A
A
A
A+
A-
Useful Apps

If you have a visual impairment, a smart phone can help you to be more independent. Below is a list of apps, which can help make a difference to everyday life.
(This information and guidance on apps for the visually impaired was provided by Henshaws)

BeSpecular
Description: “Let blind people see through your eyes” is their tagline and this app matches sighted volunteers with visually impaired users. The visually impaired person takes a photo of what he or she needs help with and attaches a voice message, which is sent to a community of volunteers (or sightlings as they call them). Within minutes, the user receives a reply and then rates out of five stars the helpfulness of the volunteer. This app is great because you get a description from a real human being, it’s very accessible and it’s quick.
Available on: iOS and Android
Cost: Free
Website: www.bespecular.com

Aipoly Vision
Description: Aipoly Vision is an object and colour recogniser that uses artificial intelligence to help people with a visual impairment to understand their surroundings. Simply point your phone at the object of interest and press any of the recognition buttons at the bottom of the screen to turn on the artificial intelligence. The app will keep running and recognising objects until you switch to a different mode. Aipoly Vision can recognise 1,000 essential items for free, and many more through a subscription. You get the odd (often humorous!) inaccuracy but generally it’s pretty impressive.
Available on: iOS and Android
Cost: Free or £4.99 for monthly subscription
Website: www.aipoly.com

iDentifi 
Description: iDentifi is an app that uses artificial intelligence to enable a visually impaired user to click a photo and get an instant description. It’s able to recognise objects, brands, colours, facial expressions, handwriting and text, and delivers an audible description of the image’s contents to the user. The interface is very accessible and gives the option to choose from three different modes of object and text recognition, as well as how fast you want the app to speak.
Available on: iOS
Cost: Free
Website: http://getidentifi.com/

Be My Eyes
Description: “Lend your eyes to the blind” is their tagline and Be My Eyes is very similar to BeSpecular in that the app matches a visually impaired user with a sighted volunteer. The difference is that you are connected through a live video connection and the sighted volunteer can tell the user what they see when the user points their phone at something using the rear-facing camera. Watch our Be My Eyes video to see it in action.
Available on: iOS
Cost: Free
Website: www.bemyeyes.com

TapTapSee
Description: TapTapSee uses a phone’s camera and VoiceOver functions to photograph objects and identify them for the user. You double-tap the device’s screen to photograph any two or three dimensional object at any angle, and the app analyses the image and gives you a description, out loud, within seconds.
Available on: iOS
Cost: Free
Website: www.taptapseeapp.com

Color ID
Description: Color Identifier uses the camera on your phone or tablet to identify and speak the names of colours in real-time. It’s an augmented reality app that helps you discover the colours around you. There are many free aps that do this though so have a play and if you don’t like it try one of the others, such as, AidColors, Color Visor and Aipoly Vision.
Available on: iOS and Android
Cost: Free

Light Detector
Description: Light Detector transforms any natural or artificial light source it encounters into sound. Just run the application and point your phone’s camera in any direction. You will hear a higher or lower sound depending on the Intensity of the light, enabling you to understand where light fixtures and windows are in a room.
Available on: iOS
Cost: £1.99

CamFind
Description: CamFind allows you to do an online search by simply taking a photo of an object – the app then uses mobile visual search technology to tell you what it is. It provides fast results with no typing necessary. Snap a picture and learn more. Search results include related    images, local shopping results and a selection of web results, which are also easy to share through the app.
Available on: iOS and Android
Cost: Free
Website: www.camfindapp.com

Magnifying Glass with Light
Description: This app enables the user to very simply magnify text or objects up to 10x. You can have the light on or off and simply tap to focus. The simple features all work well with VoiceOver and it’s great for someone with a low level visual impairment for things like reading menus or    receipts.
Available on: iOS
Cost: Free

DAISY Talk
Description: DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) is an international standard for digital books designed for people with print disabilities. DAISY Talk is an app that reads out text of a DAISY book using a synthesized voice incorporated into an iOS device. This app is very accessible but there are a number of other apps that will do the same job, including Read2Go.
Available on: iOS
Cost: £25.99

Seeing AI
Description: Seeing AI is a free app that narrates the world around you, harnessing the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to describe nearby people, text and objects. The app has a number of features, including speaking text as soon as it appears in front of the camera, providing audio guidance to capture a printed page and reading handwritten text. The app is an ongoing research project and as the research progresses, more channels may be added.
Cost: Free
Website: www.microsoft.com/en-us/seeing-ai/ 

Kindle
Description: This fully accessible app enables you to turn your iPhone or iPad into a Kindle and carry all your eBooks with you. You’re able to turn any eBook in to large print and all the eBooks (including those with narration) that you have purchased on Amazon will automatically appear in your app.
Available on: iOS, Android, PC and Mac
Cost: Free
Website: www.amazon.co.uk/kindle-dbs/fd/kcp

BlindSquare
Description: BlindSquare is an accessible GPS app, which describes the environment, announces points of interest, streets and user specified points as you travel. The most important BlindSquare functions can be accessed through an audio menu via any headset or speaker that supports Apple’s music controller. Once BlindSquare has determined your location using your phone’s GPS, it will look up information about your surroundings.
Available on: iOS
Cost: £40
Website: www.blindsquare.com

Station Alert UK
Description: Knowing where to get off the train is not easy when you have little or no vision – in fact many sighted people often miss their stop. The Station Alert UK app allows you to select your stations and save them as favourites. It will then alert you at whatever distance from the station you have selected, so you can sit back and relax.
Available on: iOS and Android
Cost: Free

ATM Finder
Description: This fully accessible app was developed with the Thomas Pocklington Trust (TPT) to enable visually impaired people to locate Link ATMs more easily. Users can filter their search to find ATMs that have audio assistance, are free to use, belong to a specific organisation, such as your bank, and are wheelchair accessible. The app is GPS-enabled and shows you the ATMs that are closest to you on a map.
Available on: iOS and Android
Cost: Free
Website: www.link.co.uk/atm-locator/mobile

Audible
Description: Audible is an audio book service brought to you by Amazon. It has all the best sellers as well as     classics, non-fiction and much more, professionally narrated by actors. The app is free but membership to the     service is charged at a monthly subscription. The service is very accessible and you can try a month’s free trial to see if you like it before you commit.
Available on: iOS, Android and Windows
Cost: One month free trial then £7.99 a month
Website: www.audible.co.uk