App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
ClaroSpeak App Poster Image
Customizable text-to-speech app has unique features.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn how clear writing helps them convey what they want to say more effectively. They can also practice listening to others via audio-translated articles, emails, and other documents. Kids who are visually impaired, dyslexic, or who have other special learning needs can use ClaroSpeak to help them learn to apply and customize technology to their own unique needs in ways that make communicating easier. ClaroSpeak US can help kids learn to give and receive information more effectively.

Ease of Play

Very easy to use, even with multiple options. The main page is a blank screen on which to enter or paste text, across the top of which is a toolbar. Toolbar includes options to open text, audio, or Dropbox-based files; paste, undo, or clear text; get more info and change settings; and play, save, or send content. Text can also be cleared by shaking the device. There are many customizable settings, including rate of speaking voice, font, color, and a feature called "typing echo," with which words are echoed after they are typed.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

One of the options under the "i" information tab links to the developer's store, where users can purchase other voices (55 voices in 27 different languages) for $1.99 each.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that ClaroSpeak US is a text-to-speech app that has some unique features, including word highlighting as the text is spoken. This app may be useful for kids who are dyslexic, vision impaired, or have other learning challenges that make reading or speaking difficult. Users type content into the app or paste it from another source such as a Word document or web page, and then tap "play" to hear the audio. The app can save content as audio or text files, and users can send files via email, text message, or save them to Dropbox. In-app purchases are available for different voices in 27 languages.

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What's it about?

Upon opening the app, a white screen appears onto which users can enter words using a keypad or by pasting from another source. Across the top of the screen is a toolbar with a set of options: tap to open text, audio, or Dropbox-based files; paste, undo, or clear text; get more info; and play, save, or send content. Users can also clear text by shaking the device. Users can set customizable settings from the tool bar, including rate of speaking voice, font, color, and a feature called "typing echo" (words are echoed after they are typed).

Is it any good?

CLAROSPEAK US can certainly be considered among the best available text-to-speech apps. There's not a lot of overt instruction, tutorials, or visual cues, but that's likely because the developer wanted to create a clean, sparse user interface to make it visually easy to work with. For tutorials, users have to go to the "i" tab and from there, exit to the developer's website for the user guide. For users who want a lot of customizable options, including highlighting, frequent playback of content, and Dropbox compatibility, ClaroSpeak US is an excellent option.

Talk to your kids about ...

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

  • Use this app as an editing tool. If your kid has written a homework-related paper, paste it into this app to find out how it sounds when read aloud by a neutral reader. Ask your kid if they think it's easy to understand.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Subjects: Language & Reading: reading, speaking, writing clearly
  • Skills: Communication: conveying messages effectively, listening
    Tech Skills: using and applying technology
  • Price: Free with $9.99 optional upgrade
  • Pricing structure: Paid, Free
  • Release date: October 29, 2012
  • Category: Education
  • Size: 152.70 MB
  • Publisher: Claro Software Limited
  • Version: 3.0.64
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 9.0 or later
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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