With everyone banging on about how great iPhones are, spare a thought
for those of us who can’t see their fiddly little screens. Here are my
top five free apps for visually impaired Android users.
This is your basic note-taking and memo app. It’s infuriating to try
and take notes on a touchscreen phone, especially if you are visually
impaired. But with the app’s compatibility with Google’s latest voice
recognition software, it can transcribe your natural speech in real
time. Great for budding novelists – and just think, even with the
occasional lapses in accuracy, you’ll still write better than
There are dozens of free satnav apps out there, but few of them are of
use to a visually impaired user who can’t drive, but need help with
navigation. What makes Walky Talky stand out from the pack is that it
is made for walking and using public transport. It constantly updates
you on your location – even down to the house number you’re walking
past, and vibrates if you’re going the wrong way.
Your Magnifying Glass
Using a smartphone to enlarge print is simple, yet ingenious. But Your
Magnifying Glass is simply brilliant. Utilising your phone’s camera,
you can zoom in and out over text, freeze the image, flip it, invert
the colours, light up the page with the camera’s flash, and then save
the image onto your Google Drive to view later.
Ideal Accessibility Installer
Beneath its clunky interface lie some great features for visually
impaired and blind Android users, including KickBack, SoundBack and
TalkBack. The installer allows the user to add audible, vibration and
spoken elements to any Android device.
There is a large visually impaired community on Audioboo, and the
Android app gives you access to everything that you would expect from
the site. It’s perfect for catching up with the audio version of the
Guardian, packages from Radio 4’s Today, and podcasts from all manner
of people – I recommend Sean Dilley and Documentally.