Controlling Claro VR Apps

We’ve recently developed and released some VR apps for iOS and Android which have been received well.  However, one question that keeps popping up is: How can I control the app?
There is a lack of accessible, adequate control for VR apps.  Generally, there are two forms of user control when using VR apps:
  1. Headset controls.
  2. External controller pads.

Headsets

There are not many headsets that have built in controls.  The main one is the Samsung Gear VR headset that has a directional touch pad as well as back and home buttons:
Samsung Gear VR controls
This works well with our Android apps but this particular headset is only compatible with a limited set of Samsung mobile devices: Galaxy S8 / S8+ / S7 / S7 edge / Note5 / S6 edge+ / S6 /S6 edge (as of December 2017)

 

A cheaper and more accessible alternative to the Gear VR headset is the Google Cardboard headset (or similar).  These are made of cardboard and are around £15 to buy on the Google Store:

 

Cardboard supports most Android or iOS phones with screen sizes from 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm).  Control is rather limited on these however and is restricted to a single tap on the phones screen:
Google Cardboard
 You can use this single tap feature to perform the main functions in our VR apps.  In MagVR, for example, a single tap will zoom in, until maximum zoom and then the next single tap will zoom out.

 

An example of an alternative cardboard headset would be something like this:

 

 

 

A caveat with using these type of headsets, is that you have to poke/cut a hole in the face, so the device’s camera can see out.  That is why cardboard is suitable! Other suitable headsets include ones with removable or retractable front faces, so the camera can see out.

 

Controllers

Controllers or gamepads are more generic and there are lots to choose from.  These include the more traditional types that you might normally associate with games consoles, that have the X/Y/B/A buttons.

 

XYBA controls
If these state that they are iOS and/or Android compatible then you can use them to control our apps.
An example of one that we tried and tested on iOS, is the Mad Catz Controller:

 

 

 

 

For this particular model, there is also an Android version available.

 

On Android, we used the SteelSeries Nimbus/Stratus controller

 

 

 

These controllers work well but you have to hold and control them with both hands.  If you would prefer something smaller, our VR apps also support “mini” controllers.  These are quite cheap and small, so you can hold the controller and use it with one hand.

 

Mini controller
These mini controllers often have two modes: “game” and “key” or something similar.  To control our apps, they should be toggled to game mode.

 

 

 

iOS Apple Watch

Our iOS apps can also be controlled using an Apple Watch.  When you install one of our VR apps on iOS, you’ll also get the corresponding Watch App installed on your Apple Watch.  You can open this app and control the phone app.

ClaroPDF Android Released

We are happy to announce the first release of ClaroPDF Android, an easy-to-use speaking PDF reading app for Android phones and tablets. It’s a simpler version of our hugely-successful ClaroPDF for iPhone and iPad and tries to provide the same convenience and usability for anyone who needs to be able to read back accessible PDF files, for study or reference.

  • Tap to open PDF files using the Android file picker, which gives you access to PDF files saved on your phone and also integrates smoothly with Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and other cloud file stores.
  • Then just tap in the PDF to show where to start and the PDF will be read back from the point of your finger. You can stop and make it repeat itself as many times as you want, read whole documents at your leisure, and relax while ebooks and references are read aloud to you with high-quality speech.
  • Choose from dozens of voices from Google and other vendors covering many accents and languages, and set the voice speed for faster reading (so you get through things faster) or slower (to give you time to digest and understand).

Want to read PDF files on your iPhone or iPad? ClaroPDF for iOS contains all the reading functionality of ClaroPDF for Android and more, and on iPhone and iPad you can also get ClaroPDF Pro, which lets you convert images and inaccessible PDFs into readable PDFs. On a Windows or Mac? Try our reading toolbar, ClaroRead.

Get ClaroPDF Android on Google Play now! Or, for more details, check out the release notes.

Claro ScanPen Android 2.1 Released

We’ve updated Claro ScanPen for Android with a powerful new Share feature and made it easier to get.

First, you can now share text you have captured with other Apps. You can use ScanPen to take a picture and speak the text in the picture out loud. But what if you want to use the text somewhere else?

We’ve added a Share button to ScanPen Android, so you can just tap on Share and the text you have selected will be sent to wherever you choose – an email, a message, even Word for Android or Google Docs. This lets you include printed documents in your work and communications – put a quotation in your essay, or send a copy of a page to yourself for reference.

Select the text to share (copy). Then tap the Share button (top, centre)

Share action pop-up on an Android phone

Select the Share action (where the text will be sent). Select “Copy to clipboard” to simply copy the text to the Android clipboard. I’m going to select Outlook.

The text has been Shared to an email and can be sent

The selected text is now Shared to the chosen application, in this case an email App.

Second, you can now unlock ScanPen for Android with a ClaroRead key. If you’ve purchased ClaroRead for Windows or ClaroRead for Mac with a licence key, you can simply install Claro ScanPen for Android and enter your licence key. This will unlock all of its features: essentially Claro ScanPen for Android is now included free with ClaroRead for Windows or Mac.

More

Claro ScanPen Android Released

We are delighted to announce the launch of our first native Android app, Claro ScanPen for Android. Just like the iPad or iPhone version, you can take a photo with your Android phone or tablet, wait a couple of seconds, and then simply select any text in the photo to hear it read back to you!

Claro ScanPen requires no Internet connection and is super-fast and easy to use, providing access to exam papers and other printed material. It supports ten languages: English, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish.

Finally, we hope that our Android version is as well-received as Claro ScanPen for iOS, so to help it along we’ve made it completely free until the end of 2016. After that you only need a one-time in-app purchase of £2.99 – and you can check it out for fifteen days free trial any time.

Get it on Google Play

Related