Talking Tech - Vision Australia Radio
Talking Tech 6th April 2021

Talking Tech 6th April 2021

April 6, 2021

Read Aloud and Immersive  Reader in Microsoft Edge on the Mac


Really like using the feature, press F9 to strip out all the code of an article and just leave the text (Immersive Reader), and use Shift+Command+U to launch Read Aloud.

Read Aloud is great especially with the Microsoft Online Natural Sounding Voices.     


Apple Announces WWDC 2021


The next World Wide Developers Conference will be held on the 7th of June in the US.

The OS’s will be announced for developers as usual and who knows, we might get a hardware announcement as well.


AirTags from Apple Still Coming


Speaking of announcements, AirTags are still a sort of rumour. However, in the Mac OS Big Sur beta that I am using, the 3rd Tab in Find My has Item, which I’m assuming is all about keeping track of your Items using 



Feedback About my Issue with Hand Off Between HomePod and iPhone


Looks like I’m not alone, 3 other people have reported the same issue that I have and that older phones concluding the iPhone SE 2020 worked, but their iPhone 11 and 12 didn’t.


How To Adjust Siri’s Volume on the HomePod or HomePod mini


Thought I actually knew how to do this, but I was incorrect.

say to Siri Increase or Decrease Speaking Volume or Speak At Volume 50 percent to adjust Siri Voice volume on HomePod or HomePod mini.


Another Siri Tip


Enabling Type To Siri on Mac or iOS under Accessibility comes in handy in the middle of the night when you are using your Mac, want to use Siri, but don’t want to get caught by your wife speaking out loud smile.


In iOS 14.5 Beta 6, Siri Gets New Voices and won’t default to Female


Users will now be prompted to choose what voice to use, this change also extends to the Mac. All part of Apple’s diverse and inclusive design.

The link to the article below has a sample of all of these voices plus explaining the changes.


Microsoft Shuts Down Cortana app for iOS and Android


Well that is officially it for using Cortana on iOS and Androin, the apps are no longer supported by Microsoft.


Apple Fitness Verses Google Fit Apps


This article explores why you may want to use Google Fitness which only became available to iOs users recently, even though it has been around for 6 years on Android.

Of course, if you are an Android user, this the Google Fitness app is pretty good indeed.

Talking Tech 30th march 2021

Talking Tech 30th march 2021

March 30, 2021

O’dear, Another Security Update for iOS, This Time IOS 14.4.2


Guess Apple is keeping all the bad people out.


Blind and Low Vision Australian’s Shut  Out Off COVID Vaccine Finder Website - Article from the Guardian


Honestly this doesn’t surprise me, and whilst there are automated test systems to test for web compliance, you need humans to do the real test.


A $15 US Remote Replacement for the Not So Good Apple TV Siri Remote


Yes, buttons and no touch screen what so ever.


Calls TV Series on Apple TV Plus




A haunting Scifi TV Series in the vein of the Twilight zone based around seemingly random phone conversations with only audio wave forms on the screen: fully Audio Described.

Very much like watching a radio Scifi drama back in the day.


Apple TV Plus Official Trailler of Calls


Anyone Else Having Issues with Hand Off Between iPhone and HomePod


Oddly enough at the moment, I can hand Off between my iPhone Se 2020 and my HomePod by bringing the iPhone close to the speaker, oddly this doesn’t work on my iPhone 12 Pro.


A Note About The New Talking Bathroom Scales from Vision Australia


I received mine last week and noticed 2 things that the manual states and which seem to be incorrect:

The unit takes 2 AAA battery’s not 3, and

There is no actual button to change units of weight measurement (actually no button).

I also had to chuckle in the manual under Care the following line:

Do not drop or beat the device.


Mac OS X turns 20


Amazing it has been around for 20 years, but still good to note that VoiceOver did not actually appear until 2005, and before that with System 9 for the Macs, there were no screen readers.


Talking Tech 23rd March 2021

Talking Tech 23rd March 2021

March 23, 2021

My Next Webinar - Exploring Technology Webinar Series with David Woodbridge - in the Kitchen


Myself and Alex will be looking at low and high tech gadgets plus some tips for cooking and organising in the kitchen.


