Tech Talk’s Top Tech of 2020

At Henshaws, we love technology and how it can enhance the life of a visually impaired person.
Every month, in Greater Manchester, Henshaws holds monthly Tech Talk groups in Trafford, Oldham and Bolton. Tech Talk members learn about the latest technology, including the latest product and app developments.
At the December meetings in Trafford and Oldham, Richard, our Digital Enablement Officer, asked members to vote for their favourite piece of tech. Listed below are the results.

iPhone SE

Votes: 5

This received the most votes from our Tech Talk members.

Launched in March 2020, the iPhone SE is the cheapest iPhone currently on the market, starting at £399.

Unlike the other iPhone models currently available, the iPhone SE features Touch ID (instead of Face ID), and a home button for accessing the home screen, app switcher and accessibility shortcut.

The iPhone SE has a 4.7-inch display and features the same processor (A13 Bionic) as the iPhone 11 Pro.

While some visually impaired people feel comfortable using Face ID and the new gestures which replace the home button, others still prefer having the home button and touch ID.

This phone is perfect for anybody who wants to maintain use of Touch ID and the home button, but also wants a powerful enough processor to give access to the most advanced accessibility features of iOS 14, including VoiceOver’s Screen Recognition and Image Description features.

Zoom

Votes: 3

Zoom is a virtual conferencing client that allows people to host and join conference calls using both audio and video, providing they have an Internet connection.

Zoom has many advanced features including the ability to record calls and store them on the Cloud, the ability to stream meetings to social media, and a text-based chat function.

Zoom has been one of various videoconferencing clients that have proven a lifeline during the Covid-19 pandemic, when people have been left with no option but to communicate using technology, especially during the early stages of the pandemic.

Zoom has been used for formal work meetings, training webinars, quiz nights and family get-togethers.

Zoom is compatible with all major screen readers including VoiceOver for iOS, TalkBack for Android, and JAWS for Windows.

If you would like more information about Zoom, including links to some useful resources, check out our blog.

Image shows a PC screen with the Zoom app open. There is also the blue Zoom logo at the top of the image.

Amazon Echo

Votes: 2

The Amazon Echo is a multi-function smart speaker.

You can use it to listen to music and audiobooks, search the Internet, control smart devices such as smart light bulbs and smart plugs, and much more.

The Amazon Echo uses Alexa, Amazon’s digital assistant, and you can control it using just your voice.

The Amazon Echo comes in various forms – as well as the standard Amazon Echo, there is also the Echo Dot ( a smaller version of the Echo) and the Echo Show (an Amazon Echo with a built-in screen for making video calls, displaying photos and more).

Amazon Echo Dot

Seeing AI

Votes: 2

Seeing AI is a free app for iOS devices which uses your phone’s camera and artificial intelligence to interpret, and provide access to, visual information.

Seeing AI can be used to read printed text, identify colours, describe scenes, detect light and more.

Seeing AI also has a ‘recognise with’ feature so you can import photos from other apps into Seeing AI so that the app can describe them.

You can find out more about each feature of Seeing AI by going to our Seeing AI playlist on our YouTube channel.

Download from the App Store

Manchester Metrolink App

Votes: 1

The Manchester Metrolink app allows you to plan journeys, obtain real-time departure information and check for any service disruption on the Manchester Metrolink network.

The app can also use your GPS location to identify your nearest station, and you can search for a particular station to obtain its live departure board.

The Metrolink app is available on both iOS and Android.

Download from the App Store

Download from the Play Store

Tile

Votes: 1

Tile is a solution for finding lost or mislaid items.

It consists of an app which you download onto your phone or other device, and Tile trackers which you set up using the app and link to your device using Bluetooth.

Once you have attached the Tile tracker to the item you often lose or mislay, and linked the tracker to the app, you are good to go – you can then use the app to activate the tracker, and audio on the tracker will sound allowing you to find your item.

If you lose your device that your tile trackers are linked to, you can use your Tile tracker to ‘ring your device’.

Tile is available on both iOS and Android, and if you have iOS 12 or later, you can activate your trackers using Siri. Tile can also be linked to devices which are powered by Alexa or Google Assistant.

You can find out more and buy Tile trackers from Tile’s website.

Download from the App Store

Download from the Play Store;

We hope you found Tech Talk’s list of Top Tech of 2020 useful.

If you would like any more information about these products, or want to know more about technology in general, you can visit our Knowledge Village which features lots of technology-related blogs, videos and eBooks.

If you live in Greater Manchester, you can get in touch with our Digital Enablement Team which provides digital assessments and training, and you could even join one of our Tech Talk groups.

Contact us by calling 0300 222 5555 or by emailing info@henshaws.org.uk.

 

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Alice
Alice is the Digital Communications Officer and is responsible for producing blogs and EBooks for Henshaws Knowledge Village.