Talking Tech
Talking Tech 12th November 2019

Talking Tech 12th November 2019

November 12, 2019

On this weeks Talking Tech.


Great to catch up with Steve Herd about where the development of autonomous and self driving vehicles are up to.


A Correction Concerning the Mini Guide No Longer Being Available


Were stock issues concerning Vision Australia, contact Guide Dogs for more info about the Mini Guide and availability.  Still around smile.


Be Connected Program Information:


Vision Australia has joined forces with the Australian Government to empower our senior clients aged 50+ to get online and 'Be Connected'

Vision Australia has launched an exciting new learning program for our clients aged 50+. 'Be Connected' is an Australian Government initiative committed to increasing the confidence, skills and online safety of older Australians. It supports people to use the internet and everyday technology to thrive in our digital world.

Vision Australia has partnered with the Australian Government's Be Connected program and the Good Things Foundation (a social change charity that empowers people through digital technology) to run an exciting new program for our senior clients with low vision.


At the program launch, Minister for Social Services Christian Porter said: "I encourage older Australians who want to learn how to use digital technology confidently and safely, or who want to improve their current skills, to participate in the Be Connected program."

"Community organisations that join the Be Connected Network will deliver free personalised face-to-face training and support to help older Australians engage with and embrace digital technology."

Vision Australia, now a member of the network, has taken this one step further by designing a learning program which uses the 'GuideConnect' software specifically created for seniors with low vision and blindness in mind. Our learning course will be delivered by Vision Australia's expert team of Digital Mentors, who will guide clients through the course in a fun, supported and inclusive way, via a large easy to access display which talks to you at every step.

"GuideConnect software is a personal talking digital assistant, bringing people closer to family and friends, helping with work and home admin, opening up a whole new world of entertainment and fun".

Vision Australia is currently in the process of recruiting 100 volunteer Digital Mentors who will be trained and armed with skills to support our senior learners through the course. Over the next few months these digital mentors will deliver the Be Connected program to 500 Vision Australia clients. Program participants will build their capacity and use technology to access the Be Connected online learning portal, where they can work through a library of learning modules, including absolute basics, getting online safely, connecting with others and so much more!

This is a funded program so there is no cost to you. Learning will take place at your nearest Vision Australia location. So join in on the fun and learning by contacting Vision Australia on 1300 84 74 66 or phone Adelina Holloway on 02 9334 3361.


Want to learn more about Be Connected? Visit their website at:

Talking Tech 5th November 2019

Talking Tech 5th November 2019

November 6, 2019

The Mini guide Has Stopped Being Manufactured


According to Vision Australia, the Mini guide has stopped being manufactured.  Two main devices are now the Sunu Band and the Buzz Clip.

Please note - a follow-up conversation with the supplier has identified that this issue was a supply issue rather than the mMini Guide no longer being available.


JAWS 2020 Public Beta


Voice Control on iOS 13


Sonos Move


Apple Watch S3 and iPhone 8 verses Apple Watch S5 and iPhone 11 Pro

Talking Tech 29th October 2019
Talking Tech 22nd October 2019
Talking Tech 15th October 2019

Talking Tech 15th October 2019

October 15, 2019

Voice Activated Calling  with Google Home from Telstra


At last we can make calls from our Google Homes via our mobile phone account number.  At the moment, the only other smart speaker that does this in Australia is the HomePod.  The Amazon Echo in Australia is still Echo to Echo whether on a device or on the Amazon Alexa app itself.


ESIMM Now Available Via Carriers in Australia for the iPhone


You can use your latest iPhone or last years iPhone with an electronic SIMM (ESIMM), and a physical SiMM card giving you dual SIMM support.


From the Apple site about ESIMM:


A Couple of Things to Finish Up with iOS 13 Features and Bugs


VoiceOver features/changes


Scroll bar now in app screens.

The context menu that was in the Rotor Actions menu has been taken away in 13.2 due out towards the end of October due to compatibility when editing.  1 finger double tap and hold to now bring up context menu.


