I Want iPhone Apps That Work with Voiceover

Is that too much to ask? My friend Jim told me about an app called IMapMyWalk. So I go to the the App Store and get the free version of it to try out. I was really excited about the app. It will show a map of where you walk/run/bike, along with the time it takes you to complete the route, how many calories burned and some other really cool things. One thing I should point out, I never buy/download apps or music with my phone because it takes too long to find what I want. I use my iMac and then sync up the computer and phone. I’m jealous of Eliz and Jane, because they just grab stuff on their phones (Jake only has a basic phone, but sometimes uses his iPod Touch to grab music.)

Seems that this app, along with many others, aren’t compatible with Voiceover. For those that don’t know about Voiceover, it is the function on the iPhone makes using the iPhone work for people who are visually impaired or blind. When Voiceover works, it is awesome. It seems to work well with all the Apple products that come with the iPhone like the weather, stocks, iPod, and the email (though if the send has images in the email without titles, you are left wondering what they are…) Some third-party apps seem to work well with Voiceover. GroceryIQ is one that comes to mind. Other apps fall short. Some just don’t give titles to buttons, so when you touch a button, all you hear is “button.” The Absolute Radio app has titled some buttons, while others are just “button.”

So back to the IMapMyWalk app. I tried multiple times to get it to run on my phone, but it wouldn’t. The buttons were labeled, they just didn’t do anything. including the “Having Trouble?” button. After messing with the app for a day or two, I put it on Eliz’s phone. It seems to work fine on there. Who knew our route around our neighborhood had a 75 foot difference from the high-point to the low-point? We know now…

The frustration for me is that someone must launch the app on Eliz’s phone for me and hit the stop button when I get home. Eliz usually starts it for me, because we all leave together. The last two times we walked, Jane didn’t go, so she was home and hit the stop button for me (because I walk a little faster than Eliz and Jake, they finish a few minutes after I do.) Today was the last day I’ll be using the IMapMyWalk app as my frustration boiled over with it. If I really want to track my progress, speed, and time, I’ll buy this talking pedometer from Amazon.com, learn what buttons i need to push and be able to do it on my own.


Retina Check

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. We’ve had a bunch of things going on that took (and still take) priority. Friday afternoon I visited Dr. Garg for an appointment. He is my retina doc. I was hopeful that Dr. Garg would spot something that could be corrected. My vision has been mired around 20/400 for the last eight months or so.

Unfortunately, Dr. Garg didn’t notice anything new. When I asked him his opinion on why my vision has deteriorated he told me that the multiple issues of congenital glaucoma, cornea and cataract surgeries, and a retina that was “pooping out” (his words,) were the reasons. He explained that while he didn’t notice any problems with my retina he said that age and everything going on with my eye causes it to “wear out.” He said that, like a favorite shirt that you wear often, each time you wear it and then wash it, it starts to wear out over time. He told me to take zinc and extra vitamin C (along with my current multivitamin) to keep the cells in the retina alive and healthy for as long as possible.

I was obviously disappointed that he didn’t find something that could be corrected which would then give me improved visual acuity. On the bright side, if there is one, I will cut back on all the specialist appointments to twice per year for each. If there is a problem, I’ll first try my local ophthalmologist.

As I continue to look for things to help me see stuff I can’t, I’ve found an app for my iPhone that is a great magnifier. It is the only app I’ve ever paid for and bought it after trying most if not all of the free magnifier apps. It is Magnifier – Capture the Micro World! by Game Lingo. I tried it the other day when I was home alone and wanted to know the serving size and calorie count of walnuts. I was very excited when I was able to use my iPhone rather than take the bag into my office and put it under my reading machine. I’ve been hoping for a good app for the iPhone because I just didn’t want to carry something else in my pocket. I’ve been looking for a good hand-held magnifier, whether it be a regular magnifying glass or a digital device like the Pebble from Enhanced Vision, for the last six months or so. Once I use the app more, I’ll post a more in-depth review.