Tuesday, June 28, 2011

SpeakIt! - Free Text to Speech Add On for Google Chrome

SpeakIt! is a very simple, and easy to use add on for the Google Chrome browser that does just one thing for its users - convert text to speech. The concept is very simple - select the text you want to be read, and SpeakIt! will read it back to you. That's all! To stop, just press the pause button.

Installing it cannot be any easier. Just go to SpeakIt's page in the Chrome Web Store and click the install button. Once that's done you will see the "speaker" icon  on the top right corner of the Chrome browser.

Speakit icon on the top right corner of google chrome
The icon that activates SpeakIt!

Note: You may have to restart your Chrome browser for SpeakIt! to function correctly.

Here's a demo video of SpeakIt!

As of now, it does not work on encrypted pages (https:). Although SpeakIt! has a rating of 4+ from more than 3,700 users, some of the reviewers mentioned that they faced problems with SpeakIt! on 64 bit Windows 7 Home.

Did it work for you? 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Verbally - Free Predictive Text App for iPad

Verbally is a free and easy to use predictive text app that allows people who have difficulty with speech to hold conversation with minimal typing. Verbally allows input in three ways - by allowing users to choose in-built words; phrases; and/or typing their own words. Users can choose either a male or female voice, and to make conversations more personal, can import their contacts to the app. The app also comes with three different keyboard layouts (Horizontal: QWERTY, Left Handed, and Right Handed) to allow users to choose the one that is best for them.

Verbally's description in the app store states that "Verbally is an invaluable communication aid for people with apraxia, ALS, stroke, traumatic brain injury, autism, parkinson's, cerebral palsy, or muscular dystrophy."

This app's rating is 4+ out of 5 on the app store, and has very good reviews from several users.

Check the video for a quick demo of Verbally.

Source: Bill Shackleton on Twitter (@CRPDisabilities)

App store link.

More at Verbally's website.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Netflix Adds Captioning to iOS

Netflix recently announced that it has added captioning capabilities to its iOS apps on iPhone/ iPod Touch/ iPad. Turning on captioning is very easy. If captioning is available for a movie/ show you are watching, a little balloon appears right on top of the "controls bar" (where the volume bar, pause button are displayed). Clicking the little balloon brings up a list of languages in which captions are available (currently English). Choosing a language starts the captions.

netflix screenshot showing balloon that shows list of languages in which captioning is available.
Click the little balloon to see a  list of languages

netflix screenshot showing list of languages in which captioning is available
Choose language

netflix screenshot showing captions in english
Captions now turned on

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Sincere apologies for not writing last month! I was out of the country for three weeks or so, taking care of a few things after my aunt's death last year. I am back in the US now, and will start writing new posts soon. Thank you very much for your patience!