American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
If you are reading this from the Help option in Braille Plus 18's Home screen, navigate to sections of the manual by pressing Space along with dots 3 4 5 to move to the next heading and Space+dots 1 2 6 to move back.
To return to the manual while you try something, use Home rather than Back to exit the manual, then pick Help again to return to your position.
Measuring less than 6.5 inches by 4.1 inches and just over one inch in height, Braille Plus 18 combines a high-quality braille keyboard and refreshable braille display with an advanced mobile platform and specialized accessible software to create the world's first Android smart phone designed for blind students and professionals.
*NLS and Learning Ally playback are contingent on finalizing approval through their respective content providers.
The Braille Plus 18 combines the power, convenience, and capabilities of the Android operating system with the benefits of specialized software to create a platform that meets the growing and demanding needs of both students and professionals who may be blind or visually impaired.
If you are familiar with Android, you have a head start on knowing how to use this device effectively. You only need to learn the braille aspects and the specialized software such as OCR and GPS.
If you don't already know Android, this documentation helps get you up to speed quickly, so you will soon be productive with your computing and organizational needs. You may still, however, wish to explore Android with the thousands of resources already available on the web.
When it comes to Braille Plus specifically, additional resources continue to emerge as the device becomes more widely distributed. Here is an initial list: http://tech.aph.org/plus_res.htm.
The box contains the following:
Ensure that all these items are included. If something is missing, contact APH Customer Support by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-223-1839.
This manual was complete and accurate at the time of its writing. It is available on the Braille Plus and on the Web site at: http://tech.aph.org/plus_info.htm. The manual is updated periodically, and the latest version is always on the Web site. As you install software updates, new documentation for those updates is also installed directly onto the device. To read documentation on the device, select Help from the Home screen.
The unique combination of accessible software, a mainstream operating system, and custom braille hardware is a technical revolution. It moves the blind user squarely into the mobile computing community, affording her all the power and capabilities associated with it. With these tools comes some complexity. It is the purpose of this documentation to organize the concepts necessary to effectively use this device to its and your maximum potential.
The "Orientation" chapter familiarizes you with the location and function of the buttons and controls on the device.
The "First Time Use" chapter guides you through the steps necessary to get the device charging, started, and operational. It describes the way to always return to the Home screen, start apps, and open menus.
The "Networks and Connections" chapter describes how to connect to Wi-Fi hot spots, use the cellular network, and display the screen on a TV.
After taking care of the basics and connections, it is time to step back and learn about other operating system concepts in the "Key Concepts" chapter. This chapter describes notifications, context menus, and other key concepts that make your use more effective.
Each of the apps is next covered in its own chapter.
Finally, appendixes provide reference and supplemental documentation.
The documentation assumes some knowledge of braille. It often uses braille letters to represent commands.In addition to basic braille knowledge, you may wish to learn about computer braille. Computer braille is a code that is necessary to enter Web addresses or other non-literary type text.
There is a computer braille code chart later in this document that shows all the dot patterns for computer braille.
This documentation represents keys you may type by naming the key. The Menu key, for example, is written "Menu."
When it takes several keys to make a command, such as those that include modifier keys like Control+C, the keys are separated with the "+" character. The first key is the modifier, so you press and hold it; then while it is still depressed, press the other keys in the combination. So if this documentation says, Control+C, it means to press and hold the Control key, then, while that key is still down, press and release the C. Finally, release the Control key.
Braille dot patterns are provided in one of two methods. Where reasonable, the braille letter is used. If, for example, the instructions say to press Space+A, you should press and hold Space, then press and release dot 1, the A, and then release the Space. At other times, it may be clearer to provide dot numbers to represent a command. The command, for example, to move to the top of a document is Space+dots 1 2 3. Since this command is the inverse of Space+dots 4 5 6 to go to the end of the document, this manual may use Space+dots 1 2 3 instead of Space+L. (The braille letter "l" is made by pressing dots 1 2 3.)
Multiple layers of menus are represented in a short hand form as follows:
Instead of explaining that you should select the Settings menu, then pick Wireless and Networks, and then Mobile Networks, this manual represents this series of menu options like this:
Settings / Wireless and Networks / Mobile Networks
In addition to this documentation, there are other resources to help you learn the device. You may wish to subscribe to the Braille Plus email list. This list discusses the product and has members from the development team, customer service, and other users who discuss various aspects of the device. To subscribe to the list, send a blank email to email@example.com.
Place the Braille Plus 18 on a surface in front of you with the keys facing up. Orient the device so the wider front edge with the joy stick and rectangular buttons on the left and right is closest to you.
The left edge contains the Power button, a recessed Reset button, and two USB connection slots.
The smaller, On-The-Go USB port is located toward the back of the device on the left edge. On-The-Go means the port works both as a client and as a host.
Use this port to charge the device or to connect it to your computer for transferring files.
The USB connector closest to the front edge is a full sized USB host connector. Thumb drives, QWERTY keyboards, and other USB devices connect to this slot.
The Power button is on the left side about an inch from the front. It is flush with the rest of the side surface to help prevent accidental usage. This button turns the device on and off, puts it into sleep mode, and wakes it from sleep.
The Reset button is recessed. It looks like a small hole in front of the Power button. To reset the device if it ever hangs, press and hold Power for about 10 seconds or until you feel a double short vibration from the device. If that technique fails to restart the device, use the Reset button. Use Reset only as a last resort if your device does not respond to other forms of input.
The top face contains the braille cells and most of the keys and buttons.
The keys closest to you on the face are, from left to right, Shift, Space, and Control. (Space is the widest key.)
Shift and Control serve as dots seven and eight when typing with eight-dot computer braille.
Just behind the Space Bar, moving toward the back of the face, is a line of 18 braille cells. Each braille cell is an 8-dot cell. Above each cell is a cursor routing bar. As you use the device, braille appears on these cells. You may use the cursor routing keys to click on buttons or to move the cursor to the position of the routing button in an editing environment.
The Key Lock slide switch is left of the braille cursor routing buttons. It is oval shaped. Slide it toward the back of the device to lock the keys. Slide it to the front to unlock them.
To the right of the braille cells, there are two light-emitting diodes (LEDs). There is a green LED for power, and a red LED for charging status.
Above the cursor routing keys, toward the back of the device, the six traditional braille input keys are arranged in an ergonomic configuration. Use these keys to type text or hold down the Space Bar with dot combinations to perform special functions. In 8-dot braille, use the thumbs to press dot 7 (the Shift key) or dot 8 (the Control key).
The microphones are located on the left and right side of the face.
The speaker, which can be used for phone calls, is located on the right side of the face.
While the unit is designed to use Bluetooth headsets or as a speakerphone when making or receiving phone calls, it is also possible, although a bit clumsy, to hold the device to your ear like a phone.
Just above the braille input keys, between dots 1 and 4, there is the cursor pad with four arrow keys and a Select key in the middle. Press the arrows to move through documents or menus, and press Select to make a choice.
To the left and right of the arrow keys are two long vertical bars. The bar on the left side is the Menu key, and the bar on the right is the Home key. The Menu key opens a menu for the app you are currently running. The Home key takes you back to the Home screen. Hold Home to retrieve a list of recently used apps.
Pressing Space+H on the braille keyboard activates the Home key.
Pressing Space+M activates the Menu key.
Pressing Space+R activates the Recent menu.
To the left of Menu are two buttons, one above the other. The top key is Back, and the bottom key is S1. The Back key backs out of a program or activity, and the S1 key dials a phone number.
Pressing Space+Z also activates the Back key.
To the right of Home are also two buttons. The top key is Search, and the bottom key is S2. The Search key lets you search either in the current application or throughout the system and even the Web. The S2 key activates the "Read All" function. When you press S2, Braille Plus 18 begins reading the current text and continues until you either reach the end of the document or until you press S2 again.
