Blind Bargains

NLS bard for iOS introduces new features including simultaneous downloads, airplay, braille display autoscroll


On Feb 13, The National Library Service released a new iOS version of Bard, its popular braille and talking books app. The new version introduces many new features for users of the service.

Previously, when adding books to your library, it was necessary to download each title individually, which, depending on the size of your download, could take a lot of time. With this update, it is now possible to download up to 3 items at once.

When reading titles in braille, you can now set your braille display length and autoscroll rate in order to read continuously. The system keeps track of where you are in a book, and now scrolls your display at a rate you have configured.

If you only wish to receive braille or audio results when browsing Bard, you can now configure the type of content shown on the Bard website. Go to settings, user account settings, show me, and select the types of results you'd like to see. This will make it much easier to find the content you want faster. You will still see braille/audio results if they are in your wishlist or previous downloads.

If the book you're reading is audio, you will see a new airplay button on the "now reading" screen. Previously, it was possible to play Bard audio through an airplay speaker by going through control center, but now Bard mobile has native Airplay support.

When interacting with a book in your library, there is a new actions menu, accessible either through the actions rotor or a new actions button beside each title. The menu offers new quick actions for things like finding other books in the same series, by the same author, or about the same subject.

A new recently read button in the now reading section brings you to your most recently opened books, preventing the need to go back to the bookshelf to switch between recently opened titles. You can also execute this command with a three-finger swipe left, or 2-finger swipe left, if not using VoiceOver.

You can now subscribe to book series and magazines within the app. Previously, this was only doable through the website. New magazine issues and series titles will automatically be added to your wishlist.

Finally, the app now saves your jump settings. For example, if you have jump by chapter in one book, and jump by bookmark in another, the specific jump format is now remembered for each title.

A new manual goes into many of these features in more detail and can be found here

You can download the update either by going to my account and checking for updates on your iOS device, or installing bard from the App Store here

Source: BARD Mobile on the app store
Category: News

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Tangela Mahaffey is a barely reformed English Major currently residing in Colorado. She reads entirely too many fantasy books and takes almost nothing seriously, including herself. She loves technology, music, writing, puns, and cats. She can be reached on twitter @tmmahaff


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