Table of Contents
- Section 1: Welcome
- Section 2: Getting Started
- Section 3: Bookshelf
- Section 4: Get Books
- Section 5: Settings
- 5.1: Audio Settings
- 5.2: Braille and Display Settings
- 5.4: Device Accessibility Settings
- 5.5: Application Version
- Section 6: Now Reading
- 6.1: Now Reading (Audio)
- 6.1.1: Title Information
- 6.1.2: Elapsed Time Information
- 6.1.3: Navigation
- 6.1.4: Progress Bar
- 6.1.5: Sleep Timer
- 6.1.6: Bookmark
- 6.1.7: Navigation Level Button
- 6.1.8: Previous
- 6.1.9: Next
- 6.1.10: Play Stop
- 6.1.11: Rewind
- 6.1.12: Fast Forward
- 6.1.13: Speed Tone
- 6.1.14: Book Navigation
- 6.1.15: Read Skipppable Elements
- 6.1.16: Recently Read
- 6.2: Now Reading (braille)
- 6.2.1: Reading Braille in BARD Mobile
- 6.2.2: Now Reading (Braille) Screen Layout and Reading a Braille Book
- 6.2.3: Braille Shortcut Keys
- 6.2.4: Reading Window
- 6.2.5: Navigation
- 6.2.6: Search
- 6.2.7: Setting and Removing Bookmarks
- 6.2.8: Navigation Level
- 6.2.9: Previous
- 6.2.10: Next
- 6.2.11: Braille Reflow
- 6.2.12: Braille Autoscroll
- 6.1: Now Reading (Audio)
- Section 7: Connecting a Refreshable Braille Display
- Section 8: Tips and Hints
Section 1: Welcome
Welcome to BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download online service) Mobile app Android User Guide Version 1.5.0. This user guide will guide users through the various features of the BARD Mobile app. This application allows users to download and read books from the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS), Library of Congress, BARD website using an Android phone or tablet.
1.1: Access to BARD
Eligible NLS patrons with a BARD account can use BARD Mobile. If you are a NLS patron who does not have a BARD account, click this link to find out how to apply.
This version of BARD Mobile is supported on Android phones or tablets with Android version 9 through 13. Connectivity from a wireless carrier or a Wi-Fi provider is required to download material from BARD Mobile.
1.2: Operating BARD Mobile
Android devices have pre-installed features that make BARD Mobile accessible for individuals who cannot read or use regular printed material because of visual or physical disabilities. These features, such as TalkBack by Google, Voice Assistant by Samsung, and BrailleBack (available at Google Play), help users navigate Android devices and BARD Mobile.
TalkBack is a screen reader for blind and visually impaired users. It is provided by Google and uses verbal feedback to describe the results of gestures that users touch, select, and activate. To activate TalkBack or magnification gestures on an Android device, go to the Settings screen, then click on the accessibility section. To obtain additional information regarding accessibility options, refer to the accessibility settings on the Android device, as different devices have different features.
The BARD Mobile app can be connected to a refreshable braille display. Support for this is provided through Talkback. Note that TalkBack 13.1 is a major upgrade that occurred in January 2023 and changes some features and configuration options. Users may wish to delay upgrading to TalkBack 13.1 until these issues are addressed. Further instructions are provided in the “Connecting a Refreshable Braille Display” section of this User Guide.
Once installed, users can access these features by going to the Settings screen on their Android device and then tabbing to the More Options menu at the top right corner.
1.3: BARD Mobile Login
First-time users must sign up and set their password on the BARD website, not BARD Mobile. This information is used to register the account in the app. Enter an existing username and password and accept the Terms of Service, then press the Login button. Passwords are remembered, and users should only need to provide this information once. However, if the password is changed on the BARD website, users are required to re-enter the password on BARD Mobile.
Finally, BARD Mobile requires users to have a storage location for downloads. Once selected, users will not be able to change the storage location without losing all previously downloaded materials.
Users are now ready to download books and magazines to their Android devices.
Section 2: Getting Started
BARD Mobile includes various features and functions to help get the most out of the app. This section provides an overview of those features as users get started.
2.1: Heading and Navigation Bar
Each screen on the BARD Mobile app has a heading on the navigation bar at the top of the screen. It is located directly below the device status bar, which displays information such as the time and the device's remaining battery life. The heading provides information about the screen and content users manage, such as Bookshelf, Get Books, Settings, and Now Reading.
The Navigate Up menu (left arrow) located in the upper-left corner moves back to the previous screen when the user is on a more specific screen such as Audio Books within the Bookshelf. There is no access to Navigate Up on the main screens, such as Bookshelf, Get Books, and Now Reading. Users can swipe left and right to access this navigation. There is also a More Options menu (three vertical dots) in the top-right corner to open a dropdown menu with a Help screen and several options based on the context of the user page. Users can swipe right from the upper-left corner of the home screen to navigate past the heading and advance directly to the Tab Bar.
2.2: Tab Bar
The Tab Bar is located directly below the Heading and contains the tabs representing the four main screens: Bookshelf, Get Books, Settings, and Now Reading. The Tab Bar is not displayed when entering the Help menu or the Recently read menu within the Now Reading tab.
