Since its release over a year ago, the hype of the Apple Watch has simmered down. If you aren’t too familiar with the wearable device, check out my blog on its accessibility features as well as different apps available for the visually impaired. Now that it’s been out for a while, more and more apps and features are being added to benefit individuals with disabilities. One of these apps is TimeBuzz, an app that allows you to feel the current time through vibrations of the watch’s Taptic Engine.
TimeBuzz has been especially designed for individuals with visual impairments. Traditionally, in order for one of these individuals to get the time, their watch or phone will speak the current time aloud. The TimeBuzz app is different, as it utilizes tactile feedback to discreetly provide the time.
- The app itself is completely VoiceOver accessible.
- Once you open the app on the Apple Watch, you’ll see a large button stating “TAP TO BUZZ THE TIME.” If you tap this, the app will start buzzing the current time.
- The time will be translated into a pattern of long and short vibrations whereby it’ll first buzz the hours, then the minutes.
- You can choose between five different vibration options. To learn more about the different patterns, check them out here.
- Big Ben
- Dom Tower
- Times Square
- The developer’s website also provides a list of tips to increase the use of the app.
- Disable sounds: every buzz also generates a sound. If you want to use the app discreetly, disable the sound on the Apple Watch.
- Disable VoiceOver: turn off VoiceOver when using the app. VO will stay enabled even when the sounds have been turned off on your watch.
- Enable Complication: you can select a TimeBuzz complication on your watch face so you can start the app directly from the watch face.
- Select a watch face that can make use of complications, (e.g. the ‘Modular’ watch face.)
- “Press a bit harder (Force Touch) on the screen and choose ‘Modify’. Choose one or more complications on the TimeBuzz app.”
- Screen active: By default, the Apple Watch’s screen becomes inactive after 15 seconds. This can be increased to 70 seconds. This will provide the app enough time to complete the buzzing of the current time.
The app is available to download now on the App Store.
To learn more about its accessibility features and benefits for individuals with visual impairments, check it out on AppleVis.