VarioUltra Firmware Update

December 11, 2017
Our developers have confirmed the existence of a problem when using VarioUltra and iOS 11. When paired with an iOS device, VarioUltra registers itself as a braille display and as an HID keyboard. With the release of iOS 11, Apple removed support for this dual registration. The result is that attempts to pair or connect VarioUltra with an iOS 11 device may fail part or all of the time. A partial solution exists by way of a small update, that you can install on a VarioUltra with firmware version 1.42.

VarioUltra Firmware Version 1.42

VarioUltra firmware updates are always free to our customers. The newest version 1.42 first became available on September 19, 2017.

Update File Download Locations for v1.42:

Please note that if you update the normal way by pressing B7B9D3D6, the new software will install and restore settings to factory default. If you wish to maintain your personal settings, update via the menu Settings > System. If you have any concerns, please contact technical support prior to installing.

Update File Download Locations for v1.33:

VarioUltra v1.42 iOS 11 Update File – do not install unless v1.42 firmware is installed

This update file addresses a known issue when using VarioUltra v1.42 with Apple iOS 11. If you use older versions of VarioUltra or iOS, do not use or install this file.

  • If you have not already downloaded and installed the full version 1.42 firmware, do it first. You can download v1.42 from BAUM (USA) DropBox.
  • Do not install unless v1.42 is already installed. Download patch from BAUM USA Dropbox.

Changes compared to version VarioUltra 1.33 (English):

  1. Changes in Braille Display Mode:
    • Wake up an iPhone or Android phone via a keystroke on VarioUltra. All that is required is that your smartphone has been previously paired with VarioUltra, assigned to a Bluetooth channel, in standby mode, and in range. The wake-up is achieved by selecting the relevant Bluetooth channel. Your phone should be connected and ready to go within 10 seconds.
    • Important: This new feature requires that the Bluetooth pairing was initialized by the smartphone device, and not by VarioUltra. For further instructions, please refer to section 2.3.5 VarioUltra with an iOS Device (Bluetooth) or section 2.4 Pairing VarioUltra with an Android Device.  
    • HID key simulation to transfer text from the clipboard in VarioUltra, to a connected iOS or Android smartphone. It is an alternative function parallel to the braille key simulation. Compared to the braille key simulation, text transfer with HID key simulation is faster. 
      • For instructions, please refer to section in the VarioUltra user guide. 
    • Compatible with iOS 11.
  2. Bluetooth improvements:
    • When you change the device Bluetooth name in menu Settings > Bluetooth > option “Show bluetooth information”, the individual device name is not only saved in registry, but now also as a user specific setting in file \user\bt.xml. The user file remains even after a software update.
    • NEW: setting and function to start Bluetooth automatically when switching on VarioUltra. Found in menu Settings > Braille Display Mode > checkbox “Enable Bluetooth Automatically”. 
      • When selected, Bluetooth is switched on automatically when Bluetooth was not in use and you switch from Braille Notetaker to Braille Display mode, or when VarioUltra was switched off, and you start in Braille Display mode. 
      • Regardless of this setting, if Bluetooth is on when VarioUltra enters suspend mode, pressing the power button to wake VarioUltra will automatically switch on Bluetooth. 
  3. When initiating Bluetooth pairing from another device, such as an iPhone, when VarioUltra is prompted to enter the pin code, the pin code is entered automatically for you. All you need to do is confirm with OK.
    • Note that if you enter a different pin on the other device, or if the other device generates a pin other than the standard 1111, you will need to enter it manully in the edit box of VarioUltra.  
    • If, for example, you have set the Braille input and output to US English Contracted Braille (Grade 2), the entered pin “1111” is shown correctly in contracted braille. If you need to enter a different pin, it must be entered using the chosen Braille table.  
  4. Braille and HID Key Simulation:
    • You can select different settings for braille and HID key simulation, and assign them individually to each paired iOS or Android device. These settings are automatically used whenever you switch to the assigned bluetooth channel of the connected device. 
    • Menu Settings > Braille Display Mode > option “Key Simulation”. The presented list shows “paired devices”, with the name of the paired device, followed by the assigned bluetooth channel, BTx. These settings allow you to change:
      • Delay of braille simulation (in ms) 30 ñ 100 (Default: 50 milliseconds)
      • HID table (U2H table contains specific language and Apple or Android keyboard layout information)
      • HID key delay (in ms) 30 ñ 100 (Default: 60 milliseconds)
      • These parameters are shown in addition behind the device name in the list “paired device” in short form: (BRL xxms, HID xxms, HID table table.U2H) 
  5. Word processor:
    • UEB converter, based on UEB braille tables from LibLouis. Now for English, you can select between USA Uncontracted and USA contracted (grade 2), and UEB Grade 2 and Grade 1.  
    • Bug fix: Go to previous sentence now works. Command B3B9. 
    • Bug fix: In BRF documents, paragraphs are no longer handled like lines.
    • Bug fix: in BRF documents the position information is correct (Menu tools > position in text).
    • Microsoft PowerPoint Show files PPS and PPSX can be opened like PPT and PPTX files to get the text content of the file. 
  6. PDF Viewer:
    • Menu item changed from “PDF Document Viewer” to “PDF Viewer”, which fits better on a 20-cell display.
    • Setting in menu Tools > Settings, to hide or show line feed, tabulator and other formatting characters. 
    • NEW: reading order option “top down” in menu tools > settings. 
  7. IO Profiles:
    • Saving different individual input and output settings is simplified. 
    • In menu settings > IO Profiles you only have options to save one or up to 8 profiles with an individual name, or to delete or rename existing profiles. 
    • The settings which are saved as profile are done in the appropriate dialogs in menu Settings > Braille > Default Braille Codes, Settings > Braille > Braille Tables, and in Word Processor menu, Tools > Grade 2 > Settings. 
      • This means you establish your preferred settings, and then simply go to menu Settings > IO profiles and save the current setting as your individual profile.
      • Load profiles via the shortcut S1 + B1 through B8, depending on the IO profile you wish to load. 
        • For the default IO Profile #1, with US English Contracted Braille (Grade 2) as the default, press S1 + B1.
        • For the new IO Profile #2, with UEB Grade 2 as the default, press S1 + B2. 
      • NEW: your contracted Braille settings are now also saved.
  8. Miscellaneous
    1. Menu item changed from “PDF Document Viewer” to “PDF Viewer”, which fits better on a 20-cell display.
    2. Menu item “Spreadsheet Viewer (Excel)” renamed “Excel Viewer”, which fits better on a 20-cell display.
    3. Context Sensitive Help. Many areas of the Context Sensitive Help date back to 2014 when VarioUltra was first introduced. We have re-written many help texts, adding additional detail and instruction in the process.
    4. Bug fix: settings of one hand mode are saved correctly. 
    5. The file UpdateLog.txt no longer is saved in folder Temp\Update, but in folder VarioUltra\User. 
    6. The file UpdateLog.txt is no longer deleted after an software update. It holds the history of the update and installation processes. With the option “remove temporary files and logfiles” in menu “settings > system > Disk cleanup”, the file is deleted.
  9. UEB Support:
    • Unified English Braille (UEB) is now supported.
    • Default braille table remains US English Contracted Braille (Grade 2), and is stored under IO Profile #1.
    • Switch to IO Profile #2 to change default braille table to UEB.
    • Otherwise, change settings in menu item Settings > Braille > Default Braille codes, and in the Word Processor menu Tools > Grade 2 > Settings.
    • NOTE: There is a known issue with some punctuation symbols in UEB, including the question and exclamation mark. These symbols are wrongly converted when typing.