The first tab on the Tab Bar is the Bookshelf, where all user-downloaded books are stored and where users access the downloads for reading. All accumulated downloads are in one of four folders: Audio Books, Audio Magazines, Braille Books, and Braille Magazines. The user guide is the last item on the Bookshelf.
2.2.2: Get Books
When users initially log in, they start at Get Books, directly to the right of the Bookshelf. Get Books allows access to the Wish list, Recently added to BARD, Most popular books, Browse magazines, Previous downloads, and the BARD website.
To access books from the BARD website, users must add a book or magazine to the Wish list. Once successfully downloaded, books and magazines are sorted into the proper subfolder.
2.2.3: Settings and Help
The third tab on the Tab Bar is Settings, which allows access to Audio settings, Braille and Display settings, User account settings and Device Accessibility settings.
2.2.4: Now Reading
The fourth tab on the Tab Bar is Now Reading. If an active selection of a book or magazine is made using the Bookshelf tab, TalkBack will announce information about the book playing.
Note: Go to Get Books if you want to download a new book or press the More Options menu in the top-right corner for the Help button for help with Now Reading.
The Now Reading screen for audiobooks and magazines is like the advanced NLS digital talking-book player, with buttons on the application resembling the buttons on the player. The Now Reading screen for braille books and magazines is like a digital talking-book player with fewer controls.
2.2.5: Help and More Options
The Help screens and More Options are accessed through the soft menu (three vertical dots in the upper-right corner) on the user’s device. The More Options settings are context-specific and depend on the screen that users are in. Note that More Options is not listed on screens that do not have additional options.
Information and tips about each tab—Bookshelf, Get Books, Settings and Now Reading—are available through the Help button, accessed through the soft menu. To
obtain help on a specific tab and learn ways to better navigate that tab, select the tab and then activate the Help button.
Section 3: Bookshelf
The Bookshelf, located on the first tab, manages the downloaded titles in BARD Mobile. The five subcategories are Audio Books, Audio Magazines, Braille Books, Braille Magazines, and User Guide.
3.1: Accessing, Sorting, and Getting Talking Books or Magazines on Your Android Device
By default, books and magazines are listed in the order they are downloaded, with the most recent titles listed lower than the previously downloaded titles.
Downloaded materials on the Bookshelf are sorted into four subfolders: Audio Books, Audio Magazines, Braille Books, and Braille Magazines.
Books and magazines can be sorted by title, author, or recent activity. These options are listed on a tab bar below the main navigation bar. Note: The sorting order will reset when users exit the Bookshelf and revert to the default setting.
Pressing the Sort button with TalkBack on will announce "sort by [sort option] selected."
“Activate a long press on a title to open a details screen.” Alternatively, users can select the button depicting an “i” Information icon. TalkBack will verbally announce "BARD Mobile navigate up" when the page opens, and users can swipe right for additional details.
If applicable, the book details screen will list the title, author, narrator, total time, ID number, and any annotations. Directly below the annotation is the Read button. To navigate back, press the Book Details button.
3.2: Reading Titles
There are two ways to read titles that are in the Bookshelf:
Method one: From the Bookshelf, navigate to one of the four folders. Select a folder, choose what to read, and then select the title.
Method two: Activate the Read button from the book details screen, enter the name of the book or magazine you wish to read, then press the Read button and confirm the selection. Note: See Section 3.1 for more details on accessing a book or magazine.
3.3: Creating Folders for Titles
Select the More Options menu to create a subfolder. A menu with five buttons appears. Choose Create Folder—the first option on the menu—and select a name for the folder, then press OK to confirm. Once done, the user will automatically be navigated back to the Bookshelf.
3.4: Renaming Folders
To rename a folder, open the More Options menu and select the Rename Folder button, the second option on the menu. Pressing the Rename Folder will open a dialog box with
a list of folders eligible for renaming. You can select a folder and press OK to confirm the selection. Once completed, users are prompted to rename the folder and complete the process.
3.5: Deleting Titles and Folders
Users can delete any titles for user-created folders through the Bookshelf. Use the More Options menu to select Delete, the third option. This action will add check boxes next to each title and folder on the current level. Select the check box and files you want to delete, then choose OK—at the bottom of the screen—to confirm the deletion. A dialogue box opens to confirm the deletion. Warning: deleting a folder will cause everything in the folder to be deleted.
If removing a single item from the user-created file, enter the folder and click the More Options menu, located in the top-right corner, to select delete, or drag the title or folder to the right and select the Delete button. Choose the document to be deleted, then press OK to confirm.
Note: Deleting a title from the user’s library before it is finished downloading will cancel this action and the user will need to download the title again.
3.6: Moving Folders for Titles
Downloaded titles of books and user-created folders can be moved between categories and folders. When moving a title to a subfolder, navigate to the Bookshelf, then enter the folder where the document is housed. Next, select the More Options menu to select Move—the fourth option on the menu—and select a document you want to move. Once the selection has been made, press OK to confirm. Then choose the Select Folder to Move button. Navigate and select the Expand button to locate the folder selection and where the folder is located. The user documents are now stored in a subfolder. Users can Navigate Up to the upper-left corner to return to the main Bookshelf screen.
Section 4: Get Books
Get Books is the second tab on the Tab Bar, following the Bookshelf. This tab is used to access and download currently available titles. Users can view and download titles through one of the six menu selections. These categories are Wish list, Recently added to BARD, Most popular books, Browse magazines, Previous downloads, and the BARD website. Users can view and add titles to their BARD Mobile Wish list through the BARD website.
