ClaroCom Pro Review

ClaroCom Pro is an app from Claro Software designed for AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication), available on iOS for iPad or iPhone. An AAC app helps to replace speech or assist writing for those with impairments in the production or comprehension of spoken or written language. Read more at claro-apps.com.

We’ve received the following helpful review of ClaroCom from Loretta and Krystal.

Loretta has limited use of natural speech so uses ClaroCom to communicate and says “ClaroCom has been highly beneficial with these new things I have to keep in mind about my voice and not over-using it”.

Krystal is unable to speak at all but is now leader of a volunteer call centre providing information technology help desk services to anyone who needs them. Krystal can consistently keep under an 8 minute call time averaging about 5-6 minutes when the goal is 10 minutes using nothing but text to speech (ClaroCom).

ClaroCom Pro AAC App Review by Loretta and Krystal, 11th August 2014

DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT an expert in alternative and augmentative communications (AAC) solutions. What works for myself or Krystal MIGHT NOT be the best choice for everyone else. Furthermore the opinions expressed herein are those of myself or Krystal as appropriate. We have no affiliation with the developers of any application mentioned and we were not “bought” to make these opinions, we came to them from actual experience with the products mentioned.

Man… Krystal had me on an adventure into the deep dark corners of the iOS App store. This assignment was because she finally said “it’s time for a communications upgrade for me! A dedicated AAC app is in order!” so off into the app store I went looking for free apps. There were truly free and the “free apps that are just to show you what the paid version can do”. I only focused on the apps that required a zero dollar investment to install.

Two days ago I spent close to 6 hours testing installing and configuring close to 80 different apps from the app store. There was the good, the bad, and the downright incomprehensible. There were those that were feature packed and those that could use a little more meat on the bones.

I was just about ready to call it a night for testing when through an unlikely search I found an app I fell in love with (see Note 1) and was sure Krystal would too. This app is called ClaroCom.  The free version is only limited in a few “minor use” functions… nothing too bad (see Note 2). The free ClaroCom app comes populated with close to 1,024 pre-canned messages in several different categories from restaurants, technology, medical, entertainment, general phrases, and many others. I could add my own phrases to any of these categories and have them be dynamic or static.

A static phrase is something that has no variables like “my name is Loretta, I live on Maple drive in no where California”. Something that never needs revision based on context. A dynamic phrase is kind of like that game madlibs and textually looks like this “I need to know if Dr. ___ has any available appointments on or before ___ in the ___.” If I had multiple doctors this might allow for something like “I need to know if Dr. (Briggs, Shay, Benson, Puckett, Jones) has any available appointments on or before (next Friday, the 15th, June 1st,) in the (morning, afternoon, late afternoon, evening).” where any of those items in the parentheses could fill in that part of the sentence or request.

For dynamic speech the ClaroCom dialog will pop up asking “fill in the first blank…” if there’s only one blank, just fill it in. If there is more than one it steps you through them in order. When you fill the first blank and then it asks you to fill the next it shows you the statement up to the blank so in my doctor example first “I need to know if Dr. ___ has any available appointments on or before ___ in the ___.”, then “I need to know if Dr. Shay has any available appointments on or before ___ in the ___.” then “I need to know if Dr. Shay has any available appointments on or before next Tuesday in the ___.” and finally “I need to know if Dr. Shay has any available appointments on or before next Tuesday in the late afternoon.”

These message creation wizards make even dynamic content creation even easier!

ClaroCom USA comes with two voices by default (one male and one female) both better quality than what most “computer voices” are known for (especially if you grew up in the 1990’s) and tons of options to configure the app to the user needs.

The ClaroCom “Pro” USA version is decently priced at 14 bucks and adds a few extra little “nice to haves”. I fell in love with the free version which had its limitations so wound up later buying the pro version for the extra value.

I gave a presentation to Krystal to see if she liked the app or could find some use for it yesterday. She was absolutely in love with it. She downloaded the free version and tested it and has plans to support the developer by buying the pro version next month.

Note 1: the features I fell in love with are the “madlib style” dynamic content creation, the high quality voices, and the ease of use.

