Main | When Technology and Achromats Collide »

iPad/iPhone Apps for Achromats

So far, I've resisted the pull of the Apple empire. While I've been a dedicated Mac user for a couple of years now, I'm still clinging dearly to my old brick of a phone, and I did have a chuckle at the poor folk camped out in the rain in front of the apple store when the new iPhone came out. 

But my birthday is coming up, and all I wish for is an iPad. 

I know, I know. It's a toy - a big, heavy, expensive toy that you can't take in the bathtub. But have you seen some of the seriously cool achromatopsia-friendly Apps available for the iPad? Here are some I'm dying to use in daily life.


 

Ariadne GPS, $8.29

There are tons of GPS apps for the iPad and iPhone, but Ariadne is probably the most accessible for achromats. It features talking maps that rotate as you move, and if you're going to cross a street, your device vibrates to warn you. You can save locations in favorites and, best of all, use the device to read out stops on a bus or train route. 

 

Color ID $13.99

To use this app, point your camera at any object, and your device will speak the name of the color. This is pretty much the perfect app for people with achromatopsia. The color names are poetic and fun – Moon Mist, Paris Daisy – and you can toggle these with a simple color menu for when you just want to know the difference between red and brown.

 

Dragon Diction, FREE

If you're anything like me, you hate the idea of having to type notes on a tiny screen using a touch-screen keyboard. Dragon diction eliminates this issue by dictating what you say and storing it in your clipboard. It takes a little time to learn to use Dragon Diction effectively, but once you've got it sussed, you'll be pleased to say goodbye to those horrid touch-screen keyboards.

 

Talking Scientific Calculator, $6.49

This is a user-friendly, easy-to-read scientific calculator that will speak answers, buttons and formulas aloud. You can use one of the inbuilt voices or even record your own. Particularly important for achromats is the high-contrast setting, which makes this calculator much easier to read than any manual model. 

 

Kobo – Read eBooks, FREE

For readers, the Kobo e-reader app allows you to increase the font of books and create a high contrast-reading screen (white letters on a black background). I still prefer reading on my Kobo eReader device, but this app is great for those who don't want an eInk screen. And the Kobo app gives you access to over a million free eBooks, so you won't be starved of reading material.

 

SayText, FREE

Frustrated that, once again, the takeaway shop has printed their menu on the wall behind the counter and you can't read it? Just hold up your iPad or iPhone, take a picture, and SayText will read aloud any text on the screen.


Big Clock, $0.99

It's a big clock. It's a really big clock, and it's in high contrast. Perfect for people like me who can't read small clocks.

 

Are you using an iPad or iPhone? How do you find the accessibility? What are your favorite apps?

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Reader Comments (5)

Good stuff! Although I have to disagree with you about the iPad being a toy. While no one needs an iPad, no one needs a cell phone or an e book reader either. That said the iPad has evolved into something that can be truly used for business and productivity. Maybe the first year of its existence you could have argued that it was a toy, but no longer is that the case. Just remember that back in the 80's a lot of people said such words about the possibility of desktop computers and mobile devices, yet today they define our culture.

April 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChad

Wow! The Color ID sounds really cool but $14 for an app is pretty steep. I agree with Chad on the utility of the iPad. The really nice thing is how easy it is to zoom. I just press 3xs with 3 fingers and it zooms in nice and big on any app. Also, I have a wireless keyboard and case that make it better than any laptop for me. Granted, I only use it for basic things like web browsing and simple word processing but it works great for what I need and a whole lot easier to see.

April 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterxinebtx

I found another good app for telling you colour something is. http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/color-curious/id344994047?mt=8

July 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNicholas

I really enjoy the iPad because it helps me in school with certain apps such as Pages. It makes it easier to look at enlarged text on my iPad then to screw around with the font settings on my computer. I also like the games.

August 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAdam

I would really struggle without my iPad now. I can hold it as close as I need without getting back or neck ache (as I did with laptops and pc's) I can pinch zoom or auto zoom on almost anything, and the apps simplify many pages that are cluttered on a laptop (face book for example is soooo much easier to navigate, the layout is clean, also Amazon, eBay, tesco's etc, all easy and add free!) I word process using pages which is also simple and clear, and have several transport apps. I use it for nearly all aspects of my life including recipes and contacts. The only reason I use anything else now is if I want to print something or make a photo album, edit a home movie (although I could probably do those to if I knew how!)

August 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSam

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