For people who are visually impaired, mobile apps are more than just a modern convenience: they have the power to make everyday life a little easier.
GPS, voice search, text-to-speech, screen readers and more are all powering innovations that benefit visually impaired users across the globe. What are the best apps available on today’s market?
In this post, which will be updated every once in a while, we’ll share the top apps we could find for the benefit of the blind and visually impaired. Have an idea for another app to include here? – let us know!
Tap Tap See
TapTapSee utilizes the smartphone’s camera to transform your phone into a fantastic object-identification tool.
This runs on the CloudSight Image Recognition API and uses voice over to describe any item photographed. This can help people who are visually impaired or blind understand exactly what’s in front of them without having to rely on touch or other people.
TapTapSee is activated with a quick double-tap of the screen, and the voice over audio description follows just seconds later. This minimizes confusion in stores, at home, public spaces and more, while offering greater independence.
RightHear is an innovative app that provides users with navigational information in various locations. Audio guidance gives simple directions to make exploring indoor and outdoor spaces easier for people who are visually impaired and blind.
This features 360 degree orientation, enabling users to point their phone in their direction of choice to discover what lies ahead. Alerts will tell you when you enter or exit an accessible area, and much more.
Furthermore, you can press the ‘call for assistance’ button for a fast, live connection with a local assistance. They will be able to guide you through your current location with ease.
We are very proud to list our app in this list among many other great apps, and if you want to learn more about our app – you’ve came to the right place. You can also contact us and we’d love to provide any information and answer questions.
Handling money can be difficult for visually impaired people, but LookTel aims to make it much easier.
This innovative app uses the device’s camera to identify bills in over 20 different currencies, including US Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Japanese Yen, Australian Dollar, Euro, Great British Pound.
The app’s recognition is instant, with no need to take a photo or hold the device still for longer than you would like. No internet connection is needed.
This free app shares similarities with TapTapSee, utilizing audio cues to describe the world.
Seeing AI describes pictures on your phone, text placed in front of your camera, scans barcodes in stores, scans people’s face to suggest gender, age and even emotions, colors, handwriting, and more.
Seeing AI has received recognition from the American Council of the Blind, AppleVis Hall of Fame and others. A similar app to Seeing AI is Envision which you’ll find also on our list below.
Be My Eyes
Be My Eyes connects visually impaired or blind people with a network of sighted contacts, all happy to help you in various situations via live video chat.
Volunteers are always on hand to observe your surroundings through your device’s camera, and will help you find products in stores, recognize objects, identify colors and more.
The innovative Be My Eyes has taken off, working with more than one million volunteers and over 90,000 blind and visually impaired users.
KNFB Reader App
KNFB Reader App converts text into speech or even Braille (with a connected Braille display) instantly. Just take a photograph of any type of text (on documents, on packaging, in books etc.) and the app will help you make sense of it quickly and accurately.
KNFB Reader App is compatible with OneDrive or Dropbox, enabling you to access scanned files from your device at any time. This is ideal for visually impaired or blind users of all ages.
Magnifying Glass with Light
This is a fantastic app for people with impaired vision. It’s available on the iOS store and has received excellent ratings from users.
The Magnifying Glass with Light app features a user-friendly design and multiple functions. You have the freedom to shake the phone to hide or show control buttons, it works with both front and rear cameras and you can magnify from 1.0x up to 5.0x for a clearer view.
This functions across both iPhone and iPad. Both free and Pro versions are available (the latter offers more, such as a high-contrast mode).
Alarmed: Reminders + Timers
Alarmed: Reminders + Timers allows you to create multiple alerts with various repetition options, such as the Nag-Me feature that sets up alerts at regular points during the day. It is fully supported by VoiceOver Accessibility and offers more than 140 custom sounds to suit your unique preferences.
This app also includes super-sized timers to make them easier to see, which is a big help if you have impaired vision.
Talking Scientific Calculator
The Talking Scientific Calculator App is a great little app that has plenty to offer blind or visually-impaired students and adults alike.
It features big buttons arranged neatly on the screen, with vibrant colors maximizing visibility for those with sight-related problems. A high-contrast mode is available if you want a little extra assistance, and full VoiceOver Accessibility is supported.
You can record your own voice if you wish to hear yourself reading numbers and formulas, while two different entry modes are included for ease of use.
Light Detector has the power to let users hear how light it is in any room. Opening the app and moving your smartphone in a particular direction will trigger a sound, with the intensity rising or falling according to the light’s brightness.
This enables you to identify when lights are switched on at home, where windows are and whether the curtains are open or not. It’s a cool app making great use of the technology available.
Blindfold Greeting Card
Blindfold Greeting Card lets you send audio cards to loved ones to mark any occasion. You can record yourself speaking a message and add a sound effect from the hundreds available, creating a unique card.
You can listen back to your creation before sending it through text message, email, Twitter, Facebook or other social apps. You can send as many as 10 cards to start with, but upgrades must be purchased to create additional ones in the future.
Audible is a popular app that gives you access to thousands of audiobooks across many different genres. The latest big releases are available, as are classics, all with quality narration.
You can rewind and fast-forward through chapters, and narration may be made slower or faster to suit your listening speed. The first 30 days of your Audible membership are free, but a membership is required to get one book every month. Gifts, special offers and freebies are awarded to members from time to time, though.
AccessNote serves as the American Foundation for the Blind’s official notetaker app, designed for iOS.
This free app claims to have been the first iOS notetaker built explicitly for VoiceOver users, offering an efficient way to record ideas, thoughts and reminders.
It includes commands created for QWERTY input and braille display keyboards, while two search features are also available for locating specific text within notes.
Navigating individual sentences, paragraphs, notes and pages is fast, reducing the amount of time spent trying to pinpoint key terms. Being the official notetaker app from the American Foundation for the Blind lends it a lot of credibility, giving real peace of mind.
For people who are blind or visually impaired, trying to find great deals on accessible products that are relevant to them can be difficult. Fortunately, the team behind Blind Bargains is committed to making it a little easier through its app.
Blind Bargains allows you to browse up-to-the-minute deals and classifieds, listen to brand new podcasts and shop at any time using the Product Search feature. This free app is built to search the web and identify the hottest deals available on talking products, braille printers, accessible gadgets and more.
This is fully compatible with accessibility tools on mobile devices, helping you to save time spent scouring the internet for relevant products.
Blind Abilities gathers all blogs and podcasts covering issues affecting people living with blindness or impaired vision. Accessibility, devices, changes to the jobs market and more are all included in the selection of materials Blind Abilities pulls together.
Blind Abilities is made up of a community of people affected by sight loss in one form or another, all sharing useful resources. Life Skills podcasts, for example, focus on everyday life with blindness or impaired vision, while the Teen Cast explores moving from school to college or work.
Various playback functions are available, and contact methods to reach the team behind the shows are included.
Envision translates visual data detected through your phone’s camera into audio descriptions. It works on text, faces, locations and objects.
The Text Reading tool can read any type of text, from any kind of material (paper, screens, signs, etc.) in more than 60 languages. The Text Recognition tool accommodates both long and short pieces of text, including post-its and greeting cards.
The General Recognition suite includes Describe Scene, Detect Colors and Scan Barcodes. It can learn new objects and faces too.
Color ID works with your phone’s camera to identify and describe colors via a voice synthesizer. It offers an exact description of the detected color by indicating the hexadecimal value too. This is ideal for understanding which hues appear on a wall, in a painting or almost anything else.
Anyone affected by blindness or visual impairments can use Color ID to gain a deeper connection to the world around them — helpful when visiting locations for the first time. Simply aim the phone and the app tells you what it sees.