Note 2: the “value added features” that made the ClaroCom Pro version all the more attractive were among other things:

  • custom categories: which makes grouping pre-canned messages into categories that make the most sense for me. This also useful so I can have all my stuff specific to say burger king or the call center in it’s own category.
  • bulk-add: the adding of messages to the phrase list was easy, but with bulk-adding I can populate a new category with less effort.
  • Post to facebook or twitter: this handy little feature allows me to post up my Wendy’s order or the text version of any utterance to Facebook or Twitter. Krystal loved that demo because in her words “the less apps I have to keep open the better… if I don’t have to leave my speech screen to do something I do already, even easier!”

so yeah… the Pro version in my eyes is well worth it!

ClaroCom App Store Links

UK

USA

ClaroPDF Updated to V1.3

ClaroPDF from  Claro Software

Claro Software has updated the ClaroPDF iOS App to v1.3 – available on the iOS App Store since the end of May. Below is the list of additions to ClaroPDF.

+ Google Drive integration. You can now store and open your files from your Google Drive account. You can also open compatible Google Docs in ClaroPDF.

+ Folder customisation. Organise your PDF files in the ClaroPDF Gallery, create new folders and move files around.

+ Fullscreen mode. Allows the full document to be seen, removing the controls.

+ Wide iOS voice range. Choose from a wide range of voices, to speak PDFs in many languages. No download required.

+ More switch accessibility. Responds to switch commands:
1 (~1) does play;
2 (~2) does stop;
3 (~3) does previous page;
4 (~4) does next page.

+ Two new speech settings giving more flexibility for different situations. These are “Stop speaking on tap” and “Speak from: tapped sentence OR first sentence”. Allows for better speech control when ClaroPDF is being operated by external switches or for text to speech reading from the top of the page if required.

+ Auto detection of uppercase reading. Better handling of text to speech for PDF documents that are fully capitalised, such as comics.

+ Annotation toolbar now hovers over main toolbar. This saves room on iPhone.

ClaroPDF is an accessible, professional and user-friendly PDF Viewer, Reader and Annotator for iPad and iPhone. Annotate and mark up text or image PDF files. View text PDF files and listen to them with a human-quality voice and synchronised highlighting.

ClaroRead Pro and Plus for Windows can scan paper or convert images of documents into accessible ClaroPDF files, retaining the original page image. These PDF files can be opened and spoken in the ClaroPDF iOS app.

More Information

To find out more about our apps and view videos go to the Claro-Apps Web Page

For more information about the rest of Claro Software’s range of apps, go to www.claro-apps.com, email sales@clarosoftware.com.

ClaroSpeak New Release

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The ClaroSpeak text-to-speech App now brings the ‘Capture Text From Photo’ option and Google Drive to all ClaroSpeak users.

With ClaroSpeak’s advanced ‘Optical Character Recognition’ (OCR), users can easily photograph a document or screen-shot an image with text, and have this text extracted into ClaroSpeak. Add OCR, via in-App purchase, for just £1.99.

The ClaroSpeak update now includes Google Drive and Google Docs. Easily save, load and open files to your Google Drive account or open Google Docs in ClaroSpeak.

ClaroSpeak is a quality text-to-speech App for proofreading text through listening, helping with reading and literacy development, creating audio files from any text and scanning any document to convert the text into editable text. ClaroSpeak offers the option of visual highlighting in sync with the spoken words – and a great range of colour and font settings to allow for optimum reading.

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ClaroSpeak Reviews And Quotes

ClaroSpeak “This App is absolutely brilliant! I’m currently doing a degree & have M.E, so at times I am unable to read when experiencing a relapse. I have the PC version of ClaroSpeak, I thought i’d try the App version, so glad I did. I am able to upload all module notes & open to Claro via Dropbox. This App has really helped me with my studies. I have it on my iPad & iPhone, I just listen, make notes where necessary, even on the go.” PhonexRising78 (App store)

Events and Exhibitions March 2014

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Claro Software will be attending the Barry Bennett Workshop event in Reading and the BDA International Conference in Guildford, at the end of March.

The annual Barry Bennett Workshop event at Wokefield Park in Reading is being held from the 27th to 28th of March. The workshops bring together key suppliers of assistive technology, hardware and software and those who support SEN students in secondary and higher education.

