Speaking Email App Review

Speaking Email is an app that uses your phones voice assistant to read you emails aloud to you hands free,and was developed by BEWEB LTD for the IOS app store, and Google Play store. The app does rely on a subscription service ($4.99 for a month, $9.99 for three months, or $29.99 for the year) but there is a free mode that has less features.

Probably the best thing about speaking email is the user interface. The simple design makes it super easy for the visually impaired to use the app. All the buttons are decently sized so those with residual vision should have no problem navigating. The app also has voice commands for those who are blind or just want to listen to emails while driving and can’t use their hands.

The app has a ton of customizable preferences so that you only see what you want to see in your emails. For example you can disable emails from the promotional and social categories. You can also choose which parts of the email get read such as subject, signatures, and attachments. You can even change the voice of the AI assistant that reads your emails.

My only real problem with Speaking Email is that the app can have a hard time telling between what’s spam/promotional and what’s important. For instance I got an email from google when I connected my G-mail to the app,  which the app thought was promotional material. Luckily if you swipe back or previous email it will go back and read it to you.


  • Simple UI
  • Easy for the blind/visually impaired to use
  • Customizable preferences
  • Responsive voice commands


  • Difficulties with spam/promotional material

Conclusion: Speaking Email is an incredible app that is a must have for those who are blind or have a visual impairment that prevents them from reading emails themselves.

Final Score: 9/10

Thanks for reading, be sure to keep an eye out for more content and reviews soon, and if you think there’s a product or app we should review please leave a comment.

Microsoft’s Seeing AI App Review

Note: this app was reviewed in tandem with two other scanner apps TapTapSee, and Vhista.

Seeing AI is a scanner app for the visually impaired developed by Microsoft for the IOS app store. The app uses an AI to narrate the world to mixed results.  The app includes nine scanner modes Short Text, Handwriting, Document, Product (bar-code), Person, Currency, Scene, Color, and Light scan.

First up is short text and handwriting. While it can recognize text semi-accurately it reads it in a random order making it an unusable mess. I tried scanning the cover of my copy of A Game Of Thrones because the text is in bold print which I thought would make it easier on the app. It ended up reading it as Martin Thrones R. R.

The handwriting mode works a little differently than short text mode. Instead of the text to speech continuously spewing word vomit, the app scans it into text which you can either read yourself if you have residual vision or have the text to speech read it to you if you’re full blind. I scanned handwriting three times and two out o the three times it was correct.

The document scan was a little more accurate than short text but was still pretty hit or miss. I scanned around three documents and only one was scanned with no typos. The other two times the words were either wrong or missing entirely. So if you need to have a document read to you I would look elsewhere.

The feature I found most useful was easily the product scanner. Each time I scanned a bar code it was able to correctly determine the product name. The only issue I could find with it is that people who are fully blind may have trouble scanning a bar code. The app is supposed to beep when a bar code is close but every time I scanned a product it failed to do so.

The person scan feature worked well enough. I scanned myself multiple times and each time the app got most of my facial details and expression right. My only issue with this feature is that it tries to predict age but ended up getting my age wrong (by about a decade) every time I scanned myself (about six times).  

The currency scan feature was surprisingly accurate, every time I scanned a bill it was able to accurately tell what the amount was. The only complaint I had was that it does not scan coins.

The biggest problem I had with Seeing AI was the general scan function or scene scan as it’s called in app . Almost every object I scanned was incorrect. So if you’re downloading Seeing AI for the general scan function don’t, there are much better apps out there such as TapTapSee.

Scene Scanner Accuracy Results:

Photo: Kingdom Hearts 3 PS4 Case

Object Subtitle: It seems to be screenshot, poster, cartoon, book, pc game, action-adventure game, action film, digital compositing, clothing, strategy video game

Accuracy: Wrong

Photo: Red Dead Redemption 2 PS4 Case

Object Subtitle: Probably a close up of a book

Accuracy: Wrong

Photo: Blade Runner 2049 Blu-ray Case

Object Subtitle: It seems to be poster, screenshot, vehicle, car, land vehicle, person, man, human face

Accuracy: Wrong

Photo: A Game Of Thrones By George R. R. Martin

Object Subtitle: Probably a close up of a sign

Accuracy: Wrong

Photo: Tazo Iced Green Tea Bottle

Object Subtitle: Probably an empty bottle sitting on a table

Accuracy:  Fairly Correct

Photo: Sun-Maid Organic Raisin Pack

Object Subtitle: It seems to be food, snack, dessert, baked goods, confectionery

Accuracy: Wrong

Photo: Red and White Cane for the Blind

Object Subtitle: it seems to be bicycle, bicycle wheel, indoor, toothbrush, stationary, writing implement, sports equipment, plastic, pen

