As you probably know, there are an increasing number of iPhone/iPod touch/iPad Apps for AAC available on the iTunes store. So many that I’m having trouble keeping them straight in my own head – so I thought a blog was in order as that would be something for us all to refer to.
I have listed all the AAC Apps I am aware of below – along with some salient features. Keeping in tune with the idea of user ratings encouraged by iTunes, I have also added my own rating column from one to three stars.
I have also put the Apps into three groups – Apps with symbols/pictures only, Apps with symbols/pictures and text-to-speech and Apps with text-to-speech only.
It has ended up being a long table – but I hope you find it useful.
This table has been updated – to see the new version please click here.
|App||Price $AUD||iPhone/ iPod touch||iPad*||Symbol System||Pre-programmed pages and customisation||Voice Output/ Speech||My Rating|
|Apps with Symbols/Pictures only|
|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||★★|
|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.||★★|
|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
|$29.95||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.||★|
(Lite version is free but the number of cells is limited)
|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.||★★|
|$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.||★|
|$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.
|$5.99 without speech. Add speech for an additional $5.99.||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 with the $5.99 audio upgrade.||★★|
|iCommunicate for iPad
|$5.99 without speech. Add speech for an additional $5.99||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 with the $5.99 audio upgrade.||★★|
|$12.99||Y||Clip art. Users can add their own photos.||Comes with 6 pre-programmed buttons around basic needs e.g. “I need the bathroom”. User can add their own buttons with their own photos. No message window for sentence construction.||Recorded speech for the 6 pre-existing buttons. Synthesised speech for user added buttons.||★|
|$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||★|
|$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||★★★|
|TapSpeak Sequence for iPad
|$36.99||Y||Can set different switch colours and shapes or import photos for each item in a sequence.||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!
|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.||★|
|Apps with Symbols and Text-to-Speech|
|Autoverbal Talking Soundboard
|$3.99||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||★★|
|$239.95||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|
|$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.||★★★|
|$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||★★|
*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.
And there is also a write up of iPod AAC Apps written by CALL Scotland at http://www.callscotland.org.uk/Common-Assets/spaw2/uploads/files/Using-Mainstream-handheld-devices-as-communication-aids.pdf
It would also be great to get feedback from anyone else who has used these.