Time to bring back an old post of apps that can be used for independence in the community, for Orientation and Mobility, etc. Seems things are continuing to evolve and change at an ever increasing rate and updates to the original list have become necessary. At times an app will be updated by the developer and it may not have the same level of accessibility, at other times apps completely disappear from the various app stores when the developer is no longer supporting the app or the company is perhaps gobbled up by a larger company. In any event, I will update this post from time to time, which may include significant changes as the app world evolves. These apps are either specifically designed for blind or visually impaired users or are apps that work well with VoiceOver on iOS or TalkBack on Android devices; many are multiplatform and available on iOS via the Apple Store and Android via Google Play. The list is divided into several categories; there are quick links immediatel following this paragraph to make it easier to jump to the category you are interested in. So, without further ado, here are the quick links and the list…
Accessibility Navigation and GPS Apps Transportation and Route Planning
Seeing AI (free)
An app that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to provide information about what the camera sees. Can read text, handwriting, describe scenes, identify items from their barcode, identify currency, and more. iTunes Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/seeing-ai-talking-camera-for-the-blind/id999062298
Lookout by Google (free)
An app that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to provide information about what the camera sees. Can read text, scan barcodes, describe photos, scan documents, identify currency, and more. Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.accessibility.reveal&hl=en_US&gl=US
This is another AI app that offers lots of options for obtaining information, even learning peoples faces. iTunes Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/envision-ai/id1268632314 Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.letsenvision.envisionai&hl=en
Voice Dream Scanner
Very affordable and powerful text to speech app from that is another addition to the Voice Dream suite of apps, all designed for blind and visually impaired users. iTunes Store: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/voice-dream-scanner/id1446737725
Remote assistance from trained representatives. Something similar to a Mission Impossible movie where the hero or heroine is able to be helped by someone in the background with computer information and a live video feed. iTunes Store: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/aira/id1071584352 Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=io.aira.smart&hl=en_US
Low vision enhancement app similar to Magnifier on the iPhone. This app allows you to adjust color, exposure, color inversion, and more; you can also save various settings for different environments. iTunes Store: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/rebokeh/id1557588655
Visor Low Vision
Easy to use screen magnification with very simple controls; open the app an it is ready, touch on the screen to focus, etc. iTunes Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/visor-magnifier/id944215829 Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.visorapp.visor&hl=en
This app is like having a CCTV in your pocket, complete with options for zoom, contrast, reverse polarity, freeze frame, etc. iTunes Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/visionassist/id502356279?mt=8
Document reader that reads many formats of documents and has high quality voice with available options for fine tuning the playback of the text. iTunes Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/voice-dream-reader/id496177674
Text to speech using optical character recognition (OCR) by photographing text with the camera iTunes Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/textgrabber-image-to-text/id438475005 Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.abbyy.mobile.textgrabber.full&hl=en
Cash Reader (free with in app purchases)
Money identifier that works with currencies from around the world. iTunes Store: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/cash-reader-bill-identifier/id1344802905 Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.martindoudera.cashreader&hl=en_US
Money identifier from the United States Mint. iTunes Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/eyenote/id405336354
Examine Clothes Color (free)
Color identifier that works quite well in describing even complex patterns. iTunes Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/examine-clothes-color/id1074506449
Can take photographs and describe what is in the photograph or describe what a photograph is if it is already in your camera roll iTunes Store: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/taptapsee/id567635020 Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.msearcher.taptapsee.android&hl=en
Be My Eyes (free)
To quote their website, “Be My Eyes is a free app that connects blind and low vision people with sighted volunteers and company representatives for visual assistance through a live video call.” iTunes Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/be-my-eyes-helping-blind-see/id905177575 Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bemyeyes.bemyeyes
Basic note taker that will automatically save any note you write and will also integrate with the Reminders app on iOS devices iTunes Store: https://apps.apple.com/app/id1236254471
Navigation and GPS Apps:
Apple Maps and Siri (built in iOS app, free)
Apple Maps is built into iOS devices and can provide spoken location information and pedestrian directions as well as use VoiceOver and Siri for accessibility. There are a number of cities that Apple Maps provides public transportation information for, but to date it only covers a portion of cities around the world; you can find the list of supported cities at the following link for information on Apple Maps: https://www.apple.com/ios/feature-availability/#maps-transit
Google Maps with Google Now and TalkBack (free)
Along with knowing the current location, can also provide location and directions with voice input and provide spoken details iTunes Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/google-maps/id585027354 Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.maps&hl=en
GoodMaps Outdoors (free)
Full featured GPS app that has been developed specifically for blind and low vision travelers. This app was originally Seeing Eye GPS XT, but the app has now been acquired by GoodMaps and is now free! iTunes Store for subscription version: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/goodmaps-outdoors/id945756779 Android Version is coming soon.
