Review: Accessibility on some of the latest Apple products (iPhone 5 / Macbook Air 2012)


Review: Accessibility on the 
latest Apple, Inc. and Mac Friendly Products

Here at Broadened Horizons, we view ourselves as a company and culture dedicated to meeting the needs of our community, and making accessibility an option for all no matter what your preference or ability. In our office we have employees using Mac or Windows based systems, based on their preference or sometimes both simultaneously if there is a need. We also have team members with iOS devices and/or Android devices. Our culture reflects the diversity of opinion of our community; each is loyal to their brand and preference, even though this may cause unique and differing challenges for a user with upper extremity limitations.   As the fall and holiday shopping season gets into full swing, and new devices are released for the tech hungry consumer, I’d like to take a look at the flavor of the month from our friends at Apple, Inc. Recently, I purchased the 11.6” Macbook Air, upgraded to their latest operating system Mountain Lion OS 10.8, purchased the newest release of Nuance’s Dragon Dictate software, and upgraded my iPhone 4S running iOS 5 to a brand new iPhone 5 with their latest operating system iOS 6. I wanted to take a look at how someone in the Broadened Horizons community can get the most out of their Mac experience.

Part 1: 11.6” Macbook Air 2012 running OS 10.8 Mountain Lion (using the RoboArm Mount and QuadMouse controller) As someone who is on the go, I wanted something that is powerful and highly portable. This is a full-featured laptop, which is incredibly lightweight. Once switched on it boots up at an incredibly fast speed, and apps load much more quickly than I am even used to. Using the RoboArm mounting system, the MacBook Air can be held firmly in place for long periods of time whether still or in motion without worry of damage from an accidental fall. The battery life is good; I’ve seen other computers with a longer lasting battery but none as portable and light. The worst part of the MacBook Air is the aluminum case. It is prone to scratches, especially in the process of transferring it onto the mount if not handled with care. I would suggest getting one of the third party skins available to protect the shell.   For persons with upper extremity limitations I recommend using the QuadMouse as a mouse interface. The QuadMouse is plug and play with Mac, and the adjustable speed controls allow flexibility and ease. If I am just surfing the web I will set the speed faster to quickly move around the screen and click. If I am working on photo editing or design I can set the speed slower and hive pixel perfect precision and control. The screen resolution is excellent, although glad can be an issue in certain light, Overall, any concerns I had about the 11.6” screen size being too small are completely gone.
Mountain Lion (10.8.x) like every Mac Operating system is a user friendly easy to operate interface that has a hefty amount of features. In terms of Accessibility it still leaves much to be desired, but with some third party software and hardware you can work and play with the best. This newest OS incorporates many of its new features from popular features of Apple’s mobile operating system. Now you can find Notes, Reminders, and iMessage, as well as a Siri-esque Dictation app. Mountain Lion also delivers support for Apple’s cloud-based iCloud service, allowing you multi-device seamless access to your documents, photos and more.  Mountain Lion even keeps working while the computer sleeps, downloading software updates, messages, mail, and much else while the laptop’s lid is closed and its lights are off, so the system is up-to-date the moment it wakes up. For my purposes of style, function, portability, speed, and power, the 2012 MacBook Air is an excellent buy.

Part 2: Dragon Dictate 3 for Mac (with USB Flexarm Mic)

Although Apple made a noble attempt with their new Dictation app, it is pretty much useless. For users without the dexterity to use a standard keyboard your best bet is Dragon Dictate. Dragon has been the industry standard bearer in computer voice control for good reason. Their latest offering for Mac is a huge leap forward. The recognition engine developed by Nuance is more than a slight improvement. Out of the box you will get fairly decent accuracy. My recommendation is to do as much training as is available. I spent an entire day training Dragon Dictate like a puppy getting ready for Westminster. The results were phenomenal. You have the option of using your iPhone, or a Bluetooth device as a dictation input but I wouldn’t recommend it. If you’re looking for complete hands free independence, grab a USB Flexarm Microphone. You don’t have to worry about the battery of the Bluetooth device or, the iPhone app being interrupted by a call or crashing. With this latest release by Nuance any Mac user will be impressed.

