Speak it! Text to Speech

Common Sense Media says

Accurate tool makes speaking and reading accessible.

Age(i)

2
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9
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17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Quite easy to use, as long as the user can spell, type, and read or has someone helping them. The device needs to be in landscape mode to see all the toolbar icons, and users have to cut and paste content from other sources. Users can send app-created sound files to others via email.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

In-app purchases are available to add a Spanish-, French-, or German-speaking voice, but the buys aren't pushed within the app.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Speak it! Text to Speech translates typed words (emails, Word documents, messages typed directly into the app, and more) into an audio voice. It's as easy as typing in words that you want the app to say for you, or cutting and pasting other people's words you want to hear. There are four voices to choose from for narrators: an American male or female and British male or female. Speak it! Text to Speech is so innovative, easy, and accurate that it could be the go-to tool for people who prefer listening over reading, need a device to speak for them, want to send messages via voice, or have limited vision.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • speaking
  • writing
  • writing clearly

Skills

Communication

  • listening
  • conveying messages effectively

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Design is super-simple, which is good for clarity but not so much for fun. The level of engagement will depend largely on the content being entered into and spoken by the app.

Learning Approach

Communication skills are baked into this app as kids listen to text spoken aloud; they'll be empowered as they absorb info in a way that works for them.

Support

Settings help users adjust the volume, font, voice, and speed to individualize the experience. The Help/FAQ is adequate, and the app provides helpful pop-up windows at various times during use.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • speaking
  • writing
  • writing clearly

Skills

Communication

  • listening
  • conveying messages effectively

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology

Kids can learn to use writing skills to express themselves and can also practice listening to others via audio-translated articles, emails, and other documents. Speak it! Text to Speech may be especially useful for helping kids with special needs such as autism, who have trouble saying what they want to express in the moment. They can save pre-typed messages and use them in social situations to express themselves more effectively. Kids with visual impairments can also benefit from the app's text-to-speech capabilities. Speak it! Text to Speech is a great accessibility tool that can help kids improve speaking and listening skills.

This Learning Rating review was written by Dana Villamagna

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What's it about?

Users simply type the desired words or phrases and press "Speak It!," and the selected voice speaks it aloud. Users can save personalized phrases for later playback if it's something they want to say or hear often. If the user wants to hear an email, article, or document, they simply select the text in the document and copy it, and then go to the app, tap on Text, hold until paste appears to enter the text. Users can also customize font size, voice volume, and voice speed, which is especially important for users with limited sight or hearing.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Depending upon why you're using SPEAK IT! TEXT TO SPEECH, it can either simply be an incredibly convenient way to listen to emails or articles while getting other work done, or it can be a truly life-changing tool for people with difficulty reading or speaking. The user interface is simple, and the accuracy of the text pronunciation is tremendously high. It would be nice if Speak it! Text to Speech could link directly with other apps and grab text from articles or emails, for example, rather than requiring users to cut and paste. Other than that one moderate suggestion, there's nothing here to find fault with. Highly recommended.

Families can talk about...

  • Try all four of the voice options to find out which one your kid finds easiest to understand.

  • Use the settings to adjust volume, font size, and voice speed to optimize playback according to your kid's preferences.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:$1.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:February 5, 2013
Category:Other
Size:233.00 MB
Publisher:Future Apps Inc.
Version:2.5
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.3 or later

This review of Speak it! Text to Speech was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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