Talking Tech - Vision Australia Radio
Talking Tech 22nd September 2020

Talking Tech 22nd September 2020

September 22, 2020

New Upcoming Webinar From Me: Exploring Technology From The Good Guys


I will be going through some of the devices you can access via Vision Australia from the Good Guys, most of which I use myself


Date and Time is September 30 12:30PM Sydney time.


To register use the following link:


The Apple Keynote - New Apple Watch’s, iPads,Services, and iOS 14 and Watch OS 7 Released


A fantastic Apple Keynote last week, an hour long, and completely Audio Described.

You can still watch the Apple Event on:


For more info on the new Apple Watch S6, Apple Watch SE, iPad 8th Generation,  iPad Air, Apple 1, and Apple Fitness Plus, and iOS 14, check them all out on the Apple Aussie website at:


Quite a few new bands, including the Solo and Braided Solo bands which are one long rubber band which you have to size correctly as you just slip it on and if you have measured it correctly with Apple’s Guide it will fit snuggly.


iOS 14 and Watch OS 7 Some Major features which I think Are Fantastic



App Library.

Pin conversations in Messages..

Send An Audio message via Siri.

1 finger Double or Triple Back tap.

VoiceOver Recognition.


Watch os 7


Sleep app.

Braille support for VoiceOver.

Change VoiceOver languages on the fly.


Apple TV was also updated to iOS 14, as well as the iPod touch 7th generation.


I’ve noticed a bit of instability in iOS 14 in some iOS apps, and on the Watch OS 7 side, Taptic time is not that reliable to use, and some folks have reported issues using it with a Braille Display.

If your happy with iOS 13 and Watch OS 6, perhaps see how things unfold over the next several weeks.

Talking Tech 15th September 2020

Talking Tech 15th September 2020

September 15, 2020

Quick Note About the Apple Event (Aussie Time 3AM on the 16th of September)


As scheduling goes, Talking Tech will miss the Apple Event here in Australia, so rather than speculating, we’ll do a full update in next weeks show.


In the meantime, you can check out:


As always for a comprehensive update of the Apple Event.


If you follow podcasts, check out the Tech Doctor Blog and Podcast, MacBreak Weekly, and others.


Apple itself usually puts out a podcast of the event on their own podcast feed as well.


Newcastle Tech Friday for September 11 2020


In this Newcastle Talking Tech, myself and others, chatted about our favorite tech items.

Eg Sangean Accessible Radio, Sunu Band/Aftershokz, and the still excellent $20,00 deal for the 

Amazon Echo 2 which is still a great smart speaker - all available from the Vision Store:


https://shop.visionaustralia.orgfrom the Vision Store.


If you want to get hold of the Sleep Phones within Australia you can go to Sleep Solutions in Manly Sydney:


Here is the link to listen to the full Newcastle Tech Friday workshop - Tech Gadgets Galore:


3 Items That I Am Still Looking forward to looking at In the Future:

Oura Ring, Amazon Loop (ring), and the Amazon Halo (band)


all of which will hopefully come to Australia hopefully early 2021, I’m interested in the rings for tracking sleep, and not having to use a band which I’ve never really been comfortable with.


Oura Ring


Amazon Echo Loop (Ring)


Amazon Halo Band


How To turn Off Amazon Echo’s Creepy (smile) Whisper Mode


Actually, if you whisper Amazon Echo will whisper back or if you speak normally it will speak back normally, so really no fuss smile.


Revisiting Bindi Maps, They Have been Up To a Lot


Android version now available. Melbourne Sports Ground, National Library in Canberra, and St Vincents Hospital in Sydney all Bindi Mapped.


New FCC Filing in the US Points to New Bose Frames Glasses


Good news for this Bose Frames line of Sun Glasses, of course, this is without the Audio 3D which was shut down as a project by Bose in June this year 2020.


A General Good Thing to Get for your NBN Modem


I’m sure other ISP providers do this besides the one that I used which is Telstra, and that is a 4G backup SIMM card in the modem, so that if the wired NBN line goes down, the modem automatically switch’s to the backup mobile 4G SIMM card and keeps you on line, very slow, but better than nothing, especially if you have a smart home like me.


