Oribi Writer

App review by
Keri Wilmot, Common Sense Media
Oribi Writer App Poster Image
Features help kids spell, write, and edit; pricey.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational value

Helps with spelling and the writing and editing process, and allows kids to hear letters, words, and sentences spoken out loud. Creating personal word lists also personalizes the learning process.

Ease of play

To utilize the app effectively, kids will need to be familiar with typing words, phrases, and sentences into a blank document by utilizing an on-screen keyboard. Advancing through editing does require some practice.

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language

Possible to type swear words into the document, and speech-to-text features will read the word out loud, accurately. Feature provides an option to use word prediction to choose another word, and it includes access to swear words. 

Consumerism
Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Oribi Writer is a paid, educational iPad app enabling users to type or dictate their words and thoughts into a word processing document. After a user types each letter, number, symbol, or emoji from the on-screen keyboard, it'll say the name of it out loud, and it reads the entire document aloud to help users edit for grammar and spelling more independently. Note that swear words are included in the word-prediction feature, so parents may want to monitor younger kids if that's a concern. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

ORIBI WRITER gives kids and adults who struggle with spelling and other aspects of the writing and editing process a way to create sentences, paragraphs, papers, and reports more independently. The app is similar to a word processing document: Users type into the document using an on-screen keyboard. Access to the microphone also allows for dictation. As users type, the app can speak individual letters out loud. Tap the conversation bubble icon at the top of the page, and you can hear individual sentences or the entire document with words highlighted simultaneously. Use the built-in editor to check spelling and capitalization, and double-tap words provided in the editor to replace an incorrectly spelled word. When complete, import the document to another app, email it, or message it to another user. An organized opening screen includes the ability to create folders and documents within each individual folder. Additional languages, Swedish, Danish, and German, are available to use for spell-checking for $4.99.

 

Is it any good?

This app offers a solution to help kids who struggle with writing, spelling, and the editing process so they can demonstrate more proficiency, confidence, and independence, but it doesn't come cheap. Oribi Writer also offers access to an on-screen keyboard, which can aid in learning letter awareness as kids learn to type. Text-to-speech capabilities are available for kids who become overwhelmed and frustrated with the multi-step writing process and need to get their thoughts out faster than writing with pencil and paper allows. For kids who type fast or do not pay attention to detail and make typing errors, word prediction isn't always accurate in giving the user a similar word to fix it. In the settings, change the speech rate to match the child's processing speed to aid in their comprehension. It can also take some time to master double tapping an alternative word to insert it into the document, as well as advancing through the editing features without getting distracted or confused. Access to emojis on the keyboard helps to insert a little fun and personalization into documents, too. With an up-front cost of $11.99, the app is expensive, but the specialty word prediction and editing features are helpful for giving users more independence in the writing process.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Oribi Writer has multisensory features great for studying, as it speaks words and letters out loud. Kids can use it to slowly type words, letter-by-letter, and listen to the full word out loud, which could help make practicing for those dreaded spelling tests easier.

  • Talk about supporting the writing process. Listening to sentences read aloud is helpful for catching errors and improving overall readability of the final piece. Kids who lack confidence in reading may prefer to hear their work read through the app to reading it themselves. 

  • Talk about your preferred way to write: by hand or by keyboard? What are the benefits of each? For kids who do not like to write with pencil and paper, Oribi Writer provides an alternative; plus, it offers some guidance through the spell-check and grammar process. 

  • Talk about typing. Access to an on-screen keyboard can also help kids who are learning to type build an awareness for where the keys are located. Hearing each letter as they type can let them know if they typed the right letter or not.

App details

  • Device: iPad
  • Subjects: Language & Reading: letter or word recognition, reading, reading comprehension, storytelling, writing, writing clearly
  • Skills: Creativity: brainstorming, producing new content
    Self-Direction: academic development, working efficiently
    Tech Skills: digital creation, using and applying technology
    Health & Fitness: fine motor skills
  • Price: $11.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Release date: December 13, 2017
  • Category: Education
  • Size: 6.10 MB
  • Publisher: Oribi AB
  • Version: 1.1.9
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 8.1 or later

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