4.1: Sorting by Title or Author
Each of the main Get Books screens allows users to sort by title or author. These options are listed on the Tab Bar below the main navigation bar.
4.2: Wish List
Users will find all books on their BARD Mobile Wish list within this category and can download titles to their Wish list. Users can delete items from their Wish List by accessing the Settings More Options menu and selecting Delete. Users can then select a title individually for deletion and it will be removed from their BARD account. Note: See Section 4.8 to learn about downloading titles to an Android device.
4.3: Recently Added to BARD
From the Recently added to BARD menu, users can find Audio books, Audio magazines, Braille Books, or Braille magazines. BARD Mobile will automatically refresh the list and load additional titles when close to the bottom of the list. Users can also download titles to an Android device. Note: See Section 4.8 to learn more.
4.4: Previous Downloads
The Previous downloads menu displays the most downloaded items within the past 30 days. Users can download new titles from this menu directly to the their Android device. Note: See Section 4.8 to learn about downloading titles to an Android device.
4.5: Most Popular Books
The Most popular book menu displays the most popular books downloaded in the past 30 days. Users can download any titles to an Android device directly from this section. Users can use a long press gesture to obtain the book number and any annotations. Note: See Section 4.8 to learn about downloading titles to an Android device.
4.6: Browse Magazines
The Browse magazine menu displays all available audio and braille magazine titles. Magazines are shown in a list, and by pressing the title button, users can browse by title, issue date, and narrator and display the reading time for each audio entry. For braille magazines, the title, issue date, and BR number—including the number of volumes—will appear on the list. Users can also download these titles to an Android device directly. See Section 4.8 to learn about downloading titles to a device.
4.7: BARD Website
Users can access the BARD website on the Get Books screen to search the entire NLS catalog of audio, braille, and music items. The search results can be added to your Wish list, which can then be accessed on BARD Mobile using the Wish list option under Get Books.
Only links leading to other BARD website locations are operable. Users cannot explore other websites or change a BARD password through BARD Mobile. Finally, users can
navigate through the BARD website and, when ready, Navigate Up to return to Get Books.
4.8: Downloading Titles
Titles are downloaded after they are selected in Get Books. BARD Mobile displays the download progress as a percentage. If a user tries to download a book already downloaded in the Bookshelf, a message will state the book is already available. The user will choose which folder to place the download into if newly downloaded.
The user-created files and subfolders are hidden until the activation of the Expansion button. This expansion button is depicted with a black square with a white “+” while it is collapsed and a white “-” when expanded.
4.9: Canceling and Deleting Titles in Process of Downloading
The downloading process can only be canceled once initiated by navigating to the Bookshelf and then swiping and selecting the option to Delete the book. It cannot be canceled while downloading from the Get Books tabs. Allow the downloading process to complete before attempting to delete. To delete a title, users can also use the More Options menu by navigating to the soft menu key and choosing the Delete button. Select the title to delete and confirm by pressing the Enter button.
Section 5: Settings
Settings is the third tab on the Tab Bar. It is used to adjust audio, braille, accessibility, and the user account settings to optimize a user’s reading experience through the More Options menu or the soft menu located in the right corner of the device.
The settings screen has five elements:
- Audio settings
- Braille and Display settings
- User account settings
- Device Accessibility Settings
- Application Version
5.1: Audio Settings
There are ten settings under the Audio settings option. They are Speed, Tone, Background Playback, Auto-lock during playback, Automatic start playback, Automatic 5 second rewind, Skippable, Verbosity, Silence button beeps, and Restore Defaults.
The first two items in Audio settings are Speed and Tone. By default, the narration speed is set to 100 percent and is adjustable. To increase or decrease the speed, select the Speed button and adjust accordingly by entering values between 50 and 300 percent in 25 percent increments, then tabbing to the Enter button to confirm your selection. Changing the speed in the BARD Mobile settings screen will not impact the currently loaded title.
By default, the narration tone—or the amount of bass or treble in the reading voice—is set at zero and adjustable between negative ten and positive ten. Changing the tone in the BARD Mobile settings screen will not impact the currently loaded title.
5.1.3: Background Playback
The third button in the Audio Settings screen is the Background Playback setting, which determines whether the book plays when the application is no longer in focus. This feature is set to On, by default.
5.1.4: Auto-lock during Playback
The fourth button in the Audio Settings screen is the Auto-lock during playback button. This feature determines whether the phone dims and then closes after a set amount of time due to inactivity while a book is playing. When the Auto-lock feature is turned on, the phone will lock at the amount of time specified in the settings for the display screen timeout. The book will continue to play, but the user will need to unlock their phone to access the BARD app. Also, if Background Playback is turned off, the audiobook will stop playing, similar to the sleep timer function. When the Auto-lock feature is turned off, the phone will not lock and phone will remained unlocked while an audiobook is playing.
This feature is set to off by default.
5.1.5: Automatic Start Playback
The fifth button on the Audio Settings screen is the Automatic start playback button. This affects whether the book automatically starts reading when users are brought to the Now Reading window when first selecting a title to read. This feature is set to off by default.