Accuracy: Wrong

Photo: White, Grey, and Blue Converse Sneakers

Object Subtitle: Probably a group of shoes

Accuracy: Fairly Correct

Photo: Mead Five Star Notebook

Object Subtitle: Probably a close up of a computer

Accuracy: Wrong

Photo: White and Brown English Bulldog

Object Subtitle: a brown and white dog looking at the camera

Accuracy: Mostly Correct


  • Free
  • Currency scanner
  • Product scanner
  • Quick processing time


  • 3/10 accuracy for general image scanning
  • Money reader can’t scan coins
  • Face scanner can’t tell age
  • Inaccurate
  • Clunky UI (User Interface)

Conclusion: Overall Seeing AI was a mixed bag for me. For each good thing it felt like there were two caveats that came with it. However I still feel the app is worth a download for the product and currency features.


Thanks for reading, please keep an eye out for our review of Vhista as well as our round up of which of the three scanner apps is the best. If you have any suggestions of a review or topic you’d like to see us cover please feel free to leave a comment.

CBS News Investigation Finds “Bad Braille” in Major Cities

According to an investigation by CBS bad Braille is being found in major facilities across the U.S.  Per the article there have been numerous complaints to the Justice Department’s Disability Rights division over bad or misleading Braille in Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Kansas, Illinois as well as several other states. What’s alarming about this is that the places lacking in Braille are hospitals, public libraries, and U.S. public transportation systems like the Albuquerque bus system.Most blind/visually impaired who live on their own have no other way to get around other than the U.S. public transit system, so to know that some of those bus stations either don’t have Braille or that the Braille is incorrect is worrisome to say the least.

The article also mentions that a branch of the D.C. Public Library is has a huge lack of braille on signs and no Braille labeling for audio books, which is slightly infuriating see as audio books are one of the primary sources of entertainment for the blind. Hopefully this gets addressed but by the looks of it the government has known about this for awhile and has done nothing about it so unfortunately this will likely stay as it is unless they get serious push-back from advocates. 

Thanks for reading, if you think there’s a topic we should cover, feel free to leave a comment. 

Sources cited: Dorsey, Steve. “Bad Braille Plagues Buildings across U.S., CBS News Radio Investigation Finds.” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 28 June 2019, http://www.cbsnews.com/news/bad-braille-plagues-buildings-across-u-s-cbs-news-radio-investigation-finds/.

The Potential for Hololens/Augmented Reality to Help the Legally Blind

So I was reading an article about a demo for the Hololens a couple months ago and it got me thinking about the impact this technology could have on the lives of the visually impaired. While the Hololens and AR headsets of its kind are still several years off I thought it would be a good idea to write about the potential AR headsets have to impact the lives of the visually impaired.

If Microsoft or one of the major AR companies chose to they could easily re-purpose this technology to zoom in (if it’s a good enough camera), making it easy for those with who are legally blind to read, and navigate the world again, making it a affordable alternative to esight which has a lofty price tag of $6,000. Right now the Hololens developer kit 2 costs around $3,000 but seeing as it’s still a developer kit the price will likely go down before the consumer version of the product hits shelves. 

Microsoft also owns this app called Seeing AI that uses your phones camera and an AI to help those who are blind navigate the world. They could, in theory, add the app or some version of it to the Hololens. Having an AI guide someone who is visually impaired through what are basically smartphone glasses could be a game changer for assistive technology. 

Of course this is all just speculation, but one can’t help but see that the potential is there and a lot of this technology sounds plausible within the next decade. Thanks for reading, if there’s an idea for AR that you think should’ve been mentioned, feel free to comment below.

Top 5 Most Useful Tools for the Visually Impaired.

Being blind or visually impaired can be pretty difficult, luckily there’s a variety of tools and devices that can make navigating the world a lot easier. Before we get started I’d like to mention that most (if not all) of the items on this list can be obtained through your local center for the blind if you are registered with them. With that out of the way here’s our list of the 5 most useful tools for the blind and visually impaired.

5. Talking Alarm Clocks/Talking Wrist Watches: It’s hard being able to tell the time when you can’t read a normal clock, luckily talking time pieces exist to make life a little easier. The alarm clocks are basically just a giant button that speaks the time and are reasonably priced at about $30. The wrist watches look like a normal wrist watch but the clock face is in large print, so this is a good buy for those who are fully blind as well as those who are legally blind.  The wrist watches are also reasonably priced between $20-$60. 

