Voice Dream Reader


  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 4.5 stars
  • Highly Recommended

  • Voice Dream Reader
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: December 9, 2014
  • Quality
    Editor: 100%
  • Education
    Editor: 100%
  • Value
    Editor: 100%
  • Child Friendly
    Editor: 80%

Review Summary:

Voice Dream Reader will open the doors of reading to many people struggling due to vision problems, dyslexia or other literacy issues.

App Info

Price: $14.99
AppStore User Rating: 4.5

Download on the App Store

Overview

Voice Dream Reader is more than a text-to-speech app. In addition to reading many types of digital files, it includes some outstanding features that make it incredibly useful to individuals with reading disabilities, those with visual impairments, and people who are learning to read.

Features include:

  • Works with a multitude of files including ppt, docx, pdf, epub, pages, key, and more
  • Embedded browser allows reading of web content
  • Change speech volume, rate, language and more
  • Modify text color, background, spacing and size
  • Adjustable amounts of text shown on screen

Quality

Voice Dream Reader is very user-friendly and well-designed. The controls are mostly intuitive and similar to other reader software, so they will seem familiar. Nearly every aspect of the screen presentation and the narration is adjustable, making the app perfect for a number of different situations. In addition, settings can be attached to files, making it possible to retain different options for different types of reading. Files can be imported from the web, from email, Dropbox, and many other sources.

Education

Voice Dream Reader is an outstanding app for its intended audience, with numerous features that make it particularly useful for users with vision problems or anyone who wants to listen to text rather than read it silently. It’s also a wonderful tool for adults and older students who struggle with reading skills due to dyslexia or similar conditions. Even if all it did was read text out loud reliably, it would be well worth the money for anyone who needs a reliable text reader.

But Voice Dream Reader offers unique features that extend its usefulness to younger students or those who are trying to improve their reading skills, as well. Many types of special needs can be accommodated using the options built into the system. For example, users can control the pace of the oral reading. This would allow learners to read along with the text to reap some of the benefits of partner reading such as hearing, seeing and saying the text all at one time. There is a high degree of control over the highlighting system, as well. Words can be highlighted one at a time, or in larger groups such as lines. This means that the device can be configured to read a text out loud at a pace that is suitable for the learner while each word is highlighted as it is being spoken by the app. Whole reading lessons can be built from these components, and since the app can easily read common document formats, teachers or parents can create lessons.

Another unique feature of VDR is the capability to modify not only the highlighting color, but also the text color, background color, font and font size. Many struggling readers find that black text on a white background is not the most ideal configuration. Until now, it has been a cumbersome process of using text printed on colored papers and adding tinted plastic overlays to find the best level of contrast for a reader, but VDR allows an almost infinite amount of experimentation with these elements. Spacing between words and lines as well as margin sizes are also adjustable, Many dyslexic students will bless the developers for these capabilities.

In short, Voice Dream Reader is a must-have for reading teachers, special education teachers, anyone who is troubled by reading problems, and parents, especially those who are working to help a struggling reader.

Entertainment

This app is not really intended to be entertaining, but imagine the freedom that it could give to a student, child or adult who is struggling with reading. It will open literary doors and make books and the internet far more accessible. The one small drawback, not to the app but to life in general, is that it cannot read books that use Digital Rights Management. This includes Kindle, Nook and iBooks titles. However, there are many, many titles available from other sources, that most readers will find plenty to enjoy.

Value

Voice Dream Reader is priced to be accessible, as well. There are some less expensive readers available, but none have the complete flexibility and options that Voice Dream Reader has. For struggling readers and those who are working to help them, for those with various kinds of visual impairments, and for anyone with special needs in this regard, Voice Dream Reader is an incredible value.

Child Friendliness

This app is intended to be used by adults and older teens.  It contains no outside advertising. Voice Dream Reader, by necessity, must access the internet, email, and various services to retrieve files of text. Users can enable or un-enable connections to services such as Dropbox or Google Drive, but changing these settings back and forth is very easy. The app also has unprotected, live links to social media, email and the internet. Translation services are available via Google for a small fee and are accessible through the App Store protected only by your personal password. Parents and teachers should be well aware that younger students using this app could gain access to these things. One possible solution would be to set up the files you wish a child to read, then disable internet access all together while the child is using the app.  In any case, it will be important to monitor the app’s usage by younger children.

Voice Dream Reader will open the doors of reading to many people struggling due to vision problems, dyslexia or other literacy issues.

Editor rating
Rated 4.5 stars