5.1.6: Automatic 5 Second Rewind
The sixth button on the Audio Settings screen is the Automatic 5 Second Rewind button. When this is turned on, this rewinds the book playback 5 seconds when a pause of the audiobook is selected and change tabs. This 5 second rewind only takes effect the first time the user switches tabs after each time paused. This feature is set to off by default.
The seventh button on the Audio Settings screen is the Skippable content button. BARD Mobile will play content within books marked as “skippable.” Skippable material includes items such as sidebars, page numbers, and footnotes.
Click the Skip or Play button to confirm your selection or the Cancel button.
The eighth button on the Audio Settings screen is the Verbosity button. The Verbosity setting affects the amount of spoken feedback the application will provide while navigating a book using the buttons on the Now Reading screen. These messages are like those the user might hear when using a digital talking-book player and do not affect TalkBack speech.
Use Settings and select On or Off, with On being the default. When using the On setting, the Rewind, Fast Forward, Speed and Tone buttons will announce a message. With the verbosity setting Off, these buttons will not announce a message.
To change the setting, select Verbosity to open a dialog box, then settings either On or Off can be used to change the Verbosity setting.
5.1.9: Silence Button Beeps
The Silence button beeps setting option allows the user to silence the beeps that sound when any controls in the Now Reading screen are activated. Audible beeps will sound when the Sleep timer, Bookmark, Previous, Navigation Level, Next, Rewind, Play Stop, Forward, Speed, and Tone are activated. When set to off, the beeps are silent.
5.1.10: Restore Defaults
The tenth and final button in the audio settings screen is the Restore Defaults button. Selecting this restores all the above settings options to their listed default settings.
5.2: Braille and Display Settings
There are seven settings under Braille and Display settings: Contrast, Braille reflow, Braille display length, Braille Autoscroll, Time per Line, Time per Character, and Restore Defaults.
The first button in the Braille and Display settings screen is the Contrast option. BARD Mobile uses black text on white background. However, this is adjustable. Available settings are:
- Black text on a white background.
- White text on a black background.
- Black text on a yellow background.
- Yellow text on a black background.
To change a contrast setting, select Contrast from the settings menu. Then select the contrast option of your choosing.
5.2.2: Braille Reflow and Braille Display Length
The second and third buttons in the Braille and Display settings screen are Braille reflow and Braille display length. By default, braille reflow is set to off. Select the Braille reflow button to turn it on. The default braille display length is 40 characters. Select the Braille display length button to change the display length. Use the decrease and increase controls to select a desired value. Available values range from 12 to 40.
When Braille reflow is set to off, the Braille display length button is grayed out and cannot be interacted with until Braille reflow is turned on.
For a full description of braille reflow, see Section 6.2.11.
5.2.3: Braille Autoscroll
The fourth, fifth and sixth buttons in the Braille and Display settings are Braille autoscroll, Time per Line, and Time per Character. Braille autoscroll is set to “off” by default. Select the Braille autoscroll button to turn it on. The default value for autoscroll time per line is 1,350 milliseconds (1.35 seconds) for a 40-cell display. If a user changes the display length, this amount will be prorated to adjust for braille display length. For example, setting the display length to 20 adjusts the autoscroll time per line to 625 milliseconds. The default time per character on the line is 50 milliseconds. When Braille autoscroll is turned on, these values can be increased or decreased from the default values.
When Braille autoscroll is set to off, the Time per Line and Time per Character buttons are grayed out and cannot be interacted with until Braille autoscroll is turned on.
5.2.4: Restore Defaults
The seventh and final button in the Braille and Display settings screen is the Restore Defaults button. Selecting this restores all the above settings options to their listed default settings.
5.3: User Account Settings
User account settings is the third item in the Settings menu. There are six settings in the User account settings: BARD account, Download over mobile network, Show me, Storage Location, Application Reset, and Restore Defaults.
5.3.1: BARD Account
The first button in the User account settings screen is the BARD account option. BARD Mobile allows only one user to access BARD Mobile through a given username. The username is the user’s BARD account and will allow downloads to the user’s device and username. To change the username, users must reset the application and lose all
previous downloads and other material associated with the former username. See Section 5.3.5 to learn more about reseting the application.
5.3.2: Download over Mobile Network
The second button in the User account settings screen is the Download over mobile network option. BARD Mobile does not allow downloading over a cellular network by default. However, users can use the Download over mobile network button, the second item in User account settings, to download materials. If the device has cellular capabilities, this setting will allow a user to download book and magazine titles using their mobile network.
The setting is off by default. To activate, go to account settings, and confirm the user selection with the Network button. TalkBack users hear “not checked” if the option is not selected, checked, or not an option.
5.3.3: Show Me
The third button in the User account settings screen is the Show me option. Here users can choose whether they want the app to show both audio and braille, audio only, or braille only when searching or browsing in Get Books. Both audio and braille are the default. Choosing a single format will restrict all Get Books formats available (except the user Wish list and Bookshelf folders if the user has populated them with mixed formats)
5.3.4: Storage Location
The fourth button in the User account settings screen is the Storage Location option, which notes the specific location where downloaded material is being stored on the device.
5.3.5: Application Reset
The fifth button in the User account settings screen is the Application Reset button, which enables users to reset BARD Mobile. Warning: When resetting the application, all BARD Mobile data from the device will be deleted, including downloaded books and magazines.
