Speechify - Text to Audiobook

App review by
Keri Wilmot, Common Sense Media
Speechify - Text to Audiobook App Poster Image
Solid text-to-speech converter may be pricey for some.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational value

Through converting written text from websites, photos, and documents into audio, kids and teens can study and learn new information by listening in an audio book format.

Ease of play

Parents and teachers will need to upload website content and worksheets, and configure settings to customize the user experience for young kids. 

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Free version is free to try for seven days; users can upgrade by choosing the Speechify Pro option in the settings.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Speechify - Text to Audiobook is an educational app that reads uploaded text out loud. Users can snap a photo of a book, document, image, contract or worksheet to convert it to audio. It's free to try for seven days, but after that it costs $7.99 monthly. Users can adjust the voice of the reader, as well as the words spoken per minute. It also translates documents into another language. While it's only as educational as the uploaded content, it especially helps kids with dyslexia or other text-based learning issues access content. Parents should monitor and preview all content uploaded to make sure it has acceptable information that is suitable for a kid's age and skill level. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

In SPEECHIFY - TEXT TO AUDIOBOOK users upload content into the app from websites, internet images, documents, or photos of worksheets. Once the content is uploaded into the app, the text is read out loud. Words are highlighted so that users can follow along at the same time. It's easy to change between different voices, like American male, American female, British male, British female, Australian, or a child. Sliding the dot at the bottom of the page easily adjusts the speed of the words spoken, from 100 up to 780 words per minute. You can organize the content you upload into different collections. There are 14 available languages for translation; they include Spanish, French, Chinese, Portuguese (male and female), Dutch (male and female), Hindi, Arabic, Japanese, German, Italian, Hebrew, and Russian. Note that it only works in a vertical orientation on the device.

Is it any good?

This reading tool provides users -- especially those with reading and learning disabilities -- with an option to hear written text spoken out loud. For those who have difficulty reading, Speechify - Text to Audiobook might help them learn new information and reduce the likelihood of frustration. Uploading content is simple, and the option to snap a photo of documents is very useful, especially for kids who might be given information from a variety of curricula, in different formats. Acclimating to the in-app voices can take some time, because they don't sound totally natural, but choosing the option for the child's voice definitely makes the content sound friendlier for younger users. For those who require translation of documents into various languages, it's easy to convert information from one language to another. At $7.99 per month for the Pro version (about $100 annually), it's expensive. Users should plan to make a dedicated effort to prepare to upload as much content as possible during the trial period to determine whether this strategy is helpful, so they have as much time as possible to experience the features before deciding whether to upgrade. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Speechify - Text to Audiobook may benefit their ability to improve their comprehension or understanding of what they are reading and learning. Does it help to have text read out loud?

  • Talk about organization. For kids who are prone to losing their papers, would taking a picture and uploading the document into Speechify help kids keep their information in one place?

  • Discuss learning styles. Finding time to complete all of the steps needed for homework and studying can be hard with a lot of reading assignments, especially for those who struggle with reading. Does listening to content help your kid complete work faster? Or is it a distraction?

App details

For kids who love reading apps and homework help

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