Part 3:

iPhone 5 (using the Vocalize! 100% Hands-free Device Control)

With the release of iOS 6, for the iPhone Apple really improved on what was arguably the sleekest mobile operating system around.  This release is available for all current models of iPhone (3gs, 4, 4S, and 5.) For persons who are unable to manipulate the capacitive touch screen, owning an iPhone to date has been an exercise in frustration. The Vocalize 100% Hands-free Bluetooth control has allowed those with ALS, moderate to high-level quadriplegia, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, and other dexterity limitations to talk, text, email, browse, and play on a wide variety of smartphones.   Even with this innovation, the iPhone has been one of the most difficult devices maximize function. While most tablets, computers and smartphones operating on Google’s Android Mobile OS can easily be accessed by a variety of switch interfaces and other controls, iOS is much more difficult to gain access.  Apple’s Built-in AssistiveTouch is a feature that lets you enter Multi-Touch gestures using one finger or a touch stick with a capacitive tip such as the Touch Input MouthStick, It also supports the use of adaptive input devices, like headsets and switches, the result is an acceptable, although somewhat diminished user experience.   The greatest enhancement and main attraction for new iPhone users is Siri. The industry leader in mobile voice recognition is much more than dictation app. Siri is a mobile personal assistant that makes hands free a whole lot more fun. Siri is only available for iPhone models 4s and 5, so be cautious when shopping for a phone. Due to the limitations of the 3gs, and 4, the chip and the Internet speed can’t handle Siri.   Activating Siri with the Vocalize! Is as simple as saying “Telephone.” Siri automatically recognizes the Vocalize! once it is paired, and will respond whenever you say your keyword. The main drawback is that Siri operates from the mobile data connection so if you are in an area without consistent 3G or 4G service, you may want to disable Siri and go with an app like Vlingo, or just consider a different phone altogether.   Having tested the latest release of Siri using the Vocalize! System for a few days, I have to say I am definitely impressed. The previous version of Siri on iOS 5 was often times clumsy, clunky, inaccurate, and many of the advertised features didn’t work well. In this newest version, you can talk, text, set appointments and play media with ease, you can launch apps, get movie showtimes and theaters, check the weather, even sports scores using Siri. Apple notes that Siri is still in “Beta” with more upgrades and improvements coming. I look forward to seeing how Siri might better work within more apps to give greater device control.   As far as hardware, I have to say that the iPhone 5, is a superb enhancement for existing iPhone users, or other phone enthusiasts meeting iOS for the first time. It’s the lightest iPhone, even though it’s longer and has a bigger screen. I compared it to the newest Moto RAZR, which is a super-lightweight Android model and they are pretty much the same in terms of density. The screen size has been lengthened to 4”, which is closer to the industry standard, but by no means matches some of the other models out there, which are pushing 5” of screen real estate. For me was much appreciated after a year with the 4S screen which although extremely crisp was not big enough to truly enjoy a movie or music video.  With the Cell Phone Mini Mount or Wheelchair Seat frame Mount the iPhone can be securely positioned wherever it is most needed at any given time.

If you are lucky enough to live in an area with 4G LTE this phone will put your home Wi-Fi to shame. My friends who have been riding 4G LTE with their Android phones have been spoiled with lightning fast data, while iPhone owners have been stuck in 3G until now. Anyone making the switch from a previous iOS device will start noticing that staying on LTE versus Wi-Fi might actually produce faster results. The drawback is that most carriers have fairly expensive data rates and limitations (Sprint has Unlimited Data for the iPhone). 4G LTE, in my tests, ran anywhere from 10 to 20Mbps, which is up to twice as fast as my wireless router’s connection at home.

Using your iPhone 5 as a personal hot spot for a laptop or other device produces similar results, so you may want to consider signing up for the Data tethering service with your carrier. I used the LTE connection with my MacBook Air and had no trouble streaming high def video while surfing the net. Overall if you are partial to Apple, the iPhone 5 is worth the upgrade.

For more information about the Apple Products including the MacBook Air, and  iPhone 5 please visit Apple, Inc. at www.apple.com   For more information about Accessible Apple/Mac Friendly Products including the software, mounting and input solutions listed above please visit www.broadenedhorizons.com

Watch and Download Full Movie Life (2017)

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Director : Daniel Espinosa.
Writer : Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick.
Producer : Bonnie Curtis, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Julie Lynn.
Release : March 23, 2017
Country : United States of America.
Production Company : Columbia Pictures, Skydance Productions, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), Nvizage.
Language : 广州话 / 廣州話, English, 日本語.
Runtime : 103 min.
Genre : Horror, Science Fiction, Thriller.

