Blind Bargains

The Year In A.T. 2019: Mainstream Mayhem


The holiday season brings along gifts, good tidings and of course awards shows. Before we phase out the year that was, and observe the tradition of the MoonPie dropping over Mobile As we do every December, we collected the highlights of the year s Blindness and Low Vision Assistive Technology news and pressed it into a giant scrapbook. BBQ Crew members J.J., Joe, Shelly Brisbin, Scott Davert And Lisa Salinger have some thoughts about what transpired in 2019. And they were silly enough to make wild guesses about what 2020 may hold as well. Check out the show notes for BBQ 204 to read more about what news made our list of emerging trends and big stories.

Built-in technology has gained a substantial foothold in what was previously a bolt-on solution A.T. market. Microsoft entered the year with a Super Bowl commercial for the Xbox Adaptive Controller And additional updates to Windows Magnifier and Narrator for Windows 10. Apple updated all the things, and then updated them again and again, along the multitude of operating systems they now support. Amazon introduced a new Echo product with the coming of each full moon. And Google continued to add to the graveyard As more items were given personalized headstones.

Here is a smattering of news stories we covered on the podcast regarding each of the mainstream companies in 2019.

Amazon

Every product with Amazon Alexa announced at CES 2019
Demonstrations of Voice View on Fire OS and Alexa's Guard Mode
A New Feature makes the Amazon Echo Show More Useful for Blind Users
Demonstration: Echo Show And Tell
Demonstration of the MyPod Alexa Skill
Demonstration of the Notes feature for Amazon Echo devices
Access World features articles on Amazon Audio Description, microwaves and more

Apple

QXL update includes Mac support, one handed mode and better Escape key support
UX rant: The nightmare horrorshow that is the Apple TV remote
Detecting Accessibility Events: Apple Wants Websites to Know I m a Screen Reader User, but How About Asking Me First
Apple Shares Information on its New Accessibility Events Feature; Most Notably that it's not Enabled by Default
Apple s TV industry embrace was an inevitable surprise
WWDC Wrap Up: Blind Bargains Qast 184: The Wheels On The Mac Go Round And Round
Apple Previews Accessibility Enhancements Coming with macOS Catalina, iPadOS, and iOS 13
#19: Apple's Full Accessibility Plate
AppleVis Extra 67: a Conversation with Sarah Herrlinger and Dean Hudson of Apple's Accessibility Team
Introducing Voice Control on Mac and iOS (with Audio Descriptions) Apple
Bard iOS app updates before summer convention with big changes
36 Seconds That Changed Everythingg: How the iPhone Learned to Talk
Apple's 2019 Hardware Wrap Up: Blind Bargains Qast 191: Slofies Access For All
Editorial Summary of Apple's "by Innovation Only" Event on September 10
The Accessibility Bugs Introduced and Resolved in iOS 13 for Blind and Low Vision Users
Apple to Release iOS 13.1 and iPadOS 13.1 on 24 September; Bringing Many Bug Fixes and Some New Ones
Apple Releases iOS 13.2 and iPadOS 13.2; Bringing Many Bug Fixes for Blind and Low Vision Users
At Long Last, ScripTalk Mobile Now Available on iOS
Apple Releases iOS 13.2.3 and iPadOS 13.2.3 with Mail, Messages, and Search Fixes and Background App Performance Improvements
A discussion on Apple TV Plus and the new series "See"
The AppleVis Community Names Seeing AI and Dice World as its Golden Apples of 2019
Casting Call: Apple TV+ Series "SEE" Season 2

Google

Chromecast Audio is the first tech fatality of 2019
Every product with Google Assistant announced at CES 2019
Resources for accessing and using Google Suite with a screen reader
#CSUNATC19 Audio: Sweet Unlimited Access To Your Docs And More With Grackle
#CSUNATC19 Audio: Hey Google, Tell Me About IrisVision Live
Google i/o Wrap Up: Blind Bargains Qast 180: The Second F
Google Adds Additional Ways to Enable Accessibility, Other Tweaks in Android Q Accessibility Services
Live Relay, Easier phone calls without voice or hearing
[Update: Spreads to Samsung, LG] Google Lookout uses AI to help visually-impaired people navigate the world
EnVision AI is the winner of a Google Play Award for accessibility
HIMS releases an update to the Polaris featuring smoother Google intergration
Google Pixel Users can Now Toggle TalkBack by Voice
Google Docs 'live edits' feature helps the visually impaired
Product Impressions: Google Home Max Redux And Surface Go Type Cover
Discussion about the Android 10 launch: #24: Don't Call It Queen Cake
Demonstrations of Google Assistant Routines, Stream Transfer and Xbox support
2019 Google Hardware Wrap Up: Blind Bargains Qast 196: Nest Home Pixel Max
Action Blocks: one tap to make technology more accessible
Voice guidance in Maps, built for people with impaired vision
Using AI to give people who are blind the full picture
If it has audio, now it can have captions
Demonstration: Google Home Hub

Microsoft

#ATIA19 Audio: Becoming Modern With Microsoft And Low Vision Access In Windows
Microsoft helps Blind/VI children to develop an interest in coding from a young age with Code jumper
Microsoft Sound Scape Scavenger Hunt Encouraged Us To Actually Go Outside
Exploring Photos And More With Microsoft Seeing AI Version 3.0
Interview: Saqib Shaikh, Seeing AI
Freedom Scientific created a blog post to give information about the changes coming to Microsoft Edge
Microsoft Patented an Xbox Controller With a Braille Display
Windows 10 Spring Update Details: Blind Bargains Qast 182: Baby Shark Dream Reader
Discussion about Microsoft Build 2019: #18: Low Orbit Halos
Hardware Impressions: Surface Go tablet
Microsoft's Seeing VR
#NFB19 Audio: Previewing What s Next For Microsoft s Magnifier And Narrator
#Sponsored Convention Audio: APH Creates A Fun Pathway To STEM With Code Jumper
Product Impressions: Google Home Max Redux And Surface Go Type Cover
Seeing AI adds dark mode, Siri Shorcuts and more
Microsoft 2019 Hardware Event Wrap Up: Blind Bargains Qast 194: UberWoof Neo
Aira, Microsoft, and Moovit make public transport more accessible for the visually impaired
Code Jumper wins CES award for best app inovation
The AppleVis Community Names Seeing AI and Dice World as its Golden Apples of 2019
Microsoft updates Seeing AI,bringing new languages,currencies, and support for Siri shortcuts

Category: News

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Joe Steinkamp is no stranger to the world of technology, having been a user of video magnification and blindness related electronic devices since 1979. Joe has worked in radio, retail management and Vocational Rehabilitation for blind and low vision individuals in Texas. He has been writing about the A.T. Industry for 15 years and podcasting about it for almost a decade.


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