Skip to main content Skip to main menu

About the Chameleon 20

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Designed with students in mind, the Chameleon is one of the first devices to provide customization for its users, based on their style or mood.  Offering three different colors of cases, users can customize the look of their device daily. In addition, the Chameleon packs 20 cells of braille, standalone efficiency apps for the classroom or workplace, and instant connectivity into a small package, easy to slide into a backpack, purse or even a jacket pocket.

  • Yes the Chameleon includes 3 different colors of cases along with a protective folio case.  The user can choose among a teal, pomegranate, or purple case.  In addition The Chameleon will come with decorative stickers that students can customize their device with.

  • Chameleon 20 will be compatible with:

    • Windows 8 and above using Jaws 18+, NVDA and Narrator
    • MAC OS 10.15+ Catalina
    • iOS 13.4+
    • Android and Chrome OS Pending updates from Google
  • No, because the Apple Watch does not support Bluetooth keyboards at this time.

  • Length 93mm

    Width 182mm

    Thickness 23mm

    Weight 400g or 0.9 lb

  • The Chameleon 20 supports several file formats.

    The editor application supports:


    The Library application supports:


  • Yes, the maximum file handling size is 100MB. If a file exceeds this size you will receive a “file too large to open” notification.

  • The file size limits for the editor will vary depending on file type. These are the limits for each file type:

    • Microsoft Word 97-2003 documents .doc (2000 KB)
    • Microsoft Word 2007 documents .docx (2000 KB)
    • .txt (2000 KB)

    Since BRF and BRL files are translated when opened in the Editor, the file size is based on number of characters and is much smaller than print files.

    • .brf (221000 Characters)
    • .brl (221000 Characters)
  • Yes, to avoid BRF files from being translated open the BRF file using the Library application. This can be very useful if you want to read a BRF file as it is without any further translation. Example of this could include braille music or simply a BRF file that contains a mix of braille tables (Contracted and uncontracted)

  • Chameleon’s battery will provide you at minimum 15 hours of usage and is user replaceable with the removal of two screws on the back of the device.

  • Via a USB C connection on the left side of Chameleon

  • Yes, pressing backspace with G toggles between contracted and uncontracted braille.  Note: if using computer braille, press backspace plus space with G to initiate the toggle, as backspace functions as dot 7 when typing in computer braille.

  • Yes the Chameleon 20 offers a USB host port for thumb drives and an SDHC slot for SD cards.  In addition the Chameleon itself contains 16 GB of internal storage

  • Yes, it is recommended that you eject external drives before physically removing them. The hotkey for eject is enter + e (dot 8 + dots 15). You will then be shown a list with all currently connected external drives. Press enter on the one you want to eject and then you will get a confirmation message and may physically remove the device.

  • Books can either be read from one of the available storage media, (USB thumb drive, SD card, or internal storage), or by connecting your Chameleon 20 to an available wireless network. Once connected to WIFI, you can download books from Bookshare or NFB Newsline.

  • Yes, Bookshare books can be downloaded and navigated using the DAISY elements.

  • Yes Providing a thumb drive or SD card with files in the .doc, .docx, .txt, .brf and .brl format can all be read using the Chameleon’s internal applications.  Chameleon has an internal braille translator and provides fantastic forward and backward braille translation.

  • Yes thanks to Chameleon’s multiple language profiles, you can set multiple language options depending on the language you are typing or reading.  If you need to go to a Spanish class for example, you simply change your language profile to Spanish from within the Chameleon settings, and the braille and translation will be changed to your preferred Spanish braille table.

  • Yes, If you have previously created multiple language profiles you can simply press Enter with dots 1,2,3 to toggle through your created profiles. This is extremely useful if while in a document you wish to change your braille reading to a native foreign language such as French or Spanish.

  • No, If keys have become dislodged or completely removed please contact APH technical support for assistance.

  • The thumb keys functions are, from far left to far right, up, left, right, and down.  The two outer thumb keys move you up and down in a document or menu, while the left and right thumb keys pan the display left or right one display width.

  • From the device’s main menu, navigate to the settings menu and activate it with enter or a router key. Navigate to the About option and activate it.  From within this menu, you will see the version number.

    You can update the Chameleon in two ways.  The simplest is by connecting it to WIFI.  When connected, the Chameleon 20 will automatically recognize there is a new firmware available, and prompt you to download and install it.  Alternatively you can put the .SWU file you download from the APH web site to a thumb drive or SD card, insert them into the Chameleon, and within around 30 seconds the device will restart and you will see a progress indicator.  Do not remove the storage media or power off the Chameleon 20 during the update process.

    Please note, the Chameleon will need a minimum of 10% battery to perform the upgrade. It is advised to plug in the power chord before updating.

  • The recommended maximum size of SD card is 64 GB.

