Our Story | How to Use the App

Listen to how members describe Vorail: (show transcript)

Mission:

Vorail is the only platform in the world for the low vision and blind community where everybody can join conversations by voice on equal footing. Every day members of the Vorail community create ask-alls (questions) about life (news, health, technology, religion, sports and more) that allow us to see the world differently, and connect in a way that is deeper than ‘liking’ a photo. Vorail is an audio-only experience, voice is the window into a human soul. It does not matter if you are tall, short, wide, thin, white, or black when nobody sees your picture. Without the visuals, what counts is who you are, the person inside. That is the mission of Vorail, to create an extended family where we are judged for who we are, not what we look like.

People who make it through a crisis can help others just entering that crisis. Imagine walking into a bathroom, turning on the light switch, to discover the lights are already on, and it was not until that moment that you realize the extent of your vision loss. Imagine the doctor asking you about undergoing surgery that could prevent further vision loss or possibly cost you your remaining vision. Imagine losing your sight mid-life due to an auto accident. When facing the unimaginable, Vorail enables you to communicate with people who have gone through what you are going through.

There’s a segment of our population that feels isolated and ignored by the sighted world. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and other social platforms are full of visuals, and it’s a hurdle for people without sight. Vorail is ‘a place for people like us’, who want to form genuine connections that are based on something deeper than looks.

Achievements:

Vorail has enabled thousands of low vision and blind people to find each other, to find answers, and build a 24 hour peer-to-peer support network. If you have questions, Vorial has answers. How to use Microsoft Outlook as a blind person? How to be social as a blind person at a professional networking event after the speeches are over and participants head to the self-serve buffet and mingle? How do you feel as a man who has lost vision mid-life and for the first time has to sit on the toilet to urinate instead of stand? If it’s happening to you, others on Vorail have probably already been through it.

Vorail brings people together through meetups. Members of Vorail have travelled across State lines, over the Atlantic, and on cruise ships to meet. While many on Vorail are married, some of the singles who met through Vorail have dated, and gone on to marry.

If you have sight now, we hope you will always have sight. But if you lose your sight, Vorail is the community and technology you would hope for.

Vorail is an opportunity for sighted people to see beyond the surface. All of us are taught to not judge a book by its cover, but that is exactly what sighted people do, even if only subconsciously. Vorail is perhaps the only chance sighted people have to meet new people without visual impressions that mislead. Imagine going to a bookstore and all the covers have been removed. You would have to pick up the book and read the inside to see if you liked it, and that’s what Vorail offers, a new way to learn about the world.

Access:

Everyone can utilize Vorail to create new ask-alls, or answer questions asked by others. The answer can turn into a conversation that spans thousands of recordings. Browse the web page to listen to questions. Click on a question to listen to the answers. To join the conversations, download Vorail from the App Store or Google Play. Browsing the web page is free, the Android version of Vorail is free, and to access the iOS version of Vorail, there is a free-trial and then usd 5 per month subscription. In the app, conversations take place publicly where the whole community can participate, or privately one-to-one. Voralians govern themselves, and pay for themselves. Each member chooses what is appropriate for his or her ears. There is a two way mute bin available to each member, as well as an optional community consensus filter, which we call 'country lane' for a more peaceful experience.

Gestures:

1 finger swipe left or right = previous or next item on the feed. if a menu is open, 1 finger swipe left or right closes the menu.

1 finger swipe up = feed menu.

1 finger swipe down = item menu.

3 finger swipe left or right = previous or next feed. for example, three finger swipe to the right changes feed from answers to questions, and question to likes.

3 finger swipe up (victory swipe up) = refresh.

3 finger swipe down (victory swipe down) = back to previous feed.

1 finger double tap = default action on current item, a context-specific shortcut.

2 finger tap (peace tap) = chipmunk mode, which playback speeded up.

2 finger double tap (magic tap) = pause and resume in both playback and recording (on Android devices with TalkBack on, 4 finger single tap = pause and resume).

2 finger swipe down while tts playing = skip tts and play human audio message.

2 finger swipe left/right when in likes moves between letters. for example, two finger swipe right moves from names that start with A to names that start with B.

2 finger swipe up to restart playback.

...

1 finger double tap default actions examples:

in answers feed, 1 finger double tap = listen to all answers start with the original question.

in questions feed, 1 finger double tap = listen to all answers, start with the oldest answer that has not been heard.

in mutual likes feed, 1 finger double tap on a name = show message history.

