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#29 Phone Apps Help Low Vision -

Readers, do you remember my mention of the Be My Eyes app (#23)? Yesterday I received my second help call. Both times I didn’t get to my phone in time to answer the call. So, both times the call was forwarded to someone else. What a disappointment because I was excited to be eyes to someone in need.

The reason I didn’t get to my phone in time was because the ring tone was different from my normal ring tone. Be prepared for the different ring tone if you sign up to be a volunteer. Over 44,000 blind people are signed up to use Be My Eyes. Over half a 1,000,000 people have volunteered to help. When a blind person uses Be My Eye, the call goes out to a number of volunteers (with the same language) and the first to answer is the one who helps. Be My Eyes on Android phone? Yes. Just recently added.

Let’s talk about more helpful apps on the phone for those with low vision.

  • You don’t need to have low vision to enjoy the flashlight on your phone. When I swipe up from the bottom of my iPhone (the line under the very bottom – like the frame of the phone), one of the little icons is a flashlight. Very helpful and free. Especially with low vision, it helps to read menus in a dark restaurant. It can also be helpful when reading small print.  Android phones have a flashlight app, too. It’s free.
  • Another helpful app is called Vision Assist. It costs $1.99 but acts like a magnifier. It can magnify up to 20 times with a light.
  • DescribeThat – This app will describe a picture for the blind and visually impaired.
  • The BigNames app enlarges the names and contact info on your contacts. The cost is $1.99
  • TapTapSee helps identify objects at no cost.. Double tap the screen to take a photo of anything at any angle and hear the app speak the identification back to you. This requires the Voice Over to be turned on. Android phones also have this free app.

One comment about this app is – “It’s like a sighted assistant that never grows tired of you asking, ‘what’s that?’”

Another comment – “Love this app, would have had soup on toast instead of beans if not for TapTapSee.”


Readers, have you or a loved one used any of the above apps? What was your experience?  Have you or a loved one used other low vision apps that I didn’t mention? Please tell us about apps you found useful. You never know how many other readers your comments might help ?.

2 replies to “#29 Phone Apps Help Low Vision

  • Hi Deb,
    I am also an RN, close to retirement age and currently unemployed, but that’s already enough about me. My older cousin is suffering recent onset macular degeneration and could benefit from your blog. I have been trying to re-find an online shop that sells devices for the visually impaired, especially for the bright red smart phone with a price of $349, if memory serves. Where is the link for that store?

    I would have more to say but don’t want to be too chatty right now. I found you after reading your thumbnail bio in The Upper Room.

    Thank you for your service,
    David Forshtay

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