At $14.99, the app I’m highlighting here isn’t free, nor is it what I would normally refer to as low-cost. For the user who really needs it, it’s probably a bargain! I like TYP-O’s slogan: “Writing is for Everybody!“
TYP-O HD is an iOS app that works on all three Apple devices–iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad. In my view, it functions best on the iPad’s larger screen. It is a versatile set of four tools that support written output.
First, there is excellent word prediction with text-to-speech. This means that the writer can hear what a suggested word sounds like before selecting it. Secondly, the user has the option of entering text with voice recognition. There is also an effective spell checker. Finally, the writer can review his work by listening to it with the built-in text-to-speech.
Written work created in TYP-O can be sent to the clipboard and then copied into another app. Or, it can be shared via email. If hard copy is required, it can also be printed directly from the app.
The developers continue to improve TYP-O. The app has evolved and improved considerably since I first became aware of it. The only downside I’ve discovered is that it takes up a large amount of memory on the device–a whopping 1.9 GB. This means that updates take time and require a good Internet connection.
I’ve embedded a screenshot of TYP-O’s interface. Below that is a video that demonstrates the app in action.
My Asus Transformer Prime arrived last Friday, and my first Android tablet is truly a thing of beauty. After two years of using iOS on an iPhone and iPad 2, getting up to speed with Android 4.0 is going to involve some adjustments and a significant learning curve. The app I’m sharing here suggests that the investment in learning will pay rich dividends! Unfortunately, it’s an app that is not available for iOS.
FlexT9 is a powerful and versatile keyboard app for anyone who needs alternative text input methods on a phone or tablet. It’s a four-in-one keyboard that offers speech-to-text, handwriting recognition, and tracing, in addition to ordinary touch typing. There is also very good word completion, as well as word prediction.
FlexT9 is beautifully designed, and it can be set as the default keyboard on an Android device so that it is available whenever writing of any kind is required. At $4.99, FlexT9 is not free, but this is by far the best option I have seen and tested for anyone who finds conventional text input challenging. It is noteworthy that a writer can combine text input methods.
Now here’s a quick video overview of FlexT9 in action. It’s especially worth watching if you’re not sure what I mean by “tracing” for text input. This is an input meth0d that significantly increases the speed of my own text input.
There are still many people in the 21st century who use typewriters, and who are much valued for their typing skills! All the same, I’m surprised by how often I hear people refer to the use of a computer keyboard as “typing”.
No matter what you call it, and despite the proliferation of hand-held devices, the ability to use a computer keyboard for word processing remains an essential skill. It is also true that for a variety of reasons there are many people who find this difficult.
Word prediction, or auto-completion, can be helpful. By reducing the number of required of keystrokes, auto-completion can reduce fatigue and/or increase the speed of inputting text when there are physical challenges. For others, it can also help with spelling and with finding appropriate words to use. Relatively expensive commercial word-prediction programs such as Co:writer and WordQ offer text-to-speech, and this is valuable for those with severe spelling challenges.
eType is a new free program for the PC that can be installed and used with virtually every computer application, including web browsers. It does not include text-to-speech, but I’ve tried it and found eType to be efficient, effective, and easy to use. There are dictionary and thesaurus functions. As a bonus, eType even offers a translation feature for multiple languages. The promotional video from eType does a good job of demonstrating what the program does.
[eType is another option for free word prediction that you may wish to check out. I wrote about it HERE.]
Last month I wrote about MyStudyBar, a suite of literacy tools for the PC. This loads as a floating toolbar so the tools can be available to the user from within any program. The toolbar can be downloaded and run from a USB flash drive on any computer. This week, Craig Mill of RSC, has announced the release of Version 2 of MyStudyBar.
In this post, I want to draw attention to the powerful free word prediction application, ‘LetMeType’, that is part of MyStudyBar. I’ve long been eager to know of effective free word prediction; and this seems to fill the bill. Word prediction is a tool that I believe ought to be introduced to all learners. Typically, only individuals with identified learning difficulties are given the opportunity to use it, but there are many others who would find word prediction helpful!
I’ve embedded Craig Mill’s tutorial screencast about ‘LetMeType’ here because I couldn’t possibly do a better job of describing it. I recommend that you view the video in full screen mode.
Internet search engines have proliferated to the point where it is impossible to keep up with all the available variants. I’ve come across one this week that has caught my attention. Thanks again Richard Byrne!
keyboardr is a meta-search engine that I believe has potential to make web searching easier for many individuals who face special access challenges.
keyboardr incorporates a form of word prediction; and it can be used entirely from the keyboard, without requiring a mouse. As you start typing into the search box, the search engine immediately begins coming up with results for the most likely terms you are looking for. For example, I wanted to search for text to speech. By the time I had typed in “text to”, keyboardr had come up with what I wanted.
Just as the search process is facilitated by the word prediction feature, accessing search results is facilitated in keyboardr because you can easily move between results with the arrow keys on the keyboard. When you want to check out a result, you can choose it by hitting the Enter key. Pressing the escape key puts your cursor right back in the search box so you can start over or move in another direction with your search.
As a meta-search engine, keyboardr looks in four specific places–Google “Web”, Google Images, Wikipedia, and Youtube. Results are displayed predictably in the same place on the page for every search. These are the same four places where I often begin looking for information.
I’ve embedded a video below in which Julius Eckert, the developer of keyboardr, show how it all works and outlines future plans for his site. He would like users to consider making keyboardr.com their home page on the web.