Registration link is:


A Bit Of A Play Around With Talkback On My Samsung S10 - Including Voice Control


I must say using Talkback now on the Samsung S10 at least in my case is quite enjoyable, and easy to use.


Basic gestures are similar to VoiceOver on iOS: eg flick left or right, then 1 finger double tap.


I do like the angled gestures that Talkback still has and which aren’t that really hard to remember:

Flick up and Left, Home

Flick down and right, back

Flick up and right, global menu

Flick down and right, Talkback settings


In this new version of Talkback, we are now able to control Talkback and basic system commands with our voice.

The gesture is:

Flick right and up, Voice Control.

After the gesture you can say:

Home, takes you back to the Home Screen,

Back, takes you back a screen,

Recent, for recent apps

All apps, takes you to the all apps screen,

Notifications, takes you to the notifications centre

Assistant, launch’s the Google Assistant.

Faster, speaks faster

Slower, speaks slower


The fact that you can completely customise all the gestures of Talkback is fantastic, especially if say you want to mirror some commands from now the non existent Voice Assistant screen reader.


VIP Code Reader For Android


I mentioned this on Talking Tech quite a while ago now, which uses the sonar feature (similar to Seeing AI Product Reader) for detecting QR codes, just tried it on Android with my S10 and it works just as well.


Lookout for Android - Similar App In Function to Seeing AI App for iOS


Functions include:

Explore, object recognition

Food labels, bar code?

Text mode, short OCR text

Document, full OCR

Currency, identify Australian  bank notes?


Play Store link:


Look out doesn’t support Australian bank notes (nor does Seeing AI for iOS), I suggest using CashReader for both Android and iOS.






Amazon Echo Show 10 3rd Generation Now Available


Didn’t know this was coming out, may have been just arriving in Australia, but its an Echo Show with a camera as well plus all the other new stuff.


If You Are Low Vision, How To Tell if Caps Lock Is On Or Off On Windows Or Mac


I’ve been getting this question a few times lately, especially with more and more folks buying external large print keyboards, and not being able to see the indicator lights on the keyboard to the state of the Caps Lock key: i.e. if you are about to just keep typing in all capitals.

I was quite surprised to see it is an accessibility setting in Windows, but not on the Mac, on the Mac you need a 3rd party app.




Part of the Ease Of Access Centre in Windows 10, check out the following link on how to set this:




Download this utility which will give both visual and audio notifications if Caps Lock is on (Capsys)


AirPods Max Firmware Update


Recently Apple released a firmware update for the AirPods Max (C39) which fixed the battery drain issue when the AirPods Max are in the smart case (or as I call it Smart Pouch).

This update is automatic, but if you want to check, you can go in on your iOS device: Settings, General, About, and check out the AirPods Max current firmware, as I understand, when you are using the AirPods Max, the system will try and update.


Free Audio Books you Can Play on Google Smart Speakers: BookReader


Of course, you can also use the Google Assistant on your smart phone or tablet to do this as well.


The website the App/skill BookReader is based upon is at:


All the public domain books are from:


The command to invoke the app/skill is:


:Talk to book reader”,  And then say the name of the book.


Here are some suggestions to get your imagination going with these public domain style books, some amazing classics to enjoy again.