The front edge contains speakers, controls for the braille display, and slots for a standard Secure Digital (SD) Card and a Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card for GSM cellular networks such as AT&T or T-Mobile. The SIM card slot is not used with some carriers such as Verizon.
The SIM card slot is located on the front edge very close to the bottom and slightly left of center. Insert a SIM card into the slot by positioning the card with its cutout corner to the right side and so that the side with the cutout goes into the slot first. Push the card in until you feel a slight spring resistance, and then push a little farther until the mechanism grasps the card. To remove the card, push in until it clicks and pops out a little. Grasp the card and pull. Do not force any of these operations.
if you insert the SIM card while the device is running, you must restart it for the system to use the cellular network
The SD card slot is located on the front edge very close to the bottom and slightly right of center. Insert an SD card into this slot by holding the card with the connector fingers facing down and so they go into the slot first. Push against the slight spring tension until the card clicks into place. Do not force the card into the slot. To remove the card, press in until it clicks and pops out a little. Grasp the card and pull to remove it from the slot.
There are three buttons on the front edge. The buttons on the left and right side reverse or advance the braille display.
The center button on the front edge is a joy stick with four directions and a center Select. The joystick moves the "Accessibility Focus" to any control on the screen, and pressing in on the joystick activates the control with focus. Think of this as a way to move the "review cursor".
The two stereo speakers are located at the left and right side of the front edge.
The right side contains the volume key, buttons for camera and recording, and jacks for earphone/video and microphone.
The volume key is a long bar. Press the end of the bar closest to the front edge to turn down the volume. Press the end toward the back to turn up the volume. While on a call, this button controls the call volume.
If the device is speaking, the volume key changes the volume of the speech. If it is not speaking, the volume key controls the other audio on the system.
The Camera button is located on the right side closest to the front of the device. It opens the Look app where you may either snap a picture or snap a picture and recognize text.
The Record button is behind the Camera button. It works in two ways--press it to open the Recorder app. Press it again to begin recording.
In addition to pressing the Record button to open the Recorder app, you may press and hold the Record button to start a recording from anywhere.
The earphone/video jack is the jack closest to the Volume control. Use standard 8 MM (1/8-inch) earphones to connect earbuds or earphones. Use the included video cable to connect to a television display. Use a headset that includes microphones for phone calls
This jack is currently not operational. It is reserved for future expansion.
The bottom contains a lens, four rubber feet, and a label containing the unit's serial number
The middle of the bottom side houses a cover to the the camera lens and flash.
How long your device can run on a charge depends on how you use it. Leaving on the Bluetooth radio and Wi-Fi with heavy browsing or talking on the phone takes more energy than just reading books or email.
It is normally possible to get a full day's work for most tasks on a charge, but if you use the browser heavily or talk for hours at a time on the phone, you may wish to keep a charger handy so you can plug it in during the day.
The battery charges fully in about four to six hours if the unit is off or in sleep mode. If you use Braille Plus while charging or if the battery is completely depleted, the time to obtain a full charge can be longer.
To charge the battery, follow these steps:
If Braille Plus is already on and awake when you plug it in, it announces, "Charging".
If it is sleeping, plugging in the cable wakes Braille Plus up, and the battery begins charging.
If Braille Plus is off, plugging in the charging cable results in the following:
To turn on Braille Plus, press and hold the Power button until the unit vibrates. This can take about two or three seconds. When you hold the Power button when the unit is off, the following occurs:
If the device does not start, check the following:
This relatively long startup process applies only to powering on the device from a complete power down. Usually, you completely power down the device only when you will not use it for several days. Normally, instead of complete power down, you put the unit to sleep, like a cell phone, when not in use.
If the device is plugged in but off, the display shows the battery status when you briefly press the Power button.
If it is off and not charging when you tap the Power button, Braille Plus does nothing.
If the device is sleeping,, it < a href_Wake">wakes up when you touch the Power button.
To wake up Braille Plus, briefly press the Power button. When you press the Power button, the following occurs:
If you will not use the device for several days, or when you need to completely power down such as during take offs and landings during air travel, use the complete power down procedure.
To completely power down, hold down the Power button for a few seconds. Braille Plus responds with a menu of these choices:
Press the Down Arrow key to highlight Power Off, and then press Select.
When you press select on the Power Off option, Braille Plus shuts down. It vibrates when the process is complete, and the braille display gradually fades into a neutral state.
In the unlikely event that the software ever hangs, and your device does not respond, press and hold the Power button for about 10 seconds until you feel a double vibration. This action powers down the device even if it is hung. Do not use this method to power down unless it is necessary, because it stops all apps without giving them a chance to respond with important activities they may need to perform.
When you hold the Power button, the following occurs:
The final and most dramatic way to reset the device is to use the Reset button. The Reset button is located inside a hole in front of the Power button. You must use a small device, like a paper clip, to press this button.
When you press the Reset button, the following occurs:
The Home screen is where you launch applications and check notifications. It is what shows up when you first turn on the device or when you press the Home key.
The Home screen contains shortcuts to commonly used applications and documents. You may add additional items to the Home screen, or you may remove existing applications. For a list of all the applications on your device, see the All Applications folder on the Home screen.
To select an option on the Home screen, use the arrow keys to move from item to item. As you move, the Home screen announces and shows on the braille display the item that is highlighted. To start using that application, press the Select key or Space+dots 4-6.
To close an app and return to the Home screen, press the Back key or press Space+Z. You may also press the Home key or Space+H to leave the app running so you may continue to use it later.
Some of the options on the Home screen are applications, and some are folders that contain several applications, documents, or other files. If the item is a folder, Home indicates it with the label, "folder" following its name.
To close a folder, press Back.
Some apps display a list of possible options. The All Applications folder in the Home screen, for instance, shows a list of all the installed apps on the device. Use Space to move quickly through such lists. Shift+Space moves backward up the list.
Many apps, including Home, feature a menu of activities associated with the app. Press the Menu key to open this menu. Note that if the app does not have a menu, pressing Menu does nothing.
Press Menu while in the Home screen to list activities that relate to the Home screen and to the system.
The Home menu includes Settings, Notifications, and Search.
Note that most top level menus in Android are horizontally oriented, so use the Left Arrow and Right Arrow to find the appropriate menu option. Most secondary menus are vertically oriented, so use the Up Arrow and Down Arrow to select the appropriate option. Press Select to activate the menu item
The S2 key serves as the gateway to controlling other braille and speech settings and obtaining system information. It works in two ways--press or hold. Pressing the S2 key makes the currently running app speak as much as it can. If in the Word Processor, for example, pressing the S2 key makes it start reading the current document. If on a Web page, it reads the Web page from the current position to the end of the page. If on a status item, it repeats the item. Once it starts reading, stop it by pressing the S2 key again or any key that does not affect the current document. The Shift or Alt keys are usually good choices for this.
To open the Braille and Speech Preferences, hold the S2 key. The Braille and Speech Settings screen appears. It contains several accessibility and system setting items as follows:
The Date and Time option shows the current date and time. To set the time, press Select.
The Status option shows the state of the battery. It shows the percentage of battery life left and indicates whether or not the device is charging. It also shows the state of any cellular connection, and Wi-Fi status.
The Sleep Timer sets the amount of time the device continues to read before sleeping.
Speech Rate sets how fast speech talks.
Punctuation Level controls how much punctuation is spoken.
Key Echo adjusts how much speech feedback you get with each key or word typed.
Braille Table adjusts the translation table for braille. You may also use Space+G to switch between computer braille and the translation option selected here. The options are as follows:
Note that setting the translation in the Braille and Speech Settings preserves the setting. Using Space+g turns off translation.
Software Version indicates the version of Braille Plus system software.
Serial Number shows your Braille Plus unique serial number.
