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Posts 16
David R Saunders | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 3 2014 1:19 PM

Thanks Kevin, it's good to know that someone is working on it Big Smile

Posts 952
John Goodman | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 3 2014 3:38 PM

I'm really grateful to Timothy, and others for raising the profile of VoiceOver. Thanks also to Kevin. I hope that passionate advocacy doesn't get tiresome! Your listening ear is much appreciated!

Incidentally I think Logos does a good job of listening and not listening because sometimes users like me don't know what we really want/need. For example, I have discovered so many wonderful books because they were included in bundles. At the time it annoyed me to pay extra for books I didn't want. Now they are my favourites;) Another example is the complexity/power of Logos vs the simplicity I once wished for. I now appreciate a vast array of features which seemed like bloat before.

I also understand you have orders of priority - its just that this one happens to be my very top priority... so much so it is a must have for me. I didn't intend to express an ultimatum but simply that almost all value in owning logos for me depends on this issue. At least if it was being deliberately phased out and would disappear from the desktop too. My investment into logos began because it was the only way I could get a copy of Futato's Hebrew Grammar in time for my course 3 years ago. Discovering the 'read aloud' feature led to my collection of 5000 books and 3 years of listening to assist my reading for many hours a week.

Obviously, I am very much relieved.Smile

גַּם־חֹשֶׁךְ֮ לֹֽא־יַחְשִׁ֪יךְ מִ֫מֶּ֥ךָ וְ֭לַיְלָה כַּיּ֣וֹם יָאִ֑יר כַּ֝חֲשֵׁיכָ֗ה כָּאוֹרָֽה

Posts 506
Tim Taylor | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 3 2014 6:05 PM

Kevin Byford:
I'm trying to be the best advocate I can for you so *please* help me do my job better by not creating multiple threads about the same issue.

I'm sorry, Kevin. I honestly didn't see the first thread that was created on this subject until after I created mine. If there's a way to merge the two topics, feel free to. I didn't mean for there to be two. It was honestly an accident. I'll try to do better at making sure I'm not creating a duplicate topic in the future.

Kevin Byford:
That said, James is working on getting rudimentary VoiceOver support back.

That is great news! Thank you so much for this update and for working to get this issue addressed. We greatly appreciate it! 

As John just said, I think many of us were concerned that this feature was deliberately being phased out, possibly never to return. But I am glad to see that this does not seem to be the case, so I also am very relieved! :) Thanks again for your communication with us on this issue, Kevin, and for keeping us posted (if you can)! Blessings to you!

Posts 2221
mab | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 3 2014 7:06 PM

I wasn't even aware of this functionality in the Logos app--I use the app in public without earphones. Other than some licensing and/or technical issues, it's certainly worth the effort. 

The mind of man is the mill of God, not to grind chaff, but wheat. Thomas Manton | Study hard, for the well is deep, and our brains are shallow. Richard Baxter

Posts 4264
LogosEmployee
Kevin Byford (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 3 2014 7:25 PM

mab:

I wasn't even aware of this functionality in the Logos app--I use the app in public without earphones. Other than some licensing and/or technical issues, it's certainly worth the effort. 

VoiceOver isn't part of the Logos app, it's an iOS feature.  Faithlife has never supported VoiceOver working properly with the Logos mobile app and to my knowledge will not support it in the future.  We are "fixing* things to allow the same rudimentary function that was present in Logos 4.3.7 but got accidentally dropped out as a result of a major display rewrite to allow Scrolling.

Posts 506
Tim Taylor | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 4 2014 12:42 AM

Kevin Byford:

Faithlife has never supported VoiceOver working properly with the Logos mobile app and to my knowledge will not support it in the future.

Ok..... And you don't see this as a problem?

I'm thankful that Faithlife is going to return "rudimentary support" but I (along with many others) still hope for FULL VoiceOver support, as the UserVoice suggestion states.

After all, who is to say that the next feature release won't break this rudimentary support again or the next?

This is not the kind of stability or intentionally that I look for when it comes to investing my money as a customer into the products of a company. Especially on a feature that I depend on as greatly as this one.

Posts 506
Tim Taylor | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 4 2014 8:39 AM

I'm sorry, I'm really trying to be reasonable here, I guess I'm just struggling to see the logic behind the position that you (and apparently the rest of the Logos Mobile team) seem to be taking. But perhaps I am misunderstanding you. Or perhaps I should let the rest of the team speak for themselves. Maybe you can help me out.

For example, multitasking and iPhone 6 Plus screen support are also built-in parts of the latest iOS platform. So to say:

Kevin Byford:
VoiceOver isn't part of the Logos app, it's an iOS feature.

Is like saying, "Multitasking and iPhone 6 Plus screen support are not parts of the Logos app, they're only iOS features and so we've deliberately decided not to support multitasking and iPhone 6 Plus screen support now or in the future." As if they're optional, or as if you can separate your app from the operating system it runs on.