Movie ‘Life’ was released in March 23, 2017 in genre Horror. Daniel Espinosa was directed this movie and starring by Rebecca Ferguson. This movie tell story about The six-member crew of the International Space Station is tasked with studying a sample from Mars that may be the first proof of extra-terrestrial life, which proves more intelligent than ever expected.

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Android Assistive Technology Keyboards and Hardware for Disabled

100% Accessibility to all new Smartphone & Tablet features now available to ANYONE

For someone with greater physical limitations: specifically no arm movement due to quadriplegia, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, ALS, or amputees; a more specialized solution may be required using either advanced software, alternative Bluetooth switch scanning or voice-recognition hardware interfaces, or both. For those with some arm movement see the post Best Android Keyboards for Limited Dexterity (or anyone).  The solutions below can also be paired with many voice control and virtual assistant applications like Siri and Eva.  Read more about Android Hands-Free Voice Control, Voice Recognition, and Dictation.

The good news, EVERYONE can use any advanced smartphone or tablet.  Something I could not say even six months ago, but with Broadened Horizons unique new solutions and development partners, we have changed that!  Now anyone and everyone can have complete access to EVERY AAP including camera, Internet, messaging, e-mail, calendar, music, and anything else you can think of available on and android phone or android tablet.  Many other assistive technology solutions are also available for iPhone and iPad, but often a bit more limited.

[magento pid=’ClickToPhone_Android_Software’]

ClickToPhone – $399 and FREE Trial available on Google Play Marketplace

  • Broadened Horizons is proud and excited to announce complete accessibility for EVERYONE with a free trial available for IMMEDIATE download from Google Play Android Marketplace.
  • Turns your entire phone touchscreen into one large touch sensitive ability switch
  • Provides Mouse-like pointer control using any digital joystick with optional ClickToPhone or Housemate Bluetooth hardware interface

ClickToPhone + Bluetooth Switch Scanning & Joystick Interface provides communications with 100% accessibility to EVERY Application on any Android Phone or Android Tablet $999

  • Uses a single ability switch from the wink of an eye, shrug of a shoulder, puff of air, or even just flexing the tiniest muscle.
  • Joysticks in all shapes and sizes are also available which give you MOUSE-LIKE control over the android phone utilizing Broadened Horizons tiny Micro Chin Joystick & Button that hangs around your neck, to the Medium Digital Joystick with Roughneck Pushbutton for control similar to driving a wheelchair, or the Large Digital Joystick either with integrated Squeeze Switch for those with large gross motor movements or integrated Sip & Puff for mouth control.

Housemate ECU Environmental Control + ClickToPhone provides complete environmental control and communications with 100% accessibility to almost any Android phone or tablet over Bluetooth. $1499

Housemate provides Mobile control from your wheelchair over your entire environment through a learning infrared interface and up to 16 Grid levels of 9 functions each, all easily self-configurable.  Learning infrared means you can control anything with an infrared remote including your TV, Blu-Ray, cable and satellite, DVR, stereo, and many other low cost appliances such as air conditioners and space heaters can be found that include a small infrared remote at Wal-Mart, Costco, Target, Sam’s Club, Frys, Best Buy, or your favorite local retailer.

Most other environmental control systems of this power require a professional to the on-site for two days to a week to program and set up everything.  With Broadened Horizons focus on INDEPENDENCE this also means ease-of-use so you can set up and customize your environment exactly as YOU desire, possibly with the assistance of your friends, family, or personal care attendant.

  • Expansion modules are available from Broadened Horizons for everything from lighting & appliances to doors (front, bedroom, garage), windows, power adjustable beds, elevators and lifts, ceiling fans, fireplaces, thermostat, and much more!
  • Talk to your school or employer about adding low-cost interface modules for power doors, lights, and more so you have accessibility wherever you go
  • Non-Proprietary interoperability with any other manufacturer’s environmental control technology. Interface Kits are available from Broadened Horizons for X10, Insteon, and UPB home automation signal standards giving you backwards compatibility and future proof  access over anything any other company, designer, or manufacture can dream up or make available!

