4G Micro SD card which is in the Mini Seika in default
    • Documentation and Drivers on a CD
    • User Guide, in print

Google’s Android Ice Cream Sandwitch on a phone with a qwerty keyboard?

Say hi to the Samsung Galaxy Chat, Model GT-B5330, Running Google’s Ice Cream Sandwitch but, with a difference.

Samsung announced this phone last Month, on July the 4th.

It might not have the hottest specs around but, for some of us who still love a physical qwerty keyboard, this is a real nice deal.

Unfortunately, South Africa won’t see much of this phone unless you order it from one of the online stores.

And pricing…. I don’t wish to venture on that but, I am rather sure that it will cost less than r2000.

Oh, uh, to the best of my knowledge, just so by the way, the Samsung Chat is currently the only and certainly the first phone with a full qwerty keyboard running Ice Cream Sandwitch. unfortunately, there’s no arrow keys but, I doubt if this would be an issue.

The processor is also somewhat on the slow side running at 850MHz but, I will have to wait and see how this phone is going to handle.

I will definitely not take pictures with this phone. OCR applications will fail without a doubt. With only a 2 MP camera, I highly suspect that the pics won’t look that nice.

Regardless of these factors, there’s the qwerty keyboard to look forward to as well as experiencing ICS on the world’s first qwerty keyboard phone. Bundled with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP, GPS, 3G, a microSD card (up to 32GB), 4GB internal storage and a reasonable pricetag for the entry level, I’m sure that you will agree with me that this is a phone to look forward to.

I am really excited and can’t wait to get started with this beauty.

As usual, the specifications are below:

Physical Specifications

  • Weight 112 grams
  • Height 118.90 mm
  • Width 59.30 mm
  • Depth 11.70 mm

Functional Specifications

  • Screen Type Touchscreen, TFT
  • Touchscreen, capacitive
    256K colours
  • Screen Resolution 240×320
  • Screen Size 3.00 inches (7.62cm)
  • Memory 4GB Storage
  • Expansion microSD up to 32GB
  • Connectivity GPS with A-GPS support and GLONASS
  • GPRS
  • EDGE
  • HSDPA @ 7.2 Mbps
  • HSUPA @ 5.76 Mbps
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP
  • microUSB 2.0
  • Camera 2MP

Operational Specifications

  • CPU 850MHz
  • OS Android OS 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
  • 3G Standby Time 380.0 hours
  • 3G Talk Time 5.0 hours
  • 2G Standby Time 520.0 hours
  • 2G Talk Time 14.8 hours