Tutorials:

Introduction from Neal

Quick Start Guide from Shaun

Unique Menu System of Vorail

Settings

Tips

FAQ:

q: when i swipe, why does control center show?

a: you can disable control center from showing when inside an app by selecting ios settings / control center / turn off "access within apps".

q: when i swipe, why does notifications panel show?

a: start your up or down swipe from closer to middle of screen instead of from bottom or top edges.

q: how to prevent the time stamps in questions or answers feed jumping from very recent to very old?

a: in Vorail settings, select "in questions feed and answers feed, change to: include questions already listened to".

q: why does Vorail act strange after i dictate a tag using the on screen keyboard?

a: this is known bug, and until we fix it, a work around is to visit Vorail settings, and change to speech to text for creating titles.

q: why are three finger swipes not working?

a: in our iOS settings, disable the zoom accessibility feature.

q: why do end of my recordings get clipped?

a: try pausing a quarter of a second before double tapping to finish recordings. end of recordings are auto trimmed to remove the sound of finger double tapping the screen.

q: why doesn’t single finger double tap work?

a: try allowing a fraction of a second longer between taps when double tapping.

q: why does three finger swiping only work some of the time?

a: try changing from three horizontal fingers to victory formation. victory formation is thumb south, index finger north, middle finger next to index finger. same formation that is used when picking up a baseball. three finger swiping may be easier when your thumb, index finger, middle finger are in the shape of a V.

q: why does Vorail crash each time I open the app?

a: update your iOS to the most recent version.

q: do inbox messages disappear by themselves? i get a push notification of a new item in my inbox, but when i open the app the new message is not in the inbox.

a: the push notification arrived to your device before the inbox message arrived at the version of the database closest to you. Vorail uses "eventual consistency" to make sure each copy of the database gets consistent eventually. if the push notifications is sent immediately, but syncing across copies of the database takes time, then you arrive at your inbox before your message.

q: why are my messages or replies not being delivered?

a: after sending a message, stay in Vorail long enough for the message to send. if you record a long message (which takes a long time to upload), you will hear the sound confirming you have requested message sent, but the message will take some time to upload while you are doing other things on Vorail. if you leave Vorail before uploading complete, the message will not be delivered.

q: do i have to turn VoiceOver off to use Vorail?

a: Vorail works with VoiceOver on or off.

q: What are the rules of the contest relating to the National Federation of the Blind and American Council for the blind national conventions being run by Teddy Bear?

a: Vorail will pay for the hotel room at national convention for the first person who invites 100 people to Vorail who subscribe for at least a month after their free trial ends. maximum payment for hotel will be usd 850. person who wins will not get 100 free months extended to their subscription.

q: why is a subscription required?

q: the Vorail community is full of people that care about each other. nobody pays for a piece of technology, but everybody contributes to the costs of keeping our way of being social alive (voice instead of visual). in Vorail, when you listen to the voices of others, when you record an ask-all or answer, when you follow someone, subscribe to a question, or do anything interactive, it requires pulling data from the Google Cloud Platform (GCP), pushing data to GCP or modifying data stored in GCP. google charges a fee for every action a person on Vorail does. in Vorail we govern ourselves, and we pay for ourselves. the subscription fee also deters trolls. every Voralian has her own mute bin, and she can add people she finds toxic to her mute bin. once you add a person to your mute bin, you will never hear that voice again, and he will never hear your voice again. if a troll gets added to lots of mute bins, nobody can hear what he says, and that ends his trolling. if he wants to re-enter Vorail, he needs to pay another subscription fee, and trolls do not do that. too many places where they can troll for free.

q: is it true that Vorail is linked to your Apple ID?

a: Vorail never ask for your email, never ask for your apple id, never ask for your phone number. however, if you subscribe, apple will require your apple id. Vorail will never see it, the action happens in an ios alert box whose content is not visible to an app. Vorail knows the name you choose to be known by on Vorail, and Vorail gets a long string of numbers and letters that is unique to you. the long string of characters is linked to your apple id, but only apple knows the apple id that is associated with a particular 'token'. if a troll wants to get a new account on Vorail because he has been muted by many people, he not only has to pay for a new subscription, but he has change his apple id (even though Vorail never knows his apple id, Vorail does know the long series of numbers and letters that apple assigns to each apple id).

q: are there filters to not have questions that contain explicit language?

a: this is one of the ideas from the community. it is at https://www.vorail.com/ideas/ along with many other features and fixes that are scheduled to be included in future releases. there will be a setting for new users that defaults to "country lane" but can be switched to "crazy highway". in country lane, the people that are muted most will not appear. in crazy highway mode, you hear everything except what you have blocked or added to your mute bin. i estimate there are about three to five people that use explicit language more than they use non-explicit language. if you can add them to your mute bin, you can have a 'clean' feed.

Q&A:

Does Vorail change us?

Is Vorail unique?

What to do after downloading Vorail?

Do people ask interesting questions?

