Since pulling together information on AAC Apps for the iPod touch, iPhone and Ipad in July, there have been a number of changes to existing Apps – as well as new Apps in the iTunes store designed specifically for AAC. So it is time for an update!
Just recently, AbleNet has entered the App market with SoundingBoard. This is an easy to use App for building a series of single communication boards. Unfortunately the boards can’t be linked to build an multi-level communication book – but it’s nice to have a App for building situation specific boards and aided language displays with a range of button options, from 1 button to 9 buttons.
And one important change to an existing App is that TapSpeakSequence now has an in-App purchase of the Picture Communication Symbols from Boardmaker available.
Please read the table below to see other changes – and please add your comments. I really appreciate all the comments and contributions that everyone made to the previous version.
|App||Price $AUD||iPhone/ iPod touch||iPad*||Symbol System||Pre-programmed pages and customisation||Voice Output/ Speech||My Rating|
|Apps with Symbols/Pictures only|
|$45.99||Y||Y||Small range of custom symbols. Can import your own photos.||Designed to replicate PECS. Has a limited number of sentence starters, which cannot be added to. Vocabulary is organized in categories, and the pre-existing categories cannot be added to or modified. A strip allows you to construct some limited sentences
Text cannot be added to your custom vocabulary items.
|$36.99||Y||Small number of pre-installed images and photos. Import your own photos.||Vocabulary is stored under categories such as “Art” or “Good Manners”. There is very little structure to facilitate a conversation, with some categories containing mostly nouns, and many buttons have full phrases. There is no message window for sentence construction. Categories can be added and existing content can be edited.||Recorded speech – either use the pre-existing speech or record your own.||★|
|Free without speech; $9.99 for upgrade to audio||Y||Import your own. Small number of clip art and symbols included.||Organised in categories such as basic needs, activities with a few items pre-programmed under some categories. Can customize the categories and there are a few blank to add your own. 4 or 2 cells on each screen. No message window for sentence construction.||Record your own speech in upgraded version||★★|
|$23.99||Y||Photos. User can add their own photos.||Vocabulary is displayed in list view. You can add or delete items and type in your own text for added items. Vocabulary can also be displayed in a sequence and used as a storyboard or visual schedule. No message window for sentence construction.||Recorded speech.||★★|
|iCommunicate for iPad
|$36.99||Y||Photos. User can add their own photos||Vocabulary is displayed in list view. You can add or delete items and type in your own text for added items. Vocabulary can also be displayed in a sequence and used as a storyboard or visual schedule. No message window for sentence construction.||Recorded speechiconverselook2||★★|
|iConverse – Assisted Communication
|$12.99||Y||Clip Art. Can import your own||Home page with 6 buttons “I need the bathroom”, “I need a break”, “I feel sick” etc and then you can create your own buttons. No message window for sentence construction.||Synthesised speech in male and female voices||★|
|Look2Learn – AAC
|$29.99||Y||Photos. Can add your own.||An “I want” symbol (boy or girl) is followed by a number of photographs or categories for requesting items. You can add your own items to be requested and delete pre-existing items. No message window or way to construct sentences except by starting with “I want”.||Recorded speech, boy, girl, male or female. Record your own speech for new items or record over existing items.||★|
|MyTalk Tools Mobile
(Lite version is free but the number of cells is limited)
|Y||Y||Clip Art and some photos. Can import your own photos in MyTalk Workspace.||Comes with limited pages. MyTalk Workspace can be purchased for USD$75 annually to allow you to design your own pages, including access to an Image Library, Web Authoring and Collaboration tools. No message window for sentence construction.||Recorded speech.||★★|
|Free||Y||Clip art and some photos.||A list of basic phrases and some nouns. Cannot be customized for the end user. Includes some videos for end user to practice speech. No message window for sentence construction.||Recorded speech.||★|
|$59.99||Y||Has built-in AbleNet symbol library with hundreds of symbols. Can also import photos.||Provides 1 cell, 2 cell, 3 cell, 4 cell, 6 cell and 9 cell templates which can be used to create “boards”. Boards cannot be linked to each other. Very easy to use.||Recorded speech.||★★★|
|$1.19||Y||Clip art.||Vocabulary arranged in categories and then in list view. Cannot be customized by the end user. No message window for sentence construction.||Synthesised speech||★|
|Tap to Talk
|Free; Tap to Talk Designer $99.95 USD per annum||Y||Y||2000 custom symbols. Can import your own.||Comes with a starter album with categories “go, play, hungry, drink, emotion, bathroom”. Can make your own albums online with Tap to Talk Designer. Version for Nintendo DS is also available. No message window for sentence construction.||Pre-recorded speech in starter album. Record your own speech in Tap to Talk Designer.||★★|
|$12.99||Y||None. Can change switch colour.||Turns your iPhone/iPod Touch into a single message communication device/switch. Allows the user to record a number of messages and store them – which can then be pulled up again later. Has an option of tap feedback when the “switch” is pressed.||Recorded speech||★★★|
|TapSpeak Button for iPad
