Saturday, June 26, 2010

I got my New Iphone 4!: What an Iphone Means for Accessibility

The default Home screen of the iPhone 3GS show...Image via Wikipedia
Oh, Yipee Skipee! I got my new iPhone 4!

I have been pecking like a chicken at my new toy and am just starting to customize it for me. Unlike other people, I'm not having any of the problems with left handed use or connectivity problems so far.

I am having some problems pecking at the keyboard.  Here's a good explanation of keyboard features on iPhone.
Of course, I have been loading it up with apps. I've found apps to help with Auditory Processing Disorder, Tinnitus, and Executive Dysfunction(Time Management and Organization).  In addition to the default applications provided, I have added:
  • SoundAmp -- cheap hearing aide that filters out background noise. I have Auditory Processing Disorder so I have problems hearing in noise.  SoundAmp has a multi-band compressor which splits the audio signal into separate frequency bands and applies adaptive volume control to each band so you can filter out background noise and amp up the portion of the sound that you are having problems with.  I have already tried it for:

    • Opera -- doesn't work so well.  Pavarotti and Callas aren't coming through much better than with my regular ears.  I don't get Italian articulated well enough for me to follow along.  Too bad. I'll diddle with the settings and see if changing the settings on the filters or equalizer helps.
    • Pop Music -- works much better.  I tried it out using Youtube videos. A number of the lyrics to the songs come in more clearly but not all.  Black Eyed Peas' I Got a Feeling comes in better and a lot of Michael Jackson (but not Beat It).
    • Live Music -- really helps.  I went to a small outdoor concert of Celtic music and I could amp up the vocals.  If I didn't block out local noise, I could also hear the conversations of people next to me.
    • Conversations in Noise -- really helps.  My husband's voice came in much clearer
    • Get SoundAmp app here.
    • More on Soundapp

  • Bump.  Transfer photos, videos, contacts, etc. from one iPhone (iTouch) to another by just tapping the two together.  It took a couple tries for hubby and me to bump, but bump we did.

  • Time Timer:  A visual timer where time is shaped into a pie chart.  I am working on time management skills and I found a count down device lets me know when to hurry up to keep a pace and when I can cruise.   I don't really have an innate sense of time passing so I am going to try this out.   It's important when working at home without a supervisor to keep yourself on a given pace. 

  • Toodledo.  A note and task manager.  There are others:  Things, and Taska,, but I am going to start out on Toodledo.  What I like about Toodledo is that it has an automatic scheduler. 

    • I've tried using task features in the calendar programs but what happens is that I create my list and schedule it all for Today and Tomorrow... I just can't seem to populate the rest of the week.  So I start out bravely on my list and fall behind, manually reschedule, and do more of the list and reschedule, and keep recycling until I get overwhelmed and drop the list and just float. I float and then get energized to reprioritize and then I start the whole cycle of making and scheduling a list and eventually dropping the list.

      • Make List. Schedule It.  Do Some Of It. Fall Behind. Try to Recoup. Drop the Schedule. Float. Repeat.  

    • So I am going to try to make my list and then let the computer tell me what to do (I can reprioritize my list if I want to ).  This has worked well on doing my errands with a GPS.  I punch in my local destinations:  cleaners, grocery, bank, hit optimize and the GPS tells me what to do next.  It works amazingly well and I get more stuff done. So I will try following directions given to me by Toodledo.
    • Get Toodledo app here.

  • Dragon Dictate.  Iphone version of MacSpeech and Dragon Naturally Speaks.  Voice to Text.  Works really well when I want to draft a document or have writers block.

  • ShopSavy.  Shopping app that lets you scan the bar code and searches local stores for the best deal.

  • Urban Spoon and Yelp apps. Find local restaurants and coffee shops.

  • Amtrak:  Contrary to Amtrak's statements.  Amtrak does not have an iPhone app; it does have a mobile website at  So I've book marked it.
  • NJ transit:  There is iTransitBuddy...but it has mixed reviews.  Apparently, it doesn't automatically get updated schedules so people are rightfully annoyed.  Will monitor this app to see if it gets better.
  • Tinnitus noise maskers:  OceanWaves and Waterfall.  Waterfall has a nice bunch of movies with a lot of other sounds other than a waterfall.

  • Brain Games:  

    • Brain Trainer by Lumosity.. Lots of games developed by leading neuroscientists to enhance mental performance.  Recommended by my opthalmic technician for visual memory, perception problems as well

    • I Know You by Posit Science. Face Recognition app developed by more leading neuroscientists to help you learn face recognition.

    • IKeepTime.  Rhythm trainer.  Show when I am on or off the beat as I tap.  Kind of like the Interactive Metronome training that I have been doing for therapy.

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