For your reading convenients below you will find all the Technically Speaking APPetizers: Byte size tidbits published in 2018
Exploring Workflow in iOS
I am at my doctor’s appointment and I need to let my wife know I am done and ready to be picked up. I could swipe and tap and use the on-screen keyboard to create my message, Or, I could use SIRI. Nope. I want a third option. I want to automatically create this message and then I can send it to my wife. I found a great app that will help me do this project and a whole lot more. Best of all, the app is free from the Apple app store.
The Workflow app (www.workflow.is) can help you save time and frustration by automating a process on your iDevice. The process is called a workflow, like the app. Consider the swiping and typing you spend to send one message. You can create a workflow to do this for you. You can also use a workflow that will email a monthly meeting reminder to a group, speed dial that important someone or a group call, message your family when you arrive home, convert a document to .PDF, remind you of a task when you get to work, or send a tweet or a Facebook post.
A workflow is like cooking from a recipe where you follow the steps or actions in your recipe to create something yummy. Workflow actions are the tasks you can perform in the apps on your iDevice. The Gallery includes a lot of recipes or sample workflow examples that you can use or customize. You can also build a workflow from scratch and choose your actions from a list. For example, you can add a new event in your calendar, select a contact, record audio, dictate text, select a photo, or specify a GPS location and address. You can run a workflow from the app, from an icon on your Home screen, or from the Today Widget in the Notification Center.
The key to a good recipe or workflow is defining your task and identifying the actions needed. I want to send a simple message to my wife when I double-tap an icon on my Home Screen. I would like to create it once and reuse it any time. Basically, I want to set it and forget about it. This recipe translates into two actions: specify message text and create message to a recipient.
Now it is time to do some cooking. I need to create a workflow and add my ingredients. I create a new workflow by double-tapping Add Workflow button. I will choose Normal Workflow. Next, I switch between Actions and Workflow view. In the Action list, I find and drag a “Specify Message Text” action to the right of the screen and drop it to add it to the Workflow list. I write the text, “I am ready” in the text field. Next, I will add a “Create Message” action and add my wife’s mobile number from the contact list. Finally, I will try my workflow by double-tapping on the “Run Workflow” button. I can easily edit or change each action. Finally, Under Workflow Settings, I name my workflow as “Ready.” Now, I can run it from the Workflow app anytime.
I want to add my workflow as an icon on my Home screen. I will choose Add to Home Screen in the Settings Menu and follow the on-screen instructions. Now, I can run this workflow by double-tapping on a screen icon. You can also share your workflow with someone else, by choosing Share Workflow.
I am Ready Workflow Recipe:
1. Create workflow and choose Normal.
2. Add the Text action from the action menu.
3. Enter your message text.
4. Add the Send Message action.
5. Choose the recipient from your contact list.
6. Play workflow to test it.
7. Add to Home Screen.
8. Enjoy and share with friends!
The Workflow app is a powerful tool that will save you a lot of swipes and taps. Take some time and try a few of the workflow examples in the Gallery. Start with something simple and useful like the workflow above. Once you understand how it works, customize a workflow or create a new one. If you create something that helps you, consider sharing it with another iUser. Have fun and you will get the hang of Workflow in no time.
You can learn more about Workflow from the getting started tutorial in the app. The Workflow app website has helpful documentation and examples. I also included some links to videos that provide a good overview of the Workflow app and how students with disabilities are using it.
Workflow Website: www.workflow.is
Workflow Documentation: www.workflow.is/docs
AppChasers.com: How to use Workflow
Closing the Gap - Luis Perez presentation: Getting started with Workflow
Luis Perez Workflow app video tutorial: Creating a Workflow
Logan Project - How Workflow can assist learners with disabilities: Workflow and those with disabilities
Speed Dial Telephone Conference Call Using iPhone
I participate in various blind discussion groups by dialing into an automated telephone conference system using my iPhone. The group leader provides me with the phone number and an access code that I need to enter for each session. After many swipes and taps, I get into the call. I want to enter this information once and have my iPhone speed dial for me thereafter.
I’ll show you how to create a new Contact where you can enter the phone number and access codes to dial into the conference system. I’ll also show you how to create a favorite and include it in your notifications center. As a bonus, I’ll provide a Workflow that you can create and save it to your Home screen or to your notification center.
The Contact app allows you to create an information card for a person, a company, or even a blind discussion group. (If you are new to creating contacts, please check out the resources below.) Let’s create a contact that will connect you to your telephone conference and mute your phone when you join the call.
Create a new contact and enter the name of your telephone conference name under “Company.” The address card will appear in alphabetical order in the contacts list.
Next, add a corresponding phone label or create a custom label. Enter the telephone conference number using the number keypad.
Select the Shift key and double-tap. This menu allows us to add a comma (pause) and a number sign (hashtag). Add 2 commas to allow time for the conference system to give voice instructions.
Next, insert the access code and then a number sign (hashtag). You can also add 5 to mute your phone when joining the discussion.
SIRI will read Number as: 605 475-4120 comma comma 4452 number sign comma 5.
Company: Blind Tech Discussion
Label: Telephone Conference
Number: (605) 475-4120,,4452#,5
Edit the address card to change/add other information. You can share it with other participants via a message or by email.
Select “Share Contact” at the bottom of the screen and follow the prompts. Now, you can call the contact and join the call.
Speed Dial using Favorites
Let’s add the telephone conference contact to the list. Open Favorites in the Dial app and add the telephone conference discussion contact.
You can re-arrange or delete a contact in your Favorites list by choosing the edit button at the top right of the screen.
You can access this favorite from Today view in the Notification Center from your Home Screen or from your Lock Screen.