New THE CORE ECU COMPANION from Broadened Horizons includes 6 simple INSTALLATION FREE wireless modules for 95% of people’s needs $1499

Works with Housemate, VoiceIR Environmental Voice Controller, or any other manufacturers ECU Environmental Controller

  • Wireless Assistance Request Chime, Wireless Intercom, or activate a Nurse Call system
  • Wireless control over a Light or lamp that plugs into a wall outlet
  • Wireless control over a fan or any other appliance that plugs into a wall outlet
  • Speakerphone with name and digit voice dialing, hands-free and eyes free dictation from bed of text messages, e-mail, Facebook & Twitter updates, checking the weather, & more while lying in bed
  • Wireless control over any power door opener to let someone in or yourself out
  • Emergency Dialer – calls 1-9 preprogrammed numbers and plays emergency message.  Compared to similar services like Lifeline, there are no monthly charges and their uniquely person receiving emergency message can remotely activate speakerphone through their phone keypad to verify what is wrong, tell the person how long it will be to reach them, pass call to next person thank you, or deactivate emergency if it was a false alarm.
  • Optional: Wirelessly activate your mobile cell phone’s voice control through a hands-free Bluetooth speakerphone

Vocalize Wheelchair Bluetooth Cell Phone Voice Control System provides complete hands-free & eyes-free voice control over any Bluetooth Mobile Cell Phone

  • Listens for your “Telephone” keyword through all background noise throughout your day (or any keyword you choose)
  • Say “End Call” to terminate the call when finished.
  • Built-In Voice Dialing Library supports all speakers of any language including those with slurred speech or speech impediments
  • Can activate advanced voice dialing apps and virtual personal assistants including iPhone Siri and Android Eva, Jeannie, Vlingo, Dragon Go, and many more) built into today’s new smarter phones (see post: Android Hands-Free Voice Control, Voice Recognition, and Dictation)
  • Dictate text messages & e-mails and have them read back to you
  • Schedule an appointment or reminder and have them read back to you
  • Listen to music or an audiobook
  • Check the weather, traffic congestion, get GPS navigation or driving directions, and much more
  • Search the web for any question you may think of and have results read back to you
  • Check the battery and signal level, start up other apps
  • Read an e-book with Moon+ Reader Pro $4.99 (need to test) (new Kindle Fire 3 Voice Actions being tested)
  • Need to Explore Dolphin Bowser new “Sonar”voice activated browsing feature

Communicator Switch Enabled Bluetooth Speakerphone provides a simple ability switch interface to activate voice dialing & controls built into your Mobile cell phone

  • Hands-free and eyes free, no need to hold, touch, or see the phone
  • Stylishly looks similar to a Star Trek communicator
  • Ability Switch Enabled and/or entire top surface is a giant button with large volume dial for limited dexterity
  • See Vocalize post above for details of voice control possibilities

Android Hands-Free Voice Control, Voice Recognition, and Dictation Recommendations

Overall Recommendations

  1. Siri on iOS 6.0 – finally works great completely hands free with Bluetooth devices like Vocalize.  The huge difference is the addition of confirmations. So finally I can recommend [Updated 10-15-12]
  2. Text by Voice – Sonalight – Free
    1. Text by Voice allows you to Name Dial and text ENTIRELY THROUGH VOICE! It is easy to learn. There’s no need to touch or look at the screen at all. Text by Voice will OPTIONALLY  read incoming text messages aloud and give you a chance to respond by voice or set auto responder to reply if you are unable. Text by Voice can start automatically with Bluetooth, when phone is plugged in, or when you start driving more than 10 mph, and make calls hands-free. It runs in the background so you can use other apps at the same time.
    2. IMPORTANT TIPS to use Text by Voice with VOCALIZE:
      1. ACTIVATE the Bluetooth microphone and ‘Text by Voice’ Key Phrase.
      2. SAY “Telephone” and Vocalize will ‘turn on’ Text by Voice.
      3. SAY “Text by Voice” key phrase to activate microphone (like ‘Wake-up’ in Dragon). You are prompted “Who do you want to Text?”
      4. SAY “[Contact Name]” or “Call [Contact Name]”
      5. SAY “End Call” and Vocalize will Terminate an active call.
      6. IMPORTANT: When Finished texting and calling say “Turn Off” to close Bluetooth channel and stop listening for ‘Text by Voice’ key phrase or you will experience frequent false positives. Later say telephone again and Vocalize will reopen Bluetooth channel.
    3. To use Text by Voice or any app secondary to another primary voice dialing app that supports opening other apps say “Open Text by Voice” within the 1st app.
  3. Voice Control (Full) – Luka Kama – $1.99 or FREE Test (English & Italian)
    1. Easier to configure than EVA/AVX with more features than Text By Voice but slightly slow interaction.  Free test has numerous limitations. Take a few minutes to learn it is timing nuances.  Tip: pause for 2 seconds after prompt before saying “yes” to confirmations.  Uses Google Voice Search recognition engine by default but can also use other recognition engines. Complete control without looking at or tapping the screen! Start calls to contacts and numbers, send messages, play music, handle lost calls, unread messages and more only with your voice.
    2. The available voice actions and commands are:
      1. – Call a contact
      2. – Compose a number
      3. – Send a message to a contact
      4. – Listen to a song, a playlist, an album or all songs from an artist (supports local phone media, and listen to a playlist, an album and to all songs from an artist works and has been tested only with Google Music Player, PowerAMP, Music PlayerPro and Winamp)
      5. – Manage lost calls
      6. – Manage unread messages
      7. – Start Navigation to a destination (works only with Google Navigator)
      8. – Stop the navigator (may not work with all Phones’ ver of Google Navigator)
      9. – Start an application
      10. – Add an event to calendar (only for Italian, English, French, German and Spanish, working in progress for Russian)
      11. – Add an alarm to the phone (only for Italian, English, French, German and Spanish, working in progress for Russian)
      12. – Help action do ask what can be said
      13. – Action to know current date and time
      14. – Execute tasks defined in Tasker application
  4. Android Voice Xtreme (AVX) $19.95
    Free 30 day trial with Eva Intern Virtual Assistant – Full Manual

