Thursday, March 12

Talks version 4 released

Greetings. Talks version 4 was released yesterday. This version contains several improvements that look interesting to me, such as the ability to have Talks speak while on a call, to view Quick Office Word documents on your phone, and to have your license code tied to your SIM card rather than to your phone. This is particularly notable since when you switch phones, you won't have to pay the $100 transfer fee to move your Talks license from the old to the new handset. Also, Talks and Zooms, the low vision solution from Nuance, are now compiled in a single license, from what I understand from the release notes. This is notable if you ever want to demonstrate the low vision side of cell phone accessibility, which I can see myself doing for students I regularly teach.

There's another significant feature to Talks 4: that it's now supported on the Verizon Wireless Motorola Q9C phone. This is significant in that Talks can now run on a Windows mobile based device. Hopefully more WM devices will be supported in the future opening further the range of phones and options available to the end user. Click here to read the official press release from Verizon Wireless.

Below I've pasted the release notes and other related information from Talks version 4. I received this information from an email list. Note that the Nuance Talks site has not been updated yet with relevant pricing and version information, but I'm sure it will be soon. Enjoy.


Nuance proudly announce the release of the Nuance Accessibility Suite -
Nuance TALKS and Nuance ZOOMS - Version 4.00 for Series 60 2nd and 3rd
Edition for March 11th, 2009.

This version also includes the first release of Nuance Daisy2Go, a DAISY
audio+text book player. The player can be used on any phone that has a
license which is valid for TALKS&ZOOMS or TALKS Premium Edition 4.00.

Version 4 is a free upgrade for all Premium Edition licenses generated
after November 13th, 2007.
2. The new handsets
2.1. Changes to the list of supported phone models
The following handsets are newly supported (please see section 4 "Known
Issues" about some limitations):

