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Tech Briefing 17: App changes, Google 2017 I/O highlights, and Mor

Hello.

I’m Ayoola Efunkoya.

This is the 17th instalment of Tech Briefing, your round up of news, tips and more for the week May 15-21, 2017.

There is news, app updates and podcasts you should check out.

APPS

WhatsApp on Android received a feature which now allows you to pin a conversation or group of conversations to the top of the chat tab, removing the need to scroll through numerous conversations to reach one with your loved one or favourite group.

To pin a chat, just double tap and hold down a specific conversation, the option to pin should be one of the choices that will appear at the top of the screen. Tap to pin and that conversation will always be at the top even if you do not chat with them for weeks.

The Nigerian financial institution Guaranty Trust Bank introduced a new mobile app for Android and iOS that now allows you to, among other things, sign in to your account using facial recognition or finger print.

It’s still quite too early to say how blind-friendly GTWorld is but anyone with an account may check out the Android version at http://bit.ly/2q4WINT and the iOS at http://apple.co/2qCQZ4v.

PODCASTS

, the Cisco Academy for the Visually Impaired which offers numerous training on computer and audio production is the focus of Eyes on Success Episode #1721. Listen or download at http://bit.ly/2p6t5h5

NEWS

A number of screen reader users on Windows certainly know JAWS and NVDA are not the only options.

Now, the choices have been reduced by one with the discontinuation of the sale of Window-Eyes recently.

From Apple came a number of OS updates: iOS 10.3.3 beta for iPhone and iPad; WatchOS 3.2.2 for Apple Watch; and macOS 10.12.5.

Meanwhile, a report suggests Apple is very likely to discontinue the 7.9-inch iPad Mini in future. Apple’s failure to release updates for that line of iPad in recent years seem to support the claim in the report.

Google dominated the news during the week with announcements from its 2017 I/O developer conference. It’s therefore just right to end this episode with a quick round up of some of the major announcements:

Android Go to optimise the OS for low-level devices running on 512MB or one GB RAM, with focus on minimal storage and data use.

The next version of Android to be known as Android O enters the second phase of the Beta Program with improved security, performance and battery life as some key focus.

Keyboard input finally added to Google Assistant in addition to the previously available voice input.

Google Assistant now available on iPhones in the U.S., to roll out elsewhere later and in more languages.

Smart speaker Google Home to add hands-free calling, proactive assistance and Bluetooth streaming.

Google Lens to roll out later this year first on Photos and Assistant with the ability to understand what you’re looking at and provide actions to interact with the world around you.

Google Photos adds suggested sharing, shared libraries and photo books.

Google’s I/O developer conference is always an event to look forward to. The keynote where many of the developments were unveiled for this year is available for replay at http://bit.ly/2rEfkp8.

Thank you for your time. Again, I’m Ayoola Efunkoya.

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Tech Briefing 16: Courses, apps, news you should use from the Week May 8-14, 2017

Hello.

Welcome to Episode 16 of Tech Briefing for the week of Monday May 8 to Sunday May 14, 2017. Let’s kick off with news from Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

The institute has announced new Courses/Modules and Opened enrolment for them. These are:

(A) Braille Literacy 4: Contracted Braille, UEB Edition

(B) Introduction to Braille, UEB Edition

(C) Contracted Braille, UEB Edition

(D) Effective Listening

(E) Eccentric Viewing

(F) Earth and Space Science

(G) Everyday Reading in UEB

Visit http://bit.ly/2qpGXnt to get more information about each course and module.

On a completely different note, let me ask you, how much will you be willing to pay for the next iPhone?

Well, predictions of the price of the next iPhone is continuing, with many agreeing it will be the most expensive yet.

Goldman Sachs analyst Simona Jankowski wrote in a research note that Apple will offer the iPhone 8 in 128GB and 256GB capacities, coming in $999 and $1,099 respectively.  Currently, the most expensive iPhone Apple sells is the 256GB iPhone 7 Plus for $969.

Remember, it’s only a prediction and Apple could change things by the time the phone is released.



Still talking about predictions on Apple,analyst group KGI reported that  it expects the company to launch two new hardware products during next month’s Worldwide Developer Conference.

The Siri Speaker and an all-new design 10.5-inch iPad Pro are the predicted products.

With Microsoft’s recent release of the latest version of its operating system called Windows 10S, users can only install apps from the Windows Store. In response, Apple last week announced plans to make iTunes available in the Windows Store before the end of this year. So, if you’re like me who loves iTunes on my Windows or want to still have access to Apple Music or just need to sync your iPhone with your PC, then there’s no need to worry.

An update to the Uber app on Android released last week now makes it easier for users in the United States to remember destinations other than their home and work addresses with Saved Places. Now, these saved locations can be saved as a shortcut. Saved places will become available internationally later this year.

Google Search on mobile began adding a new view that better surfaces and summarizes events. Available on  Android and iOS, users will now be able to filter based on location and other factors. For example, searching for “art events this weekend” will surface a new Events card as the first result. Users can expand this view to take up the full screen by tapping “More events,” with a carousel of convenient date filters on top.

Finally, have you voted for your choice of most deserving app in the 2017 AppleVis iOS Hall of Fame? Voting closes at the end of the day on Friday 19 May 2017 for this year’s inductees in the AppleVis iOS App Hall of Fame so head on right away to http://bit.ly/2qTziyW



Thanks for your time.

News · Tips

Tech Briefing 15: Free, paid webinars; tips and news for the week May 1-7, 2017

Welcome to episode 15 of Tech Briefing. It’s a rap up of major developments in assistive and mainstream technology for the weekMay 1-7, 2017.

I’m Ayoola Efunkoya, your guide.

OneDrive is Microsoft’s cloud storage application that comes preinstalled on Windows 8, 8.1 and 10 on PC and mobile, allows you access your files online and offline and backs up the files.

A set of guidelines for using a screen reader with OneDrive by beginners is available at http://bit.ly/2pA49i8

Also from Microsoft comes Office 365 which offers access to the Office suite of Word, Excel, Note and Powerpoint both online and offline.

V. F. O., the parent company of Freedom Scientific,  is offering a free webinar on May 31, to teach using Office 365 with JAWS. The webinar titled “Office 365 / 2016 – An Introduction” can be registered for at http://www.freedomscientific.com/Services/TrainingAndCertification/WebinarDetail/F0123

Other webinars on Word 365, Excel 365, Outlook 365 and PowerPoint 365 to be paid for will take place from August through October this year. Further information is available at http://bit.ly/2pHJMOq

Whether you are a beginner or an advanced user of iOS, you may want to check out this “iOS & VoiceOver Mobile Accessibility Cheat Sheet:” http://bit.ly/2q0TFty

From Commtech Academy comes a 12-minute lesson on using the Uber iOS App:

http://bit.ly/2pb4chW

Also available from the company is  a Windows 10 Desktop Navigation Introduction:

http://bit.ly/2paUhZM

In other news:

A phishing scam on Thursday May 4 affected about 1 million Google Docs users. The scam claimed to have come from Google Docs.

Users who clicked a link and followed instructions, risked giving the hackers access to their email accounts.

The BBC later reported Google to have said it had stopped the attack “within approximately one hour”, including through “removing fake pages and applications”.

Facebook is almost hitting a 2-billion global monthly user mark.

The company said on Thursday May 4 that the number of people using Facebook each month increased to 1.94 billion, of which nearly 1.3 billion use it daily.

Company founderMark  Zuckerberg said the size of its user base gave Facebook an opportunity to expand the site’s role, moving into TV, health care and politics.

Thank you for your attention. Have a blessed week.