    1. Most Powerful with Most Features but also most complicated with almost every aspect configurable. 28 Day FREE TrialLike Siri but with much more functionality,  configurability, and corresponding complexity. Even Environmental Control with Insteon and X10 the for lights, Broadened Horizons X10 ECU Bed Controller all by voice through your Vocalize Wheelchair Bluetooth Cell Phone Voice Control System.
    2. 50 Features Demo Video on Samsung Galaxy S3 AVX features a new much more functional user interface compared to the following Eva or Evan (read below), but they all share the same code and voice command functionality. Check out all the videos at BulletProof.com and YouTube Location and time-based actions, location-based reminders, and custom voice shortcuts to any application.  Does everything Vlingo, Speaktoit, Jeannie, and Iris can do but much more. Uninstall free version before installing full version, settings will be retained. Bulletproof developer has best responsiveness of almost any voice control app which makes all the difference! Check out this excellent review: “Eva. She is a Siri-like personal assistant that has been a Godsend. There are so many features that it almost seems limitless. The dev (Bulletproof) has Eva, Evan and now Android Voice Xtreme (AVX). The only difference between Eva and Evan is the “gender” and AVX has a unique UI to the other 2 but they all have the same features. If the dev wasnt so proactive and responsive, this would not be the app it is today. Its a bit pricey compaired to most but I couldn’t run my business as effectively without it. (Plus he gives u free version to try for 28 days) I’m actually considering paying for AVX because I like the UI a little better.”
—————VOICE APPS BY TYPE————————————————-

Voice Apps Preinstalled Standard on most Android Phones

  • Google Voice Dialer – works well but lacks confirmations which can be frustrating if it calls the wrong person
  • Google Voice Search with Voice Actions – details & video 
    Search the web and your phone by voice and control your phone with Voice Actions. Quickly search your phone, the web, and nearby locations by speaking, instead of typing. Call your contacts, get directions, and control your phone with Voice Actions. Note: Voice Actions is only available in US English for now.
    — To initiate Voice Search from Bluetooth device like Vocalize you must install: Ear Buddy (Android 2.2 only, removed from Google Play)
  • Google Now is more oriented to providing information then witty responses.  It looks like it will be available in Android 4.1 JellyBean embedded in Google Search
  • S-Voice on Samsung Galaxy SIII is reported to have many difficulties and poor performance when used with Bluetooth headsets and especially Bluetooth car kits.  Consequently this phone is not recommended with Broadened Horizons Vocalize Power Wheelchair Bluetooth Cell Phone Voice Control System, unless an alternative voice dialing app can be installed

Siri-like Personal Assistants with Artificial Intelligence

Google Now is more oriented to providing information then witty responses.  It looks like it will be available in Android 4.1 JellyBean embedded in Google Voice Search. Speaker independent voice dialing, dictate text and e-mail messages, start apps and listen to music by voice, search the web, add appointment calendar, set reminders, or just get the weather, and much much more. With the following apps, quite arguably there are more options and capabilities on Android, but Apple is really good at simplifying and marketing. [UPDATE 09-24-12 : Siri on iOS 6 update works quite well hands-free.] Head To Head: Siri Vs. Google Voice Actions  Read more Siri does (and uses Google) and compare. [Updated 10-15-12] Siri finally works great completely hands free with Bluetooth devices like Vocalize.  The huge difference is the addition of confirmations. So finally I can recommend Siri.

