iPhone/iPad Apps for AAC

The AAC Apps table has been moved to a new, permanent home on our website and is regularly updated there. Click here to be taken to the new home.

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
iComm 

icomm

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 

taptotalk

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 

iconverse

$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 

look2learn

$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.
MyTalk Mobile 

mytalkmobile

$47.99 

(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. ★★
Voice4U 

voice4u

$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.
Grace 

grace

$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.

No speech.
iCommunicate 

icommunicate

$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 

icommunicate

$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. ★★
iConverse 

iconverse

$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.
Speaking Images 

speakingimages

$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
TapSpeak Button 

tapspeakbutton

$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 

tapspeakbutton

$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 

tapspeaksequence

$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!

SmallTalk Aphasia 

smalltalkaphasia

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 

autoverbalpro

$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 ★★
Proloquo2Go 

proloquo2go

$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
SpeakIt! 

speakit

$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. ★★★
iMean 

imean

$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.
iSayIt 

isayit

$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.
Locabulary Lite 

locabularylite

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.

This entry was posted in Apps and Mobile Learning New Technologies and tagged with
Bookmark the permalink

About Jane Farrall

Jane has been working in the disability and assistive technology field for over 20 years. She has extensive practical experience in both Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and in teaching children and adults with disabilities to acquire literacy.

Jane has worked as a school and adult service based therapist and literacy teacher. She has also worked as an assistive technology specialist at both ComTEC and at Spectronics and is currently working as an independent consultant in literacy, AAC and Assistive Technology.

She has completed a Masters in Special Education focusing on literacy acquisition in children and adults without speech. Jane is a former Chairperson of AGOSCI (Australian Group on Severe Communication Impairment) and is the founder and organiser of the Big Mouth Camp, a camp for school aged students using speech generating devices and their families. You can get more information about Jane at her website www.janefarrall.com.

55 Responses to iPhone/iPad Apps for AAC

  1. aileen ryan says:

    Jane
    Love this list. Was planning to put something together for my blog on ipod touch apps and my facebook page but was wondering, I have put an application on my facebook
    page where I can now load things like this as a slide. Can I do this with your piece and place link to your blog? If not doesnt matter but it just saves doubling up on work.

    Aileen

  2. Barbara Landsberg says:

    Fab list Jane!

  3. Harriet Korner says:

    This is great. Thanks so much for developing this as an easy to access and read resource.I love the way it will allow for people’s feedback and comments.

  4. Jane Farrall says:

    HI Aileen,

    Of course – you are very welcome. Glad you like the list :)

    Cheers

    Jane

  5. Rosie Crossley says:

    Jane,

    This is SO useful, as are all your lists.

    The iMean word prediction is weird, but it is teachable. I’m hanging out for PL2Go to add word prediction.

    I like SpeakIt – very simple and straightforward for people with literacy and good finger pointing. Did you know that you can save messages in any voice and they will be played back in that voice, regardless of ‘main’ voice. My usual voice is Lucy but I’m able to say “I’ve had a sex change!” in Ryan’s voice.

    Not an AAC app, but I’m sure you’ve seen Talking Tom. Great for encouraging speech, and sooo cute.

    Cheers, Rosie

  6. Jane Farrall says:

    HI Rosie,

    Thanks for the comment.

    I think the iMean word prediction is not teachable for many people. It is possibly ok if you just want to reduce some keystrokes for a person with good literacy skills – but even then I think you would have to change your communication style to take advantage of it which might not suit many people.

    But if you are using word prediction to support your developing literacy skills it wouldn’t be very helpful. Typing “th” into iMean produces the prediction list of “the, them, thalami”. There are so many high frequency words that a early speller might need help with – and “thalami” is not one of them. Even “them” is not that helpful- “they” is a much higher frequency word. And if the user makes a phonetic typing error e.g. “kam” instead of “came” iMean doesn’t have any suggestions starting with “c” at all. Most decent word prediction now copes with those common phonetic errors.

    SpeakIt! is absolutely one of my favourites too – and such good value for the price.

    Cheers

    Jane

  7. Jennifer Marden says:

    Great list! Have you tried ICanSpeak?

    http://lazyriver.on-rev.com/mypad/index.html

    It’s a strange mixture of great ideas and odd execution. I love the vocabulary model of core vocabulary and topic-specific fringe vocabulary on the same page. But if you can’t read, you won’t be able to use it because many of the buttons have the same icon and differ only in the text label. And for some of these, the text label is so long it gets abbreviated such that you can’t tell what the button is even if you can read. The text to speech synthesizer is also not great. All in all it’s interesting, though!

  8. isabelle guillot says:

    what a great list !!
    where can I find the same kind of informations in French? Thanks for any link.

  9. Cheryl Oakes says:

    Thanks so much for this, it will be so helpful!
    Cheryl
    Maine

  10. Jane Farrall says:

    HI Isabelle,

    Unfortunately I don’t know of anything like this in Frency. Sorry I can’t help.

    Jane

  11. Kati says:

    The guy who made iMean told me it didnt have speech unless you activated the built in voice over on iPad.