Terrific GPS app that is tailored to travelers who are blind and visually impaired. It integrates with other apps, such as Google Maps and Transit to provide route details with public transportation. Best value for price and features in this category. iTunes Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/blindsquare/id500557255
Lazarillo GPS for Blind (free)
A relatively new addition to the field of accessible GPS apps; this one is available on both iTunes and Google Play and its price is a perfect match for trying it out. iTunes Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/lazarillo-accesible-gps/id1139331874 Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lazarillo
Compass (built in iOS app, free)
This app is built into every iPhone and can be used with Zoom or VoiceOver to make the information accessible
Talking Compass (free)
Speaks the direction. Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tippu.talkingcompass&hl=en_US&gl=US
Very handy and accurate app for providing information about travel environment, such as direction of travel, landmarks, addresses, and street names, but does not generate point to point route directions. iTunes Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ariadne-gps/id441063072
Transportation and Route Planning:
Google Maps (free)
Great way to have a national, in fact an international connection to travel planning. Allows user to select directions based on travel modes of vehicle, bicycle, pedestrian, or transit iTunes Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/google-maps/id585027354 Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.maps&hl=en
Apple Maps and Siri (built in iOS app, free)
There are a number of cities that Apple Maps supports public transportation information as well, but to date it only covers a portion of cities around the world, you can find the list of supported cities at the following link for information on Apple Maps: https://www.apple.com/ios/feature-availability/#maps-transit
Transportation planning app with large bold numbers for bus routes; this app immediately shows you which bus routes are nearest to you and in many areas provides real time arrival information. iTunes Store: https://itunes.apple.com/app/apple-store/id498151501 Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.thetransitapp.droid&hl=en
Transportation information for most areas. iTunes Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/moovit-your-local-transit/id498477945 Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tranzmate&c=Moovit_Website&pid=Moovit_Website
To find what is nearby, such as restaurants, banks, etc.; paid version seems to work best with VoiceOver iTunes Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/where-to-find-best-places/id903955898
We wanted to share that we have recently announced our new app on the Apple and Google Play stores for Envision ELI. We wanted to share our patented app for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Be sure to check out the website also at EnvisionELI.com
Envision ELI on the App Store
ELI – Android Apps on Google Play
Thank you for sharing your app with the community!
May I be added to receive this by email?
So glad you found this helpful so glad you found this helpful enough to request posts by E-mail! I really have not developed my technology skills to the point of having an RSS Feed on the blog. I just post when new resources come up. You can always send an E-mail with questions to email@example.com. Sorry I do not have a way to automate it all for you. Thanks for visiting the site! Chris : )
Seeing AI combines a lot of apps in one. It has a short text reader, document reader, bar code scanner,currency reader, scene description, a handwriting reader, a color identifier, and light detector.
O&M students have begun using ViaOpta Nav and Soundscape. I need to learn more about these apps to be able to use them.
Thank you for sharing the additional apps Kathy!
Alarmed: Reminders + Timers is an excellent tool for organisation. It includes a notes area with reminders, a repeating alarm feature, a snooze option and a multi-use timer.
hello here. wanna say lots of thank you to those who took part in compiling all these APPs vital for persons with visually impairment. am very much grateful for you guys. have downloaded a good number of the APPs. you are making us to have a true and real picture of the world. lots of thanks to you. the problem or I can say a challenge is, most of the vital applications are not available in the Google playstore. and many of us to be specific; in Africa I being in Kenya; are using the Android devices. will be very much grateful if this APPs will be made available in the Google playstore.
regards: MR. Cheruiyot Victor.