High Contrast Episode 1: Three iPads for Three Hosts

Listen To High Contrast Episode 1: Three iPads for Three Hosts

Welcome to “High Contrast”, the newest offering on SPN, a show that features conversations on topics about living with Low Vision. In this show we introduce ourselves and give you and idea about the visual accuities we have amongst the team. Then we move on to talk about exercise, the new iPad and more.


Running For Fun… And Your Life?

It is easy to be overwhelmed or intimidated by the thought of running for lots of reasons. However, we find out that its easier than you think and there is even an App for that.  

Two legally blind runners to run in Columbia SC races

New England Regional Ski For Light

NPR The New Running Game Where ‘Zombies’ Chase You

What we thought came out of CSUN

Meet The Flick Camera

Video Magnifiers with Vinnie Rappa of Humanware

Talking Video Magnifiers with Enhanced Vision

A Discussion with Brian Smith of Magnisight

You can always find more CSUN12 coverage at the main SeroTalk page

And be sure to check out Blind Bargains as well for their audio coverage of CSUN 2012

The New iPad Is Here! What’s In Store For Low Vision Users?

We know its crazy to think that some out there may not know there is a new iPad in town, however, not everyone knows that there are some key features that are compelling for those with Low Vision. We go In Depth in the podcast about many of the new aspects of Apple’s latest iDevice and below you will find just some of our thoughts on what makes this a good buy.

The New Camera

The original iPad required you to connect a strange add on Camera kit for taking pictures and the iPad 2’s camera wasn’t anything special. But the new iPad sports a 5 MB camera on the back and this opens up a lot of options for picture taking, reading and more.

Here’s Rodney’s thoughts on using the new ipad as a handheld digital camera replacement:

“Rodney has had pretty good success taking still pictures. “You really have to be steady while the iPad tries to focus and remain stable. Using the iPad as a view finder works pretty well for me. I was able to read whiteboards off at a distance pretty clearly. Anytime you zoom, the focus it will get a little blurry in spots because the sensor isn’t like using a DSLR camera. I guess your mileage may vary.”

To zoom you have to spread two fingers like you would on a webpage, i.e. opposite of a pinch or the “multi-touch” gesture. Once you do that move the slider shows up on the bottom of the screen like in other devices.

Viewing from a Distance

Check out Maurie’s “Zoomed In” blog post, entitled “Viewing From A Distance”, from October 2011 to get an idea of how the iPad 2’s camera works for reading and seeing objects from further away.


Of course the biggest new feature of the new iPad is its amazing display. The device now supports 1080p video and even higher resolutions for displaying text with HD quality video. Here are some thoughts about the new iPad’s nifty visuals from maurie.

“The text  is clear and crisp, and some photos are more vivid depending on the photo’s resolution.

Screen text in message containers (i.e. Mail App – the message body; text in Notes text messages in Message App is better, but not drastically better than the iPad1 and ipad2.

HOWEVER, Screen text (5X) outside of message containers (i.e. Inbox list in Mail App, street names in Maps App, web pages in Safari App) is very noticeably crisper on the NEW iPad.  For example, in the Maps App, I pinched to zoom to the maximum level and then used the highest full screen ZOOM level (5x).  The street names were very easy to read.  On the iPad1 and iPad2, it’s readable but fuzzy, making your eyes work harder, like wearing glasses of the wrong prescription.”

To sum up…

Original iPad1

Most notable is that it does not have a camera, so taking photos, and videos is not an option.  Even if you’re not interested in taking photos, the lack of camera will prevent you from seamlessly taking advantage of some apps such as OCR apps, Vision Assist, or object recognition apps.  But, you can take photos and videos from other devices and view them on the original iPad1. The speaker is off to the side of the device while iPad 2 and 3 have the speakers placed on the back of the tablet. You can always use an external speaker dock, or a Smart Cover from Apple, to allow you to hear sound beter on the 2 or 3 though. 

iPad1 and iPad2

Visually, they both have similar screen display quality, for example, magnified text looks about the same (that is to say that text can look a bit fuzzy against the display of the new iPad). But if you use VoiceOver, and the Large text in message containers, this may not be an issue.  But if you want to use it as a large screen GPS, the NEW iPad is the best choice.

NEW iPad

The Retina display, a  good camera and more power under the Gorilla Glass will allow you to take advantage of many apps for the sight impaired, And it’s the best choice for GPS and magnifying maps.

So, the sight impaired are big winners in the release of the NEW iPad, even for the fact that the original iPad and iPad2 are more affordable.

the Vision Assist app for iOS allows you to snap an image of text or an object then scroll, zoom in or apply optional color filters similar to those found with handheld Video Magnifiers.

Rodney and the gang mentioned a GPS app called “MotionX”. To learn more about it, visit their official site. Important Reminder: In order to use GPS apps on any iPad, you will need to skip the WiFi only models as the devices with wireless connections are better for those apps.

App Review: jetpack Joyride

joe Steinkamp takes us on a tour of this addicting free app that allows you to enjoy the power of flight and collect lots and lots of pretty things. From the makers of “Fruit Ninja”, Halfbrick Studios makes a game that is easy to learn and even easier to see if you have Low Vision. Be sure to listen carefully to joe’s Pro Tip for how to earn coins faster and buy up all those crazy Jetpacks!

Keep Up With Our Hosts

How can you find out what our hosts are up to outside the podcast?

Follow Maurie Hill on Twitter

Check out Maurie’s writing on the AI Squared Zoomed In Blog

Follow Rodney Edgar on Twitter

Check out Rodney on the Tech Access Weekly Blog and Podcast

Follow Jeremy Curry on Twitter

You can also check out GW Micro on Twitter.

Feel free to send your feedback on this show to resources@serotalk.com. You can always find the latest on this show and others on the SeroTalk Podcast Network using iBlink Radio for your iOS device or your Android device. You can even leave us an iReport right from the iBlink app.

Thanks for listening!

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