 

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The BDA International Conference is taking place at the G-Live Conference Centre in Guildford on the 27th to 29th March. This years conference theme is – ‘Creating an Impact through Innovation’, in other words, that innovative research can make a real impact on educational practice. This really gets to the heart of what is special about this conference in particular…’ . Dr Julia Carroll: IC Conference Chair

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At both these events Claro will be showing all the latest text-to-speech software including PC, Mac and App versions of our assistive software range. Visit our stand for a live demonstration, or sign up for free copies of our text-to-speech Apps.

Get Claro On Multiple Devices

ClaroRead for PC and Mac are the ideal solution for students struggling with reading and writing. With Claro students can now get text-to-speech software on multiple devices including desktop computer, mobile or iPad. This is easily achieved with our assistive technology iPhone and iPad Apps.

Our Apps are fully integrated with our desktop software, using DropBox integration. Scan documents with ClaroRead Plus and listen to, proof or edit documents on the go with ClaroSpeak and ClaroPDF.

ClaroSpeak is a high-quality text-to-speech reader capable of speaking any accessible text with a range of human-sounding high-quality voices. ClaroSpeak offers the option of visual highlighting in-sync with the spoken words, a great range of colour and font settings to allow for optimum reading, word prediction and completion to help with writing. ClaroSpeak is a quality App for proofreading text through listening, helping with reading and literacy development and creating audio files from any text.

ClaroPDF is an accessible, professional and user-friendly PDF viewer, reader and annotator. View text PDF files and listen to them with a human-quality voice and synchronised highlighting. Create audio annotations and place them anywhere on a PDF. Annotate and mark up text or image PDF files with full compatibility with other popular PDF Apps and programs in Windows and Mac. ClaroPDF is designed as an accessible productivity, reading and study PDF tool for all.

Software Reviews And Quotes

ClaroRead “I think programs like ClaroRead are absolutely invaluable. For me, it is like putting on a pair of reading glasses. When I switch on my computer, I always use ClaroRead. It’s critical.” David Edwards, Birmingham, Dyslexic

ClaroPDF “It is one of the best apps we’ve purchased and we have over 500! It is on my “top ten” list and one that I always install on an iPad when we send them out for loan!“ Wendy Kay Alameda

ClaroSpeak “This app is absolutely brilliant! I’m currently doing a degree & have M.E, so at times I am unable to read when experiencing a relapse. I have the PC version of ClaroSpeak, I thought I’d try the app version, so glad I did. I am able to upload all module notes & open to Claro via Box & Dropbox. This app has really helped me with my studies. I have it on my iPad & iPhone, I just listen, make notes where necessary, even on the go.“ App Store review

Claro Apps Free With ClaroRead DSA Recommendations

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ClaroSpeak and ClaroPDF, two of our popular iPad and iPhone Apps are free for students when any ClaroRead for PC or ClaroRead for Mac is recommended and purchased through the Disabled Students’ Allowance. Assessors will be provided with vouchers to give to students who are recommended ClaroRead for PC or ClaroRead for Mac. By passing a voucher to the student after their assessment they will be able to redeem the Apps straight away for their iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch.

ClaroSpeak and ClaroPDF are part of the Claro Solutions Range, and complement our popular ClaroRead software.

Scan documents with ClaroRead Plus and listen to, proof or edit documents on the go with ClaroSpeak and ClaroPDF.

ClaroSpeak

ClaroSpeak is a high-quality text-to-speech reader capable of speaking any accessible text with a range of human-sounding high-quality voices. ClaroSpeak offers the option of visual highlighting in-sync with the spoken words, a great range of colour and font settings to allow for optimum reading, and word prediction and completion to help with writing. ClaroSpeak is a quality app for proofreading text through listening, helping with reading and literacy development and creating audio files from any text.

ClaroPDF

ClaroPDF is an accessible, professional and user-friendly PDF viewer, reader and annotator. View text PDF files and listen to them with a human-quality voice and synchronised highlighting. Create audio annotations and place them anywhere on a PDF. Annotate and mark up text or image PDF files with full compatibility with other popular PDF Apps and programs in Windows and Mac. ClaroPDF is designed as an accessible productivity, reading and study PDF tool for all.

