Virginia Commonwealth University's Autism Center for Excellence (VCU-ACE) Autism Technology Brief: Android Technology

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10 Δεκ 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 7 μήνες)

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Virginia Commonwealth University's Autism Center for Excellence (VCU
-
ACE)

Autism Technology Brief:
Android Technology

Adam Parsons, OTR/L, CMT

With all of the iPhones and Android phones, iPads and Android Tablets you may be asking; which is right for me

and my
family? As technology wars continue between Apple, Google, Microsoft and others
,

we need to know which brand mobile
devices offer support
to
individuals with disabilities now and into the future. The open
-
source Android operating system
prov
ides ma
ny options for expansion

and “plays wel
l” with PC’s and other hardware.

Apple devices tend to have a more
streamlined user
-
interface and seamless integration with Apple computers.


A Brief History:


In 2003, a small mobile phone software startup company c
alled Android, Inc. was purchased by search engine giant
Google. The operating system was adopted by the Open Handset Alliance (OHA) consisting of LG, HTC, Motorola, and
more. Together with Google, Android was launched as the first open, free mobile platfo
rm. As open
-
source software, the
Android operating system has fewer limitations than Apple iOS (Apple’s mobile operating system). Mobile software (called
“apps”) can be developed for Android phones with fewer restrictions on functionality. Also, with Andro
id’s wide range of
device developers, there are more choices for external hardware including add
-
on keyboards, universal chargers, and
video output cables.


Apple VS. Android


The main Android interface presents users with many options for customization i
ncluding various interactive icons called
“Widgets
.” Widgets
may be customized to provide short
cuts to commonly accessed tasks

or commonly accessed
information including weather, bookmarks, and folder support. On the other hand, the Apple iOS takes a no
-
no
nsense
approach and only shows application icons on its main interface providing a more stable mainframe.

There are many new smartphones being released with the Android operating system. The iPhone models are the only
smartphone currently running Apple iOS
. The newest tablets (about
three

times the size of a smart phone) are the
Motorola XOOM (running Android) and the Apple IPad 2. While they both have just about the same display size and
thinness, the Motorola XOOM has a wide
-
screen that shows HD video in
its native format. The iPad has a brighter display
that can be seen from more angles. The Motorola XOOM has a non
-
gloss surface which may be easier for some
individ
uals to grasp. It also boats a
5
-
me
gapixel camera on back, and a 2
-
megapixel forward facing
camera for video
chatting. XOOM currently has the speed edge with a dual
-
core processor
,

which may
be
better running 3D applications.
This Android dev
ice has a reputation a powerful

and
is
good for multitasking.

The bottom line is that Android phones and t
ablets may have more advanced options and features
that

may be of great
benefit for individuals with disabilities. Setup of automated tasks, easy access widgets, and customization features all
allow the device to be set meet an individual’s unique needs. T
he problem is that setup and customization of these
features can be a challenging task, even for the most tech
-
savvy among us. Apple offers the safety of vetted applications
accessed in a user
-
friendly interface. When making your choice on a device, be sur
e to keep up with unbiased reviews
.
See web links that follow
. Als
o, consider previous experience.

You

may want to consider an Android device for a more
PC
-
like experience, while an Apple device will be most consistent with your experience with an Apple la
ptop or desktop
computer. Working with an Occupational Therapist who specializes in assistive technology is recommended

as you select
and customize a
mobile device to meet you and your family’s needs.


Android Web Links

http://
www.androidforums
.com

Offer
s p
remiere Android discuss
ion forums and a g
reat
place for troubleshooting issues.


http://
www.droidforums.net


Provides a
nother very popular Android discussion forum
.


http://www.engadget.com/reviews/


Has u
nbiased smartphone & technology reviews
.

http
://www.phonescoop.com/


Provides u
nbiased smartphone reviews
.

http://www.apps4android.org/


Is a site for
an Android software development company
dedicated to developing free
-
to
-
the
-
user and very low
-
cost, high
-
quality, Android applications that enhance

the
quality
-
of
-
life, independence, employability and
educational success of individuals with disabilities.”


http://www.android.com/

Is the

official Android homepage with most recent Android
news updates.

https://market.android.com/apps/

Is t
he official

Android Marketplace for downloading apps
.

http://blog.friendshipcircle.org/2011/03/09/7
-
special
-
needs
-
apps
-
in
-
the
-
google
-
android
-
market/

Lists more special
-
needs applications for Android. See
bottom of article for other articles in series related to
mobi
le applications and their use with individuals with
disabilities.

http://a4cwsn.com/

Offers
Apps for children with special needs including
“featured app of the day
.



Sampling of Android Apps:


Nany

Price
: FREE

Description
:

Fully functional wireless bab
y monitor with two way
talkback




ADA Guide: Disabled Veterans

Price
: FREE

Description
:

This app contains information for American veterans and
their families from The Americans with Disabilities Act
Guide: "ADA: Know Your Rights
-

Returning Service
Mem
bers with Disabilities".





Springpad

Price
: FREE

Description
:

An organization application for your tasks and lists of
products, places, movies, recipes and more. “Everything
you save is synchronized and accessible on your android
device and on the web
.”





Remember The Milk

Price
: FREE (plus annual subscription)

Description
:

A favorite task management application among Android
users with online sync capabilities.




Google Maps with GPS Navigation

Price
: FREE

Description
:

“Voice
-
guided GPS navigat
ion system
.
Find, rate, and get
recommendations for places
.”
You can also follow friends
or check it on map point locations.



