Navigation Apps, and More Social Media for IAFA

Awhile back, I announced a Facebook page for the book. I know that lots of folks in the accessibility community (and lots of folks I know, generally) have issues with Facebook. I do, too, but it’s an important place to be, and its possible to have discussions there. I’ve also added a Twitter feed and a Google Plus community for the book. G+ actually has better options for organizing discussions on different topics, and I’m considering doing a Google hangout or two, once I learn a bit more about their accessibility. I hope you will join us on whichever platform works for you. I intend to keep the discussion of apps going here, and elsewhere.

Speaking of.

Let’s talk navigation apps. I have used all of the big players: Apple Maps, Google Maps and Navigon. My phone is also bursting with transit schedules, POI finders, and specialized apps for blind users. What are your favorite accessible navigation tools?

My current “crush” is BlindSquare, an app that uses FourSquare data and GPS to give pedestrians a thorough, spoken overview of their surroundings. You plan a route by linking to apps that provide turn-by-turn directions. That’s what’s so clever about BlindSquare. It doesn’t need to deliver maps, or directions. The app runs in the background giving you live updates about what streets and POIs you encounter as you walk.

As a low-vision user, I’m also interested in which navigation apps provide an interface that’s easy to read, and to follow while you walk or use transit. I will have thoughts on that topic in the book. And here, if you’re interested.

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