SimplyWorks for iPad Part 1: Switch Access

SimplyWorks for iPad is another iPad switch interface option from Pretorian. It offers control of music, videos, VoiceOver keyboard options for scanning, switch accessible apps, the iPad camera shutter function and iBooks. It can be paired with a SimplyWorks keyboard, SimplyWorks Joystick or SimplyWorks switch - thereby providing a range of iPad alternative control options.  Up to 6 devices can be paired with the SimplyWorks interface at any time.

As mentioned in the title, I will focus switch access in this post. SimplyWorks for iPad has a wide range of functions when used with one or more of the SimplyWorks switches. There are two sizes of Simply Works switches - SimplyWorks Switch 125 and SimplyWorks Switch 75. These pair wirelessly with the interface, which in turn pairs with the iPad through Bluetooth, offering a completely wireless switch option. If you want to use a different switch you can purchase a SimplyWorks Send (which allows you to connect a single wired switch) or a SimplyWorks Send-6 (which allows you to connect up to 6 wired switches) and then itself pairs wirelessly with the SimplyWorks for iPad.

Once you have connected the SimplyWorks interface to the iPad - and in turn linked one or more switches to the interface - you can decide which functions on the iPad you want to control. The SimplyWorks switches each have a "mode" button on the bottom. The user simply changes the mode on the switch to change which function on the iPad they want to control.

Currently, the switch shown above is set to mode 2, which would play music or a video file for 15 seconds. The switch then needs to be pressed again after 15 seconds for the music/video to continue playing. This is one of the music/video control options offered by the SimplyWorks interface.   You can also skip forward, skip back, mute, play/pause and turn the volume up or down. For each function you need a switch - so for most users you would need to determine the most important functions for one or two switches to control.  A sticker provided with the SimplyWorks for iPad interface can be placed on each switch to provide a quick reference list of which mode is needed for each function.

As well as the functions above, the Switch2Scan is compatible with all the switch accessible apps currently available.  These are apps which have inbuilt switch control and/or scanning. For more information about these switch accessible apps please see my previous blog entry on this topic "Switch Accessible Apps for iPad and iPhone growing apace".  Alex Dunn and I also updated our list of switch accessible apps two days ago - there are now 36 Augmentative and Alternative Communication Apps with options for switch control and 22 others - mostly simply gaming or educational apps. (Updated to add: this list has now been discontinued)

In addition to the media control, the switch can be set to mode "C" to take a still photo or to start and stop making a movie. The user can only press the "shutter" button - they have no control over other camera features, but this is a nice addition for this switch interface.

So far, I have only covered the simpler iPad switch control functions that the SimplyWorks interface is capable of. As well as these, it is also capable of interfacing with VoiceOver to offer more comprehensive switch control of the iPad and VoiceOver compatible apps. As with the Tecla Shield and the Switch2Scan, SimplyWorks for iPad can interface with VoiceOver to provide switch access to iOS and VoiceOver compatible apps, including control of iBooks. 4 to 6 switches are required with this interface for this form of access to be successful. For many people wanting more extensive control of the iOS and apps with 1 or 2 switches the Tecla Shield or the Switch2Scan will be a better option.

However, for those users wanting access mostly to music, videos, the camera and switch accessible apps the Simply Works for iPad is a strong contender for best switch interface on the market. It has greater versatility than most of the switch interfaces on the market, is fairly simple to use and offers control of videos which has not been possible with previous options.

In my next blog post, I will go on to look at joystick and keyboard access to the iPad through SimplyWorks.

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Comments (12)

  1. Pingback: SimplyWorks for iPad Part 1: Switch Access | Jane's Blog | Apps for Special Education |

  2. Pingback: SimplyWorks for iPad Part 1: Switch Access | Jane’s Blog | OT's with Apps

  3. Pingback: SimplyWorks for iPad Part 2: Joystick and Keyboard Access | Jane's Blog

  4. Jim Sharrock


    Hi Jane,

    Hope you're well. Technical question for you as we are about to buy an ipad and related gadgets for Lily. How do you pair up the switch2scan with the simplyworks joystick? Do you need to buy the receiver and run them both through that?



    • Reply

      Hi Jim - I'm well thanks! Sorry you are confused!! You can't use the Switch2Scan with the SimplyWorks joystick. If the joystick is the access method you want, then you need to purchase the SimplyWorks for Ipad, which is the interface. This connects to the iPad via Bluetooth. Then the joystick pairs wirelessly with that interface. Hope that helps clear it up! Email or call me if you need more information - and I can bring the whole kit with me next time I'm up your way and you can check it out. I'm in Canberra again in November. Jane 🙂

  5. Felicity Lovatt


    Hi Jane
    Given the timed mode available with this interface to control music and video plus access to switch accessible apps and also ibooks, would this interface give the best range of options to a beginning switch user to develop their switch skills across a broad mix of activities?
    Many thanks

    • Reply

      Hi Felicity, I think it's a very good switch interface for the switch accessible apps - but people need to be prepared to not only purchase the interface but also the proprietary wireless access options. It isn't a great interface for VoiceOver switch access to the iOS though - not unless the user has several switch sites. Jane

  6. Pingback: How do I use a Switch or Joystick with an iPad? – October 2012 update! | Jane's Blog

  7. Pingback: How do I use a switch with an iPad? iOS 7 Overview | Jane Farrall's Blog

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