When users select the Application Reset button, BARD Mobile will open a window to ask them to confirm the action. Users can select cancel to cancel the reset or continue to reset the application. After a completed reset, users must initialize the application by entering a username and password and confirming the Terms of Service Agreement.
5.3.6: Restore Defaults
The sixth and final button in the User account settings screen is the Restore Defaults button. Selecting this restores all the above settings options to their listed default settings.
5.4: Device Accessibility Settings
The Device Accessibility Settings button is the fourth button listed in Settings. Through this button, users can access their device’s accessibility settings and make changes that affect their device and BARD Mobile. This includes activating BrailleBack, TalkBack, changing font sizes, and enabling magnification gestures. Different phones have different options depending on the model.
Selecting Navigate up will return the user to the Settings page in BARD Mobile. Consult the user guide for the particular device to learn more about its accessibility features. Users can also visit the Android accessibility Help page.
5.5: Application Version
The final item within Settings provides users with information important to know concerning how BARD Mobile functions. Unlike the other items in the Settings menu, this is not a button. It shows the version of BARD Mobile being used on the device. Users are encouraged to use the most current version of BARD Mobile, which may include bug fixes and other updates. This is located at the very bottom of the screen (see Figure 4) on in the Settings menu and is written in the format of “BARD Mobile [version number] r [build number]”. This user guide is for version 1.5.0 r120.
Section 6: Now Reading
Now Reading is the fourth and last tab on the Tab Bar. It is used to read audio and braille titles downloaded to Android Mobile.
6.1: Now Reading (Audio)
The Now Reading screen for books and magazines is like the advanced digital talking-book player. This section describes this layout and the steps necessary to play these titles.
6.1.1: Title Information
Title information is located directly under the Tab Bar and consists of two boxes. The first box displays the title of the book or magazine being read. The second box displays information that includes the title of the book or magazine, the author, and the section currently being read.
6.1.2: Elapsed Time Information
A user’s current position in the book is illustrated through an elapsed time display and is located directly under the title information. The feature displays in hours, minutes, and seconds the user’s position in the book and the total time of the book.
BARD Mobile allows users to navigate through the contents of a book or magazine using the Navigation button. The Navigation button also allows users to access skippable settings, if available. See Sections 6.1.14 and 6.1.15.
6.1.4: Progress Bar
The Progress Bar is under the Elapsed Time Information and Navigation button and illustrates how far along a user is in the book by a thin line with a progress marker.
6.1.5: Sleep Timer
The Sleep Timer is below the Progress Bar on the left side of the screen. Press the Sleep Timer once to set the timer for 15 minutes, twice for 30 minutes, three times for 45 minutes, and four times for 60 minutes. Pressing five times will set the timer for the end of the current chapter or part, depending on the setting on the Navigation Level button. Pressing six times will turn the timer off with the volume fading for ten seconds, and then playback will stop. Activating the Play Stop button will cancel the Sleep Timer.
Each time the Sleep Timer is activated, BARD Mobile will announce the amount of time that’s been set. Note: Activating the Sleep Timer will automatically start the book.
The Bookmark Button is located directly below the Navigation button on the right side of the screen. While reading a book or magazine, users can create a bookmark by pressing the Bookmark button. The Navigation Level button is used to return to the bookmark location. If the current location is at a bookmark, the bookmark can be deleted by pressing the Bookmark button. Selecting a bookmark while playing a book
will not disrupt the narration. The bookmark will be stored even if a user turns off BARD Mobile or choose another title to read.
Note: There are preinstalled bookmarks on page one, line one, and the last chapter of each book. The user will not be able to create or delete a bookmark in these positions.
6.1.7: Navigation Level Button
The Navigation Level button–which shows “Front Matter” in Figure 9 above–is located between the Previous and Next buttons. Its purpose is to select the navigation level to use when moving between points in the book through the Previous or Next options. For example, navigation can occur by chapter, phrase, or bookmark. Navigation points like chapters, section phrases, or bookmarks vary with each title. Magazines will generally have many navigation markers and navigation levels to support the ability to jump to sections or specific articles. Some books may have only a few chapters available for navigation.
The Previous button is located to the left of the Navigation Level button and moves the previous position backward using the Navigation Level setting. If BARD Mobile is in Stop Mode, the book narrator will read the heading of the new item selected. Playback will start from the new location if Play Mode is activated. Pressing the Previous button for an extended time will move the navigation toward the beginning of the book in increments of five navigation elements. A long press can be used to accomplish the same result.
The Next button is located to the right of the Navigation Level button. If BARD Mobile is in Stop Mode when the Next button is activated, the book narrator will read the heading next to the item. Playback will start from its new location if it is in Play Mode. Pressing the Next button for an extended time will move navigation toward the end of the book in increments of five navigation elements. A long press can be used to accomplish the same result.
6.1.10: Play Stop
The Play Stop button is located between the Rewind and Fast Forward buttons and directly below the Navigation Level button. Activate the switch to either start or stop playing a title.
Users will hear a beep each time the activated button is selected. Additionally, TalkBack users will hear “play” or “stop” depending on the action taken.
The Rewind button is located on the left side of the screen, under the Previous button and to the left of the Play Stop button. Selecting it moves the reading position backward five seconds in the book or use a long press to move backward ten seconds. If Rewind is pressed for longer than ten seconds, the reading position will continue moving backward in increments of up to one hour.
