Skip to main content

Posted in

Android

App review: 6by6 by BarrierBreak

This is another innovation in the assistive technology space from India. 6by6 By BarrierBreak has 3 amazing features to assist people with low vision and vision impairment. Here is a review of it’s 3 features and how they could help users.

  • Currency Identifier: In the recent past, In India, Reserve Bank of India has released several new currency notes and all of them are inaccessible to people with blindness. Almost all of them has same sizes and difficult to find difference. Currency identification feature comes handy in dealing with money. All that use needs to do is open 6by6 app, Tap on currency detector; this will open an in-app camera, place currency note about 4 – 5 inches away and tap anywhere on the app; this will read aloud currency. Though several lakhs of currency notes are trained to the app, it’s better to scan more than a few times to ensure accuracy. My tests show accuracy of about 85%.
  • Magnifier: Being a person with low-vision,  this is my most favourite feature. I have personally used this feature for reading menu in a restaurant, name of conference rooms at my work, signages at a bus station, labels in a retail store. One of the fabulous feature of this magnifier is that using freeze option, user can freeze a specific area of text and read at user’s comfort level. User can choose his/her desired magnification level using the slider. 
  • Light Detector: Imagine user is a person with vision impairment and checked into a hotel. How would he or she would know if lights in the room are turned-on. Light detector will assist by providing if lights are on, if there is dimmed light or bright light etc.,   

To begin with, these are great set of features and am sure, innovation at BarrierBreak continuous and more tools get added in days to come. Congratulations team and best of luck! 

Get the 6by6 app from Play Store

When you see “Google play services being updated” on android apps…

Recently I was experiencing a strange problem with Uber App on android. Every time I open the app, it displays “Google play services is being updated” and map never shows places. can’t select destination or pick up place.

Tried closing the app, rebooted the device – neither helped. Then went to Settings -> Apps -> Google play services -> memory and cleared cache; it worked but only for a couple of days and then issue is repeated.

Then finally I took a chance and disabled Google play services, uninstalled and did a fresh installation with update of the app. This worked for a few days now… hopeful it works for ever.

Remember while Google play services are inactive, a few apps such as True Caller, YouTube doesn’t work. Hope this could be of help.

One week of life with Android

Ah, it’s already one week. Summary is no regrets so far!

Yes, it’s already a week that I started using Android. Got a nice back cover from Amazon.in at a offer price of 329 INR but pretty cool in black and blue colour.

My initial problem of using SwiftKey keyboard and switched to Apple keyboard. But then my passion is also to write messages in regional language Telugu. For that, I have installed Google Indic Keyboard and that has given me satisfactory experience both for English and Telugu. I never enjoyed typing in Telugu on iOS.

Email is one of the taks I do prefer to use on mobile.With Honor’s native app, somehow I was not able to connect my mail accounts. I am not comfortable with GMail app interface (has poor color contrast). so I started using Microsoft Outlook for Android and this is slightly better but not perfect.

I have started using WhatsApp mostly on desktop web version than on mobile app; for the reason that I don’t like saving media to my phone. Unless iOS, android app doesn’t have an option not to save media but there is option to stop auto downloading of media.

It’s amazing to see that there is a lot of customization of look and feel in android. I have chosen Indian theme and it looks fabulous. May it be my perception, but I found display on android (at least on my HOnor view 10 phone) is brighter than on iOS.

Way to go!

Day 1 experience of switching to Android

I’ve been using iOS since 2010 (Thanks to Alan Brightman and Victor Tsaran while we were all at Yahoo!) and it has been an amazing experience. Though I’m not a full time screen reader user, I use a few features meant for people with low vision. Again, I am not big fan of using magnification software for the reason that they doesn’t let me skim-look easily. So I enlarge things I really want to see.

Recently I have decided to switch to Android for the reason to having interest in exploring all technologies. Here is my day 1 experience with Honor View 10.

  • Phone looks fabulous; not too small or bulky
  • Android operating system looks far more better than I have experienced before
  • Unboxing was easy. Initially we were not sure how to insert the SIM card but a video helped. Tip: we need to take out SIM tray completely.
  • Ability to turn off auto-brightness.
  • Still default keyboard is a bit unusable. For now, I have installed Apple keyboard
  • Able to download my favourite ringtone
  • Still need to find out how to completely turn off notifications and vibration
  • Perhaps due to increase in device size or whatever, I found Uber and Verizon Pulse apps more usable than on iOS
  • Ability to turn off notifications
  • Very easy to transfer data from existing phone; I still need to find out how to transfer messages without need fo installing an app

That’s all for now. But looks like android operating system has more matured from earlier and I may not feel regret of switching from Android phone. Let’s see how it goes.