Andersen’s Fairy Tales

Grimms’ Fairy Tales

English Fairy Tales

Myths And Legends of Ancient Greece and Rome

Anne Of Green Gables

Black Beauty


Treasure Island

Story of the 3 Little Pigs

The Happy Prince And Other Tales

Frog Prince And Other Stories


Jungle Book

Snow White and the 7 Dwards

The Little Match Girl

Wonderful Wizard Of Oz

Peter Pan

Wind In The Willows

Voyages Of Doctor Do Little

20 thousand Leagues Under The Sea

Call Of The Wild

Journey To The Centre oOf the Earth

Around The World in 80 Days

Sea Wolf

Hound of the Baskavilles

Study in Scarlet

Sign Of The 4,

Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Tarzan of The Apes

Princess Of Mars

Wood Beyond The World

The Well At The Worlds End



Gulliver’s Travels


Time Machine

Secret Garden

Legend Of Sleepy Hollow

39 Steps

3 Ghost Stories

Dragons Secret

Thing From The Lake

12 Creepy Tales

Invisible Man

War Of The Worlds


Cosmic Computer

Origin Of Species

The Headless Horseman

A Silent Witness

Magic Skin

Star Born

Talking Tech 16th March 2021

Talking Tech 16th March 2021

March 16, 2021

CSUN, Not That Exciting After all


I didn’t pay for the conference, but only attended the Exhibit Hall.

Website for getting to exhibitors could have been done better, seemed to have a maximum of 100 people in a Zoom Room, sometimes got wait for host to admit you to the room which never happened etc.

Other exhibitors just had pre-recordeed videos you could watch.

Overall a bit disappointed.

Like to hear what you thought, as always, send your feedback to:


Newcastle Tech Friday for March 2021


Using QR codes, LIDAR, Lookout for Android, Audio Description, Apple Pay, and other discussion points.


Voice Control on iOS Using VoiceOver


Voice Control is very handy on the iPhone with VoiceOver.

You do get better results if you use head phones.

Turn on Voice Control in Settings, Accessibility, voice Control.

You may need to set Voice Control Language to United States rather than Uk in Voice Control Settings.


Podcast demo of using Voice Control with VoiceOver on the iPhone:


Handy Voice Control Commands:


What can I Say? (Need to use VoiceOver to read screen.


Go To Sleep,

Wake up,

Go Home,

Go Back,

Scroll Left, Right, Up or Down,

Open App Switcher,

Open Notifications Centre,

Open Control Centre,

Open AppName,

Open Siri,

Open Spotlight,

Tap or Press NameOfControl,

Turn Up Volume,

Turn Down Volume,

Repeat X Times,

Search for ItemName,

Command Mode,

Dictation Mode,

VoiceOver Select Next Item,

VoiceOver Select Previous Item,

VoiceOver Activate,

VoiceOver Read All,

VoiceOver Stop Speaking,

VoiceOver Select First Item,

VoiceOver Select Last Item,

VoiceOver Select Status Bar,

VoiceOver Magic Tap,

VoiceOver Select Next Rotor,

Voiceover Select Previous Rotor,

VoiceOver Select Next Rotor Option,

VoiceOver Select Previous Rotor Option,

VoiceOver Item Chooser.


HomePod Discontinued, Apple Focusing on HomePod mini


The original HomePod never got a hardware update since it was first introduced in 2017, and I think the bottom line was it was to costly compared to other smart speakers on the market.

Really does make more sense for Apple to focus on the $149Au HomePod mini.


iOS 14.41 ReleasedFix’s Mantis Q40 Connection Issue


According to APH, the Mantis Q40 connection issue has been resolved.

Along with this of course, a fairly major security bug also got squashed.


BlindDrive - New Exciting Game for iOS, Mac, Android, Windows


Exciting new game game for iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows.

Fully self voicing once you enable Accessibility mode on iOS or Mac, haven’t tried Android or Windows.


Podcast demo of BlindDrive:




Vision australia  AT Help Desk


Just a Reminder you can contact the VA AT Help Desk on 1300 847 466 or via

Talking Tech 9th March 2021

Talking Tech 9th March 2021

March 9, 2021

A Reminder that the CSUN COD Tech Conference 2021 on this Week


As we spoken about last week, the free Exhibit Hall is open from Wednesday to Saturday our time in Australia with the hours of opening being up to 2PM Sydney time, giving us a civilised time to attend.

All you have to do to attend is to register, and again, it is free.


New Vision Australia Talking Microwave


Simple to use with only 4 buttons, 15 volumes, and best of all it is only $600.


Product Shop Page:


Video Demo of Features and Benefits


Arkon Kitchen, crafting, videoing etc smart phone Stand


This is now available in the Vision Store by phone order at the moment, my best stand I’ve used yet and keep using.