Assessors Register for Claro App Vouchers

1. Reply using this email link marketing@clarosoftware.com
2. Fill in your name and assessment centre details
3. Fill in how many Claro App vouchers you require
4. Claro will contact you to get your vouchers to you

Software Reviews And Quotes

ClaroRead “I think programs like ClaroRead are absolutely invaluable. For me, it is like putting on a pair of reading glasses. When I switch on my computer, I always use ClaroRead. It’s critical.” David Edwards, Birmingham, Dyslexic

ClaroPDF “It is one of the best apps we’ve purchased and we have over 500! It is on my “top ten” list and one that I always install on an iPad when we send them out for loan! Wendy Kay Alameda

ClaroSpeak “This app is absolutely brilliant! I’m currently doing a degree & have M.E, so at times I am unable to read when experiencing a relapse. I have the PC version of ClaroSpeak, I thought I’d try the app version, so glad I did. I am able to upload all module notes & open to Claro via Box & Dropbox. This app has really helped me with my studies. I have it on my iPad & iPhone, I just listen, make notes where necessary, even on the go. App store review

ClaroPDF – New improved audio and annotation features

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The latest version of ClaroPDF, our professional and user-friendly speaking PDF viewer, reader and annotator, has many performance improvements, updates and iOS fixes.

The highly important annotation feature is now easier and faster, allowing you to create and edit annotations quickly and easily. In ClaroPDF we have also added audio to the annotations, so you can create audio annotations and place them anywhere on your PDF. Zoom and scroll while drawing new annotations.

Forms are now fully interactive and can be spoken out loud, with high-quality text-to-speech voices.

Get ClaroPDF today for just 69p.

See ClaroPDF Annotation Screenshot below:

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ClaroCom Updated And Now FREE In The App Store

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• ClaroCom updated to take advantage of the powerful switch access techniques in Apple’s forthcoming iOS 7.

• ClaroCom has now been made free from the Apple App Store. Get it now for free.

ClaroCom and ClaroCom Pro are communicator Apps from Claro Software, designed for AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication), available on iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. An AAC App helps to replace speech or assist writing for those with impairments in the production or comprehension of spoken or written language.

The new release of ClaroCom now includes a full screen mode, which provides a clean full screen typing area, with the word and phrase predictions shown above the iPad or iPhone keyboard, appropriate for users who face challenges with social communication. ClaroCom helps AAC users to communicate with people outside their family in a variety of social situations.

ClaroCom Pro adds more powerful editing, privacy and communication features to the high-quality speech, user-editable phrases, and word prediction found in ClaroCom.

See ClaroCom Screenshot below:

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I have really enjoyed working with the app, and am very impressed with it.

I especially like the split screen which makes it very easy to move quickly between categories and phrases. Not having to click a “Back” button to go back and look for a new category all the time sure makes continued conversation easier and reduces the delay in finding appropriate responses.

Editing and adding are so simple, especially compared to other apps I have reviewed. The fill-in-the-blank option is one of my favorite options!  It saves so much time, as well as space within all the phrase lists!

You have certainly met the need of an increasing number of individuals who are professionals but are losing their voice to medical issues. Your app maintains their professionalism and identity, and enables them to continue conversations easily. Thank you for understanding the needs of these individuals and providing a easy to use app that maintains their dignity!

Molly Hanson, ATP

Claro Apps Free With ClaroRead DSA Recommendations

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Claro Apps Free With ClaroRead DSA Recommendations
ClaroSpeak and ClaroPDF, two of our popular iPad and iPhone Apps are now free for students when any ClaroRead for PC or ClaroRead for Mac is recommended and purchased through the Disabled Students’ Allowance. Assessors will be provided with vouchers to give to students who are recommended ClaroRead for PC or ClaroRead for Mac. By passing a voucher to the student after their assessment they will be able to redeem the Apps straight away for their iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch.

ClaroSpeak and ClaroPDF are part of the Claro Solutions Range, and complement our popular ClaroRead software.

Scan documents with ClaroRead Plus and listen to, proof or edit documents on the go with ClaroSpeak and ClaroPDF.

ClaroSpeak
ClaroSpeak is a high-quality text-to-speech reader capable of speaking any accessible text with a range of human-sounding high-quality voices. ClaroSpeak offers the option of visual highlighting in-sync with the spoken words, a great range of colour and font settings to allow for optimum reading, and word prediction and completion to help with writing. ClaroSpeak is a quality app for proofreading text through listening, helping with reading and literacy development and creating audio files from any text.

