Blog Archives

iPhone 4s Camera and VoiceOver together

In this video Luis shows off using the iPhone 4s VoiceOver feature and Camera App together.  Being able to use VoiceOver with the Camera app can aid an individual with a visual impairment take pictures without cutting off the subjects head.  This is because face recognition feature of the camera app comes into play allowing VoiceOver to announce how many faces are in the shot.  It also tells the photographer where in the frame the faces are located (I.E. “Top Left”, “One Face”…etc..).


Using Siri with VoiceOver

We just recently met with Luis of who showed us a new tip for using Siri with VoiceOver.  Luis will have a much more detailed description posted on his website.

Being able to use VoiceOver and Siri together is an awesome feature.  If you have ever tried to type using VoiceOver you know how tedious and time consuming creating a short text message can be.  Now on the iPhone 4S, you can tap the microphone icon in the keyboard, tap your screen once with one finger to begin dictating to Siri. Double-tap the screen with two fingers to stop dictating to Siri and have your text appear in a message or search box.

Let me know any other cool features with Siri or iOS 5 that you have discovered.

Accessibility Features of Apple’s iOS 5

Apple Accessibility LogoMany people are buzzing about the new iPhone and its new OS called iOS 5. iOS 5 provides iDevices with 200+ new features. Many of the new features are related to accessibility which can benefit users with various physical impairments. Here is a great post from one of our friends by Apple Distinguished Educator, Luis Perez at Luis points out how features not listed under Accessibility in iOS 5 can be used in the classroom with students.

Let us know what you think of these new features!

iUSF is now live

The University of South Florida recently released a new mobile app for iPhone and iPod Touch. The app will provide students with access to the following services:

Directory: campus directory with contact information for all USF System faculty and staff

Athletics: news stories from USF Athletics

Events: major university events pulled from the USF Events Calendar

Courses: course information from Blackboard

Maps: campus maps for all institutions and campuses within the USF System

News: news stories from the USF System

Emergency: emergency and non-emergency numbers for the USF System

Bullrunner: bus tracking and routes for the USF Bullrunner Shuttle System

Help: basic help information

Your iPhone or iPod Touch will need to run iOS 4 to download it directly to your device from the Apple Store. Below is a screenshot of the new application.

With this app students will be able to quickly look up information about their classes. The app will even show them on a map where their class is on a campus map. Students can even see the contact information of the professor of the class as well. This app shows the location of the bull runner buses as well as whether they are stopped or moving. Keeping up with events on campus, upcoming sporting events and past scores is easy to do as well. The app makes calls to emergency services on each campus as well.

Converting PDFs e-books for the iPhone and Kindle

In Higher education, professors require their students to read various handouts from pertinent writers of the field of study. Many times professors provide their readings electronically as PDF documents. PDF documents require a reader such as Preview (Mac only) or Adobe’s Acrobat reader (PC or Mac) to be viewed. Many current browsers have a PDF plugin already installed, making PDF a good format to deliver electronic readings for all students to access the content.

Distance learners are many times business travelers or students who are constantly on the go. Many times they are accessing online classes through their laptops or smartphones. Many times the layout of PDFs do not lend themselves for easy reading on small portable devices such as the iPhone or blackberry. A website that I found the other day is This site will allow the student to upload a PDF from their computer or paste in a link to a PDF that is online. The epub2go site will convet the PDF into an EPUB file. The website will either email you a link to download your EPUB or if you are on an iPhone, it will download the file to an app called Stanza. Stanza, which can be downloaded from, is an e-book reader for the mac or pc with sharing capabilities to the iPhone, iPod Touch, and the Kindle.


According to EPUB is a format for reflowable digital books. These books can be easily read and manipulated by many devices since it is basically an XML format.


Provided by, Stanza can be downloaded on the mac, pc, iPhone or, iPod Touch. With Stanza, a student can change the font styling (face, color and size), background color and brightness to make reading the text on screen easier. Stanza app and allow the on the go student to convert online PDFs to ebooks all on the iPhone or iPod Touch with wi-fi connection; no computer needed. The student can now build their library of journal articles on their Apple mobile device to be read on the train, plane, taxi or other similar situations. Below are screenshots from my iPod Touch of the epub2go to stanza app conersion process

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