Friday, June 01, 2012

iPad Apps Review 1: FreeSpeech & Draw on Slides

I decided to combine two short iPad app reviews in one blog post.


The first review is the release of my son's no-cost (and no ads!) AAC app, FreeSpeech, which was created to support those with communication disorders. The goal was to provide an app that would be easy to use, scalable, and encompass new features. The team has been developing the app for over a year and formed a non-profit, GiveSpeech, to help keep the app free. They are working hard on enhancements all of the time!

The app includes a series of symbol libraries upon download, and the ability for the user to add their own icons. However, the coolest features are the community and collaboration aspects. Users can upload and share icons they create or photograph and also download those from others from within the application iteself. This allows for an never-ending shared library of all kinds of new icons! I just visited the community area and downloaded a set of photos called "Trip to the Farm" uploaded by another user. I can see the community growing and perhaps including a discussion board to include requests for images needed and users volunteering to create those icons for others.

I used the Reflection app to create a short video to showcase FreeSpeech. This is only a brief overview of how it works. (The voice sounds a lot clearer in real life than it does in the video, promise!)

Download FreeSpeech for yourself and try it out!  There are also instructional videos located here, but FreeSpeech is so easy you probably won't need them!

Take some photos in your area of things that others might not have in their region or town and take the time to upload them to the FreeSpeech community area. I am going to add some regional Cape Cod items like lighthouses, windmills, and cranberry bog to the community soon.

Draw on Slides

In the video above, I took a screenshot of the last screen of FreeSpeech and added an image to my photo library. I then used an app called Draw on Slides to mark it up. You can see that there are different colors and thicknesses of lines to chose from as well as the ability to place an arrow on the line if you wish. This marked up image can be saved as a new image to the Photo Library, sent to Facebook, or emailed. Draw on Slides is a useful app to mark something up in front of students or share an instructional image with others.