If you have difficulty seeing, have slight visual impairments, or are blind in any way, it’s no secret that many aspects of daily life become a challenge. Luckily, there are apps out there that can assist with your daily struggle, and help aid with visual impairments. These are some of the best apps we’ve found that can help with seeing, seeing better, or helping you get through tough tasks that require good vision.
In this article, we’ll teach you about the 9 best apps that help to deal with visual impairments that make life a little more challenging. We’ll include:
- 9 apps that can help with visual impairments
- Tips for using visual impairment apps
Read on to start making life easier!
9 apps that can help with visual impairments
1. Be My Eyes
This is by far, one of the coolest, most helpful apps that has been developed. With BeMyEyes, the user can send an image or live video of their surroundings, and a volunteer is connected and helps to answer questions about what they are looking at. Need to know the expiry date on the milk? Where the closest crosswalk is? Where your lost keys are? BeMyEyes can help you. And because it’s volunteer-based, it’s completely free to use. No other app can help you in ways that are so specific to your current predicaments, so make sure to download BeMyEyes right away.
2. Big Text/Make It Big
This app helps you enlarge text on your smartphone device, which is useful both for yourself when using it, or when showing it to others. You can control how large the text gets on your screen easily with a size slider, so you can adjust it to your own personal preferences. These kinds of apps are great for when you simply need things on your phone to be larger, because they’re too small and strain your eyes.
These kinds of magnifying apps are great because they use your phone’s camera and work like a real magnifying glass. You can point it at text or an object, and it will zoom in and increase the size of what you’re looking at so you can see it. These apps also frequently have a flashlight built in as well, so you can brighten up what you’re looking at if you have difficulty seeing in the dark.
The LookTel app allows users to point their iPhone camera at something, and determine what the item is. It works by storing a bank of images, including things such as packages, money, canned goods, books, credit cards, and other household items, and then using those images to help match these items when the person with a visual impairment is struggling to recognize an item. Currently, this app is only available for Apple devices, so it’s not for you if you’re an Android user.
Download It Now: iOS
5. KNFB Reader
This is yet another fantastic idea turned app, and can really help those with visual impairments. This app allows users to take a picture of a document – anything including a piece of paper, mail, books, invoices, menus, class handouts, or similar items, and the KNFB Reader will read the text from the image out to you. It’s also available on three platforms instead of the standard two, so it’s even more accessible!
6. Color ID
This is a useful app if you have difficulties seeing colors. Simply point your smartphone camera at something and snap a picture. Then move the circle around the color you want to identify, and the app will tell you. It will even tell you variations in colors and make them much more specific than just “red” or “blue,” so you know exactly what the tone and shade of the color is as well.
7. Ariadne GPS
This is much more than just a standard GPS app – because we all know there are much better Maps apps to use. However, the Ariadne GPS app is particularly useful for those with difficulty seeing, as it can speak out descriptions of what is around you as you tap on items on the map. It can tell you street names and numbers, and describe what’s around you. It also lets you add favorite places, and will tell you when you’re near them or passing by them, for instance, while on a train or a bus.
Download It Now: iOS
8. Light Detector
These apps are useful for people who have trouble seeing in the dark, or who have difficulty locating sources of light. The light detector can measure light levels in the room, and guide you towards sources of light. It can also be used in the same way to avoid high levels of light, if these are harmful to your eyes in any way.
If you’re looking for something other than assistance and want a little fun in your life, then Audible is the app for you. This website and app allows you to find your favorite books, all narrated so you don’t have to read them – you can listen to them instead. Find popular books, and listen at your leisure – getting great discounts if you’re an Audible member.
Tips for using visual impairment apps
1. Make sure you consult with a health care professional.
Though the risk of using an app is low, your health care professional or doctor may have some suggestions about which type of app would be best for you. It is possibly that using things like a magnifier will cause your eyes to get weaker over time because they aren’t working as hard, but these kinds of apps can also help give your tired eyes some much needed rest.
2. Have someone show you how to navigate the app.
If you have trouble seeing enough that you need assistance from an app, it’s entirely possible that you’ll have difficulty using the app once you download it. If this is the case, ask a friend of family member to walk you through how to use the app, and especially, which buttons you need to press for it to carry out the functions you need to. Once they help you navigate the app, you’re good to go!
3. Always use your apps in a well-lit room.
It’s much more difficult to see things in the dark, and this includes staring at the small screen that displays your app. You’re likely to find more success using the apps if you’re in a room with great lighting. It’s also much easier on your eyes, which are significantly more strained when looking at a screen in a dark room.
4. Determine who to contact if you have any issues with the app’s functionality.
Sometimes an app can malfunction, which can be a significant problem if you’re relying on the app to help you see better. Make sure you know beforehand who you can rely on to help you in a tough situation, so you don’t have to root around through the app looking for contact information, or have to call someone else to help you first.
5. Always proceed with caution, and make sure you aren’t in danger.
Even though apps can help you see things that are in front of you, there’s always room for error, so always proceed with caution, especially when you’re in public spaces or areas that have more potential for danger such as busy streets, malls, or tourist locations.
Also, make sure you protect your info, and don’t think you need to give an app extensive personal information. Location, age, and extent of your visual impairments are all things that make sense, but banking information, addresses, and things like that you can probably keep to yourself – they aren’t relevant to your success using the app.
We hope these apps help to improve daily tasks that you’re currently struggling with due to loss of vision. There are variations of the apps we’ve listed here as well, so visit the Google Play Store or Apple App Store to find alternative versions if you still haven’t found the perfect app for you.