Freedom scientific has announced the beta testing version of screen reading software JAWS 16. JAWS 16 beta is now available for public testing before they announce the release of the product early next year. JAWS 16 is about to release with interesting and very useful features. Let us know some interesting facts and new features with the release of JAWS 16.
What’s going to be new in JAWS 16?
Home User Edition Introduction
Freedom Scientific JAWS 16 will be released as two editions. JAWS Home user Edition and JAWS professional edition. The home edition is purely for personal use where as professional edition is intended for commercial use including use at school and for non-profit making entities. JAWS professional edition will be costly (895 dollars) while the home edition will not be that expensive (120 dollars (information from FS caste). Users who want to down grade the existing JAWS licenses to home user edition for avoiding future expense while upgrading the version can do so.
JAWS command search
A wonderful and greatly useful feature from JAWS 16 is JAWS command search. Many of the JAWS users might not know the full power of it’s usage. Remembering various key commands on various applications is very much difficult. JAWS command search helps in finding the relevant keystroke for the intended task.
Use JAWS key + space bar and hit letter ‘J’ in the layered view. A new window opens keeping the focus in a edit mode. Type the keystroke you are looking for and the search results will be available with a shot description. Every keystroke will be a link here. Users can just hit enter to invoke the keystroke or can close the JAWS command search window and manually use the key command. If you use this functionality when any application such as MS Word, MS Excel or browser are activated, it will show relevant results else it will provide general windows keystrokes.
Convenient OCR introduced in JAWS 13 for the first time is now more powerful. Listening to user feedback, Freedom Scientific have introduced the feature to recognize the entire PDF at once which was a screen at once in the earlier case.
Semi-auto forms mode
People who used earlier versions of JAWS might be aware of switching on/off the forms mode manually or set to auto forms mode allowing the JAWS to identify the difference between edit mode and browse mode. While navigating the web page with auto forms mode on will be embarrassing with the popup sound produced by JAWS while moving in and out of a form element. To avoid this semi-auto forms mode is introduced in JAWS 16. This allows the users to activate the edit mode only when users navigate the form field with tab key, while navigating with arrow key JAWS recognizes the form element as any other element on the web page without entering the forms mode and exit the forms mode. Users has to manually press space bar or enter key to switch on the forms mode.
Multi-language support under a single profile
In the earlier versions of JAWS for each language users have to create a new profile and make necessary configurations such as speech rate, pitch to the profile individually. JAWS 16 allows to configure different languages with a single profile allowing the users to make the necessary configurations for each language separately. A primary language should be provided in the profile which reads the content in general, when a web page or a document or a email contains any another language JAWS switches to that language and speaks it provided the language is configured in the current voice profile of the user
You can also now manually switch to another language in the current profile using the Select a Language dialog box (CTRL+WINDOWS Key+L). This displays a list of all currently available languages. Select the language you want to use and choose OK. JAWS will switch to that language and apply the appropriate settings you specified in the Voice Adjustment dialog box. The selected language will remain active until you change to a different profile, or press CTRL+WINDOWS Key+L again to change languages.
JAWS recovery is now improved
If JAWS 16 becomes unresponsive for more than 15 seconds due to a problem caused by any application it now automatically restarts within 30 seconds.
JAWS 16 stops support for Windows XP
JAWS 16 discontinues the support for Windows XP. Microsoft has announced discontinue of the support for Windows XP in April 2014. JAWS 16 will support only the operating system that runs Windows Vista and above, however users who have windows XP can download JAWS 15 from the Freedom scientific JAWS archive page and use them.
JAWS 16 have improved support for various other features such as Windows 8.1, touch gestures, third-party Braille drivers etc.