    There is also Assistive Chat which has better word prediction and ability to save sentences. The person who created this told me they were also looking into making it textexpander compatible so person can also create abbreivation-expansions to speed up conversations. Its £14.99 (not sure what is in dollars)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7b2AoeLylo

  12. Teresa Llewellyn-Evans says:

    Wonderful that you have listed and rated the apps Jane. It makes for a great comparison of features without having to download them yourself to try.

  13. Sara says:

    Thanks for this great list! I will be sharing it with many.

    I just bought Proloquo2go for my son. We have used it (and the SLP’s borrowed one) for a total of 8 days so far and it is incredible! After the first two days my son, who had been palm hitting a Bigmac switch and 3-fingering a Dynavox,began isolating his index finger to hit the little iPod icons!

    It was $189 not $239.

  14. Sara says:

    I just noticed that you are in Australia – probably the price diff is US dollars conversion.

    Also, another app that I didn’t see on your list is iPrompts – not exactly a communication program but a lovely replacement for all of those zillions of velcro pictures we have cluttering up the house for schedules. It was $50 US.

  15. Deborah Hauser says:

    Thanks for compiling this excellent table Jane! This will be very helpful in deciding what to try with students who need a voice.

  16. Sarah says:

    Thanks Jane! I’ve shared this list with my co-workers. I know many people who can really use this reference.

  17. Thao Pham says:

    Great Effort Jane! Your table of comparision so useful as for awhile now, I’ve been shopping around an equipment/program for my 7yo ASD son but hopelessly gave up, as there are so many to look at and researches. My son who has just starting to talk in sentence. But his sentence is all jumble around and he uses words that seems to be what it is (visually). He has always known to be very visual, therefore, he learnt to talk through PECS very quickly. I’ve been recommended the PLQ2Go is more suitable for him.

  18. margaret says:

    talkassist by mubaloo is free and people can store their own messages.

  19. Ylana says:

    thanks Jane for this list – your ratings are most helpful. I am using proloquo2go with a few clients am finding it quite a useful product. There are limitaions but they can be overcome!!!

  20. Janet Wilson says:

    apps are cool!
    thank you so much for your clear, concise and expert evaluation.

  21. Jayne says:

    Thank you so much for producing this – my daughter has a premature ageing syndrome (Cockayne Syndrome) which is neurodegenerative. Her speech is deteriorating and will eventually completely go but she is a whizz with technology and your list has been extremely helpful.

    Jayne and Amy – England UK

  22. Hi Jane,

    Do you know of an App that can make the Ipad voice activated for turning pages when used as a reader?

    Thankyou

    David Coleopy

  23. Anita says:

    Hi David,
    I’ve asked the team at Spectronics, and we don’t know of any apps that are able to navigate through an eBook with voice commands. If any readers do know of an app that has this feature, please feel free to share it with everyone.
    cheers,
    Anita

  24. Lyn Levett says:

    This is a cool app, I’ve just found. It has predictive text and clear loud speech. Though only American English. Assistive Chat is nice and easy to use with a big layout. http://www.assistiveapps.com/

  25. Jane Farrall says:

    HI all,

    Thanks for the comments and suggestions. I’m working on updating the table with your feedback and some other new Apps that have been released – and I’ll have the updated version done soon.

    Glad it’s been helpful to people too :)

  26. Christine Porter says:

    Hi Jane

    Would love to hear your feedback on SoundingBoard. I have been setting up P2Go for some clients but have decided to hit our board up for my own iPad so I can trial some of these other applications. I didn’t see SoundingBoard on the Aus iTunes site but it retails for $50 US and is produced by AbleNet. The advantage over P2Go (from what I can gather online) is that you can choose a layout and record digital voice – something that may be more appropriate for people who require more transparency. I can appreciate trying to keep up with the latest Apps must be an ongoing task!

    • Jane Farrall says:

      Hi Christine,

      I’ve done an updated version of this list now and included Sounding Board. You can find it at http://www.spectronicsinoz.com/article/iphoneipad-apps-for-aac. I think Sounding Board has some good features – like the recorded speech and the fact that it is super easy to use. But I think it is a pity it doesn’t use a symbol system which exists in other ways eg PCS or Symbolstix. I am also disappointed that it doesn’t let you link boards together – so every board is essentially a single board.

      Hope that helps – and there are two more AAC Apps coming out soon that I know of so I’ll update the list at the new address once they are out.

      Cheers

      Jane

  27. Christine Porter says:

    Fabulous – thanks Jane!

  28. Jane Farrall says:

    HI all, I’ve just done an update to the list at its new permanent home http://www.spectronicsinoz.com/article/iphoneipad-apps-for-aac

    Jane :)

  29. Suiter Coxe says:

    My father in law has suffered a stroke and we are looking for a game application he can play on his ipad. We are in the beginning stages of recovery and need one that gets more challenging as his skill level improves! Can you recommend one?

  30. Jane Farrall says:

    HI Suiter,

    I am sorry to hear about your father. There are lots of games out there which increase levels e.g. Angry Birds, Bejewelled, but I’m not sure if they are the sort of games you are after. I don’t like games like that particularly anyway – although I know I’m in the minority with that!

