What parents need to know
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.
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.
Families can talk 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.