ClaroPDF
ClaroPDF is an accessible, professional and user-friendly PDF Viewer, Reader and Annotator. View text PDF files and listen to them with a human-quality voice and synchronised highlighting. Annotate and mark up text or image PDF files with full compatibility with other popular PDF Apps and programs in Windows and Mac. ClaroPDF is designed as an accessible productivity, reading and study PDF tool for all.

Assessors Register for Claro App Vouchers
1. Reply to marketing@clarosoftware.com
2. Fill in your name and assessment centre details
3. Fill in how many Claro App vouchers you require
4. Claro will contact you to get your vouchers to you

More Information
ClaroSpeak is available for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.

Find out more about ClaroSpeak

Find out more about ClaroPDF

Find out more about Claro Apps

Find out more about ClaroRead PC and Mac

AudioNote Playback and Recording Software

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AudioNote from Claro Software makes it easy to listen back to any recording. Use a dedicated recording device such as an Olympus DM670, and listen back later on your PC with AudioNote.

AudioNote is a simple, clear application that is easy-to-use and won’t get in the way of following a lecture or listening back to your notes.

‘As an integral part of a student’s studies, Olympus recognise the importance of recording lectures effectively. With the Olympus DM-670 recorder and ME-34 lecture microphone you are able to record lectures in the highest quality, and then use the Index mark feature to bookmark important points of reference of the recording. Within this, we are pleased to support Claro with the release of the new Claro AudioNote software which supports recordings made on the Olympus DM range of recorders.’ Lee Buckley, National Account Manager at Olympus

Features
•    Support for index marks/bookmarks made on Olympus recorders. You can jump from index mark to index mark, which is great when working with long lecture recordings. There is no limit on number of index marks used so long recordings can be split into bite-size chunks. AudioNote can be opened straight from an Olympus recorder when it is connected by USB.
•    Playback support for all common audio recording formats – MP3, WAV, WMA, M4A, AAC. Listen to recordings made straight into a laptop or dedicated device. You can also listen to recordings and audio files downloaded from the Internet.
•    Simple toolbar that floats on-top of the open window making it easy to pause, repeat, and control recording with a single click. On-top means AudioNote can be accessed easily to pause or rewind when you need to, without breaking your concentration trying to hunt down the toolbar. The big bookmark and toolbar buttons let you use AudioNote quickly and easily.
•    Record directly into PowerPoint presentations. As each slide is presented, record straight into that slide for later listening back – with only one click for each slide. Recordings stay in the PowerPoint document so you can listen to them later without AudioNote or email them to another machine or student.
•    Record directly into Word documents. Record notes and comments straight into the current Word document. The recordings stay in the Word document when you save them so you can get at them easily or email them to another machine or student. Double-click the audio recording in Word any time to play it back.
•    Audio-only Recording. Record straight into an audio file on your computer so you can record a lecture with a laptop, even if the notes aren’t available in PowerPoint. Easily add bookmarks/index marks while recording so you can quickly find and jump to the right point quickly and easily.
•    AudioNote was created in partnership with Olympus. 


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Predict and Complete

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Our latest ClaroSpeak update brings Word Prediction and Completion free to all ClaroSpeak users. Word Prediction and Completion can speed up typing, help with choosing the right word and let users use words without worrying about how to spell them.

Word Prediction and Completion in ClaroSpeak takes account of word frequency and previous words. There is an initial Word Prediction list loaded on startup, and ClaroSpeak can learn new words as they are typed. The predicted words appear on the keyboard and can be spoken. Train the word prediction dictionary or create a new one from a word list.

ClaroSpeak with Word Prediction and Completion is now available in 14 languages. For a full list of our language and voice list available through in app purchase through ClaroSpeak click here.

ClaroSpeak is a quality text-to-speech app for proofreading text through listening, helping with reading and literacy development and creating audio files from any text. Advanced features make proofing and editing more accurate and users more efficient. ClaroSpeak offers the option of visual highlighting in sync with the spoken words – and a great range of colour and font settings to allow for optimum reading.

Find out more on iTunes.