Product ID is ES0115.


Vision Store Youtube Channel


Here is the direct link to the Vision Store Youtube channel where all my product videos are including the demo of the New Vision Australia Talking Microwave, and my Exploring Tech Monthly Webiknars.


Exploring Technology Webinar - Apple Accessibility and Beyond


The Feb 24 Exploring Tech Webinar with David Woodbridge - Apple Accessibility and Beyond - is now up on the Vision Store Youtube channel, here is the direct  link:


Next Exploring Tech Webinar with David Woodbridge - In tThe Kitchen


Alex and myself will be going through low and high tech stuff for you to use in the kitchen.


Registration page:


Demo of Using Airdrop from Mac to iPhone and iPhone to Mac


AS I am doing product videos for work, this is how I get the videos from meh iPhone to my Mac, and more often than not, when I need to read articles on my Mac, I usually sent them to my iPhone to read.

This demo is exactly about this process.


Comments on my new Braided Solo Apple Watch Band


There are two types of Solo Bands: the Solo Band, and the Braided Solo Band.

The Solo Band is the cheapest, very much like the Sports Band, whilst the Braided Solo Band almost reminds me of the Sport Loop with the Loop and Hook.

Having one continuous band for my Apple Watch that I can just slide on and off is very convenient.

Talking Tech 2nd March 2021

Talking Tech 2nd March 2021

March 2, 2021

Interview with Sam Taylor from Pacific Vision Australia - Envision Smart Glasses


Wearable smart glasses for people who are blind or low vision, $4995 Australian.

Read text, read hand writing, identify objects, face recognition and 


It will be interesting to see where this platform takes us in to the future.

Contact Sam Taylor at Pacific Vision Australia for more info or use the following link for more info and contact information.


CSUN 36Th Assistive Technology Virtual Conference Week of March 8 2021


Just a note that this is a virtual conference this year, and you can join the exhibit hall for free by registering.

Tines for the exhibit hall are Pacific Time. However, here in Australia the exhibit hall will be open certainly up to midday ESDT.

Talking Tech 23rd February 2021

Talking Tech 23rd February 2021

February 23, 2021

FaceBook Bands News Viewing or Sharing in Australia


Lots of points of view, here is just one article from the Sydney Morning Herald, there are certainly arguments on both sides of the fence.


My Experiences with the iPhone 12 Pro and LIDAR


Well as far as the iPhone 12 Pro goes, so much for being 4 times more drop resistant. The stainless steel band is now chipped only after a week or so having the phone and only dropped once.

I must say though, LIDAR handy for lining up in a queue.

My favourite cases so far: MagSafe Leather cover, and Wallet.


2 Recent Demos from Me


The Apple Duo, and the Belkin Boost Charge Pro 3 in 1 MagSafe wireless chargers.


MagSafe Leather Case and the Leather Wallet


One Advantage of Home Kit devices Over Most Others!


Tip - As Home Kit devices are connected via Bluetooth, if your Internet goes down, they keep working.


Some of my Favourite All Time Games on My iPhone


Accessible Hangman.


Audio Game Hub, 8 or so audio games.


Blind Cricket.


BlindFold Games Launcher, lots and lots of games to launch from Blind

Fold Games.


BlindFold Dominoes.


BlindFold Sea Battle.


Choose Your Face, Deal or No Deal style game.


Dice World, 6 games.


Feer, The Game of Running Blind, two games Forest and Factory.





Frotz, lots of Text Adventures.


RS-Games, lots of games.


Zany Touch Lite, Bop-It style game.

Talking Tech 16th February 2021

Talking Tech 16th February 2021

February 16, 2021

2nd Exploring Technology Webinar with David Woodbridge - Apple Accessibility and Beyond


Feb 24 2021 from 12.30 to 2.00 ESDT.

Register at the following link.


Update from Humanware on the New Brailliant BI 20X and 40X


Lauren from Humanware joins us to chat about the new Brailliant BI 20X and 40X.




