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Contributed by Joel Zimba, Special Projects Corodinator, MDTAP

It’s been quite a week in the mobile accessibility world.  For iOS users, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.  As expected Apple released a new version of the iOS operating system, along with new iPhones.

As if that weren’t enough, a couple of new apps have dropped which you can run on that spiffy new iPhone:  An informational app called “NAGDU,” produced by the National Association of Guide Dog Users, provides legal and contact information which may be useful to any guide dog user.  It’s a simple and straight-forward app, though I expect it will be expanded over time.  NAGDU can be downloaded from the App Store free of charge.

The long-awaited KNFB Mobile app has finally arrived.  Much like the KNFB Reader, which ran its software on a Nokia phone, the KNFB app performs OCR functions using the iPhone camera.  We receive many calls at MDTAP asking about software which can read printed text.  I’ve written previous articles about Text Detective and Prizmo which attempt to solve the same problem.  Nothing I’ve used previously compare to the speed and accuracy of the KNFB Mobile app.  Early reports are very positive.  There is plenty of discussion at the applevis.com website regarding tips and tricks as well as large amounts of user-experiences and advice.  KNFB Mobile can be found in the Appstore.  The cost is $99.00.

As mentioned above, iOS 8 has arrived.  A host of improvements, changes and bugs await you.  The good folks over at the NFB Technology blog have written a couple of articles about iOS 8. Check out http://www.nfb.org/at-blog.   Of particular note is the new Braille entry mode.  For questions and comments, particularly about accessibility, I, again, recommend the excellent applevis.com resource.

Over the next few weeks, there will be many updates to third-party apps and certainly a patch or two for iOS 8 itself.  If you’re the cautious type, it wouldn’t hurt to update your device after the dust has cleared.  If I were a betting man, I would put money on a demonstration video or two coming your way as well.

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