Android includes a powerful search function that, at first, may take getting familiar with but proves incredibly useful. To activate a search, just type a few letters of your search query. Android responds by showing a list of search results. So, if you were looking for a contact named Bob Jones, you could simply type "jo" or "bob" at the Home screen. The Search Results dialog shows apps, contacts, and web searches that match what you typed. Use Down Arrow to move through the list, and press Select on the appropriate result.
You may control what search results get returned by following these steps:
In addition to using the dedicated keys for functions such as opening a menu or navigating through a document, you may also use braille keys. Some of these braille key commands also access functions to which there is no other keyboard equivalent. Space+t, for example, announces the time and date, but there is no dedicated key for this purpose.
|Turn Speech On or Off||Space+S|
|Braille Translation Table||Space+G|
|Announce Time and Date||Space+t|
|Announce Status||Space+Dots 3 4|
|S1||Space+dots 2 6|
|S2||Space+dots 3 5|
|Enter||Space+dots 4 6|
|Turn Braille Display On or Off||Space+dots 2 5 6|
|Line up||Space+dot 1|
|Line Down||Space+dot 4|
|Next Word||Space+dot 5|
|Previous Word||Space+dot 2|
|Next Letter||Space+dot 6|
|Previous Letter||Space+dot 3|
|Top of File or List||Space+dots 1 2 3|
|End of File or List||Space+dots 4 5 6|
|Open Help||Space+dots 1 3 4 5 6|
Also note that pressing the Shift key modifies the key press to activate a hold rather than a press of the key.
Pressing Shift by itself silences speech.
While it is usually sufficient to press Select to pick an item, there are some programs, written by third party venders, that do not work this way. It is for such programs that Braille Plus supports the Touch Object command. It works by simulating a touch of the finger on a touch screen at the current item's position.
One program that requires this technique is the Amazon App Store.
Connecting to the Internet greatly enhances the utility of your device, and while you may connect using the cell data, WiFi hotspots are less expensive to use, and they are much faster than a cell data connection.
To connect to a Wi-Fi network, follow these steps:
Accessibility Note: While on the network connection screen, Android still shows the list of networks in range, and it changes the order of the list based on the relative signal strength of each access point listed. Unfortunately, this results in accessibility events that trigger speech to announce the new list items. It is necessary to just ignore the speech and type the password or move to the Connect button as described.
Once connected to a wireless network, you do not need to perform these steps again to use that wireless network. As long as the Wi-Fi radio is on, the networking software automatically connects to the network anytime the device comes in range of the network.
In its normal use, Braille Plus has no screen. You may, however, use a standard TV or monitor with aux-in jacks to connect the included video cable to a TV to provide video output.
To use a TV as a monitor, follow these steps:
Normally, you want the braille display to remain active. There are times, however, when it may be convenient to turn it off. You may, for example, wish to conserve battery power or preserve the ultimate life of the display. While the power consumption is minimal, and APH does not recommend the need to turn off the display to preserve power, it is still possible to do. Likewise, the life cycle of the braille cells should provide you trouble free service for years of continuous use even without turning off the display.
There is one time, however, that may warrant turning off the display. That is during the recording process. For those recordings that demand absolute minimal noise, the user is recommended to both remove the SIM card, if one is used, and turn off the braille display.
To turn off the braille display, press Space+Dots 2 5 6 (low D). Braille Plus responds by blanking the display and turning off power to it.
The braille display remains powered off when you put the unit to sleep, and when you again wake it up.
There are two ways to turn the display back on:
Caution: If you turn both speech off and the braille display off, you will not be able to interact with the device. You can still type, and the device will react, but you will not be able to hear or read its feedback. In this case, either turn the speech back on or turn the braille display back on, or do both.
Braille Plus manages many activities including background synchronization, networking, receiving texts and calls, and more. The methods you use to access these features helps make your use of the device more effective.
Android contains many places where it expects you to type some text. Braille Plus indicates these places by announcing, "Edit." In most cases, you may use contracted braille, but there are some exceptions. Certain kinds of text cannot accurately be represented in contracted braille. Think, for example of an email address where a period appears in the middle of the word. U.S. contracted Braille rules do not take these conditions into consideration. It is necessary, therefore, to use computer braille in places where input may be confusing. In those places where computer braille is required, Braille Plus announces "Computer Braille" to let you know you must type in computer braille and it automatically switches to that input mode. At other times, you may wish to manually switch to computer braille by pressing Space+G until it responds, "Computer Braille."
For more information about how to type and navigate through edit controls, see the Editing section of this documentation.
The Android system provides a mechanism for applications to post notifications that may be important to the user. Such notifications may include missed calls, emails, text messages, calendar appointments, and update notifications. These events occur from both external sources such as an incoming call and internally running applications such as the calendar or alarm. They are particularly clever, because they do not interrupt your current activities.
When an event occurs that requires a notification, the app plays an optional notification ringtone, and the speech announces the notification. Your work is not interrupted. Instead, the notification gets put into a list of notifications where you may review them.
These notifications are presented as a list of items with the first item being Clear All. Selecting Clear All removes all the notifications from the list.
On a normal Android phone with a touch screen, you slide your finger from the top edge of the screen down to open the notification area. There are also ways to get to the notifications through the menus or various apps.
On the Braille Plus, use the Space+N hot key to open notifications from anywhere, or use the menu system.
To get to the list of notifications through the menus, follow these steps:
To find and read all the notifications, press the Up Arrow or Down Arrow.
To select a notification, press Select. Pressing Select starts the app that posted the notification and lets you perform some action on it. If, for example, an appointment is approaching, the Calendar app posts the notification. It may say, "Piano lesson in 10 minutes." When you press Select, Calendar starts and displays details about the appointment and buttons to take action on it. Use the Up Arrow and Down Arrow to move to the different fields and controls on the appointment.
The buttons include Dismiss and Snooze. To be reminded again, press the Snooze button. To dismiss the appointment and remove it from the notification list, press Dismiss.
If you miss a call, the Phone app posts a notification such as, "Missed call from Mr. Anderson." To return the call, press Select.
If you miss more than one call, the Phone app posts a notification saying how many calls you missed. To work with the notification, press Select. The Phone app starts and displays the Call Log.
Highlight the call of interest and press Select to return the call. Press and hold Select to get additional options about what you may wish to do with the call. Options offered include add the number to Contacts, return the call, and send the caller a text message.
To close the Notifications list, press the Back key.
Context menus exist to help quickly get to actions relevant to the particular task you are performing. If you are editing a document, for example, the context menu includes options to work with the text you are editing. Context menus customize their options based on both what you are doing and what state the activity is in. If, for example, you had selected some text before opening the context menu, it would also include options related to working with selected text such as copying, cutting, or pasting.
To use the context menu, press and hold the Select button.
Not every activity or control includes a context menu. If the activity does not have a context menu, nothing happens when you hold Select.
Braille Plus is a tool designed for connectivity, and it offers several ways to get online. You may use either Wi-Fi or the cellular network or both.
Your choice of which method to use depends on several factors.
In general, even if you use a cellular network, you will likely wish to use Wi-Fi for most Internet related activities. Wi-Fi is faster, and it is generally much less expensive. The disadvantage of Wi-Fi is that it only works close to a "hot spot." Hot spots are Internet access points provided by wireless routers, either in your home or at a commercial or governmental facility such as a coffee shop or library.
Cellular networks, on the other hand, provide access wherever the network reaches.
For the simplest operation, keep the Wi-Fi radio turned on. The system automatically uses the preferred Wi-Fi network if it is available.
To use Wi-Fi networks, you must first connect to them. This procedure is needed only once per hot spot. In other words, if you have networks set up at home and at school, you configure them each once, then you may use them without further action. Likewise, each time you travel to a new area with Wi-Fi access, you connect to that network once, then you may use it from then on.