4. Large Print Keyboards: For those who are legally blind and don’t know how to touch type, this is probably something you should look into getting. They’re on the cheaper end of things at about $25, so if you do a lot of computer work this is probably worth the investment.

3. Kindle Fire: This may seem like an odd one, but for those who are going blind and still like to read, or just want an affordable tablet with excellent accessibility features then this is great option. The text size is highly adjustable so you can make the text as large as you need. The Kindle Fire has Audible pre-installed for those who are fully blind or just find Audible easier. The 10 inch Kindle Fire normally retails about $150 but frequently goes on sale for $120.

2. Magnifiers: If your vision is worse than a 20/200 (legally blind) then having a magnifier is a must. Non-electronic magnifiers are normally fairly cheap ranging from $13-$25, while electronic magnifiers that can digitally zoom in are a bit more on the pricey side at around $150. 

1.Canes: This one’s a no-brainer, but it’s an invaluable tool worth mentioning. If you are legally blind, night blind, or fully blind and don’t have one of these I highly suggest you get one. They’re pretty cheap at about $20 on amazon, or check with your local center for the blind as they normally provide canes to those who need them.

If you think there’s an item that should have been on this list please leave a comment. Tanks for reading.

10 IOS Apps for the Visually Impaired

Despite smartphones being a huge part in our everyday lives not a lot of people realize that there are a ton of helpful apps for the visually impaired. With that being said here’s our list of the 10 best IOS apps for the visually impaired.


Image result for vhista

10. Vhista

Seller: Juan David Cruz Serrano

Price: Free (In-App Purchases)

Stars: 5/5

What It Does: Vhista is an object Identification app that uses machine learning and your phones camera to narrate your surroundings. The app is also capable of describing other peoples appearances and can even predict emotions.


Image result for color inspector

9. Color Inspector

Seller: Aaron L’Heureux

Price: Free (In-App Purchases)

Stars: 3.8/5

What It Does: Color Inspector is a color identification app meant to help those who are color blind differentiate between different colors.


Image result for prizmo pro scanner

8. Prizmo Pro Scanner

Seller: Creaceed SPRL 

Price: $9.99 (In-App Purchases)

Stars: 3.6/5

What It Does: Prizmo is a document scanner app capable of scanning and recognizing text based documents, business cards, and images. The app uses voice guidance to help those who are visually impaired properly position their phone to scan the document. Once scanned the app is capable of recognizing the text and reading it back to you.


Image result for aipoly vision

7. AIpoly Vision

Seller: AIpoly Inc

Price: Free (In-App Purchases)

Stars: 3.6/5

What It Does: AIpoly is an object and color recognition app that identifies and narrates objects in the environment to those who are visually impaired. AIpoly can recognize over 1,000 items without the subscription and does not require an internet connection to function.


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6. Talkler

Seller: Talkler Labs, LLC

Price: Free (In-App Purchases)

Stars: 4.5/5

What It Does: Talkler is a free app that lets you control your email via voice commands. The app can read your email to you, mark emails as unread, record a response, and delete emails.


Image result for taptapsee

5. TapTapSee

Seller: Cloudsight, Inc

Price: Free

Stars: 4.3/5

What It Does: Taptapsee is an object identification app where you tap anywhere on the screen to take a picture and then the app’s AI will recognize the object and speak the identification back to you.


Image result for be my eyes

4. Be My Eyes

Seller: S/I Be My Eyes

Price: Free

Stars: 4.8/5

What It Does: Be My Eyes connects those who are visually impaired and volunteers via video call, where the volunteer can provide assistance in completing simple tasks. 


Image result for nantmobile money reader

3. NantMobile Money Reader

Seller: IPPLEX Holdings Corporation 

Price: Free

Stars: 3.7/5

What It Does: Nant is a currency identification app that is capable of identifying 21 different currencies and then speaks the denomination back to the user. 


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2. Seeing AI

Seller: Microsoft

Price: Free

Stars: 4.5/5

What It Does: Seeing AI is an identification app that utilizes AI to narrate the world around you. The app is also capable of recognizing text and people.


Image result for bard mobile


Seller: Library Of Congress

Price: Free

Stars: 3.6/5

What It Does: BARD is the national library service for the blind and physically handicapped, which provides over 100.000 free, downloadable books and magazines, as well as musical scores to those who qualify.