Voice Dream Reader - Text to Speech

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
Voice Dream Reader - Text to Speech App Poster Image
Versatile text-to-speech tool a dream for visually impaired.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn from the texts read to them through Voice Dream Reader, but more importantly, they can learn how to use adaptive technologies to achieve academic and personal goals. As the text is read aloud, kids can focus on comprehension and analysis, rather than struggling to get past the visual distortions printed text may present to them. If kids are hearing their own work read to them, they can concentrate on improving their writing and ideas. It gives kids the chance to read for enjoyment, which is so important for developing strong readers. Voice Dream Reader makes text accessible to kids who may struggle with reading printed text.

Ease of Play

Very easy to use. The included help file explains features and how to use the tool.

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism

Additional voices can be purchased in-app.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Voice Dream Reader - Text to Speech is a text-to-speech app that can read content in a variety of voices from a variety of sources. It's highly customizable, from reading speed to voice to font and text size. Some voices require in-app purchases ranging from $1.99 to $2.99 each, but a few are included free with the app. Kids with dyslexia or auditory- processing or vision impairments would find Voice Dream Reader especially helpful. Kids can connect their Google Drive, Dropbox, and Evernote accounts to the app to access documents saved there.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

VOICE DREAM READER takes text from documents, websites, and DRM-free epub books and reads them aloud. It connects with Google Drive, Evernote, and Dropbox accounts to access saved files and can pull text from websites through an in-app browser. It works with Instapaper and Pocket to read entries, and it accesses free ebooks through Project Gutenberg and Bookshare. Kids can set the appearance of the documents, customizing the font. They can change the reading speed, bookmark and highlight within the text, and edit the text within the app. Kids can advance or rewind within the texts, as well, customizing the length of each advance (15 seconds, 30 seconds, 60 seconds, one sentence, one paragraph, one chapter, etc.). They can export their highlighted portions or the entire text. The app comes preloaded with Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, a welcome document explaining the features, and a help document that serves as a how-to.

Is it any good?

Voice Dream Reader is a must-have tool for kids who have difficulty processing visual text, and it's really handy for anyone who wants to have text read aloud sometimes. It's pretty easy to use, and it's nice that the instructions serve as a model for how the app works -- with the Voice Dream Reader reading them aloud. The voice quality on the included voices is decent, but the in-app-purchase voices are much better quality and more natural sounding. The app does import text from websites as best it can, excluding ads, but the read-aloud on websites is a bit clunky. Overall, it's an impressive tool, especially for reading documents and epub books.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Kids with visual impairments or dyslexia may find Voice Dream Reader especially helpful.

  • Voice Dream Reader connects with Bookshare, a free online library for people with print disabilities.

App details

For kids who love learning with apps

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