Microsoft Screen Reader Voices Survey

Updating to Android 11 on Samsun S10 Does Away  with Voice Assistant


Samsung has now dropped Voice Assistant on Samsung phones and I’m assuming tablets when you update to Android 11 now, replaced by Android Talkback.

Talking Tech 9th February 2021

Talking Tech 9th February 2021

February 9, 2021

Just a Tip for Folks Using VoiceOver, LIDAR Works the Same on the iPhone 12 pro as the iPad Pro


I was at a recent series of workshops at Apple and there happen to be a product manager there who took care of iPhone/iPad, so asked him if there was any difference between using LIDAR on the iPhone 12 Pro or the iPad Pro. After he checked, it appeared the only difference was that the iPhone used haptic feedback as well as audio, whilst the iPad did not. 


Apple No Longer Signing iOS 14.3


With the Mantis Q40 bug about not reconnecting after iOs device is locked, you can no longer go back to a previous version now.

Further Bugs in iOS beta 14.5


Not only is the Braille bug still present in iOS 14.5 beta, but there is now a bug which stops the use of either the Shift key or Command key on Bluetooth keyboards.


Quality control at Apple (not just with VoiceOver) seems to be sliding backwards a lot recently, and in Podcast number 93 from the Mosen Explosion, there are some great tips on giving constructive feedback to Apple on these important Braille bugs.


In the case of the mantis Q40, both the Braille bug and Bluetooth bug affect the whole device.

The more feedback Apple gets, hopefully the more they will pay attention to quality control in particular: after all, there is no other screen Reader available for iOS.


Brailliant BI  20X and BI 40X


Hoping to have someone on Talking Tech soon from Humanware to talk about the new Brilliant Braille displays.

In the mean time, here are some free Tutorials from Mystic Access


Time to Walk on Fitness Plus with your Apple Watch


Finding these workouts excellent, listening to folks talk about their lives whilst you go for a walk with them.


Moving on to Doing Product Videos for the Vision Australia Vision Store


Must say it is interesting to do video recordings of products as a person who is blind considering things like task lighting verses natural light in the room, shadows, focus, what the camera is showing, contrast between the product and the background, making sure my hands aren’t obstructing the view, where I may move, etc.

At the moment using Zoom, iPhone, Arkcon stand, Braille Display, A2 size white foam board on desk for contrast, and task lighting.

A Vision Australia staff member logs in via Zoom, we talk about all of the above and end up hopefully with the best result we can, they then log off, and I do the demo.

Using the Braille display so I can operate the iPhone/Zoom without speech, and/or read my demo notes.

Talking Tech 2nd February 2021

Talking Tech 2nd February 2021

February 2, 2021

Update from Last Weeks Show, Super Sense should have been Super Lidar.


Podcasts From Me


Setting up an M1 MacBook Pro


This completes my M1 Mac demos: Mac mini, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro.


Exploring Technology Webinar with David Woodbridge - Back to School


Highlighting assistive software and hardware for back to School, link for the show contains all the product links to follow-up.


Apple Quarter Financial Report


Yep, they made lot’s of money again smile.


Thoughts About the Mantis Q40


Excellent Braille Display with it’s QWERTY keyboard and 40 cell Braille Display.  Very easy to use and connect.


Warning About Updating to iOS 14.4 with Braille Displays


Mainly aimed at the Mantis Q40 with a blog post from APH re. Mantis Q40 not reconnecting correctly after locking/unlocking iPhone.

My QBraille and Orbit Reader are fine.


Two Interesting Episodes from Jonathan Mosen Podcast: Mosen At Larege


Episode 93 where he discuss’s the Braille bug in iOS 14.4, and

Episode 92 where he discuss’s and demos LIdAR within the Seeing AI app.



Apple Privacy


Amazing how much actually gets tracked.

Just look in the Privacy Report in Safari on iOS or Mac to see how many Trackers are actually blocked, when I checked more they had 55 trackers that were blocked.


My WaterFields Design Case for my AirPods Max


Nice thing about this actual case, I can put the AirPods Max in the case even if they are in their own smart pouch.

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