App review by
Ashley Kemper, Common Sense Media
Snapverter App Poster Image
Take a picture of text, have it read with Chrome add-on.

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn how to independently use accessibility features to help them read text on paper via their computers. Additionally, kids can use it to share and organize notes given in class via Google Drive. When used in conjunction with Read&Write, it lets kids define words and change the pacing of the read-aloud. Though not a completely intuitive experience, Snapverter helps kids access text that might otherwise be very difficult for some to read.

Ease of Play

Multiple clicks to convert files into readable PDFs may be difficult for some users, but after guided practice kids may find it easier to use.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Snapverter is a Google Chrome extension that converts images into readable PDF files in conjunction with Read&Write for Google. By doing this, kids can capture a picture of something with text (worksheets, articles, written homework) and then have the text read aloud. This may give kids with language-processing delays, such as dyslexia, an opportunity to level the playing field when it comes to decoding handouts. Snapverter provides users with 10 initial scans for free and then one per week. Read the privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

Read&Write users can download SNAPVERTER onto a Google Chrome browser, which then creates a folder in the user's Google Drive. Kids can snap an image of a page of text, upload it to the "drop here to convert" folder, and wait for the image to be processed. After a few minutes, kids can download it as a PDF and listen to it using the computer read-aloud accessibility features. Users are provided 10 free conversions when they sign up and then one conversion per week after the initial 10 are used.

Is it any good?

This reading tool add-on has the potential to bridge a gap between having a physical piece of paper with text and using computer-accessibility features. The conversion process (from camera roll to PDF file) is relatively fast, and once kids learn the process, it can become very easy to use. Though individual users only get limited file conversions (organizations can purchase subscriptions, but individual users can't), kids can decide when they might most need text read to them. Though use isn't totally easy and smooth, it still makes documents that kids can't access via the Web more accessible, which is especially important when teachers don't provide electronic versions of handouts to kids who struggle with reading.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the importance of using tools and help when needed. For instance, ask kids to choose the best tool to help them overcome reading problems: Should they ask a friend to help read something quickly, upload content into Snapverter, or try to read it independently?

  • Make a plan with kids to prepare them for situations where they might need to ask someone for help or a tool.

App details

  • Devices: Mac, Chromebook
  • Subjects: Language & Reading: reading, reading comprehension
  • Skills: Tech Skills: using and applying technology
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free to try, Free (Read&Write for Google required)
  • Release date: February 23, 2015
  • Category: Education
  • Size: 0.43 MB
  • Publisher: Texthelp Ltd.
  • Version: 2.0.1
  • Minimum software requirements: Google Chrome
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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