Normally, when you move into an area covered by an open Wi-Fi network, Braille Plus notifies you by posting a notification. Many people do not want to be bothered with such notifications, and these can be turned off if you do not want them.
To connect to a network in the notification list, follow these steps:
Cellular networks are nationwide networks operated by cellular companies such as AT&T or T-Mobile. To use them, you must subscribe to the service for a monthly fee.
It is not necessary to subscribe to a cellular network to effectively use Braille Plus, but you must be subscribed to use the cellular network for phone calls, cellular data, and text messages.
There are a few ways to initiate service with a cellular carrier. Perhaps the most straightforward method is to remove the SIM card from an existing AT&T or T-Mobile phone. Consult the directions for your phone for instructions on the removal procedure.
Note that the SIM card in the newer iPhone models is smaller than a normal card and will not fit. There are, however, adapters available that let you plug the small SIM card into a holder the size of a regular SIM.
To install the card, place it into the SIM card slot with the gold fingers up and the cutout corner on the right side so it goes into the slot first. Press in until the spring mechanism in the slot grabs the card. If you need to remove the card, press in on the card until it releases. The card ejects from the slot. Grasp the card and remove it.
When you insert or remove a SIM card, you must reboot the device.
If you don't already have a cell phone plan, here are some considerations about what you may wish to choose:
The hardware on this device is compatible with both Edge and 3G networks from AT&T and T-Mobile.
At the time of this writing, it appears that T-Mobile has better deals, especially for "pay as you go" plans where you get a certain number of talk minutes, texts, and a specified amount of data transfer. T-Mobile offers a pay as you go plan that provides 1500 minutes or text messages and 30 MB of data. 30 MB is probably enough for a month's use, especially if you keep the cellular data radio turned off until you need it.
What complicates the process is that the carriers like to bundle their plans with a new phone. Unfortunately, they do not offer any phones with braille keyboards and displays. To get a plan from one of the carriers, you need to get a SIM card from the carrier to put into what they call an "unlocked phone"--that is, the phone is not specifically tied to a particular network.
The type of plan you select depends on how you wish to use the device. If you want to use it for phone calls and text messages only, you may use one of the more inexpensive plans. If you also want to use data, such as browsing the Internet or working with email while away from any Wi-Fi networks, you want a plan that includes data.
It may be necessary to configure the device to use the data network for the carrier you select. When you purchase a plan, remember that Braille Plus is an unlocked GSM device, so you may use AT&T, t-Mobile, or Straight Talk.
Once you plug in the SIM card, go to Settings / Wireless and Networks / Mobile Networks / Access Point Names to configure the device for the carrier you select.
To add a new APN, press Menu and pick New APN from the menu that appears.
Your carrier will provide the information for the values you must use.
Once complete, open the menu again and select Save to complete the process.
You may turn on and off the use of cellular data.
Go to Settings / Wireless and Network Settings / Mobile Networks
The first option on the Mobile Networks screen is a checkbox called Enable Data. If this item is checked, Braille Plus uses the cellular data when Wi-Fi is not available. If Enable Data is not checked, it fails when you try to access the Internet without a Wi-Fi connection. This option provides an excellent way to minimize data use, and lets you use a cellular plan that is less expensive than those that provide what the carriers call "unlimited data." Keep in mind that even if you do not use cellular data, you may still make and receive calls and texts.
Most carriers let you check the amount of data you have already used. On T-Mobile, for instance, you may dial #web#, and your phone responds with a message outlining the amount of data used and remaining on your plan.
If you have a SIM card installed, you may make and receive phone calls.
When you get an incoming call, the Phone app plays your preferred ringtone and announces the name or number of the incoming call.
To silence the ringer, press Volume Down.
To send the call straight to voice mail, press Volume Up. To answer the call, press the S1 key.
To end the call, press and hold S1.
If you miss the call, a notification appears in your Notifications list. To return the call, move to the notification, and then press Select. If you miss more than one call, the notification changes to show how many missed calls you have. Press Select on this notification to open the Call Log.
To open the Phone application, select Phone from the Home screen. Braille Plus responds by displaying the Phone application and putting focus into an edit field where you may type the number to dial. To initiate the call by typing a number, type it here, and then press Dial to start the call.
Note that the edit field requires computer braille. Recall that to type a number in computer braille, omit the number sign at the beginning, and drop each letter to the lower half of the cell. The number one, for example, is represented in computer braille by dot two rather than dot 1.
To type a star (*) or pound (#) use dots 1 6 for star and dots 3 4 5 6 for pound.
The edit field is part of one of four tabs or sections of the Phone application. In addition to Phone, the tabs include Call Log, Contacts, and Favorites.
To return a call, press Up Arrow to move to the Tabs at the top of the screen. Phone responds, "Phone" to let you know you are on the Phone tab.
Press Right Arrow to get to the Call Log.
Use the Down Arrow key to move through the list of incoming and outgoing calls. Note: It is not currently possible to distinguish between incoming and outgoing calls in the call log.
When you find the entry to call, press Select. Phone opens a menu with three choices: Call, Text, and View Contact. Press Select on the appropriate action.
To call a contact, move to the Contacts tab of the Phone app or select Contacts from the Home screen.
The Contacts app shows a list of all your contacts in alphabetical order.
Move close to a contact in the list or directly to a contact by typing the first letter or two of the contact's name.
Use the arrow keys to move from item to item in the list of contacts.
To call the contact, press Select. The Contacts app responds with a menu of possible actions depending on how many numbers are stored for the contact. If there is only one number, there are two choices. The first choice is to add this contact as a favorite. Checking this box puts a copy of this contact in the Favorites list.
The next choice is to dial this number. Press Select to call the contact.
If there is more than one number, the item might read, "Call Home" or "Call Mobile" depending on which numbers the contact contains.
In addition to pressing Select on a contact's name, you may press and hold Select. This shows a menu of other options including Call Contact, Text Contact, Edit Contact, Delete Contact, and View Contact.
The fourth tab in the Phone app is the Favorites tab. It shows a list of contacts you have marked as favorites. This list can be much more manageable than the complete contact list, especially if you have a lot of contacts.
To add a contact to Favorites, follow these steps:
Press the Volume keys to raise or lower the ringer volume. As you lower the volume, a beep sounds to provide an indication of the volume level. When you reach the second to the lowest volume setting, the device vibrates. This vibration lets you know the ringer is silenced and that the device vibrates when you receive an incoming call.
To change the ringtone, follow these steps:
The Help application opens the Braille Plus User's Guide.
As you use the help, keep these points in mind:
Word Processor lets you type documents or read documents that others have created. It supports a variety of file types, and it can translate from text to contracted braille.
Word Processor supports the following types of files:
To open the Word Processor, select it from the Home screen in the normal way.
To exit the Word Processor, press the Back key. If you have not modified the current document, Word Processor immediately exits back to the Home screen. If any document you have opened has changed, Word Processor asks what you would like to do with the modified file before it either saves or discards any changes.
Word Processor starts with a blank screen on which you type text. The program creates a new document or opens an existing document, depending on how you last used Word Processor.
Editing with the Word Processor is essentially using a modified multi line edit control to do its work, so the following features apply to the Word Processor, single line edit controls, and multi line edit controls.
The braille display indicates the editing cursor by raising dots 7 and 8. The editing cursor indicates where text you type is inserted into the document or edit field. When you start a new document or enter text into a blank edit field, you see a blank display with dots 7 and 8 raised in cell one. If you edit an existing document or edit a field that already contains text, the display shows that text and raises dots 7 and 8 to show the cursor's position, usually in the first cell.
To move the cursor, use either the arrow keys or press the cursor routing key above the letter to which you wish to move.