* Nokia 6650
* Nokia E66
* Nokia E71
* Nokia N79
* Nokia N85
* Nokia N96

At the same time, any 1st Edition handsets are no longer supported
(Nokia 36xx, Nokia 7650, N-Gage, N-Gage QD, Siemens SX1).
3. What's New?
This section lists the improvements of TALKS 4.00 compared to the
previous version (3.60).
3.1. New audio system (S60 3rd Ed.)
We have completely revised the audio handling in TALKS. This is most
noticeable by the ability to use speech during a call on handsets
running S60 3rd Edition for all supported text-to-speech engines. With
the previous version of TALKS, the Nokia TTS had to be used during a
call; and for S60 3rd Edition FP2, no speech during a call was possible.
The new audio handling appears to have some positive impact on
performance on a number of phones as well.
For S60 3rd Edition handsets, we have introduced two new speech
settings, which allow adjusting the base audio volume and initial
response time, so you can fine-tune speech playback for your phone,
firmware version, etc.
3.2. Support for Quick Word (S60 3rd Ed.)
It is now possible to open Word documents, such as e mail attachments,
and read them in QuickWord. QuickWord is a part of QuickOffice, and its
view-only version is pre-installed on most handsets, while the full
version that allows editing text is pre-installed on the Nokia E Series
handsets, or can be purchased otherwise.
TALKS&ZOOMS supports the view-only and full version of QuickWord 3.x, as
well as the full versions of newer releases (4.x and later, as
pre-installed on FP2 phones). When using the full version, please make
sure to switch to edit mode to allow TALKS to read the content.
3.3. SIM-based licensing
The new release of TALKS&ZOOMS gives users more freedom by offering
SIM-based licensing. When TALKS&ZOOMS is registered to a SIM-card
instead of being registered to a phone/IMEI, the user can move that SIM
card from one phone to the other, as long as the SIM license is valid
for the TALKS version installed to the new handset.
3.4. Configurable object recognition
TALKS assigns so-called "roles" to the objects it recognizes on the
mobile phone's display, and composes speech output from the text and
roles of these objects. In numerous cases, in particular when a
3rd-party application was used, TALKS has not been able to determine all
required roles correctly; in other cases, the user did not like to hear
certain announcements.
Now, the user can define the role of an object using the Object Viewer,
and thus create special speech output for each application.
Furthermore, the Object Viewer can now be used for easier entry of
replacements into the dictionary, similar to its use to assign image
labels known from the previous release.
3.5. Nuance Daisy2Go (S60 3rd Ed.)
Nuance Daisy2go is a player/viewer for books that conform to the DAISY
2.02 specification, for phones utilizing S60 3rd Edition. Daisy2go is a
part of the Nuance Accessibility Suite, and it has been optimized for
Nuance TALKS, to allow for easy alternation between audio and textual
Nuance Daisy2go provides the following functionality:
* A Bookshelf view, that allows you to find, sort, open, and delte
DAISY titles.
* The Content view, which can show the content for the selected
DAISY title in tree or list view, and allows you to select the chapter
or section you want to access.
* The Bookmarks view, which lists all bookmarks defined for the
selected DAISY title, and allows deleting them.
* The Text view which displays the textual content of a DAISY
book; text size and colour can be changed. For a title with audio and
text content, this is synchronized with the audio tracks that make up
the book.
* The Play view, that shows the navigation levels for the selected
book, "Heading 1", "Heading 2", ..., "Heading 6", "Text block", and
* A DAISY-fy feature that allows importing a folder with MP3 files
as a title on the bookshelf.
* The Book Info view, that shows information about the selected
DAISY title, like the format, title, publisher, author, narrator,
creator, duration, etcc., depending upon what is available for the
selected book.
* Forward and backward cueing, like for a tape recorder, with
adjustable speed.
* Increase or decrease the playback volume.
* Increase or decrease the playback speed without pitch changes
* Optional auto-resume at start-up, or for a selected DAISY title.
3.6. ZOOMS now available for all Premium licenses
We are now making the ZOOMS component of the Nuance Accessibility Suite
available to all users of TALKS Premium Edition. Further, we have
implemented a View choice that you can find in the Options menu of the
TALKS settings application. This allows reducing the number of visible
tab sheets and options to TALKS-only or ZOOMS-only, or accessing the
full TALKS&ZOOMS configuration, depending upon what the user likes to
3.7. Other Improvements
* Some more lines on the Standby screen can now be read
* Faster reading of icons on Standby screen once the popup with
the name has been shown for the first time
* Calendar: all upcoming appointments on the Standby screen are
read, not just the first two
* Calendar: correct number of items and full contents are read in
Day view
* You can now choose the key that is used as the TALKS key from a
list of several options, allowing e.g. the use of the "Multimedia" key
* New setting: "Read subtitles" to control reading of tab sheets
* New setting: "Read function keys", to control key echo for
function keys, such as [Key 1] and [Key 2]
* TALKS can now be muted on a per-application basis
* When softkeys change on typing the first character of a text
field (e.g. Key 1 changing to OK), both the character and the key label
is read
* Text status (T9, upper/lower etc.) are read automatically when
focus switches to a text field, and new setting "Read text status" can
turn this behaviour on or off
* Pressing "#" no longer reads information that is unrelated to
the text status
* Manual registration screen now allows character-by-character
reading of IMEI
* Support for additional type of automatically updating progress
* Braille: input is now possible in 3rd party applications where
this did not work before, and also works for the first digit of a phone
number and for selecting items from the phone's main menu
* 3rd Edition FP2: Battery and network status are also read when
keyboard is locked
* Nokia E90: Fixed swapped softkey labels in ZOOMS "Distributed
Views" mode
* Nokia 6124: added workaround to allow input of text into edit
fields on web pages
* Bug fixes and stability improvements
4. Known Issues
* Not all icons are labelled on newer phones, so some status
indicators, like 3G or GPRS, may not be read in all situations.
* 3rd Edition (FP1 and FP2): "Search" application is not
* Nokia E66/E71: The new calendar application is not yet
* Nokia E66/E71: Some elements on the Active Standby screen are
not yet supported, e.g. voice mailbox and received messages.
* 3rd Edition FP2: Some status indicators (e.g. Bluetooth) cannot
be read while the phone keyboard is locked.
* 3rd Edition FP2: Built-in Help screens are not read because they
use the web browser in a way that is not yet supported by TALKS.
* 3rd Edition FP2: You will notice a slow response of voice
recognition "beep" after holding [Key 2] when TALKS is not muted
* N96: "Photos" application (and "Photos" submenu of "Gallery") is
not supported.
* N96: Daisy2Go does not support firmware versions prior to 20.x
of this phone. This is expected to be fixed by a future firmware update.
* Some features are not supported on 2nd Edition phones:
* SIM-based licensing is only available on 2nd Edition FP2 and FP3
* Fast reading of icons on the Active Standby screen
* Reading of current street name in map view of Wayfinder Access
* Features of new audio system, e.g. delay and volume factor
5. FAQ
Q: Your software does not install on my E-Series handset or branded
device, and reports a Certificate Error! Why?
A: While TALKS&ZOOMS for S60 3rd Edition itself is certified, and thus
can be installed on any supported S60 3rd Edition handset, the
installers for the TTS engines (Eloquence or RealSpeak Mobile) are not
signed. E-Series handsets and some branded devices do only accept the
installation of signed software, unless you turn of the corresponding
option inside the Application Manager:
* Open the phone menu.
* Open the App. Manager inside the Tools folder
* Press "Options", then select "Settings".
* Set "Software Installation" from "Signed only" to "All".
* Press "Back" to close the Settings dialogue, then "Exit" to
close the App. Manager.
* Now, you can install the TTS engine.
Another reason could be that the date on your phone is not set correctly
- as 3rd Edition software is digitally signed, SIS files can only be
installed if the phone is set to a valid date.

Q: Can I install the new release of TALKS&ZOOMS, while a previous
release is active?
A: Yes, if the new version is installed to the same memory location as
the previous release. If you would like to change the memory location,
you have to remove the previous release first!

Q: Why do I get an "Upgrade error" when installing the S60 3rd Edition
A: The most likely reasons are that you have used a beta release, or
already have the Nokia TTS driver available that was installed as a
separate file with version 3.10. Please remove any beta version, as well
as the Nokia TTS driver, before upgrading to TALKS 4.00.

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