Both Apple and Android smartphones and tablets reach audiences with low vision through offering several apps to better suit the needs of this population. If you are experiencing low vision or poor eyesight, there are many ways that these gadgets can make your life easier. Whether you want to simply check the weather or reply to an e-mail, these apps will give you the guidance that you need, while freeing up your time to engage in other activities.
If you want to check the weather, your e-mail or calendar without having to click on a series of icons, the voice interface app on the iPhone 4S will allow you to bypass those steps and simply speak to your phone. Through its voice recognition capabilities, you no longer have to type or press keys to send a text, draft an e-mail or check an appointment. This app encourages those with low vision to be comfortable and productive by adding a level of convenience to the mobile device.
If you only trust your closest friends with your money, then the EyeNote app should be your new best friend. This app scans and identifies the value of U.S. paper money by reading out loud or releasing an ascending number of beeps or pulsed vibration corresponding to each bill. This app allows independence and financial freedom for people with vision impairments. By using this app in daily life, you no longer have to depend on someone else to tell you how much money you have in your hand, or how much you are going to spend.
There is no longer the need to read off a roadmap or print directions from the internet. If you do not have a GPS installed in your car and you are driving alone, your iPhone or smartphone can direct you on your journey with Mapquest. Similar to its website, this app provides clear direction on how to get to your destination. If you make a wrong turn, don’t worry. With voice-guided directions, Mapquest directs you towards where you need to go.
iRead, Magnify and iLoupe
If you notice that a print is too small, you can use iRead, Magnify or iLoupe apps to enlarge and illuminate the text. While these apps are extremely helpful, they cannot rival the power of a CCTV. However, they are portable, cost-effective and great alternatives to those who need for small print to be magnified. By magnifying text, these apps provide assistance when you feel as you are in need of another pair of eyes.
While technology still has a long way to go to fully meet the needs of those with low vision, these new advances in consumer technology are a good start in the right direction. Consumers may need additional aids and devices to help them to develop the best vision possible according to their individual situations. However, in the meantime, these apps serve as cost-effective, portable low vision aids. As digital devices improve, more apps will become accessible to this population.
Jack Douglas is a tech enthusiast. He revels in keeping up with the newest developments in apps and sharing his tips on various tech blogs. For information on buying prescription lenses online, click on the link.