As you type, use either the Select button or Space+dots 4-6 on the braille keyboard to start a new line. This key combination types a Return into your document. Use two Returns for a new paragraph. If editing a single line control, this usually moves off the edit field onto the next control in a dialog.
To move by characters, use Left Arrow or Right Arrow.
To move by words, use Space+Dot 2 or Space+Dot 5.
When using multi line edit controls, use these key combinations:
To move by sentences, use Up Arrow or Down Arrow.
To move by paragraph, use Space+dots 2 3 to move back and Space+dots 5 6 to move forward.
To move by page, use Space+Q to move back and Space+dots 2 3 4 5 6 to move forward.
To move within a paragraph, use the braille panning keys
To move to the top or bottom of the document, use Space+Dots 1 2 3 or Space+Dots 4 5 6 respectively.
For other movement options, press and hold Select until the context menu appears, then select Movement from the context menu. See more about the context menu in the "Word Processor Context Menu" section of this documentation.
To open a file, press Alt+O or go to the menu and pick / File / Open. Word Processor responds by showing the File Manager to let you select the file to open. Use Up Arrow and Down Arrow to move through the list, and then press Select to open the highlighted file.
If the file of interest resides inside a folder, press Select to open the folder. Press Back to close any open folder.
To change the sort order of the list of files, go to the menu and pick Settings.
To select files from a different location, press Left Arrow or Right Arrow to pick another volume.
To save the current document, press Alt+S or select Save from the File menu. Word Processor shows the Save File dialog where you type the name for the file and optionally select a specific file type and where to store the file.
To save a file using the current location and file type, follow these steps:
To save the current document with a new file name, a different file type, or in a different location, select Save As from the File menu. Word Processor responds with the Save File dialog where you may specify the file's name, type, and location.
If you do not want to change the type or location, the Save dialog works exactly as it does when you save a file for the first time. You just type a name, then press Select.
When saving a file, change the file's type by doing the following:
To change the location of the file, such as an SD card or USB drive, follow these steps:
Press Select or Dot 8 to save the file on the selected volume.
If the volume contains no media, such as in the case where there is no SD card in the SD card slot, File Manager shows "Unavailable" instead of the free space.
The available volumes are
Word Processor lets you edit several documents at once. You may create a new file and switch between the two files.
To create a new document, press Alt+N or select New from the File menu. Word Processor responds by clearing the screen and creating a new document. The original document is still available.
When editing multiple documents, you may switch among any of the open documents. Each time you do, Word Processor returns you to the place in the document to which you switch in the same place your cursor was located when you switched away from the document.
To switch to another open document, select Document from the menu. Word Processor displays a list of all open documents. Use Up Arrow or Down Arrow to find the document of interest, and then press Select to continue editing that document.
The Alt+1 shortcut switches to the first document. Alt+2 switches to the second one and so forth.
When using braille numbers this way, you must use the computer braille version of the character, so to press Alt+1, you would hold Alt, then press Dot 2. Alt+2 would be Alt+Dots 2 3.
To find text, press Alt+F or open the Find option in the menu. Word Processor shows a screen where you type the text to find. Type the text and press Select to start the search.
To repeat a search, press Alt+G.
To move backwards and find the previous occurrence of text, press Shift+Alt+G.
Selecting text prepares Word Processor to do something with the text you have selected. You may, for instance, copy or cut selected text.
There are several steps to working with selected text.
The text selection commands all reside on the edit control or Word Processor context menu or with shortcut keys. To open the context menu, press and hold the Select key while focused on an edit control or while in the word processor.
To select all text, press Shift+Space+A or pick Select All from the context menu.
Selecting all text marks the entire text of the document so it is ready to copy or cut.
To set a mark to be considered either the beginning or end of the selection, press Shift+Space+M or select Set Mark from the context menu. Note that if you already have a mark set, the option Set Mark is not available. Instead, there is a Reset Mark. Reset Mark changes the mark to the current cursor position.
When you use the shortcut key, the mark is always set or reset to the current cursor position.
Once you select text, you may cut, copy, or paste it onto the "clipboard." The clipboard is a temporary holding area that preserves its contents, making it available even to other applications. You may, for example, paste selected text into the Browser or Email.
To copy selected text to the clipboard, move the cursor to the beginning or end of the selection area. (The other end is set to the position where you had set the mark.) press Shift+Space+C or choose Copy from the context menu. Word Processor and other apps that support text selection copies the text to the clipboard. The original text remains intact, but now there is a copy of it on the clipboard as well.
To remove the text from the document and put it into the clipboard, press Shift+Space+X or pick Cut from the context menu. When you cut selected text, Word Processor removes that text from the document. It also preserves the text in its clipboard. You may ignore the clipboard if you no longer care about the text, or you may paste that text into another document or even into another app.
Once selected text is on the clipboard, you have the option to paste it into other places. To paste the clipboard's contents, move to the document or application and position the cursor at the point where you want it to go. Next, press Shift+Space+V or select Paste from the context menu. The app inserts the text at the cursor position.
To convert a document to braille, pick Braille from the menu. Word Processor translates the text with the translation you specify in the Speech and Braille Settings dialog.
Even in today's electronic world, it is easy to find daily examples of inaccessible paper documents. The camera and flash combined with the Look program lets you snap a shot of a page, recognize the typed text (no handwriting), and convert it to text and braille.
To scan a page, do the following:
Ambient light is important. Always make sure there is a light on in the room before you take the shot.
Hold the camera steady or use a stand to stabilize the camera.
Align the camera so that it can see the entire page. This takes practice.
Look automatically converts multiple columns into one continuous flow of text.
Turn on the flash. To turn on the flash, pick Settings from the program menu and pick Flash Torch Mode. Torch mode means the light illuminates continuously rather than just flashing with each shot.)
The Library app plays Digital Talking Books from the National Library Service (NLS), Learning Ally (formerly RFBD), and bookshare.org.
Note that NLS and Learning Ally support are not complete. A future update will complete support for these formats.
To put books onto the device, use one of the following methods:
When Library starts, it shows a list of initial options that include the following:
To download books from Bookshare.org, select Bookshare from Library's main screen. Library responds with a list that includes Title, Author, and Category. The Title and Author options prompt for text to search. The Category option shows a list of categories. Pick a category to get a list of books in that category.
When viewing the list, press Select to download the book. If you have not saved your log on information, Library prompts for your Bookshare user ID and password.
You may continue browsing for other books while your selection downloads. Library posts a notification to let you know when the download completes.
To see the synopsis of a book before downloading it, hold Select and pick Get Book Information option.
To resume reading a previously opened title, pick Recent Titles from Library's main screen. Library shows the most recent title at the top of the list followed by other recent titles. Use the arrows to highlight the title of interest, and then press Select to open it and resume where you left off.
For a list of authors, pick Authors.
For a list of all titles, pick Titles.
When you pick one of these options, Library shows a list. If you selected authors, it shows a list of authors. Otherwise, it shows a list of titles. To get to the Titles list from the Authors list, select an Author--Library shows all the titles written by that author.
To start reading, select one of the titles in the list. Library starts the Reader app with the book and starts reading. To pause reading, press S2. To resume, press S2 again.
To stop reading and return to the Title list, press the Back key.
While reading, use the following commands to navigate:
To move to the previous or next heading, use Space+dots 1-2-6 and Space+dots 3-4-5. These commands default to moving to the heading with the least movement, so if a title had headings at levels one, two, and three, the heading navigation commands move by heading three levels. Note that when moving by level three, heading levels one and two are included.
To change the heading level by which to navigate, press Space+dots 2-3-5-6. Reader responds by announcing the current level movement level, three in this example. Pressing the change level command again moves to level two headings, and yet another press changes the movement to level one. Continue pressing the Change Level command to return to level three heading movement. Once you set the heading level, the previous and next heading commands move by the selected level.