See you next week for the Apple Event discussion on Talking Tech.

Talking Tech 8th September 2020

Talking Tech 8th September 2020

September 8, 2020

Not Tech Related, But What I Got for Fathers Day


Ok this is going to sound odd, but I got a fairy village to hide in my garden made out of little concrete figures: 6 little cottages, a fairy on a leaf, 3 fairy doors to put besides the trunk of a tree, and a gargoyle to guard the village.

I’ve been gradually getting these types of items from my garden over the last year or so from an artist who lives on the Central Coast here in NSW, and thought I’d would share my recent purchases.  I love these cottages as each one is slightly different with the way the roof is done, placement of chimneys, doors, and windows.



There is a link to Cherry’s website below, unfortunately it is mainly jpg files but her contact details are at the bottom of the page.

PS so far I have a Chinese Dragon who is in one of the garden beds, a few fish around my water fountain, a few other figurines hiding in the hedge, and now this fairy village, just like having tactile things in my garden.


I Now Have My Orbit Writer (portable and light Braille input keyboard)


Oddly, my Orbit Writer turned up just after I finished the show last week.  Having a week or so to play with it, here is my first demo podcast of the Orbit Writer for you to to have a listen.

I really think this is a fantastic product, and hoping over the next month or so it should be being sold via Vision Store.


My Thoughts About the iPad Pro and Smart Keyboard with Trackpad


For low vision folks, the trackpad is excellent.  For folks who are  blind, you get a really solid keyboard to type on, you can angle the iPad perfectly for video meetings, very light, and my big thing about using the iPad, you can Command+Tab between apps like you can do on a Mac or Windows PC.


And here is my podcast about the iPad Pro.


How Easy it is to Transfer Music from Your iOS device to the HomePod


Simply hold your iOS device next to your HomePod, and the music you are listening to is transferred.


How to Adjust the Haptic Time Speed on Your Apple Watch - 


This can be done either In Accessibility settings on the watch itself or via the Apple Watch app.  You can adjust the speed between 0 very very slow or 100 percent which is quite fast.


Here is my podcast.


Another USE for My Apple Watch - Unlocking My Mac


Not sure if folks remember, but you can unlock your Mac with the Apple Watch when you are waring it and it is unlocked.

Have a look in System Preferences, Security and Privacy.


Still a Good Reminder - How to Get the Best Sound and Mic experience with Using Zoom


Some handy tips in this article about using Zoom audio features.

Talking Tech 1st September 2020

Talking Tech 1st September 2020

September 1, 2020

Stephen, David, and Hamish Mackenzie Discuss the Orbit writer


Both Hamish and Stephen have had their respective Orbit Writers for a few days, and discuss how they have found the experience.

David’s Orbit Writer is coming very soon, having landed in Sydney last week.


Tip/Warning about JAWS, Zoomtext, Fusion, and Openbook


A catch if you are  not aware, JAWS, Zoomtext, Fusion or   OpenBook (advised by Quantum RLV) will not work on ARM Processors as found in the Surface Pro X from Microsoft.…


Back to the Future - How Far has Digital Access Come


I’m participating in this webinar on September 17 to talk about how far digital access has really come.  Use the following link to register.


iOS 14 Compatibility List


Excellent resource to see if your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad will take iOS 14.

Good news is it is the same as iOS 13 with the addition of the iPhone SE 2020.


Watch OS 7 Compatibility List - Which Apple Watch’s Will Support OS 7


With the official release of watch OS 7 creeping up, this is a timely article to check if your Apple Watch is compatible or not.

Short answer is, S3 and above which is great news.

Talking Tech 25th August 2020

Talking Tech 25th August 2020

August 25, 2020

Orbit Writer Update


We spoke about the orbit  Writer a few weeks ago, my ordered unit is still sitting in the US waiting to be shipped, so when it gets here we will talk about it.  However, Hamish (smile) may be getting his earlier than me, so we may have him on the program again soon.


Speaking of orders being delayed, just reminding folks that this also apply’s to orders from the Vision Australia Vision Store even within Australia.


We have also been advised, that Apple orders from the Va Store are also running at a 4 to 6 week delay due to supply constraints as well.


