text-to-speech Stories October 4, 2014

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Previously, I discussed how to have your iOS device read text for you in iOS 7, and in iOS 8 it works pretty much the same way – but with some little differences. It is now easier to set up and make text speakable on an iOS device. Before we discuss how to do it, let’s first set up our iOS device so we can do it:

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text-to-speech Stories October 10, 2013

Review: Popular translator app iTranslate gets reimagined for iOS 7

The popular language translation app iTranslate has been completely reimagined for iOS 7. Just like iOS 7, the app is heavily gesture-based. Because the new version features so many new gestures, a tutorial has been added that walks users through all of the new ways to interact with their translations.

At first glance, iTranslate does not feel as intuitive or as easy to use as the previous version. It takes a while to get acclimated to the changes, and to understand how to properly trigger the gestures, which can be a bit difficult at first. For example, when swiping, you have to swipe to the point where you will see the grey color transition to blue (for a shorter swipe), or purple (for a longer swipe) before the appropriate action will be triggered.

After going through the tutorial, the default languages are set to American English, and Spanish. Tapping on either English or Spanish pulls up the keyboard and you can type the text you want translated.

iTranslate supports text-to-speech, so that you can hear how the translation sounds. You can activate this feature using a swipe gesture. The user can choose from male and female versions of several dialects and adjust the speaking rate. Just tap on the countries’ flag to access the voice options and switch between languages.

iTranslate is available for free in the App Store for new and existing users. There is an in-app purchase for $4.99 that unlocks several premium features, which include removal of the ads at the bottom of the screen, voice recognition, and romanization (the option to convert other writing systems into Roman characters;  an example of this would be converting 你好 into Nǐ hǎo). Voice recognition is powered by Nuance and automatically recognizes forty different languages and dialects regardless of which languages the text input is set to.

iTranslate is a very powerful tool, and I would recommend it for those who are traveling overseas or simply as a supplemental tool for learning a new language.

text-to-speech Stories September 21, 2013

Previously, I discussed how to have your iOS device read text for you in iOS 6, and in iOS 7 it works pretty much the same way – but with some little differences.

As in iOS 6, there are two different ways to make text speakable on an iOS device. But before we do that and discuss how to do it, let’s first set up our iOS device so we can do it:

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text-to-speech Stories August 17, 2013

iOS devices are built with all users in mind: they come with several accessibility features for low-vision or legally blind users, settings for hard-of-hearing or deaf users, settings for individuals who have physical and motor difficulties, and settings for individuals with learning difficulties.

In this accessibility segment, I will be discussing how to make text speakable on an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch:

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text-to-speech Stories July 17, 2013

Google has just issued a big update to its Chrome app for iPhone and iPad that brings new “interoperability with other Google Apps” and a number of other notable features. That means that you’ll now be able to open all links for YouTube, Maps, Google+ and Drive in their native apps instead of in the browser. You’ll also now be able to access the apps with a single tap from within Chrome.

The update also brings enhancements to the newly introduced voice search capabilities, including: always visible controls from the toolbar and text-to-speech support for “all variations of English, Spanish, German, Italian, French, Japanese, and Korean.”

Other improvements in today’s update include fullscreen support on iPad, easier access to browser history, and, according to Google, data cost savings:

Reduce data usage and speed up page load times. View data savings in Bandwidth Management settings. This feature is being rolled out and will be available to all users over time.

Google explained the experimental data cost savings feature in a whitepaper when it was first introduced on Android. In the document, Google says its tests showed the feature can reduce data usage by up to 50%: expand full story

text-to-speech Stories June 27, 2013

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We’ve reported on a number of big improvements coming to iOS 7 for both app developers and accessory manufacturers already. Yesterday we reported first on the new blinking and smiling detection features available to camera and photo app developers, and earlier this month told you about some of the new Bluetooth related APIs coming this fall.

We previously walked you through some of the new APIs and features for gamers, but there is still a lot more coming to third-party app developers in iOS 7. A few big improvements: a text to speech API, background downloads for in-app content, motion effects, 3D maps, and much more.

Head below for details on some of the more notable new APIs available for developers to take advantage of in iOS 7: expand full story

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