For titles that are text based, use the normal text navigation commands to navigate.
For titles that are audio based, use these commands:
To rewind or fast forward, use Left Arrow or Right Arrow respectively.
To increase or decrease the playback rate of audio, use Up Arrow or Down Arrow.
To move directly to a page in a title that includes page markup, press G. Reader asks you to type the page number. Type the number, then press the OK button to move to that page.
To delete a book, highlight the book in the list, then select Delete from the context menu.
Nearby Explorer is a comprehensive app that provides orientation and location based information. Its complete documentation is available in its own comprehensive Nearby Explorer User's Guide available here.
Here are some points to note about using Nearby Explorer with the Braille Plus.
To turn on and off the external receiver, slide the switch on its side toward the closest edge to turn it off. Slide it the other way to turn it on.
To charge the external receiver, use the USB cable that came with the receiver. Plug the small end into the receiver and the large end into a host USB port or into an AC adapter. The adapter that comes with Braille Plus charges the receiver as well as the Braille Plus.
The Email program lets you read, send, and receive email with the Exchange, POP3, or IMAP protocol.
Before you may use the Email app to read and write messages, you must have an online account established. There are several places that offer free email accounts. gmail.com is probably one of the most popular.
When you start Email for the first time, you need to provide information about your email account. In most cases, the email address, your password, and your name are enough information to set up an account.
To set up additional accounts, go to the Accounts menu and pick New Account.
Once it has account information, the Email program starts with a list of messages in your Inbox. If you have more than one account, it starts with a list of mail boxes. Select one of the accounts to see all the messages for that account, or select Combined Inbox for a combined list of all messages from all accounts.
Use the Up Arrow and Down Arrow to move through the list of messages.
To read a message, press Select. Email responds by opening the Message screen.
In addition to opening a message with the Select key, you may open a context menu of options you can use to work with the highlighted message. To open the context menu, highlight the message of interest, then hold the Select key. Braille Plus responds with a menu that includes the following:
When you press Select to open a message, Email shows the body of that message and a set of buttons at the bottom. The exact buttons that appear depend on the content of the message. If, for example, there are attachments to the message, there is an Open and a Save button for each attachment. There are also buttons for Delete and Reply, but those functions are more conveniently performed via the menu.
The body of the message is displayed in a web view. You may use the normal web navigation commands to move through sections of long messages.
When reading the body of a message, you may examine the message headers. These headers contain information about who the message is to, who it is from, the subject, and the time and date the message was sent.
To get to the headers from the body of the message, press Up Arrow until you get to the information. When you hit to top of the message, the Email app beeps. Press Up Arrow once more to move to the message headers. Note that there are two columns. The right hand column contains time and date information, and the left column contains the subject, the to field, and the from field.
To reply to the message, select Reply from the menu. When you reply to a message, Email opens a compose message window. The text of the original message is shown below the new message.
To delete the message, select Delete from the menu.
To forward the message, select Forward from the menu.
To return to the message list, press Back.
To open or save an attachment, go to the end of the message and press Down Arrow from there. For each attachment, there is an Open and Save button that also contains the name of the file. When you save an attachment, Braille Plus puts the file into the downloads folder of your internal SD card. When you press the Open button for an attachment, Braille Plus copies the attachment to the downloads folder and starts the program that works with that kind of file. If there is not an app to work with an attachment, no app is opened.
To compose a new message, select Compose from the menu. The Email app opens a blank message window where you may address the message. To address the message, type the email address (in computer braille) or type the first few characters of the message, then press Down Arrow to see a list of matches from your contacts. When you find the contact of interest, press Select to add it to the To: field. The Email app lets you separate a list of addresses with the comma (,) character. So, to send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org and one to email@example.com, you would write firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com in the To field.
When you have added all the recipients, press Down Arrow to move to the Subject field and type the subject. You may use contracted braille for the subject and body of the message.
After you type the subject, press Down Arrow again to get to the message body where you type the actual message. The Email app calls this the Compose Message area. Type normally. Use dots 4 6 to enter a new line.
You may use all the normal editing commands to edit the text of the message.
Email automatically saves anything you type as a draft until you send it, so if you shot off the device in the middle of a message, you can always get back to it from the Drafts folder. You may also specifically save a partial message as a draft by selecting Save as Draft from the menu.
To add carbon copies (cc's), select Add CC/BCC from the menu.
To discard the message without sending it or saving it to the Drafts folder, select Discard from the menu. This action also discards draft messages.
To attach one or more files, select Attach from the menu. The Email app responds by opening File manager where you may point to a file to attach. To attach the file that you have highlighted, press Select. Email responds by attaching the file and returning to the compose screen. To attach additional files, repeat the process.
To send your message, select Send from the menu.
To cancel the message, press Back. Email saves your message in the Drafts folder.
Whenever you save a message as a draft, Email creates a new folder and shows that folder in the initial list of accounts. To open the Drafts folder and finish or delete messages from there simply press Select on the folder. A list a drafts appears. Select the message of interest. You may delete it from the context menu, or you may complete the message and send it.
To add additional accounts, follow these steps:
To adjust characteristics of an account, open that account's inbox, then select Account Settings from the menu.
Account Settings let you set signatures, set your name, specify if new messages post a notification, and more.
To access sent and deleted messages and any other folders you may have associated with an email account, select Folders from the menu. Braille Plus responds with a list of folders. This list behaves like the inbox where you can open and respond to messages.
The Recorder app records and plays audio.
To start Recorder, use one of the following techniques:
Normally, when Recorder starts, it shows a list of previous recordings, each given by a number. The newest recordings are at the top of the list.
To record a new title, hold Select or pick New from the menu. Recorder responds by starting the recording process, showing a Pause button, and posting a notification that recording is in progress.
To pause the recording, press Select. Press Select again to resume.
To end the recording, press the Back key. Recorder responds by closing the recording and returning to the list of sound files.
To delete a recording, highlight the recording, then pick Delete from the menu.
When recording starts, Recorder posts a notification, so you may easily return to the recording in progress by picking the notification. You can, of course, open Recorder again either from the All Applications menu or from the Recent Apps menu.
Note that the braille display can cause a "ticking" sound to also get recorded. To eliminate this sound, turn off the braille display with the Space+dots 2 5 6 command.
If you have a SIM card installed, the recording picks up cell tower communications. To eliminate this noise, turn off the device, remove the SIM card, and restart.
Recorder adds to the level of the recording by boosting the signal. If you are recording in a noisy situation, select Turn Recording Boost Off from the menu before starting the recording.
The Browser app lets you conveniently and easily browse the web with speech and braille feedback. To start the browser, either select Browser from the Home screen, select a link in an email, or type a search term at the Home screen. Depending on the method you use to start Browser, a web page appears, and Browser announces the first line of the new page and shows it on the braille display.
Normally, you interact with web pages with the Up and Down arrows to move by lines, moving by headings or links, or by reading the whole page. The method you use depends on your familiarity with the page and what you want to do with it.
To read the page, press S2. To stop, press S2 again.
Browser offers a number of ways to navigate and explore web pages. The navigation process consists of two parts: one to pick the type of navigation, and a way to move from point to point.
To pick the navigation type, press Space+Dots 2 3 5 6. Browser responds by announcing the current setting. To move through all the settings, either continue to press the navigation picker command, or type the first letter of the type you want. Use shift with the navigation picker command to move backwards through the list of options.
Browser offers the following navigation types:
For the most part, you use headings and links to navigate most web sites, but these tools provide a means to handle nearly any web site.
Once you select your navigation type, press Space+> (dots 3, 4, 5) or Space+< (dots 1, 2, 6) to move to the next or previous item of the selected type.
When a page contains places to type text, it indicates the condition by announcing, "Edit." In many cases, it also announces, "Computer Braille Required." This indicates that your typing must be in computer braille. To work with an Edit control, just type the text you wish to enter. Use the arrows to move through the text and continue with the rest of the elements on the page.