6.1.12: Fast Forward
The Fast Forward button is located on the right side of the screen, under the Next button and to the right of the Play Stop button. Selecting the Fast Forward option will advance the book in five-second increments. A long press will also move the user’s reading position forward five seconds.
If Fast Forward is pressed for longer than ten seconds, the reading position will continue moving forward in increments of up to one hour.
6.1.13: Speed Tone
The Speed Tone button is located at the bottom middle of the screen. To the left of Speed Tone is the Decrease button, which decreases the current value. To the right of Speed and Tone is the Increase button, which increases the current value.
Users can toggle between speed and tone by pressing the Speed and Tone button. The Increase and Decrease buttons correlate to the selected function. The speed rate is adjustable between 50 and 300 percent, in increments of 25 percent.
Select Tone to change the bass or treble in the narrator's voice. The Increase and Decrease buttons adjust the tone between negative ten and positive ten.
Double tapping the button will reset the speed or tone, whichever is currently selected, to the default setting described in sections 5.1.1 and 5.1.2, respectively. When the speed or tone is adjusted to its default or reset, BARD Mobile will announce "speed is set to normal" or "tone is set to normal," along with a low-pitched beep. It produces a higher-pitched beep when the speed or tone is changed.
Changing the speed or tone setting on the Now Reading screen will only affect the current book.
6.1.14: Book Navigation
An alternate way to navigate the contents of a book is through the Navigation screen. To access the Book Navigation screen, activate the Navigation button to the right of the
time elapsed display. The playback of a title will pause when the user enters the Navigation screen.
The navigation screen contains three tabs. The tabs for an audiobook are shown in Figure 10: Contents, Page (only applicable for magazines), and Bookmark. A current reading icon, shaped like headphones, denotes the section being read. Some areas will contain subsections. Press the "+" symbol to show available subsections and the “-" symbol to close the subsections. The tabs for a braille book are shown in Figure 11: Volume, Page, and Bookmark.
Selecting a section will close the navigation screen, and the player will begin to read from the chosen navigation point. A user can leave the navigation screen at any time by simply navigating up.
6.1.15: Read Skipppable Elements
BARD Mobile will play content marked as “skippable.” Items like sidebars, page numbers, and footnotes are considered skippable material. The Read Skippable Elements button can change if skippable material is played by BARD Mobile. The Read Skippable Elements button is on the navigation screen in the soft menu in the upper right corner. Select Skippable Material to turn this feature on or off.
Users can tab to the Enter button to confirm a selection and then return to the navigation screen by navigating up.
6.1.16: Recently Read
The Recently Read button, which looks like an open book, is located at the top right corner of the Now Reading screen, to the left of the soft menu. This button will display both audio and braille books that were recently read. Selecting one of the items will move that item into the Now Reading screen.
6.2: Now Reading (braille)
The Now Reading tab is used to read braille books and magazines downloaded to a user’s Android device. A refreshable braille display is required to read braille titles with this application. Note: BARD Mobile does not translate braille files into visually readable, fully spelled-out text but uses contracted braille.
6.2.1: Reading Braille in BARD Mobile
BARD Mobile is designed to work with BrailleBack and TalkBack. BrailleBack is not installed on Android devices but can be downloaded for free at Google Play. See Section 7, “Connecting a Refreshable Braille Display,” for more information.
Once installed, BrailleBack needs to be activated. Go to the user device settings and click the accessibility screen and BrailleBack. Press the On button. BrailleBack can be toggled on and off with many devices by holding the Up, Down, and Volume buttons together and waiting for the beep. Note: BrailleBack requires Talkback to be turned on for use.
6.2.2: Now Reading (Braille) Screen Layout and Reading a Braille Book
The Now Reading screen for braille books has a similar layout to a digital talking-book player.
- The book or magazine's title is directly under the Tab Bar.
- Below that is the search box.
- The reading window or visual braille display is under the search box.
- Below the reading window is a bar for reviewing the volume, page, and line
- The Navigation button is on the screen under the informational bar.
- The Bookmark button is located underneath the Navigation button on the right side.
6.2.3: Braille Shortcut Keys
Note that the following section applies to versions of Talkback prior to version 13.1, which was released in January 2023. Users may wish to refrain from updating TalkBack until these issues are addressed.
Listed below are shortcut keys that can be used from a braille display that includes a braille keyboard or a Bluetooth keyboard. They are usable on the Now Reading screen when a braille book or magazine is displayed. The braille keyboard must be activated within BrailleBack, and the cursor cannot be in the search field or the braille display field.
