Where is Your Voice When You Need It?
It could be as close as your phone. Recently, NSDA readers were given advice on how to handle emergencies. One of the suggestions from an emergency responder was to carry paper and pen, and use them to communicate as needed. We would like to take that suggestion a step further by using the technology of text-to-speech. Our hope is that we could use it not only for emergencies, but in many aspects of daily living.
In order to provide you with a useful resource, we need to test the various text-to-speech phone apps. Testing is a large undertaking, and we would like to recruit as many people as possible with spasmodic dysphonia and related voice conditions to help.
Volunteers should test at least one of the highest rated apps listed in the articles below and give an assessment using the survey provided. Read the descriptions of the various text-to-speech apps for insight on the pros and cons for each of them. Apps are listed for both iOs (Apple) and Android platforms. Some of the apps are free while others have a modest cost to use. Please note, we are not able to reimburse for the cost you may incur to test the app. If you want to test more than one – go for it – just fill out a separate survey for each app you review.
You will notice that most of the apps outline the ability to read things like books, documents and even websites. The big question is, “Is the app easy to use for everyday encounters and emergencies?” People with voice conditions need to know what will work well for the situations they encounter.
Guidelines for Testing
— Select an app whose description and ratings best fit your potential uses.
— Download the app and become acquainted with it so that you know how to manually enter text or sentences that you might use.
— Use the app in various environments and for various tasks. Suggestions include using the app to order coffee in person, place a food/drink order in a drive-through, talk on the phone, and in situations where you think it might be helpful to enhance your communications.
— Use this link to fill out the survey about the app: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/testapps
As you use the app consider these questions (your answers will be captured in the survey):
- Is it easy to start using or is there a learning curve?Does it support casual use for quick, short sentences?
- Does the voice sound natural enough, or does is it sound too robotic?
- Would you consider using this app or would you prefer one that works better?
- What are some ways you used it or would want to use it?
- After testing the app, what advice do you have for others on its usability?
The survey has a total of 15 questions and it should around 10 minutes to record your test results. If you test more than one app, please complete a separate survey for each app you try.
This survey will close on April 6, 2020.
Suggestions of Text-to-Speech Apps for iOs (Apple)
Suggestions of Text-to-Speech Apps for Android
Thank you for your participation!