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Helpful Apps

An RNIB guide to accessible apps, and what apps can do for blind and partially sighted users. There are also specific apps for the visually impaired you may find useful.

There are a variety of accessible apps for blind and partially sighted people.

They are obtained from the online store specific to your device (for Apple devices this is App Store or for Android it is Google Play).

Many apps for blind and partially sighted people use the device camera to provide a huge variety of services. Although this is achieved by using the camera on the device, no sight is required to operate the app as spoken feedback is available on the specialist apps developed for people with sight loss.

Setting up apps on your phone

Apps like Be My Eyes, Seeing AI, Tap Tap See, Giraffe Reader, Blind Square, iDentifi and Soundscape amongst others are widely available on the iOS platform which means that they will work on Apple products like the iPhone and iPad. Some of these apps are also available on Android devices.

Many apps are available free of charge, some offer a subscription based service and some can be acquired with a one off purchase. You should check the payment details in your app store before downloading an app.

What do blind and partially sighted people use apps for?

Blind and partially sighted people can use apps to perform everyday tasks with an enhanced degree of independence.

They can allow someone with sight loss to read printed materials like letters, magazines and menus, to recognise currency, find out the colour of an item, to identify products using a bar code reader, find out what is around you and hear descriptions of what a scene looks like. The also help to make travelling from one place to another easier using GPS to provide directions, information on landmarks and roads.

RNIB chat about apps podcast series

This series of six podcasts, produced by RNIB's Health and Social Care Skills Development team and supported by our Technology for Life team, explores some of the best apps for blind and partially sighted people in a variety of circumstances including independent living, communication, entertainment, organisation and travel.

Click here to listen to episode 1


If you want to take control of your own communications, dressing, shopping, transactions and navigation then an appropriate app can provide an easy and quick solution.

No sight is required to operate the best accessible apps as spoken feedback is provided. And there are also accessories available to help with different aspects like lining up the camera with the text on a page.