One of the easiest ways of checking for the spelling of a single word when on the move and not requiring a whole document to be spell checked is to say the word into a smart phone or tablet. As long as you have one of the fairly recent versions of Android, iOS iPhone or iPad or Windows, they all have built in speech recognition. I am showing an example of how it works on an iPhone with Siri and this iOS5 hot tip has been on the web since 2012. There is an Android tutorial on using Speech to Text and one for Windows Surface speech recognition
I said to Siri – “spell /filosofical/” (spelt as said) – It not only repeated the word back to me with text to speech, but also gave me the correct spelling and dictionary definition. If I just said the word it gave me the text to speech version back and a collection of links such as the word in Wikipedia.
This comes thanks to Annie – dyslexic researcher, University of Southampton.
I’ve found that Screen Adjuster for Android works well at tinting and adjusting brightness of the screen. Screen Adjuster allows you to change contrast, brightness and colour of the screen really quickly and easily.
However, working with the app can be very frustrating when you want to move the sliders near the edge of the touch screen. The swipe gesture may not always respond. Otherwise the app is free and easy to use and can even dim the screen below the system settings.
Screen Adjuster showing slider near the edge of the screen
Screen Adjuster runs on Android 2.2+ and is on Google Play – there is a version that costs 0.73p that comes without the advertisements.
Google Drive is an online tool which uses your Google account to store files online and can also be used to share files with other people and work on projects together. Being able to join in with a few others to work on a project and be able to take a break and have work still done is really useful.
Google Drive is compatible Windows Vista, XP, 7, 8
Mac, mavericks (10.9), Mountain Lion (10.8), Lion (10.7)
Linux can access Google Drive through the website but the software is not available on the system
android 4.0+ and iOS 7.0+ are able to use Google drive, android 2.3-3.2 and iOS 6.0+ Can only view the files
Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer run Google Drive but require Java script
Siri asked to check appointments on 22nd September
Siri is brilliant for calendar management and time/task management, but underused, you can verbally manage your calendar/ tasks which, I personally find reduces the burden on my working memory and is more intuitive . The speed of which I can set myself a reminder by taking the phone out of my pocket rather than searching for a pen and paper which I inevitably end up losing anyway is astounding! I really like iOS accessibility. I definitely find low maintenance strategies with gainful upsides work well.
James sent this through and we would like to say thank you as it is great to know that tablet technologies can work so well in these situations and Apple provided a replacement when needed!
Lifedge waterproof case from Gizmag Review – April 24, 2012
“The iPad was invaluable in the field as it allowed me to take notes and complete spreadsheets of field results on the move.The waterproof case was excellent and allowed me to continue writing in the rain, although I was not out in heavy rain due to the high risk of thunder and lightning during heavy rain in Florida. Battery life was more than enough to last the 6 hour field days, we did not stay out all day due to the extreme afternoon heat. I did find that I was unable to use voice recognition software in the field as both Dragon and the built in iPad notes voice recognition required wifi connection in order to work, but I managed ok typing one handed.
The video camera function did stop working part way through the trip, but I don’t think this was anything to do with the climate or use.
People at the Apple shop said that this sometimes happens during normal conditions and replaced the whole iPad at an Apple shop after my return to the UK under the standard 1 year warranty.”
I have been using TextHelp Read and Write Gold with Screenshot Reader for many years and today it was brilliant as I needed to grab some references from a PowerPoint presentation that was online. The references were inaccessible and I really did not want to copy them all out! I highlighted the area around the references, grabbed the content and the Text Reader window appeared. I selected the text that had virtually kept its correct layout – Copy all and paste (Ctrl+A and Ctrl+ V) they were added to the blog I was writing and I was able to acknowledge the original authors of the presentation and have an accessible version of their references! See the result on our Arabic Symbol Dictionary blog!
I should add this can be achieved with any screen grab and text conversion program and programs such as ClaroRead