Sunu Band and Aftershokz Deal still available 


For $300 you can still pick up the Sunu Band and Aftershokz.

I still find the Sunu Band is great for social distancing when I’m out and about in public, particularly when shopping.

When coupled to my iPhone with the Sunu Band app, the Aftershokz still let me listen to my environment.


A Reminder on Two Products from Quantum RLV


I noticed the other day that some folks weren’t aware that Quantum RLV has the Inside One Windows 10 Braille tablet, and the Canute 360 multi line Braille E-Reader.




 Aira updates: City rail, and change to 5 Minute free access minutes.


Just a correction to last week show about Aira on Sydney City Rail, its all Sydney transport - train, light rail, bus, and ferry.


Aira has also changed its 5 minute free access time limit, 5 minutes every 4 hours for subscribers and 5 minutes every 24 hours for guests. 

see this Blind Bargains post.


cSUN 2021: going virtual.


This is great for people that can’t afford to get to the US for the CSUN Conference.  I still find it odd that in this day and age, it took a world wide crisis for people to realise that you could run events virtually as well.


Untold RPG Text Adventure with VoiceOver support:


Excellent Text Adventure RPG.  Play the text based adventure for free up to a point, and then pay if you wish to continue.


New Ballyland Magic Plus app to Teach VoiceOver Gestures


Update to the original Ballyland Magic app with more gestures and better visuals.


Apple renames Beats 1 to Apple 1


So if you are looking for Beats 1 within the iOs Music app, it is now called Apple 1.

Talking Tech 18th August 2020

Talking Tech 18th August 2020

August 18, 2020

PS4 Console and game (Last of Us 2) initial Notes


Buying the PS4 in Australia results in no Text To Speech being available even if you set Region/Language to the US.  Very disappointing.


As no Text To Speech at all on the PS4, unable to setup the console independently, had to get sighted assistance.


Installing the Last of Us 2, as no Text To Speech, had to get sighted assistance.


Enabling Text To Speech for Last of Us 2, required sighted assistance.  However, once on, could access Options menu.


As a large number of Audio Queues within Last of Us 2, getting used to playing the game with the controller, moving around etc.  However, started to feel comfortable with the game after a few hours.


Disappointed that within the game, there is no actual description of your environment: eg in a shop, warehouse, first etc, you  just seem to follow a line where you through Audio Queues fight monsters, move, get items etc.  Still, not bad at all smile.


The day after everything was setup, no sighted folks around, and accidentally exited the game.  As No Text To Speech, had to wait for folks to come home sigh.  Yes, I could have used Be My Eyes, but that wasn’t the point.  Now will have to learn a “flying Blind Way” of getting back from the Home screen of the PS4 back in to the game where I do have Text To Speech.


Besides the very disappointing lack of accessibility in Australia to the PS4 Console (yes there are blind folks who do live outside of the US), I am enjoying myself playing Last of Us 2.


Is it worth just getting a PS4 for one Accessible Game, probably not.


Sounds of Eden


A great 3D Audio Meditation game for iOS, Android, PC and Mac where you scroll around a 3D Audio garden, choose your spot to relax, and just listen.


Forum discussion from Applevis (contains link to iOs game). Tip


If you have an account on, remember you can join up and get notified about Daily Deals which are usually about $3.00 on a wide range of audio books, I’ve picked up a number of great treasures in the last few months.


Samsung Event a Few Weeks ago with Updates to a Number of Products


Samsung Note, Tab, Galaxy Watch, Galaxy Buds, and Fold -  some available for pre-order in Australia.




Aira Promo Sites in Sydney


Aira Promo Sites for Sydney Circle - check out the promo sites on either iOS or Android.

Talking Tech 11th August 2020

Talking Tech 11th August 2020

August 11, 2020

OpenPay Now Available at the Vision Australia Vision Store


This is where you can pay off an item over $1000 from the Vision Store over a period of time.

For more info, please contact the Vision Store on 1300 847 466 or


Mosen At Large Episode 54 - A Review of Podcast Hosting Services


A good chat about podcast hosting services, including podbean smile.

A great way to get your voice out there.