Why would you deliberately decide to hinder your software from supporting a basic feature (or any feature) of the operating system it runs on? As an experienced iOS developer myself with many apps on the App Store that I've developed, this logic makes no sense to me at all. Why wouldn't you want to take full advantage of what the operating system has to offer for Faithlife customers? But again, perhaps I'm missing something?

Posts 107
Drew Hannay | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 4 2014 9:28 AM

Timothy Taylor:

I'm sorry, I'm really trying to be reasonable here, I guess I'm just struggling to see the logic behind the position that you (and apparently the rest of the Logos Mobile team) seem to be taking.

Keep in mind that Kevin is a tester for the mobile team and acts as advocate for us forum users. He doesn't have the final authority in what does or doesn't get implemented (for that matter, neither do most of the developers writing the actual code!). So while I definitely agree that VoiceOver is something that should be supported (I've wanted text-to-speech support added to Android for a LONG time!) and I'm all for making a lot of noise and making sure the request is heard, let's not direct it at Kevin or the Mobile team, because the decision of what features get worked on comes from higher up the food chain.

Posts 27451
Forum MVP
JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 4 2014 10:38 AM

Timothy Taylor:
But again, perhaps I'm missing something?

I've already given you at least one "deal breaker" preventing this from coming. Some publishers won't allow it. Open up any Zondervan title on your desktop app and try to use "read aloud." 

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Posts 506
Tim Taylor | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 4 2014 10:53 AM

Drew Hannay:
Keep in mind that Kevin is a tester for the mobile team and acts as advocate for us forum users. He doesn't have the final authority in what does or doesn't get implemented (for that matter, neither do most of the developers writing the actual code!).

Point well taken.

Posts 1886
Donnie Hale | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 4 2014 11:24 AM

alabama24:
I've already given you at least one "deal breaker" preventing this from coming. Some publishers won't allow it. Open up any Zondervan title on your desktop app and try to use "read aloud." 

This is absolutely correct as far as it goes. However, given that VoiceOver is an accessibility feature and thus brings in the question of "protected classes," there may be legal considerations for supporting it irrespective of publisher agreements. If you were Zondervan, would you want pulled into a courtroom because you wouldn't allow platform-level accessibility features to be applied to your resources? What if Apple all of a sudden (to protect themselves) stops approving apps which don't work correctly with VoiceOver (for applicable apps)?

Donnie

Posts 107
Drew Hannay | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 4 2014 11:25 AM

alabama24:

I've already given you at least one "deal breaker" preventing this from coming. Some publishers won't allow it. Open up any Zondervan title on your desktop app and try to use "read aloud." 

Also, even if this were the case, there's no reason mobile can't use the same check that desktop does to see if "read aloud" can be used for a particular resource.

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Forum MVP
JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 4 2014 11:46 AM

There are different angles being played here. One is an accessibility issue, which isn't what the OP is asking about... although he is using an accessibility  feature. The heart of the question is "why can't I have a computer generated read aloud feature built into the app." Kevin said that they were going to try and restore the ability to use VoiceOver. I am explaining why Logos is unlikely to provide "full support for read aloud" (outside of audio books). 

EDIT: It wouldn't surprise me if "read aloud" came at some point, but the publishers would have to be appeased. This is why I don't see this as a priority for Faithlife at this time... especially when it can't be monetized and competes against the new audiobooks coming. 

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Posts 5
Eric Louw | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 4 2014 12:42 PM

alabama24:

There are different angles being played here. One is an accessibility issue, which isn't what the OP is asking about... although he is using an accessibility  feature. The heart of the question is "why can't I have a computer generated read aloud feature built into the app." Kevin said that they were going to try and restore the ability to use VoiceOver. I am explaining why Logos is unlikely to provide "full support for read aloud" (outside of audio books). 

EDIT: It wouldn't surprise me if "read aloud" came at some point, but the publishers would have to be appeased. This is why I don't see this as a priority for Faithlife at this time... especially when it can't be monetized and competes against the new audiobooks coming. 

I disagree. I'd consider the accessibility issue the same as what the OP is asking about, seeing that it is also specifically what he's actually using and asking about... The "Read aloud" functionality is not even mentioned, though I can understand why people would confuse the two.

Most of us don't really mind if Logos doesn't support "Read Aloud" in the mobile app for legal reasons, since we're content with the (admittedly complex) accessibility feature equivalent of VoiceOver offered by iOS. This may be considered taking advantage of something that could be monetized if built into the app instead, but that would be unfair to those who need it because of vision disabilities.

Even if Logos does develop "Read Aloud" functionality on a resource-by-resource basis depending on whether or not publishers are ok with it or not, that doesn't mean that the separate accessibility functionality should be rendered ineffective. Why? Because "Read Aloud" will never achieve the same as Voiceover does in guiding the visually impaired to be able to operate the app in addition to reading content.

I don't think individual publishers should have a lot of say over accessibility functionality. Accessibility functionality is simply considered good practice. Frankly, I would hope that Apple would require accessibility support for the sake of the impaired. That I can (and admittedly do) take advantage of that same functionality should be considered merely incidental by Faithlife in their effort to support those who need it because of vision impairments.