Model Me Going Places™

Price
: FREE

Description
:

“Visual teaching tool for helping your child learn to
navigate challenging loc
ations in the community. Each
location contains a photo slideshow of children modeling
appropriate behavior.”



Life Skills Winner™

Price
: FREE

Description
:

“Teaches life and social skills in a interactive way with
positive feedback through a mobile dev
ice. Whenever the
tasker (person who goes through a task) does a step in
the task, they gain a point. Example, for brushing your
teeth, every tooth you brush you get a point. With those
points the tasker gains, they can obtain a prize. If the
tasker does t
he task in real life, the manager/trainer can
add points to the tasker for doing the task.”



Behavior Status

Price
: FREE

Description
:

For Parents and Teachers alike. Use it to record the daily
behavior of your child or an entire classroom. Behavior is
easily recoded using the simple Green/Yellow/Red
stoplight mechanism currently employed by many schools,
daycares and parents alike. Great for use in teaching kids
with Autism or ADD/ADHD.


The app also lets you view behavior changes over time on
a child b
y child basis using the color coded calendar view.
Use this history information to help encourage good
behavior with simple rewards. Recent updates added the
ability to store notes as you make status changes and
better support for teachers.






eMoods B
ipolar Mood Tracker

Price
: FREE

Description
:

“Track your daily depressed and elevated moods,
symptoms, sleep, and medications and email your doctor
a printable chart at the end of each month.



Mood journaling is part of cognitive behavioral therapy and
ot
her treatments for bipolar, depression, and other mood
and anxiety disorders. Use this app with your doctor.”





Relax and Sleep

Price
: FREE

Description:

“Choose from a list of 35+ ambient sounds which include
thunder, white noise, ocean, birds, rain,
crickets, water,
mechanical noises... and many more.


Change the independent track volumes and create your
own unique relax melody!”


ShoutOUT

Price
: FREE

Description
:

“a full
-
featured messaging app that includes voice
addressing and dictation. Speak yo
ur message and see
the results in seconds.


Features:

-

Voice addressing

-

Speech
-
to
-
text

-

SmartWord editing

-

Speakable punctuation

-

Threaded discussions

-

Popup notifications

-

Text
-
to
-
speech (hear your txt msg)”



App4Android Package

Price
: Varies

D
escriptions:

Accessibility Preferences

(Developer: Google Eyes
-
Free
Team) Enables users to easily modify settings for
accessibility applications such as TalkB
ack.

Eyes Free Shell

(Developer: Google Eyes
-
Free Team)
Permits the use of an Android smart device as an eyes
-
free communicator.

IDEAL Item Identifier
®

(Apps4Android) Takes pictures of
standard UPC and QR codes and voices the description of
the item using Google’s TTS voices.


It also enables users
to create talking bar
codes.

IDEAL Magnifier
®

(Apps4Android) Turns most Android
smart devices into handheld video magnifiers

KickBack

(Developer: Google Eyes
-
Free Team) provides
haptic (vibratory) feedback in response to various events
taking place on Android smart devices.

SoundBack

(Developer: Google Eyes
-
Free Team)
Provides non
-
spoken, auditory feedback in response to
various events taking place on Android smart devices.

TalkBack

(Developer: Google Eyes
-
Free Team) Provides
screen
-
reading functionality to native Android applications
on Android devices.

Talking Dialer

(Developer: Google Eyes
-
Free Team)
Enables users to dial phone numbers in an eyes
-
free
environment.

Walky Talky

(Developer: Google Eyes
-
Free Team)
Accessible GPS navigation aids.

Intersection Explorer

(Developer: Goog
le, Inc.) Accessible
GPS navigation aids.

IDEAL Web Access Pack
®

(Apps4Android) Enables
individuals with print disabilities to easily surf the Web.

K
-
9 Mail
®

(Apps4Android and K
-
9 Dog Walkers) Fully
accessible Android e
-
mail client that includes the ability to
create, send, receive, and read e
-
mail messages.


Other
features incl
ude search, push e
-
mail, multi
-
folder sync,
flagging, filing, signatures, bcc
-
self, mail on SD and more!
K
-
9 Mail supports IMAP, POP3, and Exchange (with
WebDAV).

Rock Lock

(Developer: Google Eyes
-
Free Team) A fully
accessible music player.



Screenshots and descriptions (adapted) originally listed by their respective application’s publisher on www.appbrain.com

Video Editing:



Various Android phones record audio
/video in various formats



Always options to export / convert on PC



Look for “Android Movie Studio” for more devices



Try: youtube.com/editor on devices

Current Android Specs:

Future Plans

∙ 312 device models

∙ 100M devices activated

∙ 200,000 apps now avai
lable

∙ 4.5 b apps downloads

∙ 500m apps downloaded per month

∙ 112 countries shipping Android devices



Android on more devices: TV’s, cars



ICS implementation



Application development including ECU apps.



Touch
-
pairing with Bluetooth (VS. old
configuration m
ethods)



Information for this "Autism Technology Brief" is from Virginia Commonwealth University's Autism Center for Excellence
(VCU
-
ACE), which is funded by the Virginia State Department of Education (Grant # 881
-
61172
-
H027A100107). The
Contributor for

this issue
is
Adam Parsons, OTR/L, CMT
.

Virginia Commonwealth University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution providing access to education and
employment without regard to age, race, color, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orie
ntation, veteran's status,
political affiliation, or disability. If special accommodations or language translation are needed contact Voice (804) 828
-
1851 | TTY (804) 828
-
2494. For additional information on ACE, you may contact [autismcenter@vcu.edu].