If apps ceased working today, many people would not know how to function in daily life. Nearly everyone relies on apps, everyday. Although it might seem counter-intuitive, even blind people use apps on iPhones, and Android devices. Here are 10 of the best apps for the blind, and how they are improving the quality of life for people who cannot see.
Georgie, the first app on this list, allows the blind to do everyday tasks, such as reading ingredient lists on a label with OCR, or allowing for users to tag certain places where dangerous steps are. Even people who are “legally blind,” but can still see with glasses or contacts, might appreciate this software. Georgie is available on Android devices.
WalkyTalky, made by the Eyes-Free Project, allows people to get around the place they live. The app acts as a walking GPS, but with features such as a vibration if the user gets lost, and advanced navigational aids that are specifically designed for the blind. This is an Andoid app.
IDEAL Acessible K9 EMail
IDEAL Accessible K9 E-Mail is another great android app for the blind, which makes email more accessible by using screen-reading technology. Perhaps the most unique thing about K9, though, is its deep integration with the default android mail client, allowing for seamless use in the existing android system. This app can actually be used by anyone, whether they are blind, wear glasses or have 20/20 vision, who wants to have email read aloud.
BrailleType is a truly amazing android app that is still in beta, but freely downloadable. This app allows those people familiar with braille to “type” with it in a way. By positioning their fingers in the patterns of the Braille alphabet on a multi touch screen, blind people can type.
If you have an iPhone instead, the first app you should be aware of is more of a directory. Called “Visually Impaired Apps,” or ViA, this app, built by the Braille Institute contains a list of many different apps. All of these apps are for people who are either blind or visually impaired to the point where they must wear extremely powerful glasses or some other type of eyewear.
A fantastic app on iPhone for the blind is LookTel Recognizer. This app helps people who have either poor vision or no vision to identify mundane everyday objects, which is particularly useful for items that cannot be differentiated by touch, such as different flavors of the same basic item.
Another great recognizing app made by LookTel is their MoneyReader, which can tell you the exact value of any U.S. bill. This is invaluable if you decide to pay for things with cash, as there is no way to figure out what denomination it is otherwise. This is also made for the iPhone.
Digit Eyes Audio Labeler
If you don’t trust either computers or people, the Digit Eyes Audio Labeler app is always a choice. This app can assign your own recorded works to coded stickers, which you can place on items around your home or office.
Being blind requires heavy use of a city’s public transportation system, and to this effect, there is an app called HopStop. HopStop takes any destination and routes you through public transport to get you there.
SayText uses the iPhone’s camera to scan any image. It then can read the text in this image. This is extremely useful for reading a restaurant’s menu or government form.