Tuesday, 19 January 2016

iOS Apps for the Visually Impaired: Using "AccessNote" with a Bluetooth Keyboard

Hello, everyone.

In this 10 minute video I connect a bluetooth keyboard to my iPad and then control the note taking app "AccessNote" via keyboard shortcuts.

The keyboard shortcuts are all used with the option key.

c- create a new note.

r- rename a note

t- speak the title of the note

f- find a word or phrase

j- go to the previous note

k- go to the next note

s- read the selected text

m- mark note as a favourite.

If you prefer to read a full transcript of the note then please find it below.

start of video transcript

Hello everyone and welcome to my video.

In this video I am going to be doing a demonstration of an iOS app called Access Note.

I am running this app on iOS 9.2, on a third generation iPad. .

Access note is an app that has been created by the American foundation for the Blind.

It is one of dozens of note taking apps that are available on the App Store but what makes this one special is that it is extremely accessible.

I have created another video in which I have provided a quick overview of Access Note in which I have a quick look at the features but as part of that video, I do not connect and use a bluetooth keyboard with it.

And that is the focus on this video. I will be connecting a bluetooth keyboard to my iPad and then using the keyboard shortcuts that are built into AccessNote to control the app.

In my first video about Access Note I demonstrated how to find it on the App Store and download it and so I will not cover those details in this video.

I will presume that you have downloaded AccessNote onto your iPad or iPhone.

Before I open AccessNote I just want to show you the bluetooth keyboard that I am using And you can see a photo of it there.

It is made by SumVision and it is the Slim model. I bought it on eBay for £9 including postage.

So I am going to go into my settings  and I'm going to turn on voice over.  so I'm in general then I go to accessibility and VoiceOver. Now I am just going to check my bluetooth to make sure that my keyboards is connected. So that is good news.

Now let’s open AccessNote.

There are 10 keyboard shortcuts that you can use with your bluetooth keyboard to control AccessNote.

All of these shortcuts work in combination with the Option key.

So to create ourselves a new note we press the “option key” and “c”.

To rename this new note we are going to press the “option key” and “r”.

To speak the note title we press the “option key” and “t” and there it goes it says “James”.

Now to find a piece of text in our notes, we press control sorry “option” and “f” and a search field comes up.

And this is where I get a little confused with how this find menu works because it doesn’t seem to work straight away with the keyboard.

I’ve typed “the” and I am not getting any results back but then if I were to select on my screen the “video script” note and it doesn’t seem to work inside a note either and so I am a little bit confused by that.

Earlier when I tested it, it seemed to work within a note but it hasn’t on this occasion. So I am not sure if this is my error or an error or a weakness in the app.

Now, another bit of a shame is that there is no way to go back to the main screen that shows you all the notes using a keyboard shortcut I am just having to touch the screen of the iPad.

Before we test the other keyboard shortcuts out, it’s important that I cancel this search request otherwise it interferes with all the other keyboard shortcuts.

So the next thing is to go to the command to go to the previous note which is “option” and “j” so let me just go into...I’ll open up a note for us to do this.

So I am going to do “command” and “j” to go to previous notes and I have pressed it once, pressed it twice, pressed it three times and its cycling backwards one by one through previous notes.

Now to go to your next note you press “option” “k”- pressed it once, pressed it twice, pressed it three times.

The next keyboard shortcut is “option” “s” which is read the selected text.

So let’s see if we can and that is “option” and “s”. Let’s try that again.

So, I have had a quick look about how to select text when VoiceOver is on and I have selected a piece of text and now if I do the “option” key and the “s” key to read selected text it is reading me a part of that text.

But it was a struggle to tell you the truth in order to work out how to select the text and I am still not clear.

OK and the final shortcut is, it marks one of your notes as a favourite and it is the “option” and the “m” key.

And I have pressed it whilst I am in the note and it has put it as a favourite. So let’s have a look and there we go it has put it in favourites.

And that is it. My overview of the iOS app Access Note and using it with a bluetooth keyboard and controlling it using keyboard shortcuts.

Thanks for watching. If you have any questions, or if you want to join in the discussion, please do so below.

I would love to hear from you and so if you are using another note taking app that works very well with VoiceOver and a bluetooth keyboard then please let me know.  

If you are using keyboard shortcuts in another note taking app, also I would love to hear from you.

End of video transcript

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