  • This button acts as the device’s home button.  When accessing local content on the Chameleon, the home button will bring you to the device’s main menu.  When connected to an external device such as a computer or smartphone, pressing this button will bring you back to the local interface where you can change devices, or access the internal applications of Chameleon.

  • Chameleon can connect to up to 5 Bluetooth devices at once along with one USB connection.  To switch from one device to the next, simply tap the center circle home button between the thumb keys, and select your desired device to toggle to in the Bluetooth pairing option.

  • A long press and hold of the power button on the left side of the Chameleon will power it on.  While powered on, performing a long press will force shut down the device. When powered on you will feel a long vibration, you can select the “Power Off” option from the main menu of the Chameleon to shut it down completely.  You will feel a double vibration when completely powered off.

    While on, a single quick tap of the power button will put the Chameleon to sleep and wake it up.

  • APH hopes to partner with international distribution to sell the Chameleon 20 outside of the United States.  More information will become available when these partnerships are established.

  • Yes, in any menu, simply press the first letter of the item to jump quickly to it.

  • Pressing enter with P will display the battery level.

  • If you have multiple devices paired to your Chameleon, while using one device, simply tap the home button in the middle of the thumb keys, select the Bluetooth connections item and choose your desired device to switch to.

  • Pressing any cursor router key on the Chameleon with your iOS device locked, will wake it up where you can enter your passcode.  This allows you to keep your iOS device in its bag or pocket while you use the Chameleon as its controller and output.

    1. From the main menu, press the letter S for settings followed by pressing Enter
    2. Press the Letter B for Bluetooth followed by pressing Enter
    3. Press the letter D for Delete pairing followed by pressing Enter
    4. Navigate to the pairing you wish to delete followed by pressing Enter
    5. Your paired device will now be deleted and will not show in your list of Bluetooth connections.
  • Yes, When reading files in the library application, you will be in read-only mode. If however, you are reading files in the editor application pressing space with X will toggle between Read and Edit mode.

  • Yes, the Chameleon 20 has access to a context menu. The context menu can be accessed at any time by pressing Space with M and can help you with the available shortcuts that can be used at your given time. This can be very helpful if you are new to the Chameleon or self-learning to become more efficient.

  • When you have successfully downloaded a book from Bookshare they will be saved on the internal storage in the Bookshare folder which is a subfolder located in “online-books”. Books downloaded from online service can only be opened from the library application.

  • On the first version, Chameleon will only support basic Mathematics with computer braille entry only. In the near future we hope to enable both Nemeth and UEB input.

  • The Chameleon 20 is hardware ready for audio, but is not available on first launch. Audio capabilities will be available in upcoming software versions.

  • If you are trying to perform shortcuts and they fail to work it is more than likely that you have accidentally switch to computer braille. In this case please press backspace, Space and G to revert back to either contracted or uncontracted braille.

  • No, unfortunately this is not possible at the current time.

  • On first release No, one handed mode is not currently supported.

  • No, this is not currently possible.

  • For simplicity, the best way to review documents stored on the Chameleon is to connect it to a PC or laptop. To connect the Chameleon 20 to a PC, insert the provided USB C cable into the Chameleon and the USB A to the PC/laptop.  On connecting the Chameleon to the PC/LAPTOP it will automatically create a media storage under “My computer”.

    If however you are using a MAC you require a third party application which can be found on APH’s support website.

  • The APH Chameleon 20 and Mantis Q40 can be paired with iPhone and iPads running iOS 13.5.1 or later.

    Please follow these steps on your braille device:

    1. Navigate to the Terminal application from the main menu.
    2. Select “Add Bluetooth device”.
    3. You now see a prompt to activate your device in your host device’s Bluetooth settings.

    Now on your iOS device:

    1. Tap on the settings application from the Home screen.
    2. Tap on Bluetooth
    3. You should now see the APH braille display appearing at the bottom of the list.  Tap it.
    4. Your APH braille device is now paired and you can control your iOS device and receive braille output.
  • When creating a new file in the editor it is creating a .TXT file.  This also is the case if you edit a file that was a .DOC, or .DOCX file.  When re-saved  on your device, it will be saved as a .TXT file.

  • There is a bug that Apple is working on with their iOS operating system where the Mantis or Chameleon will sometimes not repair with a previously connected apple product.  IN these cases, we have developed a work around to force a repair. Apple is aware of the issue and has a Mantis for their own validation.

    On the Mantis or Chameleon do the following:

    1. Open the terminal application from the device’s main menu.
    2. Select bluetooth connections
    3. Press your previous thumb key twice and you will see the last item in the list, “Reconnect Devices”.  Activate that and wait for approximately 10 minutes with your iOS device unlocked.  It should force the re-pairing and all works as expected.