Speed Dial using WorkFlow
Let’s create a new Workflow from the Gallery and add it to “My Workflows.” You can save the Workflow on your Home Screen or in Notifications for speedy access.
Speed Dial Telephone Conference Workflow Recipe
1. Open Workflow app and choose Gallery tab.
2. Find “Speed Dial” under Quick Shortcuts.
3. Choose “Get Workflow” and go back to Workflow Screen. Choose “My Workflows” tab.
4. Open Workflow named “Speed Dial.”
5. Select “Add Contact” and select your telephone conference.
6. Open “Workflow Settings” and change name to your telephone conference.
7. Choose “Access the Workflow from Home Screen and follow the prompts. You can also add it to the Today Widget in the Notification Center by selecting “Today Widget” in the “What Type Menu.”
8. Test workflow and make changes as necessary.
9. Your Workflow will appear in the “My Workflows” view tab.
10. You’ll get the hang of it in no time.
Creating a speed dial for your telephone conference call can save you time and frustration. Consider creating a speed dial for or other automated menu systems like your doctor’s office or pharmacy. Create your contact and decide where you want to speed dial the call: in your Favorites, Home Screen icon, or Workflow app. Add the speed dial to your notification center and join the call on the go from your new iWatch. Make some notes so you can create other speed dial contacts and workflows. Maybe you can help another person connect to the telephone conference. Good Luck!
Making and Receiving Phone Calls www.hadley.edu/PlayVideo.asp
Adding a New Contact www.hadley.edu/Play
November 2017: Make a Quick Call on Your iPhone theblindperspective.com/newsletter/2017
January 2018: Exploring Workflow in iOS theblindperspective.com/newsletter/2018
Using Workflow App iphone-tricks.comwww.lifewire.com
Rafting the Rapids of iOS Updates!
I got a notification that iOS 11.3 was ready to download and install. I’ve learned by experience an update may cause a favorite app to stop working or settings and tones to change. “Change is hard!” Getting older and losing your sight makes it more challenging. Let’s face it, we don’t like running the iOS technology river all the time with its twists and turns of updates, white water app changes, and rocks and rapids. But, sometimes, the update may be worth the trouble by giving you better app stability and new features.
Apple usually releases a major update each year like iOS 11 to take advantage of new hardware like 3D Touch. Beta testers use the software before it’s released to help find and report issues. Then, incremental updates like iOS 11.3 are released to provide new features like battery monitor, to fix known bugs, and to enhance stability. Apple will release specific updates like iOS 11.3.1 to enhance security or to fix something that was not included in a previous update.
Resources to Explore When Updating iOS
I try to learn as much as I can about an update before I download and install it. So, I did a little bit of research on iOS 11.3 in the Apple News app and Google to learn more about it. Next, I checked the Apple support site for update issues and questions from users. Finally, I looked for other resources to help me learn about new features. I’ve included a resource list at the end of this article.
Apple Accessibility website provides articles on using VO on your iDevice including gestures, the Rotor, VO keyboard commands and braille commands. You can download a free updated iOS 11.3 User Guide in iBooks, download a braille file, or request an embossed copy. You can also search the support site for specific issues like setting up mail on an iPhone.
iOS and Technology News
iOS comes with “News,” an app where you can read current articles on topics from various newspapers, magazines, or news agencies. You can search for topics like “iOS” and then “love” the article or topic. News will compile these articles into a channel where you read them with VoiceOver. You can also Google for iOS updates.
Apple Disability Line
Nobody wants a major surprise after they perform an update. Talk about rocks and rapids. I bought a new iPad and I couldn’t get my Alva BC640 to pair or connect. I searched the Apple Braille Support site and found my display was listed, but the bottom of the page posted, December 2016, says my Alva BC640 Perkins keys are not supported. This means I could pair and read braille on the display, but not type. I contacted the Apple Disability Line, the group who knows accessibility and VoiceOver. The Apple Support Specialist was wonderful. He understood my problem and contacted the engineering team. The Apple Support Specialist worked with me over the phone and he was able to control my iPad and perform technology magic. My Alva BC640 and iPad are now happy together and I can read and write braille. I also sent a message to Optelec in the Netherlands, who made the Alva BC640, about the pairing issue and I heard back from an engineer who said it should work.
Invest in yourself and stay current with iOS. A good resource is the Mosen Consulting (Mosen.org). They offer books, classes, and training to help you learn iOS and other technology. I would recommend, “iOS 11 Without the Eye.” They also have a podcast called “The Blind Side” where they discuss assistive technology.
Remember, The Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired produces the “iFocus Video” series with tutorials on new features in iOS.
Cool Blind Tech also has articles and podcasts about iOS and other technology. One nugget I found is an article with a list of iOS 11 braille commands and how you can customize your braille display.
We don’t like running the technology river all the time, but sometimes we need to just do it. Get a group of friends together and find a good technology outfitter to help you down your iOS whitewater adventure and to avoid the rocks and rapids. Take advice from an experienced river guide: “Get your head up, hang on tight, and look ahead!” Yes, the technology river is running high and fast, but the journey is worth it. You may get wet, but it just may be fun!
Apple iOS News app Support.Apple.news
Apple Support Website Support.Apple.Accessibility
Apple VoiceOver Website Apple.com/Vision Accessibility
iOS 11 User Guide Comprehensive list of updates Support.Apple.User Updates
Apple Disability Support Team
Mosen Consulting Mosen.org
Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired “iFocus” Instructional Videos Hadley.edu.Videos
iOS Braille Commands and How to Customize Them CoolBlindTech.Braille CommandsGo back to the beginning of content