  • RECOMMENDED Android Voice Xtreme (AVX) $19.95 or 28 day trial or similar Eva or Evan Personal Assistant – Bulletproof – $9.99 (Free 30 day trial with Eva Intern Virtual AssistantFull Manual
    See full description at the top of this post
  • Voice Control (Full) – Luka Kama – $1.99 or FREE Test (English & Italian) Impressive list of features but slightly slow interaction.  Free test has numerous limitations. Take a few minutes to learn it is timing nuances.  Tip: pause for 2 seconds after prompt before saying “yes” to confirmations. See full description at the top of this post
  • Assistant – Speaktoit – Free
    Much improved User Interface. Works good activated by bluetooth but audio remains in the phone.  Negative: at various times it may prompt you to touch the screen such as if it does not understand a contact and pulls up a list of possible contact matches. Compare to Apple Siri, Nuance, Dragon Go, Vlingo, Evi, Voice Actions, Voice Search, Wolfram Alpha, Iris, IBM Watson and other voice control applications.
  • Skyvi (Siri for Android) – BlueTornado – Free for limited time
    Works pretty well but requires tapping on the screen to configure a contact the first time calling or texting that contact
  • Jeannie – Pannous – Free
    Control your phone through speech recognition with the aid of your personal assistant
  • Voice Actions Plus – Pannous – $3.99
    Almost identical to Jeannie with a few extra features, better recognition, and no ads
  • Siri-ous Voice Assisstant – I-Free Innovations
  • Vlingo Virtual Assistant – enable option to begin listening when opened
    – Also known as: Voice Command powered by Vlingo AND Samsung Voice Talk powered by Vlingo
    The original. Good voice recognition engine. Much improved user interface over the past. Wake up key word powered by Sensory works in a quiet environment but quickly drains batteries. Now actually allowing a person to send a text by voice only with Vocalize, but if it misunderstands the person’s name it will throw up a selection box of possible contacts where you must On the screen.
  • AIVC Pro $2.59 or Free – Artificial Intelligent Voice Control –  YourApp24
    Works great with touchscreen, quircky via Bluetooth. No Call confirmations by voice. Powerful custom name aliases and custom commands.  Alice personal assistant helps you Call, SMS, Email, Translation, Navigation, Alarm, Timer, App Launcher, Calculator, Facebook, Websearch, Weather, Search images.. and many many more. Additional to the lite version: Calendar, Play Music / Videos and Receiver Control for Enigma2.
  • Andy – Siri for Android (Free) – 74 Technologies – Free or $.99
  • Dragon Go – Nuance – Free
    Limited features, no voice dialing.  Appears to be more of an experiment more than a functional app.
  • Iris.(Alpha) – Dexetra – Free
    iris makes your phone talk on topics ranging from Mozart to stock prices. Something that started out as a tongue-in-cheek reply to iPhone’s Siri, iris. has grown much bigger than being just a Siri clone.

Dictate Text Messages Completely Hands & Eyes Free

  • Text by Voice – Sonalight – Free
    Text by Voice allows you to Name Dial and text ENTIRELY THROUGH VOICE! It is easy to learn. There’s no need to touch or look at the screen at all. Text by Voice will OPTIONALLY  read incoming text messages aloud and give you a chance to respond by voice or set auto responder to reply if you are unable. Text by Voice can start automatically with Bluetooth, when phone is plugged in, or when you start driving more than 10 mph, and make calls hands-free. It runs in the background so you can use other apps at the same time.
    IMPORTANT TIPS to use Text by Voice with VOCALIZE:
  1. ACTIVATE the Bluetooth microphone and ‘Text by Voice’ Key Phrase.
  2. SAY “Telephone” and Vocalize will ‘turn on’ Text by Voice.
  3. SAY “Text by Voice” key phrase to activate microphone (like ‘Wake-up’ in Dragon). You are prompted “Who do you want to Text?”
  4. SAY “[Contact Name]” or “Call [Contact Name]”
  5. SAY “End Call” and Vocalize will Terminate an active call.
  6. IMPORTANT: When Finished texting and calling say “Turn Off” to close Bluetooth channel and stop listening for ‘Text by Voice’ key phrase or you will experience frequent false positives. Later say telephone again and Vocalize will reopen Bluetooth channel.

 To use Text by Voice or any app secondary to another primary voice dialing app that supports opening other apps say “Open Text by Voice” within the 1st app.

