Claro ScanPen iOS V1.9 Released

We have released an update for Claro ScanPen. Claro ScanPen advances reading aloud support. It gives access to printed text materials and documents for all, in a wide range of languages.

What’s New?

  • Highlight words settings:

Enabling this will highlight the individual words as they are spoken, so you can more closely follow which words are being spoken.

highlight_words_setting

New features in action:

highlight_words_demo

Improvements

  • Tap to select and speak text.
  • Bug fixes.

System Requirements

  • iOS 9.0 or above.

Check out Claro ScanPen in the App Store!

ClaroPDF iOS 2.3 Released

We’ve released an update for our ClaroPDF iOS app that introduces some great new features and improvements.

One of the major changes is the revamped document list, which has been tweaked to be easier to view and read.

  • The document thumbnails are larger and easier to identify.
  • The document titles are a different colour.
  • Larger spacing between documents, which helps to aid readability.

You can see the difference between the old list and the new 2.3 list here:

Old list

Old list

New 2.3 list

New 2.3 list

As a further enhancement to the the My Documents list – you can now toggle between list mode, as seen above and grid mode, as shown below:

Grid view

Grid view

Grid view mode shows large document previews, so you can easily navigate and visually identify your documents.

Another great new addition to 2.3 is the direct integration with the popular file sharing platform Microsoft OneDrive.  Because ClaroPDF is now integrated directly with OneDrive, you no longer need to have the OneDrive app installed or configured on your device to access your OneDrive files.

A new menu item will appear under Open from…which now lists OneDrive:

One Drive menu

One Drive menu

Tapping this will prompt you to log in and then you’ll have access to all of your OneDrive files in ClaroPDF, similar to how the app is also integrated with Google Drive and Dropbox.

One Drive list

One Drive list

Likewise, you can also save files back to your OneDrive account using the Save > Save to OneDrive option in ClaroPDF.

For a full list of changes, please see the ClaroPDF release notes.

ClaroSpeak iOS 3.0 Released

Version 3 of our ClaroSpeak for iOS app was released towards the end of May 2018 and brought with it lots of great new features and improvements.  For a complete list of these changes, you can check the release notes here: ClaroSpeak 3.0 release notes.

One of the biggest changes gives everyone access to all of the iOS system voices, free of charge.  This means you can now choose male and female variants for different voice languages, as well as accessing higher-quality versions and the Siri voices.

Another change saw the font and colour options now being accessible from the keyboard:

font and colour button

font and colour button

This change not only lets you change these settings more quickly, but it also lets you see the changes as they are applied, so you can be sure to choose the right settings for you:

settings in real time

settings in real time

One of the best new features in V3 is the addition of the “Read with ClaroSpeak” web extension.  This lets you choose a webpage from Safari, or other browsers, and then have that web page read back to you with highlighting.  You can access this new extension from the Share menu in your browser app:

accessing "Read with ClaroSpeak" button

accessing “Read with ClaroSpeak” button

You can then tap on some text to set the start point and tap the play button and the text will be spoken back with highlighting so you can follow the text as it is being spoken:

speech with highlighting

speech with highlighting

Read more

 

ClaroPDF iOS 2.1 Released

ClaroPDF iOS V2.1 is now available and brings some great new features and improvements – check out the release notes for a complete list of all changes. Here’s an overview of two of the new major changes:

Access to all of the iOS system voices

The 2.1 update of ClaroPDF lets you access all of the iOS system voices, including the Siri voices, for free. This is great, because now you can choose between male and female voices for the same language, as well as opting to use the higher-quality versions of those voices.

File sharing integration

ClaroPDF has always supported different ways of sharing your PDF files between apps and locations to make your workflow as simple and as fast as possible. Now, in V2.1, the app is fully integrated with the iOS Files app, which means you can now access, share and organise your PDF files directly in Files:

 

ClaroPDF in the Files App

Files App

Create new folders:

ClaroPDF in the Files App

Create new folders

Moves files:

Moves file

Moves file

You can tap a PDF document here and ClaroPDF will open it directly. All of the changes you make in the Files app, are reflected inside the ClaroPDF app.

Read more

Controlling Claro VR Apps

We’ve recently developed and released some VR apps for iOS and Android which have been received well.  However, one question that keeps popping up is: How can I control the app?
There is a lack of accessible, adequate control for VR apps.  Generally, there are two forms of user control when using VR apps:
  1. Headset controls.
  2. External controller pads.