Vorail in the News:

.. Dr. Mara Karpel & Your Golden Years ask the Vorail community about finding joy and happiness (at https://drmarakarpel.com/sun-jan-22-vorail-com-social-media-app-global-visually-impaired-community-developer-tom-rosenthal-cellist-jen-mulhern-laura-gelezunas-puerto-vallarta/)

.. RNIB App of the Month - Vorail (https://www.rnib.org.uk/blogs/technology-blog) 

.. AppleVis Extra Scott Davert and Thomas Domville talk about Vorail (https://www.applevis.com/podcast/episodes/applevis-extra-43-interview-developers-vorail)

.. The Tech Doctor Blog and Podcast, Robert and Allison speak with a developer and a user of the new social media app called Vorail (https://dr-carter.com/podcasts/20160509withchapters.mp3)

.. Randy and Jason feature Vorail on American Council of the Blind's Main Menu (https://acbradio.org/sites/default/files/archives/shows/mainmenu/mm20160610.mp3)

.. iAccessVO Episode by Ed Plumacher and Brian Fischler chat with Vorail developers (https://traffic.libsyn.com/iaccessvo/iAccessVO-015.mp3)

.. AppleVis podcast by Scott Davert demos Vorail (https://www.applevis.com/podcast/episodes/get-talking-vorail-ios)

.. Blind Hour Podcast with Tom R of Vorail.com (https://soundcloud.com/blindhour/bhp109)

.. "Social networking through voice rather than vision" (E-ACCESS BULLETIN) at (https://www.headstar.com/eablive/?p=1192)

.. "Vorail: Social Media for People with Vision Loss" (Second Sense) (https://www.second-sense.org/2016/10/vorail-social-media-for-people-with-vision-loss/)

Transcript of the Vorial advertisement:

[Written by, produced by, and starring members of Vorail] Hello Vorail, I have a question, question, question… Ola Voralians. So i’ve been wanting to do this post here for a very long time, but I just found the time to do so. Oh my Lord I should have listened to the answers first. Hello my lovely Voralians, happy day of the week. You heard me the first time, I ain’t doing it.

Talk, share, learn, grow. Join a diverse international community today. Talking instead of typing. Ask, answer, discuss, debate, flirt, laugh, and so much more. Thousands of voice messages, both public and private, exchanged on a daily basis. Answer a posted question, join a discussion or start a topic of your own. Share a story, sing a song, or maybe start a new friendship. At first just listen, then jump in when and where you feel comfortable.

A monthly subscription cost 4.99 US. That’s less than some drinks at Starbucks and less than a burger and fries. But while those indulgences are gone in seconds, less than 17 cents a day for Vorail gives you the potential for many hours of entertainment through unlimited access to a wide range of content. Participate in, or simply sit back and enjoy various lively discussions on a number of topics from sports to politics, movies and pop culture, health and disabilities, drama and music, international and domestic events, and so much more.

If food is one of your main interests, you may learn of a new and exciting delicacy, you might even wish to recreate one of the recipes posted by one of our members. Learn about the very latest in Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android apps or games, or a quick post can often get you help with a technical question from one of our helpful and knowledgeable members.

If you enjoy a good book, join us for our virtual book club discussions, it’s lots of fun, then you can even suggest the next book. You can also try exercising your mental muscle by answering puzzles, word games and trivia questions. Would you like a chance to meet other Voralians? Then you may choose to participate in one of the meetups in North America, Europe, or elsewhere. If you ever find yourself having to deal with anxiety, stress, depression or sadness, you may try reaching out with a question and a surprising amount of positive thoughts, uplifting prayers, or simple words of comfort and support may be offered to you in public and in private.

Sometimes you might find yourself engaging in some steamy banter, some titillating teasing or a playful flirtation. If music is your thing, you’ll periodically be exposed to top quality instrumentals and vocals, both covers and originals, performed by some of our extremely talented members.

Any post that you make, could be a kind word, a joke, a special interest, or even a difference of opinion, could lead to further exchanges, which may over time, develop into meaningful friendship, whether with someone in a neighboring city or half a world away.

So with all that being said, for just pennies a day. Is a random, ever changing combination of all this content worth it?

Vorail. Join today and start your adventure.

About Vorail:

Everyone deserves the chance to be loved for who they are. Most folks meet by seeing each other and think that’s enough. At Vorail, we feel sight is just not the right way to meet someone new. When you use the Vorail app, you meet people by their voices, their contributions to conversations and the questions they ask. No pictures. The true beauty of a person lies within and if you hear our voices, you’ll quickly understand. Come hear what you’ve been missing. The mission of Vorail is to create an experience where everyone is on equal footing and can connect based on who we are, not how we look. When meeting new people and new ideas on Vorail, it does not matter if you are tall, short, wide, thin, black, white, blind or sighted. In an all-voice-experience the only thing that matters is how you think, and how you express yourself. Vorail is funded by subscriptions from its members. Listening to highlights on the webpage is free, and accessing Vorail through the app, as well as joining conversations in voice requires a subscription. At Vorail, we pay for ourselves, and we govern ourselves. To view our annual report, send an email to the address at the bottom of this page.

Download Vorail from the App Store Download Vorail from the Google Play

Copyright © 2020, Vorail, Inc. All rights reserved.
Vorail is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, EIN 20-3067818.
Authentic, intimate and somewhat anonymous. Learn, laugh, love... as a family.

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