  • Write SMS by voice by 2ETeam FREE or Pro $2.49
    – edit your voice SMS
    – write SMS from a few voice requests
    – choose a contact by voice
    – write a phone numbers by voice
    – reply on new sms
    – send message using different apps (e-mail, facebook, bluetooth etc.)
    – very quick and useful
    – colorful design
    – select language of recognition
    – Localized to: English, Russian, German, Polish, French, Spanish, Italian
  • StartTalking by AdelaVoice FREE
    100% eyes- and hands-free text messaging, name dialing, magic keyword, and more
  • JARVIS – Text ‘n Drive Robot – Paul DeMarco – Free
    Light conversational, extremely battery efficient, only runs when a text is received and closes immediately after session. Cancel command.
  • Text’ n Drive Pro or FREE – Hands-Free Software – $10.01
    ✔ Reads emails and SMS out loud
    ✔ Text-to-speech technology
    ✔ No typing required
    ✔ Tested on Gmail, Me, Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL & compatible with most mail providers
    ✔ Works with any hands-free devices such as speakerphones, Bluetooth headsets or built-in car systems. (Android 2.2+)
    ✔ Pro version: Reply with your voice, reads 10 times more words, multiple email accounts and much more… Buy it today 50% OFF
    One of the 30 Best iPhone Apps according to TechCrunch!
  • My Motospeak – Motorola Mobility, Inc – Free
    Free app lets you hear incoming messages, speak outgoing texts, and use voice dial without ever touching your phone.  Access restricted to use with Motorola devices
  • FlexT9 Speed-Trace-Write-Tap Text Input – Nuance – Free
    Uses Dragon voice recognition engine. Unified keyboard to Dictate, Tap, Swipe, or Write

Voice Dialing Alternatives

  • Voice Control Pro $2.99 or Free Voice Control without internet – K&J Software
    Most voice apps on android market require data connection, this app installs a light-weight speech recognizer on your phone, so it can run locally WITHOUT internet data connection for those with voice-only plan. You can make your own speech commands to start an app, call a friend or browse a website. Speech commands can be defined by phonetic alphabets, so it literally supports any language or utterance including people with speech impediments and slurred speech.
  • Choice Dialer Plus: CD+- Resounding, LLC – $5 or Free Trial
    FOR ANDROID 2.X ONLY AND WILL NOT BE UPDATED TO 4.X. A hands-free replacement for Android’s Voice Dialer, with interactive verbal confirmations, making it better for complete hands-free use. Does not need a data connection (except for dictating texts and emails) and has many configurable options.
  • Voice Speed Dial – Cyberon Corp. – $2.99
    Speaker dependant ‘Voice Tag’ dialing for non-English speakers and slurred speech or speech impediments. Record yourself saying the name of each person in your own voice. It’s quick, easy, and allows the app to recognize virtually any voice (there is no language barrier).
  • Smart Voice Dialer 3 – Trial – Arnauld Lescasse
    1 customer reportedly liked. Simple Voice Dialing with Confirmations without extra complexities. Best for users with shorter list of contact names.  Only say the name, do not say “call” first.  Name dialing only, no digit dialing other features.  Limitation: if it mis understands you it will suggest a Google search which could require tapping screen leaving some users without ability to tap screen stuck.
  • Voice-Confirming Dialer Trial – Pwn with your Phone
    Not testedfully – will not run on 4.0 on Samsung Galaxy SII.  Does support bluetooth.
  • Voice Caller FREE with Ads or Ad FREE – SngNet
    Simple and effective. No Bluetooth support, must tap screen or wired headset.  Create custom Voice Dialing library with shortened typed nicknames
  • VoicePOD (Android 2.0 up) – MOBk – $1.99
    Voice Commands for Android 2.0 and 2.1 with wired headset. (Only entering 2.2 & later supports voice commands over Bluetooth)
  • Cyberon Voice Commander (US) – $5.99
    For Android 2.x. Provides call confirmation but light on other features. Speaker independent English using Cyberon voice recognition engine
  • Voice Dialer Plus – AMS Solutions Corp. – Free
    When activated by Bluetooth device still requires tapping are on screen to begin listening. Looks like it just uses Google Voice Actions in background, requires tapping “send” button to send dictating text messages so not recommended with Vocalize. Place calls, send text messages, update Facebook and Twitter, and perform web searches in the following languages:
    • Arabic (MSA) • Dutch • Portuguese • Russian • Turkish • Swedish • Indonesian Bahasa
  • SmartVoice9

Other Voice Control Apps

  • Reminder – Pannous – Free
    Set up alarms, events and reminders by speech
  • Write SMS by Voice Lite – requires tapping the screen and does not work very well
  • Voice Link – requires tapping on the screen – no hands-free Bluetooth device support but otherwise seems to work well
  • Talk to Eve – artificial intelligence demo just for fun

Other Recommended Apps

Remote Control Android Phone from Your PC

Most of these apps require the phone to be rooted, if you find one that works well without being rooted please let me know!?

