large dynamic text Stories December 8, 2013

OS X Mavericks has numerous features and settings that make text and images more visible. In this article, I will discuss many options and methods to take advantage of those features in different ways. In pointing out many different ways, I hope to help you find a method that will be a good fit for you.

Use System Preferences, Displays Settings: Access System Preferences from the dock or the Apple on the menu bar, and click on Displays. Then click on the Display tab. Choose Scaled, and the different resolution settings available are displayed. The options available vary, depending upon what resolution your model of the computer is capable of displaying. Adjust the settings by choosing different options—the lower the numbers are in the setting, the larger objects will be displayed. Below are examples of the display setting options you will see on a white MacBook, an older iMac, and a MacBook Pro with Retina display …  expand full story

large dynamic text Stories October 10, 2013

Review: Popular translator app iTranslate gets reimagined for iOS 7

The popular language translation app iTranslate has been completely reimagined for iOS 7. Just like iOS 7, the app is heavily gesture-based. Because the new version features so many new gestures, a tutorial has been added that walks users through all of the new ways to interact with their translations.

At first glance, iTranslate does not feel as intuitive or as easy to use as the previous version. It takes a while to get acclimated to the changes, and to understand how to properly trigger the gestures, which can be a bit difficult at first. For example, when swiping, you have to swipe to the point where you will see the grey color transition to blue (for a shorter swipe), or purple (for a longer swipe) before the appropriate action will be triggered.

After going through the tutorial, the default languages are set to American English, and Spanish. Tapping on either English or Spanish pulls up the keyboard and you can type the text you want translated.

iTranslate supports text-to-speech, so that you can hear how the translation sounds. You can activate this feature using a swipe gesture. The user can choose from male and female versions of several dialects and adjust the speaking rate. Just tap on the countries’ flag to access the voice options and switch between languages.

iTranslate is available for free in the App Store for new and existing users. There is an in-app purchase for $4.99 that unlocks several premium features, which include removal of the ads at the bottom of the screen, voice recognition, and romanization (the option to convert other writing systems into Roman characters;  an example of this would be converting 你好 into Nǐ hǎo). Voice recognition is powered by Nuance and automatically recognizes forty different languages and dialects regardless of which languages the text input is set to.

iTranslate is a very powerful tool, and I would recommend it for those who are traveling overseas or simply as a supplemental tool for learning a new language.

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