|$12.99||Y||None. Can change switch colour.||Turns your iPad into a single message communication device/switch. Allows the user to record a number of messages and store them – which can then be pulled up again later. Has an option of tap feedback when the “switch” is pressed||Recorded speech||★★★|
|TapSpeak Sequence for iPad
|$36.99||Y||Can set different switch colours and shapes or import photos for each item in a sequence. PCS symbols from Boardmaker now also available as an in-App purchase for an additional cost.||Turns your iPad into a sequenced single message communication device/switch. Allows the user to record a number of sequences and store them – which can then be pulled up again later. Can change how long the “switch” needs to be pressed before it activates.||Recorded speech.||★★★with a bullet!|
|$36.99||Y||130 custom symbols. User can import their own photos.||Vocabulary is organized in a list view. Vocabulary can be organized in categories, alphabetically, in recency or in “popular” order. User can add an unlimited number of vocabulary items using their own photos and recording their own speech. No message window for sentence construction.||Recorded speech.||★|
|Apps with Symbols and Text-to-Speech|
|$5.99||Y||Y||A range of clip art and words as buttons.||Can customize what some buttons “say” but cannot add your own buttons. Word/phrases do not go into the message window. Has a message window with a pop up keyboard for typing your own text to be converted to speech.||Female synthesized speech||★★|
|$5.99||Y||Y||Can customize what some buttons “say” but cannot add your own buttons. Word/phrases do not go into the message window. Has a message window with a pop up keyboard for typing your own text to be converted to speech.||Male synthesized speech||★★|
|Autoverbal Talking Soundboard PRO
|$12.99||Y||Y||A range of clip art and words as buttons.||Can customize what some buttons “say” but cannot add your own buttons. Word/phrases do not go into the message window. Has a message window with a pop up keyboard for typing your own text to be converted to speech.||Male or female synthesized speech||★★|
|I Can Speak
|$36.99||Y||Clip art and some photos.||Has a very interesting layout based around core vocabulary. Unfortunately, with the very limited range of symbols and lack of customization, let down what could be a really fabulous option. It’s still worth investigating though for clients with good literacy – and as well as selecting whole words the user can type into the message window directly with the keyboard.||Male synthesized voice only.||★★|
|$239.99||Y||Y||SymbolStix. Can import your own photos.||Has a default vocabulary of over 7000 items, with some language arranged pragmatically. There is a core vocabulary system, a basics section and a large number of categories. Every cell can be customized and the user has access to SymbolStix picture symbols as well as the option of importing their own photos. A message window allows the user to construct sentences by stringing words together. A keyboard can be used to type for text-to-speech and typing can be inserted into the message window and added to a sentence. Blank User Spaces can be easily made to construct your own page sets.||Male, female and child synthesized speech. US and UK accents available.||★★★|
|Apps with Text-to Speech only|
|$29.99||Y||Y||Text-to-speech App with word prediction, and the ability to save phrases you have typed as favourites. Also has the ability to pull up a recents list – and speak phrases from a recent conversation again. Has the option of speaking as each word is inserted into the message window – or waiting until the end when the user can choose to speak to whole phrase/sentence. Can alter speech rate as well as volume.||US English male and female synthesized speech.||★★★|
|$5.99||Y||Text-to-speech App with custom keyboards, available in QWERTY or ABC. The only App with word prediction – but the word prediction was custom created for the developer’s son and is not always functional for others and contains some non-words such as “whaddymacallit”. There is no shift key to produce capitals.||None.||★|
|$1.19||Y||Simple text-to-speech App which allows the user to type and talk using the pop up keyboards built into the iPod touch or iPhone. Phrases/words can be saved and spoken again – allowing the user to create a list of appropriate phrases or questions in advance or to be used repeatedly.||One voice, which sounds best as male but can alter pitch to sound more like a female.||★|
|Free||Y (location features won’t work on iPod touch)||An interesting twist on the other AAC Apps available – Locabulary Lite uses the GPS feature in your iPhone to track your location to suggest appropriate vocabulary for you e.g. In McDonald’s . Vocabulary is offered in list view, with text only. A keyboard is also available to type into for text-to-speech. This is still in development.||Male or female synthesized speech||★★|
|$2.49||Y||Y||Simple text-to-speech App which allows the user to type and talk using the pop up keyboards built into the iPod touch, iPhone or iPad. Phrases/words can be saved and spoken again – allowing the user to create a list of appropriate phrases or questions in advance or to be used repeatedly. Audio files can also be created and saved or emailed to someone else. The iPad version offers a nice big keyboard.||Male and female synthesized speech. US and UK accents available. Additional voices can be purchased in some other languages.||★★|
|Free||Y||Simple text-to-speech App which also lets you pull up your history of recent phrases/sentences and speak them again.||Male synthesized speech||★★|
*Many of the iPhone/iPod touch emails will run on the iPad but run at iPhone size on the larger screen. Most of these can be expanded to double size to fill the whole iPad screen but the program may be distorted when run at double size.