  • Kies Air – Samsung – Free – An EXTREMELY cool MUST HAVE browser based Phone Manager.
  • Edit contacts using your computer keyboard or voice recognition software such as Dragon NaturallySpeaking.  Very nice for those trying to clean up and manage contacts, it even displays which address book a contact is stored in: Google account online or local phone.
  • View, upload, & download photos, music, files, and much much more!
  • Preinstalled on Sprint Samsung Galaxy II.  I hate all of Sprint’s bloatware (sorry NASCAR fans) but this app is a win for Samsung!
  • Remote Web Desktop – SmartDog Studio – Free
    Lots of functionality, remote control, remote mouse & keyboard requires rooted phone
  • Remote Control Add-on – SmartDog Studio – Free
  • Remote My Droid (Lite) – Boby Ertanto – Free
    Control your android from any web browser
  • Droid VNC Server Beta – José Pereira – Free
    Requires rooted phone.  Manual.

Use your Android Phone as a Wireless Touchpad

Remote control any PC wirelessly over Bluetooth or WiFi

Related Articles

Best Android Keyboards for Limited Dexterity (or anyone)

Android Assistive Technology Keyboards & Bluetooth Hardware for Disabled 

http://www.cnet.com/8301-17918_1-57464265-85/new-google-voice-search-siri-are-closely-matched-hands-on/

Mark’s New Samsung Galaxy II Epic Android Phone from Sprint

I just got the new Samsung Galaxy II Epic from Sprint about a week ago.  Time to test and review the latest voice control apps for Android (see next post).  I thought I would share some of my thoughts since I am often asked what I use.

My primary motivation was better speakerphone quality, other than that the Sprint Evo 4G was great.  I got the Evo 4G when it first came out with all the hype -it was my first android phone. It offered many new voice control capabilities such as dictating text that was impossible on my old, trustee T-Mobile MDA running Microsoft’s Voice Commands. [which is/was still the best non-data network-based voice recognition software, but dictating text messages was far from an option.  My favorite feature about that old phone was I did not have to constantly push the power button to wake it up as you do with all of the new smart phones, just a simple tap on the screen.]

However, family and friends always complained they could not understand me on the Evo 4G Speakerphone.  Obviously a key feature for any phone is the ability to talk, even over all the bells and whistles.  So when I went to get a new phone I lined up the different models and made numerous phone calls in real-world noisy environments of the Sprint store with the phone lying down in my lap on my comfort coat, focusing on real-world situations.  The newest Evo greatly improved on the speakerphone but the Samsung Galaxy II Epic provided both phenomenal speakerphone and the largest touchscreen.  The phone I tried in the store also had a phenomenal on-screen keyboard with bigger buttons that was easier for me to type but now I discovered this keyboard was not standard but something aSprint employee had added and now I cannot find it!

I also discovered Samsung included “Voice Talk, their own branded version of Vlingo Voice Command.

Before I received the phone, I immediately ordered an extended life battery from eBay, but was very pleasantly surprised to find the phone actually lasts a whole day on the original battery even with 4G enabled!  EXCELLENT work Samsung!

Why Android and not iPhone?

Android voice-recognition simply works better for dictation of text into any text box... and for me with limited dexterity this is the most important outside of speakerphone quality. (See my next post for Android apps that allow complete dictation of text messages completely hands-free using vocalize.)  iPhone 4S Siri is hyped up because it is a “fun virtual assistant” but there are many similar apps on Android (see the next post about Eva).  That said Jay used Android Evo 4G same as I came out, and now has an iPhone 4S. He will be writing a post about the iPhone platform soon. Either way, our Vocalize Wheelchair Bluetooth Cell Phone Voice Control System supports both of these 2 world’s most popular platforms: Android & iPhone.

Probably the ultimate decision between Android and iPhone simply comes down to personal preference.  May the competition stay ferocious pushing ever greater improvements and options!