Apple Watch OS Beta 4 - VoiceOver Not Working


Whilst I understand that this is beta software, I think it is somewhat inexcusable for Apple to release beta software where it is known that VoiceOver is broken (as explained in the beta release notes).

There would have been no way I’m assuming if the Apple Watch face wasn’t working visually, that Apple would have released beta 4, so if it is not ok for sighted folks, why is it ok for people who are blind.


How do You Use Face ID When Waring a Mask


In short you can’t really.  An update to iOS 13 allowed FaceID to detect that a mask was being used a promptly bring up the password pin code screen to unlock your iPhone.

This is where I wish Apple would have had both Face ID and Touch ID in the same phone, I don’t have this issue as I use my iPhone SE 2020 when out and about with Touch ID.


Why I like my Mac/Apple Products So Much


Last week I published a podcast on my iSee feed about why I like using my Mac/Apple stuff so much, here are the main points from that podcast (link to the podcast follows):


Hardly any support/re-installation issues,.

MacBook Chimes when plugged in to power.

Apple Watch, Touch ID or keyboard to login in to Mac.



Universal copy between Mac/iOS.

iCloud/documents in the Cloud.

Spell check where ever you are typing.

Easy switching by shortcut keys between main folders in Finder - Applications, Home, Documents, Utilities, and Downloads.

Talking System Clock for Hour or  Quarter, Half and 3 Quarter hour.

Talking System Messages.

Talking selected text keyboard shortcut.


Easily switch system sound output via adding  Volume Menu to Status Menu.

The option to Play Sound when adjusting the volume just makes life that bit easier for setting the volume at the wright level.

No getting stuck if someone mutes the volume on the Mac, shortcut key to switch it back on.

Switch easily with my AirPods from Mac, iPhone or Apple Watch.

Siri/Type to Siri also available.

Common apps Mac/iOS - Books, FaceTime, Find My, Home, Mail, Maps, Messages, Music, News, Notes, Podcasts, Reminders, Safari, TV, and Voice Memos.

Then we also have Garage Band, Swift Playgrounds, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote that you can also install.

Add to Music )previously iTunes) As a Spoken Track.

Make/receive phone calls via iPhone with FaceTime.

Preview to easily listen to contents of audio files.

Safari Reader mode.

TV/Audio Descriptions.

Still love being Abel to play chess with the computer and myself which is of course fully accessible on the Mac with the Chess app.

Easily add iTunes Gift card codes using the FaceTime camera on the Mac.

Turn on Accessibility Menu on Status Menu to check what accessibility options are active.

Accessibility Shortcut menu or triple use of Power button/Touch ID.

Toggle VoiceOver in several ways - Siri, keyboard short cut or Power/Touch ID on MacBooks.

VoiceOver inbuilt training tutorial to get started.

VoiceOver with Alex Synthesiser still only synthesiser that actually breaths (up to 200 different breaths).

Multiple ways to navigate with VoiceOver - Control+Option or Caps Lock, QuickNav, Lock VO Keys, Numeric Keypad Touch Bar, or Trackpad.

When using my iMac, I can still link up a Magic Trackpad and use VoiceOver gestures (the same as on the trackpad on my MacBook).

VoiceOver keyboard commands similar subset on iOS.

VoiceOver cursor location same as on iOS.

VoiceOver keyboard shortcuts to launch Apple Scripts or applications.

VoiceOver Screen Curtain.

VoiceOver Sounds to assist with navigation.

VoiceOver easily supports a wide range of USB/Bluetooth Braille displays (plug in and Play).

Easily switch sound sources for VoiceOver.


The Mac fits my work flow for work and home, be mindful to check if it does for you as well.


Talking Tech 4th August 2020

Talking Tech 4th August 2020

August 4, 2020

Alexa Accessibility Hub


Excellent resource across various accessibility categories for using Alexa on various Amazon Echo devices.


Alexa Tweet-It Twitter Skill


Turns your Amazon Echo in to a Sending Tweet device once you have linked up your Twitter account.


Microsoft Is Ending Support for Cortana by Jan 2021


Microsoft will be ending support for Cortana on iOS and Android in early 2021 including the Harman Kardon Speaker.