I'm happy to see that apparently Faithlife does consider accessibility functionality important, if it is true that they're working to restore voiceover compatibility as was suggested earlier.

Posts 16
David R Saunders | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 4 2014 2:34 PM

alabama24:

I've already given you at least one "deal breaker" preventing this from coming. Some publishers won't allow it. Open up any Zondervan title on your desktop app and try to use "read aloud." 

I hadn't realised this as I don't use the Read Aloud feature much on the Windows desktop app. I don't have many Zondervan resources in Logos and all but one have Read Aloud disabled.  However, I do have several of the Zondervan Counterpoint and NIV Application Commentary series, both of which both of which were fairly recently on special offer at $3.99 each for Kindle. They are all marked as Text To Speech enabled and work great with VoiceOver.

I will be pleased to get the rudimentary VoiceOver support back; in fact it worked fine except for the spurious page turning issue. I would be very happy if that was also fixed. VoiceOver is great for the unattended listening of books being read when you are driving, walking or doing chores etc., even if you are also planning to study them more closely later. Also, as a Christian company, I would have hoped that Faith Works would be especially sensitive to the accessibility issues: enabling the blind to 'see'.  

Posts 290
Bruce Roth | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 4 2014 6:01 PM

alabama24:

Timothy Taylor:
But again, perhaps I'm missing something?

I've already given you at least one "deal breaker" preventing this from coming. Some publishers won't allow it. Open up any Zondervan title on your desktop app and try to use "read aloud." 

I can see that Zondervan doesn't allow the "read aloud" in Logos, but it doesn't seem to be consistent when you bring up a Zondervan book in my Kindle app on my iPad.  If I activate VoiceOver and select a Zondervan Kindle book, I can listen to it.  I assume Apple doesn't allow for restrictions such that an item can or can't be accessed with VoiceOver.  So at least with Amazon Kindle, Zondervan doesn't seem to have an issue with VoiceOver.  So I would think that Logos could make an argument that this restriction is a moot issue on ios devices. 

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 4 2014 7:26 PM

Bruce Roth:
I can see that Zondervan doesn't allow the "read aloud" in Logos, but it doesn't seem to be consistent when you bring up a Zondervan book in my Kindle app on my iPad.  If I activate VoiceOver and select a Zondervan Kindle book, I can listen to it.  I assume Apple doesn't allow for restrictions such that an item can or can't be accessed with VoiceOver.  So at least with Amazon Kindle, Zondervan doesn't seem to have an issue with VoiceOver.  So I would think that Logos could make an argument that this restriction is a moot issue on ios devices. 

That's why I said above that there are two separate issues. Logos can't start advertising "HEY EVERYONE, YOU CAN HAVE ZONDERVAN TITLES READ ALOUD BY USING VOICE OVER!!!"

No one has argued that Logos took away voice over due to licensing agreements... It was a bug / unintended consequence of changes which added scrolling. (There is a potential fix in the next beta, by the way). What I tried to say is that Logos has to be careful about read aloud features (not voice over!) because of some publisher restrictions. Also, Logos is hoping to monetize audio books, so creating a computerized "read aloud" feature (not voice over!) would be counter productive in that endeavor. 

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Posts 952
John Goodman | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 5 2014 11:23 AM

Personally I don't think voiceover is counter productive to selling audio books. I buy plenty of audio books when I get the chance. If anything I think it will give people the audiobook bug.

גַּם־חֹשֶׁךְ֮ לֹֽא־יַחְשִׁ֪יךְ מִ֫מֶּ֥ךָ וְ֭לַיְלָה כַּיּ֣וֹם יָאִ֑יר כַּ֝חֲשֵׁיכָ֗ה כָּאוֹרָֽה

Posts 107
Drew Hannay | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 5 2014 11:25 AM

John Goodman:

Personally I don't think voiceover is counter productive to selling audio books. I buy plenty of audio books when I get the chance. If anything I think it will give people the audiobook bug.

I agree. I'd MUCH rather have a quality, human-recorded audiobook instead of VoiceOver/Text-to-Speech. But when there's no audiobook available, VoiceOver/TTS is a good fallback.

Posts 191
Rev. 14:6 | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 7 2014 9:39 AM

A friend of mine has Voice over on his Android device and it sounds really robotic.  However, the one on iOS is far more pleasantly closest to a human voice.  Its the typical voice associated with SiRi.  I'm sure apple intends on improving her as well.  I did not update my iPhone 5 to iOS 8 until the purchase of iPhone 6 plus.  I was impressed on the improvements they added.  THe little tick when a page is turned I personally like.  I will open a book in logos on my Mac then open the book in my iPhone, turn on voice over, turn the speed up fast, and follow along.  I can read books so much quicker this way and when it skips a page I see it and can correct it quickly.  I have found that its happening far less.  I do wish Logos would fix that issue all together to fully support voice over to serve those in need.  One poster said giving sight to the blind.  

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