The Blind Tech Quadrant: Review On Tap!

Hello to all of my beautiful nerds and welcome back from traveling the vast universe! I am back with something I have not done in a while.

Review on the Tap!

It’s time to review another blind tech item which I have not done since May. I have reviewed OrCam which you can find in the May 2019 Archive alongside in the Related Posts area down below. Let’s get to the review shall we?

Disclaimer: This review is based on opinion and experience of the lead writer of this blog. Please respect her thoughts and opinion and her experiences since not everyone has the same issues and successes with a product. You have been warned.

What Is It? The Tap is a wearable device that kind of looks like brass knuckles and you wear it on your hand. There are censors that go on your knuckles and it is connected through Bluetooth and can be used as a way to text by tapping your fingers in different formations to form letters and words. This device was introduced at the 2018 NFB National Convention and I got to see it in action and try it out at the A. T. I. A. this past January and picked up one myself. Let’s get into it.

My Experience: I received a discount coupon for this through going to A. T. I. A. where it was demonstrated. I was so excited about it since I had heard about this device through the Blind Abilities podcast. I had to check this device out and glad I did and man it was a hard one to learn. This device made my motor skills give a major exercise and my arm a workout with how much I had to move to make the taps work. I did have my IPad Mini 2 at the time before I got my new one which I will explain later and downloaded the Tap Manager, Genius, and Aloud apps at the time. I didn’t know Aloud was more the learning the alphabet app when trying out Genius which that was a hard one to do since I didn’t really know the navigation and trying to know which buttons are which at the time were hard enough. The Tap Aloud app was the place where I learned everything and glad it is the better app due to not only giving you the hand motions to do the letters but also the practice rounds to do the letters first then do words and punctuation along the way, which I will talk about now!

Struggles and Issues: Not all devices are perfect and this one is no exception. I had issues where the Tap Aloud app kept on kicking me out after learning new punctuation and even did it when I re-installed this app and Manager, also got Academy just in case and re-connecting my Tap after a while. I did find the device had an update and glad to get it. I did contact Tap Team about it and yes we did have a bit of a back and forth because I think this app and the others should get updates, heck Academy is not letting me do anything since it is still at allowing notifications. And to tell you the truth, I have an IPad Mini 5 and I have the latest I.OS updates but seeing that this is still an issue is no excuse. Updates are meant to fix bugs and when they asked me to do a screen recording which good thing I was able to do and find instructions on it I did provide them a recording and they were glad it gave them what is going on, which I used the lesson on Y & W as an example to learn the semicolon which is using C, fingers 1, 3, 4, and 5 which are your thumb, middle, ring, and pinky and you tap them together three times for this punctuation. Heck, it happened with comma, which are fingers two and four, index and ring, which I did mention the team that they should look at the other lessons since it happened with some of the others too and fix the issues there and they told me that it tends to crash. What were my feelings? Well, as an instructor and a tech user myself seeing Tap on Amazonthese issues can be bothersome and being able to bring it up to the company is important for them to know in order fix it. For example, when I first got into Discord I noticed how the app was not accessible where the buttons aren’t labeled for the voice software is able to read it and I brought it up to them over Twitter. I was thanked and was told that they will fix it to make it more accessible which makes me feel better that they gave me a great response.

Now to the struggle with it, I have motor issues due to my visual impairment and that usually is the first sign with it as well and even though this device made that stronger in the end but also it did hurt trying to do some of the letters. Some of them included Z, J, V, and sometimes W due to how the finger placement was kind of difficult. I think they should crate later models with wristbands to help not only with comfort but also help people with motor issues get the finger placement when first learning this device.

And one more thing, even though I just restarted this use of the product, I noticed after learning the different letters and numbers that after getting out of the app and trying to type in text messages and even Pages that the letters were not responding to their positions which I had different letters show up instead. Like instead of the letter I I got M and so on. After getting the new update that was fixed! But I noticed that using it to do the basic functions like double tapping to select an item and trying to swipe on a surface with this to perform the IPad tasks aren’t happening even after the device update. I did get the email about how with the new I.OS coming in September with Tap is supposed to have mouse movements and since also IPad OS is being released in September too for anyone who has the Apple tablets I am hoping there is another update for this device to handle both systems and their new features that are coming. If not, well that’s going to be a major issue there. I did read how some people did struggle texting after learning it too so I was not the only one either after seeing reviews after its release on the internet when I notice the not being able to swipe or double tap and so on.

Final Thoughts: This device is pretty innovative for what is. It is also not that expensive either which is $199 or if you were to attend any events where it is you will get discount codes and coupons through their website also by joining the mailing list any sales throughout the year. I would say buy it after some of the improvements I have mentioned that are needed are made. I feel like even though this is a great device as a substitute for Dictation with Siri which as you know that I have issues with that a lot but it does have its bugs and should have them fixed by updating the software more often which a lot of apps and devices do and of course do the same with the apps too since I have told what had happened with me. And of course you have the latest and greatest device to support this item but there will be issues so I would say wait a little bit until after I.OS 13 and IPad OS 1 are released and if I noticed the improvements I will do another post on this down the road.

Well guys that is it for this post. I hope you enjoy reading about this device and if you want to learn more, I will also include a link when you want to purchase this for yourself or your blind buddies. So, stay tuned for more posts and stay beautiful while traveling the vast universe!

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