Headsets

There are not many headsets that have built in controls.  The main one is the Samsung Gear VR headset that has a directional touch pad as well as back and home buttons:
Samsung Gear VR controls
This works well with our Android apps but this particular headset is only compatible with a limited set of Samsung mobile devices: Galaxy S8 / S8+ / S7 / S7 edge / Note5 / S6 edge+ / S6 /S6 edge (as of December 2017)

 

A cheaper and more accessible alternative to the Gear VR headset is the Google Cardboard headset (or similar).  These are made of cardboard and are around £15 to buy on the Google Store:

 

Cardboard supports most Android or iOS phones with screen sizes from 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm).  Control is rather limited on these however and is restricted to a single tap on the phones screen:
Google Cardboard
 You can use this single tap feature to perform the main functions in our VR apps.  In MagVR, for example, a single tap will zoom in, until maximum zoom and then the next single tap will zoom out.

 

An example of an alternative cardboard headset would be something like this:

 

 

 

A caveat with using these type of headsets, is that you have to poke/cut a hole in the face, so the device’s camera can see out.  That is why cardboard is suitable! Other suitable headsets include ones with removable or retractable front faces, so the camera can see out.

 

Controllers

Controllers or gamepads are more generic and there are lots to choose from.  These include the more traditional types that you might normally associate with games consoles, that have the X/Y/B/A buttons.

 

XYBA controls
If these state that they are iOS and/or Android compatible then you can use them to control our apps.
An example of one that we tried and tested on iOS, is the Mad Catz Controller:

 

 

 

 

For this particular model, there is also an Android version available.

 

On Android, we used the SteelSeries Nimbus/Stratus controller

 

 

 

These controllers work well but you have to hold and control them with both hands.  If you would prefer something smaller, our VR apps also support “mini” controllers.  These are quite cheap and small, so you can hold the controller and use it with one hand.

 

Mini controller
These mini controllers often have two modes: “game” and “key” or something similar.  To control our apps, they should be toggled to game mode.

 

 

 

iOS Apple Watch

Our iOS apps can also be controlled using an Apple Watch.  When you install one of our VR apps on iOS, you’ll also get the corresponding Watch App installed on your Apple Watch.  You can open this app and control the phone app.

Claro ScanPen Premium iOS Released

Introducing Claro ScanPen Premium – a free-to-download iOS app which allows you to have 10 free scans. You can optionally sign up for the annual subscription to get a free 14 day trial. If you don’t cancel during the free trial, you will get charged the £9.99 annual subscription (correct as of October 2017). With an active subscription you have unlimited scans and unlimited access to all of our high-quality voices (currently Nuance Expressive, Acapela and children’s voices).

Claro ScanPen Premium joins our Claro ScanPen family alongside the standard Claro ScanPen version which is still available to purchase outright for £6.99 (correct as of October 2017).

Below is a comparison chart highlighting the differences between the two versions (click to enlarge or visit the original chart):

When you first launch Claro ScanPen Premium, you will see the following launch screen, just select whether you’d like to have the 10 free scans or sign up for the 14 day free trial (with the option to cancel at any time).

More

ClaroPDF V2 Released

October 2017 saw the release of V2 of our ClaroPDF for iOS app, with some major changes. The most significant feature is the new tabbed structure when viewing multiple PDF documents.

Multiple Documents

In V1 of ClaroPDF, you were limited to viewing 1 document at a time.  In V2, ClaroPDF now allows you to open multiple PDF documents at the same time.  The documents are arranged in a tabbed view, across the top:

Tabbed document view in ClaroPDF V2,

Tabbed document view

This lets you switch quickly to other documents for reading and/or annotating without having to replace the current document you were viewing.  You can tap the X button on any document tab to close it.

Photo to PDF

The Photo to PDF feature has been significantly upgraded in V2.  You were previously limited to adding 1 photo at a time.  Now you can select multiple images when choosing to create a PDF.  Not only that, but you can now also choose to append your chosen photos to your current PDF; they’ll be inserted at the page after the one you are currently viewing.