Combo boxes are a browser control that lets you select one item from a list of items.
To select an option from a combo box, press Select while on the combo box. Next, use the Up Arrow or Down Arrow to pick the appropriate option, then press Select to make the change. Note that Browser accessibility currently does not announce the new value of the combo box until you leave then return to the combo box.
To open another page or search the web, press the Search key, then type the URL or text to find then press Select.
When the new page opens, Browser lets you know by announcing the first word or item on the new page.
When focused on a link, you may perform one of several functions by holding Select to access the context menu.
Open opens the link just as if you pressed Select without holding it.
Open in New Window opens a new tab with the page.
Bookmark Link creates a bookmark that points to the linked page.
Save Link saves the linked page in the Downloads folder.
Share Link lets you open another program with the url of the link. Android shows a menu of possible programs to use.
Copy Link URL puts the url of the link onto the clipboard.
To create a new window, select New Window from the menu. Browser responds by opening a new page. To move between pages, select Windows from the menu, then select the window of choice.
To save the current page for later reference, follow these steps:
To return to a bookmark you previously added, pick Bookmarks from the menu, then find the bookmark of interest and press Select.
By default, bookmarks are arranged in a grid. It is sometimes easier to use a list instead of a grid. To use a list, press Menu from the Bookmarks screen and select List View from the menu.
The Settings application contains a variety of settings to let you customize aspects of the system.
To use the Settings app, pick Settings from All Applications on the Home screen, or go to Home and pick Settings from the menu.
As you traverse the menus in the Settings app, notice the menu often tells about its function. The Airplane Mode option in the Wireless and Network Settings menu, for example, offers the tip that this turns off all the wireless connections.
The Wireless and Networks setting configures Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other network related settings.
Check this checkbox to turn off all the wireless radios that transmit voice or data. This may be necessary in areas where wireless radios are not permitted.
The Wi-Fi checkbox turns on and off the Wi-Fi radio. You may wish to turn off this radio to help conserve battery power. It is recommended, however, to leave the radio on for the most convenience.
The Wi-Fi menu option may contain additional information such as the name of the network to which you are connected or the status of the connection such as "Obtaining IP Address" or "Connected to Library Branch."
Selecting this option opens another menu with several options that set up and manage wireless access points.
Check or uncheck this checkbox to turn on and off the Wi-Fi radio.
In most circumstances, this checkbox should be checked. If you wish to conserve power and you are not using the Internet, you may wish to uncheck this checkbox.
When checked, this option posts a notification each time a new open wireless network is available. Many people consider this annoying. If you decide that these notifications are not desirable, uncheck this checkbox.
When the Wi-Fi radio is on, this screen contains a list of nearby and remembered networks. It may be desirable to use this screen to forget networks you have previously used but do not plan to use again such as one in a hotel.
The list of access points starts with those currently in range. If you are already connected to an access point, it will appear at the top of the list.
Each item in the list contains the name of the access point and its status. If the access point is the one currently connected, its status is "Connected."
After the currently connected access point, there is a list of other access points in range. Each of them shows the name and the security type of the access point.
After the current connection and a list of others in range, there is a list of access points that are out of range. The status on these networks is "Out of Range." These are access points to which you previously connected and remembered.
To remove a previously used but no longer needed access point, follow these steps:
To add a network that does not broadcast its name, select this option. Enter the name of the network and its security type. Once the application has this information, it presents the normal screen where you may enter your password, if needed, and where you click the Connect button.
The Advanced Settings screen lets you set options for using advanced network settings and when to switch from Wi-Fi to mobile data.
Bluetooth is a wireless protocol designed to connect peripherals in fairly close proximity. Bluetooth is not the Internet--instead, think of it as a mechanism for connecting keyboards, headsets, and other peripherals to the device.
To turn on the Bluetooth radio, check the Bluetooth checkbox.
Bluetooth works by pairing a peripheral with your device. The pairing process allows the device to work with a peripheral while ignoring other Bluetooth capable devices in the vicinity.
The Voice Input and Output setting lets you control the talking aspects of the device.
The Text-To-Speech settings area lets you control the voice. Braille Plus comes with two TTS engines, Ivona and Pico, but you may install additional engines if you wish.
Ivona is supplied with three voices, Joey, Kindra, and Sally. To change voices, select the Ivona TTS Settings item in the Text-To-Speech Settings option. Ivona Settings app responds with a list of one item that says Ivona TTS and the name of the voice in use. Select that item in the list and the app shows the Select Preferred Voice alert with three options. Select the voice of interest from this list.
Pico is a much more responsive, but less clear TTS engine. To select another TTS engine, like Pico, select Default Engine from the Text-To-Speech Settings menu. The Default Engine Menu shows all the engines installed. Select the one of interest. Settings returns to the Text-To-Speech Settings screen, but it sounds like the new engine is not in use yet. It Isn't for the built-in screen reader, because you were already running the screen reader when you changed engines. Unload speech and reload it by pressing Space+s twice.
If you download additional engines, they show up in the list of available engines in the Default Engine list. You must first, however, mark the engine as available by checking its option in the list under the Text-To-Speech Settings screen. Thee engines are listed at the end of the screen. Note, too, that it may be necessary to install voice data before using another engine you install.
Other engines are available from within the app stores and they can come from places like the Eyes-Free project at Google. Here is the very responsive but not too intelligible E-Speak TTS engine download.
One of the benefits of using a popular mobile operating system, like Android, is the availability of thousands of other apps written by developers who, most likely, have never even heard of the Braille Plus. Since the Braille Plus runs standard Android apps, you may obtain and install these programs written for phones and tablets that run Android.
There are several ways to install additional apps.
Many Android devices use the Google Play Store or Google Market. Braille Plus does not contain a touch screen. This means it does not conform to the requirements that make it eligible to have the market or play store programs pre-installed. There are, however, other options for obtaining and installing apps.
In addition to the Google app store, Amazon and others offer market apps. The Amazon App Store is one possibility, buts its accessibility is not perfect. In fact, as of this writing, the newest version of the Amazon App Store became even more inaccessible. There is an older version of the Amazon App Store that you may download, here.
One more accessibility note of importance is the fact that when you get a list of apps in the Amazon App Store, the Select key does not work to select the app. You must, instead, use the Alt key. Remember, Alt simulates a touch screen event, and that is what this app requires.
For a market app that is quite a bit more accessible, see the Slide Me App Store.
Androidpit.com is also a market that is quite accessible.
Before you can install any one of these apps, you must set your device to allow the installation on non-market applications. To do that, go to Settings/Applications and check the box that says, "Unknown Sources."
Once you install either of these two market apps, you will be able to download and install apps from within the app store app.
Apps you download are packaged with the "apk" extension. If you download one on your computer, you can copy it to your Braille Plus, then use the File Manager on the Braille Plus to install it. If you download it with the browser on Braille Plus, go to the Downloads app under All Applications on the Home screen to find and install it.
As you explore apps available from other sources, you will find some that do not meet your needs or some that may not be accessible.
To untinsall an app, follow these steps:
Remember, not every app from the app store is accessible. For reviews and recommendations about accessible Android apps, see www.androidaccess.net/.
In addition to the tips and tricks from the Android Access site, keep these things in mind:
Braille Plus supports many ways to get files from other devices to and from your Braille Plus.
In addition to using a flash drive in the USB port and putting a SD card into the SD card slot, you can connect Braille Plus to your computer with a USB cable. There are also apps, like Drop Box, that let you share a virtual drive between your Braille Plus and other devices like a PC or other mobile device.
File Manager is the tool used to manage files. Use it to launch apps, copy and move files, delete files, and rename files. To start File Manager, go to the Home screen and open the Tools folder, then select File Manager.