Apple Confirms That the Launch of the iPhone 12 Will be Delayed


Late September or early October.  Here is also hoping we get an Apple Watch Series 6.


Apple Store App Gets New For You Tab


As the name suggests, For You are suggestions within the Apple Store app on what you may like to purchase smile.


Extra Long Charging Cables to Stop Putting your devices on the Floor Next to the Power Point


Orbit Writer Support Page for User and Quick Start Guides


Haven’t received mine yet, but this should let you know a bit more about the unit.


Another Podcast from Me


Demo and Discussion of the Arkon HD8RV29 Kitchen Smart Phone Stand

Talking Tech 28th July 2020

Talking Tech 28th July 2020

July 28, 2020

In this weeks show:



As of iOS 14 Beta 3, BackTap is Now Available on iPhones with a Home Button


This is what I’ve been waiting for, to use Back Tap on my iPhone SE or iPhone 8: i.e. 1 finger double or triple tap on the back of the iPhone to perform System or VoiceOver functions.


Vision Australia Podcasts are Now Available Via Spotify


Great to see podcasts from VA Radio now available on Spotify including Talking Tech of course smile.


Checking Out the Withings Thermo Smart Temporal Thermometer


Easy to use, and whilst the app is not 100 percent accessible with VoiceOver at least, it does work for checking your temperature.  Here is a link to my podcast page or you can get it on my iSee podcast feed:


Apple Shop link where I purchased the unit from in Australia:


Jumpy Cat - A Free Inclusive Fitness Coach App


Great concept for having your work outs custolmised to what you need and works with VoiceOver on iOS.


A List of Bluetooth Speaker Recommendations that Allow Routing of VoiceOver back to iOS


It has always been a challenge to find out what Bluetooth speakers allow you to get VoiceOver to go back to your iOS device, rather than having both media and VoiceOver play on the Bluetooth speaker.  This forum from Applevis gives some recommendations on Bluetooth speakers to use or avoid.


At Vision Australia, we still sell the Amazon 2nd Generation which does let you split media and VoiceOver for an excellent price of $20.00Au which not only gives you a BT speaker but a smart speaker as well.


BT Speaker Forum


Vision Store link to the Amazon Echo 2nd Generation for only $20.00:


Acoustic Probe - Light and Contrast Detecter


Rather than having to get your smart phone app to run a light detector app or if you don’t have a smart phone, this is a nice and easy way to tell if you have lights on if your blind, a gadget is on or detecting on what side of a bit of paper there may be writing.


PlayStation 4 and Last of Us II



The Last of Us game for the PS4 was released in June this year, and I promised myself when there was an accessible game for the blind that I could play on the Play Station that I would purchase the console.


So, this week I have both the PS4 and the Last of Us II accessible game turning up from Amazon and I will let you know how I go over the next weeks.


Apparently for both the PS4 to speak and the game, I have to have my language/region set to the US, so we’ll see how it goes.

Talking Tech 21st July 2020

Talking Tech 21st July 2020

July 21, 2020

In this weeks Talking Tech, Stephen and David follow-up from last weeks show on the Chameleon Braille note taker.


Last week we focused on Assistive Technology related podcasts, here are a few suggestions for some general Main Stream technology podcasts.


Daily Tech News High Lights

Download This Show (from the ABC)

iOS Today (Twit TV)

Mac Cast

Two Blokes Talking Tech



If you know of any other interesting assistive or main stream technology podcasts, please email me at, especially ones from Australia.


Last week I had the opportunity to catch up with Quantum RLV concerning the relatively new product from Orcam, the Orcam Read, a hand held (like a pen) device for reading text.


Checking Out the Withings Thermo Smart Temporal Thermometer


As the show went to air this week, I mentioned that I was expecting it in the mail to turn up soon.  As Vision Australia Vision Store has had issues tracking down a Talking Thermometer, this smart thermometer which links up to a smart phone (iPhone or Android) via the Thermo app sounded like at least an alternative solution.


I purchased the thermometer from the Apple Store app on my iPhone here in Australia.


I'll have more about this thermometer in next weeks show.


NB - after the show went to air, check out my quick demo of the Thermo Thermometer on my iSee podcast feed.


For info about the Thermometer go to:

Play this podcast on Podbean App