iPhone Apps for the Visually Impaired

Many applications are available from Apple for the iPhone and serve as assisistive technology. These apps are opening a new world for people who are blind or have vision impairments because it allows them to virtually see. In previous blog posts, INDATA featured Looktel Money Reader and VizWiz in our weekly Tech Tip videos. Below, I’ve highlighted a few other apps that are especially beneficial to people with vision impairments.

Ariadne GPS assists with navigation by announcing visual clues to people as they walk or ride a bus. Talking maps allow people who are visually impaired to explore the world independently. For example, crossing a street is signaled by the phone vibrating. This app works anywhere that Google maps do. It’s $2.99 and created by Giovanni Ciaffoni.

Color ID Free is designed exclusively with the vision impaired in mind. It’s easy to use; simply point the iPhone at the item you would like to know the color of and the device will state the color aloud. This app works well for determining the color of clothing, food, make-up and so many more items. Color ID Free is created by GreenGar Studios and free to download.

Google Search is so simple to use. Download this application and turn on the voiceover option. Say what you would like to search for and Google reads the results aloud via VoiceOver. It’s created by Google and free to download.

oMoby allows you to search the internet using pictures taken with the iPhone camera and works well with VoiceOver. After you take a photo, the app automatically searches the internet for matching. Then, you are presented with the option to shop or search for the item. It’s a bit slower than Google Search, but it offers a unique feature of image recognition. It’s free and is created by IQ Engines.

Talking Timer is pretty self-explanatory-it’s a timer that talks! A great feature of this app is that it will speak over music. The timer can be set at intervals or be set to count up or down. It’s also fully VoiceOver accessible. It’s available for $.99 and created by 7Zillion.

Evernote has been around since basically the beginning of the app store, but it’s longevity hasn’t made the app lose any popularity. This application stores voice notes, photographs and text so these documents can be accessed on numerous devices. It also has VoiceOver support. It’s created by Evernote and free to download.