Note: Some of the shortcuts will move to a field where they will no longer work until users manually return to the Now Reading screen in a location where the shortcuts will work again. The corresponding features for several of the shortcuts are listed in the following sections.
|Braille Dots Comments
|Menu (Navigation Level)
|Dots 1-3-4 Cycles Navigation page, key presses
|Cycles through the options available on Navigation Level button, such as line, volume, page, and bookmark. The first press of the menu key reports the current setting. Subsequent presses cycle through the available options.
|p or ‘ Dots dot
|Dots 1-2-3-4 or dot 3 Moves selected Navigation move
|Moves to the previous instance of the currently selected Navigation Level button. For example, if Navigation is set to page, then this shortcut will move to the previous page.
|n or, Dots dot
|Dots 1-3-4-5 or dot 6 Moves selected Navigation move
|Moves to the next instance of the currently selected Navigation Level button. For example, if Navigation is set to page then this shortcut will move to the next page.
|Dots 1-2-3-6 Moves selected. Now work
|Moves to the Navigation screen with volume selected. Note that users will no longer be on the Now Reading screen and so the shortcuts will not work until users return to Now Reading.
|Dot 1 Moves selected.
|Moves to the Navigation screen with the page selected.
|Dots 1-3 Moves bookmark
|Moves to the Navigation screen with the bookmark selected.
|Where am I?
|Dots 2-4-5-6 Displays the
|Displays the volume, page, and line number of the current position in the braille item.
|Moves the focus to the search box. Text editing is activated, the edit box is ready for text entry and further use of the braille keyboard will enter text and not act as shortcuts. Text must be entered in the same form it would be found in the contracted braille item. The only exception to this is the entry of the dots 4-5-6 character where users need to enter dots 4-5-6-7.
|This has the same function as the bookmark button on the Now Reading screen. It adds and removes bookmarks.
|Moves the focus to the reading window showing the current line of the braille book.
|Last Reading Position
|Each time the application is closed while a braille title is being read, the application will store the last reading position. This key will move the focus to the “stored last” reading position. The last reading position is updated each time a new line is displayed in the reading window.
|Skips to next non-blank line
|When reading a braille book or magazine this key will advance the user to the next line containing text.
|Toggles braille reflow on and off
|Dots 1-6 and then 1-4-5
|This key sequence will toggle the reflowing of the braille text on and off. The default is 40 cells. To reflow to a display length shorter than 40 cells, the desired length must be configured in settings.
|Toggles braille auto scroll on and off
|Dots 1-6 and then 3-4
|This key sequence will toggle the automatic scrolling of the braille text on and off. The default is off. To activate this feature, turn braille auto scroll on in settings.
|Increases braille auto scroll speed
|Dots 1-6 and then 3-4-6
|This key sequence increases the braille auto scroll speed. Note that auto scroll must first be activated in the settings. Changes made to braille auto scroll while reading will not be saved globally when the app is closed but will not be saved with each book.
|Decreases braille auto scroll speed
|Decrease the braille auto scroll speed. Note that auto scroll must first be activated in the settings. Changes made to braille auto scroll while reading will not be saved globally when the app is closed but will be saved with each book.
6.2.4: Reading Window
The Reading Window field displays the current line of the braille book being read. To navigate this field, use a refreshable braille display or a shortcut key that will display the page on a refreshable braille display. Note: See Section 7, “Connecting a Refreshable Braille Display,” for more information on connecting a braille display to BARD Mobile.
Also, note that the Reading Window displays UEB (Unified English Braille) contracted braille. TalkBack will announce this text but will not be easily understood as it is not converted to standard text. Therefore, users may want to turn the volume down on TalkBack while the cursor is in the Reading Window field.
The Navigation button is on the right side of the screen, just below the volume, page, and line display. When activated, users can navigate a book by volume, page, and bookmark. These buttons are located directly after the navigation screen heading. Selecting one of these will cause a list of the elements chosen to appear. By default, BARD Mobile lets users navigate by volume, and the bookmark contains options to jump to the beginning of the book and the end of the book.
Once users select an item from the list of navigation points, the navigation screen will close, and the selected navigation point will appear in the reading window.
Enter the search box directly below the title to navigate the title by text. Searches must use contracted braille, precisely as it appears in the book. The only exception to this is when users are searching for dots 4-5-6 indicator, for which users must enter dots 4-5-6-7. Note that the search field displays the computer braille equivalent of the UEB contracted text that is entered. For example, Dot-6 is a capitalization indicator and is displayed as a comma.
After entering a term, navigate to the Go button. The focus will be taken to the line of the book on which the search term appears. If the search renders a negative result, users hear a quick tone and the display stays at the current location. Note that the Navigation Level button is labeled search when a search string is present. The Next or Previous buttons can be used to search in the specified direction.
See Section 6.2.11 regarding braille reflow. The braille display on the phone shows a maximum of sixteen characters, so a search result may be on the portion of the line that is not displayed.
6.2.7: Setting and Removing Bookmarks
Directly below the Navigation button on the right is the Bookmark button. Click on the Bookmark button to mark the current location with a bookmark or to delete the current bookmark. See the Navigation or Navigation Level section to see how to navigate using bookmarks. To remove a bookmark, navigate to the line of text where the bookmark is and select the Bookmark. Users cannot remove preinstalled bookmarks on the chosen book's first and last chapter.
6.2.8: Navigation Level
The Navigation Level button is used in selecting how to navigate the book using the Previous and Next buttons. Select line, page, volume, or bookmark to adjust the increment for these options. Entering text in the search field will also allow a search option for the navigation level. After selecting a level, BARD Mobile will remember the settings the user last used.
To the left of the Navigation Level button is the Previous button, and it is used to move backward one navigation point to the previous point as selected.
To the right of the Navigation Level button is the Next button and is used to move backward one navigation point to the previous point as selected.
6.2.11: Braille Reflow
Braille reflow makes reading braille books and magazines easier with braille displays shorter than forty cells.
