Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Typ-O HD TTS Word Prediction App




I am trying out a new iPad App called Typ-o HD It is a word prediction App for those with dyslexia As a dyslexic I have found spelling on the iDevices to be the most frustrating thing I can think of. The automatic word replacement nearly always does not use the word I meant. It is crazy making to have a text you worked hard on read like a Mad Lib. Additionally I often times touch a misspelled word only to have the pop up show that there is no word that is close enough to what I spelled for it to make suggestions.

The best spelling correction program I have ever used is that which is built into the web browser Firefox. It works for me because it underlines misspelled words and then gives me a list of possible words when I right click on the underlined word; infrequently I have spelled something so incorrectly that this method doesn't work for me, but then I can usually get pretty close to what I meant with a few attempts at sounding out the word (phonetic encoding). I have used word prediction programs in the past, usually Write:Outloud by Don Johnston, but I often times do not find word prediction to be that useful. Luckily I can usually pick the word I want from a list of potential words. So I am capable of using word prediction. Typeo is nice because you can click the "play" icon next to any word and hear it said to be able to find out if it is the word you meant Thus far typeo seems to be working OK for me except it is hard to get used to looking at the word prediction for words I might misspell.





I do like the spell check on Typ-o HD though. So far it is able to find the word I want for even my worst misspellings. It makes me happy for the dyslexic kids who are out there right now that perhaps they will not suffer some of the embarrassments I did when, for example, my seventh grade English teacher made our spelling lists for the week based on mistakes we made in our writing. My list was horribly long and humiliating when she paired us up to help each other study. Not to mention that I loved learning vocabulary words like obsequious or loquacious but never used them in my writing because I knew I could not spell them even well enough to look them up in the dictionary (remember those?). Typ-o HD also allows you to use text to speech to hear any selection of your text or your entire text read to you. Also you can export to e-mail or to the clipboard to paste into another program (in this case into BlogPress to post this entry).



I know that, for me Typ-O HD is the best app I have found for typing on the iPad. I have moved it to my dock and don't intend to compose text without it now that I have it.

My wishes for Typ-o HD would be better voices for the text to speech and a grammar check feature. Also what is up with the letter "I" not automatically being capitalized? I wouldn't mind automatic apostrophes in contraction either. Or at least a way to turn such features on and off.

If Typ-o HD were to upgrade to better voices the app would be an excellent AAC app. I can see individuals using it to communicate very easily by typing, with word prediction help, what they wish to say and then pressing speak. I would gladly pay five to ten times the cost of Typ-o HD for a version with the best of the best text to speech voices. Perhaps called Typ-o AAC?

Typ-o HD is for iPad and is $1.99. Typ-o is for iPhone or iTouch and is $.99.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

10 comments:

  1. Developer of Typ-O here: All good suggestions. I will definitely nail down the auto-capitalization of 'I' for the next version. As for better quality voices, I will look into it. Unfortunately voice vendors tend to have quite unrealistic expectations with regards to the royalties they can charge for their products, but perhaps they can be reasoned with when it comes to iOS products.

    Thank you for a good and fair review.

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    Replies
    1. hi i like the options of spelling but my read back bubble works only when it wants to- so if my son types his paper it will read it back to him in a very few instances- any ideas?

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  2. That's awesome, thanks for responding. If you added upgraded voices you could charge more for the app as an augmentative alternative communication app as opposed to just text entry. I know Proloquo2go the app is using Acapela voices.

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  3. I am Lyn, I have cerebral palsy/ I use Typ O. I agree about the voices. This app would be worth a hell of a lot more more if it had good voices.

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  4. Hi Lyn and K,

    The new version of Typ-O is out. It fixes the autocorrection of "i" to "I" issue and adds a lot of new features.

    As for the voices and other comments:

    I did look into it, and frankly the voice prices are excessive, just as I expected. We are talking royalty payments of up to US$3000 per year just to get started AND 20% of your revenue on top of that. There is little or no variance in these terms no matter which voice vendor one talks to. To maintain the current income from Typ-O under those conditions, I'd have to raise the price way beyond current levels AND expect sales to pick up significantly despite that, solely based on the voice quality.

    The way I see it, improving the voice quality is desirable, but not essential, and I would much rather sell a useful product at mass-market prices (<$20) that everybody can afford and enjoy than go the Proloque-2-Go route of charging PC-level prices for a niche product.

    Mild-to-medium dyslexia is extremely common. It affects anywhere from 5% to 15% of the population, depending on how you quantify it. This is a mass market that can be served by a very generic product with good core functionality and limited configurability, and therefore this was always the primary demographic for Typ-O. I don't see it working out at $50+ prices.

    I have been working with AAC solutions since the mid 80'ies, and feel that I understand the needs of the more demanding AAC community pretty well. I know that in this market premium products can sell well, and high quality and significant configurability is not just expected - it's often required. What's also expected is a very high level of commitment from the vendor to engage in custom fitting and customization.

    I can see how Typ-O (and SecondGuess) doesn't fit that profile exactly. Unfortunately I am not sure that I can make that fit my current business plan.

    That being said: I am working with another company that does have the willingness to target and support the AAC market in a broader sense than Typ-O can. They have licensed my word prediction technology, and are apparently aiming at releasing an AAC system that - among other things - features higher quality voices. They expect to release their product some time this year, and I will keep you posted on progress.

    If Typ-O won't fit the bill, this program might.

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  5. Hi,

    New version of Typ-O is out, featuring - among other things - better voices. They are "cloud" voices, and so are only available when your iPad or iPhone is connected to the Internet.

    Also, the AAC focused "cousin" of Typ-O is out. It's called "Predictable". If Typ-O isn't sufficiently configurable for your needs, chances are that Predictable is.

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  6. I am looking for a word prediction app with picture/symbol support. I can only find that kind of feature in Clicker 6 or Boardmaker Studio software. Any suggestions?

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  7. this explains how to turn on accessibility features on iDevices

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4064

    you can turn on "speak selected text" and then your son can highlight and hear text read to him in nearly any app.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi. I recently purched typ-o for my son to use in the classroom for school work. I am having a hard time figuring out how to paste or insert into the app. Is that possible? And, how do I find out/learn about its features? Thanks, debby

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  9. Is there any chance that Typ-O HD will be coming out for the android market?

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