    You could also try searching in Google to see if there is an Assistive Technology centre near you whom you could call and describe what you want – they may be able to help you more specifically.

    Good luck

    Jane

  31. Christine says:

    As an SLP that specializes in AAC evaluations, I would ONLY recommend TouchChat (which isn’t even on this list) or Proloquo2Go. If you feel one of those would work, teach by using “aided language stimulation” techniques (google that term). Good luck!!

  32. Jane Farrall says:

    Hi Christine – thanks for the comment. Unfortunately this is quite an old version of this list – the new home is at http://www.spectronicsinoz.com/article/iphoneipad-apps-for-aac – or you can click at the link at the top of this page. You’ll find TouchChat is on the latest version of the list.

    As regards the importance of Aided Language Stimulation I completely agree – we absolutely can’t underestimate the value of modelling as students learn AAC. And TouchChat and Proloquo2Go are definitely two of the best Apps for this because of the breadth of language in their page sets.

    Cheers

    Jane

  33. Benster says:

    Hi,

    There has been a lot of enhancements made on PictureCanTalk. Is it possible to include un your list?

    The link is http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/picturecantalk/id434989881?mt=8

    Regards

  34. Jane Farrall says:

    Hi Benster,

    PictureCanTalk is on the updated version of this list at http://www.spectronicsinoz.com/article/iphoneipad-apps-for-aac. I am aware that you’ve done an update again to PictureCanTalk since I last revised this main list, and I’ll be incorporating those changes in the next version in the next few days.

    Jane

  35. Megan says:

    Jane,
    I can’t thank you enough for the complete and well thought out list you are keeping for AAC apps. Very helpful in wading through the wide variety of apps being put out! I refer all of our SLPs, parents and special educators to your list.

    I am interested in the Go Talk Now app and wondered if it’s on your list to review soon?

    Thanks!

    • Jane Farrall says:

      HI Megan, I’m really glad it’s helpful and thanks for letting people know about it! I will definitely be adding the GoTalk Now app in my next update – which will be in the next couple of weeks. There are a few new apps and lots and lots of updates (partly due to iOS5 coming out) so it will be a big update next time :)

  36. Bianka Watteroth says:

    Hello Jane,

    I don’t know, if I’m right here, but I’ve a question about the soundingboard on my ipad. Isn’t it poosible to cancel messages? I can’t find it anywhere.

    I hope, you are able to help me

    Regards
    Bianka

    • Jane Farrall says:

      HI Bianka – Sorry – I’m not sure what you mean. Do you want to delete a message or do you want to stop it speaking once it has started?

      Jane :)

  37. Vanessa Rogers says:

    Hi Jane,

    Any opinions on “Scene & Heard”? I like it…different take on AAC using photos and hotspots. Would be interested to hear what you think.

  38. Jane Farrall says:

    HI Vanessa, I’ve included Scene&Heard on the permanent list which is now located at http://www.spectronicsinoz.com/article/iphoneipad-apps-for-aac. I really like it – clever for AAC and for personal storytelling and language activities. Great app – and recently updated with switch access too.

  39. Kevin says:

    Interesting.. :) what is the best latest app?

  40. Andrea Fragomeni, SLP says:

    Hi Jane! Thank you so much for your amazing AAC app reviews…I’ve already checked out your updated list…so helpful! I know apps with switch accessibility are limited at this time, but do you know of any that are existing or in development for story-telling (e.g., something like Pictello), which could be adapted to be used with a single switch like Big Mack with BlueTooth wireless interface, to allow a child who is blind to “turn” the pages with his switch? I’m also looking for a music-playing app that would allow for switch use to skip to the next song. Any advice or information you may have would be ++ helpful! There are so many amazing communication apps, but accessibility for children who are blind and non-verbal are limited at this time. Thanks so much!

    • Jane Farrall says:

      HI Andrea, Glad the list is helpful! I keep a list of all the switch accessible apps I know on my website at http://www.janefarrall.com/html/ipad.html. If you just want something that you can do a storytelling sequence on, like a Step-by-Step, then you could look at TapSpeak Sequence Standard or TapSpeak Sequence Plus. If you want something which lets the user control a bit more (turning pages back and forth) there’s an app called Alexicom Elements Story Maker which I think will meet your story telling needs. It’s certainly the only one I know which is close. It has auditory scanning so you could set it up for a student who needs auditory cues to help them know when to press the switch. Regarding the music, I don’t know an app that does that. But if you look at the switch interface called the APPlicator then that will let you control any of the switch accessible apps plus also lets you do the music function you want. I’ve done a review on the APPlicator at http://www.janefarrall.com/blog/2012/04/11/the-applicator-switch-access-to-more-apps-and-music-too/. Hope that helps.

      • Andrea Fragomeni, SLP says:

        Thank you so much, Jane! I will definitely try the apps you have recommended and let you know how it went! Andrea.

  41. organic seo says:

    Wonderful website. Plenty of useful information here. I am sending it to a few buddies ans additionally
    sharing in delicious. And of course, thanks to your effort!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>