VoiceOver bugs


VoiceOver freezing after audio call seems to be still around.  Appears to be fixed in iOS 13.2 due out towards the end of October.

Hard to find status line at top of screen.

VoiceOver vO+M on BT keyboards broken to take user to status line.


MacOS  10.15 Catalina Now Available


Most people seem to be saying not to upgrade at the moment due to application conflicts.

iTunes has gone.  We now have Music, Podcasts, and the TV app.  Audio books are now found in the Books app. books will also now be available via the Books app.


iTunes is still available for Windows.

Find My is now on the Mac for both People and Device tracking.

When you connect an iOS device, you can find the iTunes like interface for he iOS device in the Finder Sidebar.

Voice Control is now on the Mac.


Twitter for MacOS 10.15 Catalina Released


This is an example of an iOs app ported to MacOS.  Unfortunately, its not overall accessible with VoiceOver: yes you can access the controls, but you can’t scroll the Twitter timeline at all past the first 3 first visible tweets on the screen.


VoiceOver Bugs

Can’t get to the Extras menu with VO+MM.

Time/Date with Ins+T takes a long time to respond.


Apple News Plus Now Available In Australia


Apple News Plus is available in Australia via the Apple News app, you can get one month free trial and $14.99 per month.  I personally found the content from newspapers and magazines not that exciting, so even after 4 days of trying it out, I stopped my free trial.

Remember, you can get access to many magazines and newspapers from the Vision Australia Library which is free for members:

Talking Tech 8th October 2019
Talking Tech 1st October 2019

Talking Tech 1st October 2019

October 1, 2019

In this weeks talking tech David and Stephen complete their overview of the axis ability options in iOS 13.1. Please visit  for more blog and podcast information.

Talking Tech 24th September 2019
Talking Tech 17th September 2019

Talking Tech 17th September 2019

September 17, 2019

In this weeks Talking Tech, David and Stephen catch up about the recent Apple Keynote now that they have had time to have a bit of a think.

Talking Tech 10th September 2019

Talking Tech 10th September 2019

September 10, 2019

My Fantastic Experience at the Microsoft Store Last Week


Amazing experience at the Microsoft Store the other week to get my Surface Pro fixed or exchanged with fantastic customer support and the fact that the staff member knew about Narrator and made sure it was on before I left the store.


Lego is Finally Introducing Audio and Braille Building Instructions


4 basic Lego sets to start off with via audio or text description, but an excellent start.


Speaking of 3D Models - Just got My Larger BallyLand 3D Printer Figures completed


A few months ago I talked about running a coding workshop using the Ballyland Code 1 app with a 3D printed grid and characters.  As these characters are reasonably small, I went ahead and got 3D printed larger versions of the characters so that next time I run another coding workshop, the students can get a good idea of each of the characters, especially with the helicopter as he has blades, and the Cars wheels turn.

The other reason I mention this is because these days you can get almost anything 3D printed as a model, in fact, I’m planning on contacting Central Coast Printing (the place I used), and get myself a 3D model of the International Space Station as I have never felt a model of it, as with the Ballyland figures, I just need to send in the appropriate 3D printer file and pay for the subsequent model smile.


Ballyland Code 1 (including link to the 3D printer files for the small and large characters):



Central Coast 3D Printing (excellent service and happy with my Ballyland 3D figures):


Smart Phones, We are Upgrading Less Often


With innovation slowing down a bit, people are holding on to their phones longer.


Upcoming Apple Event for September 10 in the US 11th our Time


iOS 13, and iPadOS. 13 for certain.

3 new iPhones with multiple colours, bi-directional charging, the expensive models with 3 cameras, and wider angle for FaceID - speculation.

Series 5 Apple Watch: possibly with new titanium casing - speculation.

Watch os 6.

Apple TV 13.

Speaking of perhaps putting off purchasing a new iPhone, people may be waiting until the iPhone supports 5g.

Possibly a new product: the Apple Airtag to track your items.


Upcoming podcasts and articles on all the new Apple Stuff, Where to Look


iMore, Tech Doctor, MacCast, MacBreak Weekly, iOS Today, and Applevis are my main sources.