NLS braille books and magazines are formatted to thirty-eight to forty cells per line. Reading them on a shorter-length display can be challenging as the entire sentence will not appear. Braille reflow allows BARD Mobile to tailor line lengths to match the braille display size and provide a smoother reading experience. Braille reflow is accessed through the More Options menu or the soft menu at the top right of the screen.
6.2.12: Braille Autoscroll
Autoscroll allows the user to read a braille book with minimal hand movement. When auto scroll is activated, the braille display begins advancing automatically. Time is set at a fixed amount and adjusts automatically depending on the length of the line of braille.
To enable the Autoscroll feature, open the soft menu at the screen's top right corner. Then select Settings, then Braille and Display settings, which is the second option.
Finally, select Braille Autoscroll, which is the fourth option. This will open an additional window where users can turn auto scrolling on and off. When Braille Autoscroll is enabled, the Scroll Stop button will appear on the Now Reading (braille) screen. Activating this button begins automatic scrolling and activating the button once more will stop autoscrolling. When Braille Autoscroll is enabled, the Speed Adjustment button is located under the scroll button. Adjusting this varies the autoscroll time per character setting. Note: Several shortcuts are listed in the shortcuts table for users to change autoscroll settings.
Section 7: Connecting a Refreshable Braille Display
The BARD Mobile app can be connected to a refreshable braille display. Support for this is provided through Talkback. Note that TalkBack 13.1 is a major upgrade that occurred in January 2023 and changes some features and configuration options. Users may wish to delay upgrading to TalkBack 13.1 until these issues are addressed. The following section is based on TalkBack versions prior to 13.1.
To use BARD Mobile for Android with a braille display, users will need to have TalkBack enabled, BrailleBack installed, and have a supported braille display. A list of supported braille displays can be found at "Install and Turn on BrailleBack" under Android accessibility Help at https://support.google.com/accessibility/android/answer/3535226?hl=en External
On most Android phones, TalkBack is installed by default. Note that BrailleBack can no longer be downloaded from Google Play because braille support is included in TalkBack 13.1 released in January 2023. For previous version of TalkBack with BrailleBack enabled and a supported braille display, users can access braille for supported devices. See the BrailleBack information for a list of supported devices.
Before users are able to use the braille display, users must pair it with an Android phone or tablet. To do this:
- Power braille display and put it in pairing mode.
- On the Android device, open the Settings app.
- Enable TalkBack and BrailleBack under the accessibility category.
- Navigate to Bluetooth, and make sure Bluetooth is on.
- Navigate to "Search for devices."
- Find user device on the list and select it.
- Enter the pairing code if there is one and select OK.
- Chimes will sound when the devices are paired, and the braille will refresh on display.
Notes: An easy way to learn what commands are supported for a particular braille display is to enter chord-l (dots 1-2-3-space). This will bring up the BrailleBack Help screen and list all the available commands for the braille display.
7.1: BrailleBack Settings Are Accessed under Accessibility
BrailleBack Settings contains several configuration options that affect how the device works. BrailleBack Settings consists of three sections: Device, Braille, and Miscellaneous.
- The device reveals the refreshable braille display status: connected or not connected.
- Keyboard help is specific to the user’s refreshable braille display and provides a list of commands.
- Braille is where users can change the type of braille code their device utilizes. a)
- BARD Mobile requires braille settings as follows:
- Braille type set to Computer Braille
- Literary braille table set to English (UEB) grade 2
- Computer braille table set to Auto (English (United States))
- Enable word wrapping can be toggled on or off depending on user preference.
- BARD Mobile requires braille settings as follows:
- Miscellaneous contains open-source licenses and developer options.
It works best to power the braille display before unlocking your Android device. Then turn off the braille display before locking the Android device. Users may need to repeat the Bluetooth pairing or BrailleBack configuration if the braille display is not connected.
7.2: Braille Keyboard
The braille keyboard on the user’s braille display needs to be activated through a text field. The first time the user encounters an edit box, they will be prompted to "choose input method." User should check "braille hardware keyboard." On some displays, this request will appear when the user presses a key on the braille keyboard. Each time a braille display is used with an Android Mobile mobile device, this must be done. Note: The "Gboard" is the default input method that displays the onscreen standard keyboard.
To switch back to the onscreen keyboard, choose the Switch Input Method button at the bottom of the keyboard.
Section 8: Tips and Hints
TalkBack users who would like to hear the spelling of a word that TalkBack announces can do so through special gestures. Draw an L shape gesture—down and across the right of the screen—and then lift the finger from the screen. A sound, like a very rapid knock, denotes that users have accessed the Global Context Menu. TalkBack will ask users to “touch the screen and explore the circle to find an item.” However, users should touch the screen with one finger and slide it to the right. TalkBack will then say, “spell the last utterance.” Lift user finger from the screen and TalkBack will spell the last utterance.
Android and iOS devices vary in their terminology and accessibility features and gestures. For those who prefer to use TalkBack to navigate BARD Mobile, exploring by touch—slowly dragging one finger around the screen to move focus—may be the quickest way to learn and know where items are on the screen. Please refer to Section 1.2 to learn more about TalkBack related to BARD Mobile, access the user device user guide concerning its accessibility features, or visit the Android accessibility Help page.
Last updated: February 6, 2023 Version 1.5.0