When File Manager starts, it shows a list of all the volumes on your device. The available volumes always include the internal SD Card. If you have a flash drive inserted in the USB port or an SD Card in the external slot, the volumes can also include USB and SD Card_External.
Along with the name of the volume, File Manager shows the amount of free space on each volume. If there is no media in the volume's slot, File manager shows "Unavailable" along with the volume name.
Use Left Arrow and Right Arrow to change among any of the available volumes.
To see a list of the files on the selected volume, press Down Arrow.
By default, the list is arranged alphabetically. You may change the listing method by pressing Menu/Settings and checking one of the options.
To back out of a folder and return to its parent, press Back.
To work with a file, use the Up or Down Arrow key to move to it, then press Select to open it. File Manager launches the default app to work with that type of file. If, for example, it were a music mp3 file, it opens the Music Player.
Note that if there is more than one app that works with a specific type of file, the operating system displays an Alert Dialog that lists the apps that can work with the file. There is also a check box at the bottom of the dialog that lets you set your selection as the default, so the system will not ask you again. The check box is called "Use by Default for this Action."
If you ever select a default app and decide to change it later, you can go to Settings/Applications/Manage Applications and select the app that opens the type of file of interest. Press the Clear Defaults button to make the system forget about that app being the default.
To copy a file or folder, highlight it, then hold Select. File Manager shows a context menu that contains, among other things, items for Cut and Copy. Cut means to move the file from its current location to a new one. Copy means to duplicate the file or folder in a new location.
Once you use the Cut or Copy command, use File Manager to move to the folder where you want to place the file or folder, then hold Select again. Select Paste from the context menu.
To delete a file or folder, highlight the file or folder, then hold Select, and select Delete from the context menu.
Use the USB cable to connect Braille Plus to your computer. To do that, plug the large end of the USB cable into one of the computer's USB host ports and connect the other end into the on-the-go port normally used for charging the Braille Plus. Note that connecting the Braille Plus to your computer also charges the Braille Plus, but it does not charge as quickly as if you had used the AC adapter.
When you connect the USB cable between your computer and Braille Plus, Braille Plus posts a notification. That notification is "USB Connected. Select to Copy Files To/From Your Computer." To copy files to or from your computer, do as the notification suggests and select the notification. (Remember, to get to the notifications area, either select Notifications from the Home screen's menu or press Space+n on the braille keyboard.)
When you select the notification, a dialog appears announcing USB mass storage. This is the technical term for treating the Braille Plus as a mass storage disk drive. There is a button in the dialog labeled "Turn on USB Mass Storage." Press that button. When you do, the Braille Plus becomes a drive for the computer to which it is connected, and a new button appears. That new button is "Turn off USB Mass Storage." When you are finished using Braille Plus as a drive for the computer, press that button. Before you do, however, you may wish to let your computer know you are finished using it. On a Windows PC, there is usually a "Safely Remove Hardware" button in the system trey. On the Mac, highlight the new drive and select Eject from the File menu.
Whenever Braille Plus connects to a Wi-Fi network, it checks to see if there is newer software available. If there is, it notifies you by posting a standard notification.
To update or read about what is new with the update, select the update notification. The notification usually shows a list of two items, one for the software and one that describes the new release.
To read about the features of the new version, select the description item. The updater opens the browser and displays the details. Close the browser and select the notification again to get back to the list of available software updates.
To update the software after reading about it, select the update of interest. The updater begins downloading the software in the background. You may continue using Braille Plus while the download proceeds.
When the download completes, Braille Plus posts another notification letting you know the new software is ready to install. Select that notification to install the software and reboot the device.
If you download the update first without reading about the new features and fixes, you may still read about them by going to http://tech.aph.org/plus_new.htm.
Braille Plus 18 contains a problem reporter tool that sends critical information to the developers in the case of a crash or lockup. When you select Problem Reporter, it gathers up system information and opens an email window from which you may describe the problem.
To use Problem Reporter, select it from the All Applications list.
Problem Reporter responds by creating several reports and attaches them to an email message. It next opens the email program with your default account and provides a place to describe the situation.
Write a few sentences describing the problem and any circumstances that may help to identify it.
Select Send from the menu to send the report.
The following chart shows the chords supported by the braille keyboard. Note that numbers refer to dot numbers.
|Operation||Chorded Dots||QWERTY Keyboard Equivalent|
|Move to previous line||1||Up Arrow|
|Move to next line||4||Down Arrow|
|Move to previous word||2||Ctrl+Left Arrow|
|Move to next word||5||Ctrl+Right Arrow|
|Move to previous letter||3||Left Arrow|
|Move to next letter||6||Right Arrow|
|Move to previous paragraph||2-3||Ctrl+Up Arrow|
|Move to next paragraph||5-6||Ctrl+Down Arrow|
|Move to beginning of line||1-2-3-4||Alt+Left Arrow|
|Move to end of line||1-4-5-6||Alt+Right Arrow|
|Move to previous page||1-2-3-4-5||Shift+Space|
|Move to next page||1-2-4-5-6||Space|
|Move to top of file||1-2-3||Alt+Up Arrow|
|Move to end of file||4-5-6||Alt+Down Arrow|
|Read current line||1-4||Ctrl+9|
|Read current word||2-5||Ctrl+8|
|Read current character||3-6||Ctrl+7|
|Cancel current operation||1-3-5-6 (Z)||Back|
|Select a menu option||1-5 (E)||Select|
|Open Program menu||1-3-4 (M)||Menu|
|ASCII Code||Character||Dot Combination|
NOTE: This equipment has been tested and found to comply with the limits of a Class B digital device, pursuant to Part 15 of the FCC Rules. These limits are designed to provide reasonable protection against harmful interference in a residential installation. This equipment generates, uses and can radiate radio frequency energy and, if not installed and used in accordance with the instructions, may cause harmful interference to radio communications. However, there is no guarantee that interference will not occur in a particular installation. If this equipment does cause harmful interference to radio or television reception, which can be determined by turning the equipment off and on, the user is encouraged to try to correct the interference by one or more of the following measures:
Changes or modifications to this unit not expressly approved by LevelStar, LLC could void the user's authority to operate this equipment
This device complies with Part 15 of the FCC Rules. Operation is subject to the following two conditions:
Your wireless phone is a radio transmitter and receiver. It is designed and manufactured not to exceed the exposure limits for radio frequency (RF) energy set by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of the U.S. government. These FCC exposure limits are derived from the recommendations of two expert organizations, the National Counsel on Radiation Protection and Measurement (NCRP) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). In both cases, the recommendations were developed by scientific and engineering experts drawn from industry, government, and academia after extensive reviews of the scientific literature related to the biological effects of RF energy. The exposure limit set by the FCC for wireless mobile phones employs a unit of measurement known as the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR). The SAR is a measure of the rate of absorption of RF energy by the human body expressed in units of watts per kilogram (W/kg). The FCC requires wireless phones to comply with a safety limit of 1.6 watts per kilogram (1.6 W/ kg). The FCC exposure limit incorporates a substantial margin of safety to give additional protection to the public and to account for any variations in measurements.
SAR tests are conducted using standard operating positions accepted by the FCC with the phone transmitting at its highest certified power level in all tested frequency bands. Although the SAR is determined at the highest certified power level, the actual SAR level of the phone while operating can be well below the maximum value. This is because the phone is designed to operate at multiple power levels so as to use only the power required to reach the network. In general, the closer you are to a wireless base station antenna, the lower the power output.
Before a new model phone is available for sale to the public, it must be tested and certified to the FCC that it does not exceed the exposure limit established by the FCC. Tests for each model phone are performed in positions and locations (e.g. at the ear and worn on the body) as required by the FCC. For body worn operation, this model phone has been tested and meets the FCC RF exposure guidelines
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