Delete Pages

Deleting PDF pages is a brand new feature in V2.  From the thumbnail view mode, tapping Edit, you are able to select PDF pages you wish to delete from your current PDF:

Deleting PDF pages in V2

Delete PDF pages

This gives you even greater control over your PDF creations.

Acapela Children’s Voices

There are a new range of high-quality children voices, available as in-app purchases for 8 different language accents, including boy and girl.

Quick-look Settings

In V2, the document settings have been moved from the standard Settings menu and placed down on the main bottom toolbar, accessible by tapping the new document settings button:

Document settings menu in V2

Document settings

This change takes some of the most commonly changed settings and makes them quicker to access, as well as being able to see the changes made to your document as you go. Changing the page background colour, for example: now you can get exactly the right shade you require as the document changes colour in real-time.

New Document Setting: Scroll mode

There is also a new setting on the document settings menu called Scroll mode.  This setting controls how the document is to be scrolled.  There are 2 options to choose from:

  1. Per page – this is the traditional page scrolling, where each page has a defined page break.  Swiping left or right in this mode will scroll to the next page.
  2. Continuous – page scrolling is continuous and there are no page breaks.  Scrolling is like scrolling through one big page; there are no defined page breaks.

Other improvements and bug fixes

Check out the ClaroPDF V2 release notes for full details on other improvements and changes in V2:

http://www.clarosoftware.com/help/claropdf-v2-release-notes/

Claro ScanPen V1.6 Released

Claro ScanPen V1.6 has been released on the iOS App Store!

This update includes a number of useful features:

  • ScanPen can now automatically copy the selected text to your device’s clipboard ready to paste into another app. This feature is switched off by default, to turn it on simply open ScanPen’s settings and select “Advanced settings” and switch on “Copy selected text to clipboard”.
  •  

     

  • A share button can be enabled in Advanced Settings. This lets you export your image to other apps, email and other destinations.
  •  

  • ScanPen now includes a range of Acapela kids voices, that are available as in-app purchases (£3.99). Here are some samples:
  •  

    Name Language Gender Audio Sample
    Liam English (Australia) Male
    Olivia English (Australia) Female
    Harry English (UK) Male
    Rosie English (UK) Female
    Jonas German Male
    Lea German Female
    Ella English (USA) Female
    Emilio English (USA) Male
    Josh English (USA) Male
    Scott English (USA) Male
    Valeria English (USA) Female
    Emilio Spanish (USA) Male
    Valeria Spanish (USA) Female

ClaroSpeak V2.6 Released

The start of May 2017 brought a big update to our ClaroSpeak app.  Read below for more details.

iCloud and Locations integration

You can now open and save files directly from your iCloud Drive and other locations on your device.

This new feature gives you the ability to import or export your files from any app on your device, without ever having to leave the ClaroSpeak app.

Four free voices

The existing voices that came shipped with ClaroSpeak have been removed and you can now download 4 free voices in the language of your choice. This means you can get the exact voices in the languages that you need, to match your requirements.

App containers

ClaroSpeak can now share its documents with different versions, so Free, Standard and Plus versions of the app can all access the same documents.  This is useful if you’ve just upgraded: you no longer have to manually transfer over documents.  It can also act as a backup incase you need to remove a version of ClaroSpeak: if you have another version of the app installed, your files will be remembered.

Settings cleanup

The settings menu has been streamlined and reorganised to make it easier to navigate. There is also a new speech rate slider that is more accurate and lets you select more precise values.

Integrated with the Audio controls on the iOS control centre

ClaroSpeak audio can now be controlled using the iOS controls on the control centre, allowing you quickly stop. play and skip through, without having to enter the app.

Support for Google SignIn

Full support for the new Google Authentication, so you can access Google Drive in the app.

ClaroCom V1.4 Released

In April 2017, we updated our ClaroCom app with a couple of great new features:

Link & chat to iOS device (Pro only)

This adds the ability to connect your device to any other device that is also using ClaroCom. You can then chat between the devices using the text that you type or words or phrases that you select. You can also use your word and phrase prediction to help you compose messages.

This feature is disabled by default, but you can switch it on in the ClaroCom Settings menu:

Then new button will appear on the top toolbar:

Tap this button to open the chat connection window.  ClaroCom will then automatically search for any other devices in range that are also using ClaroCom.  When you find a device you want to connect to, tap it to ask them to chat:

When you are connected, you can close the chat connection window are start chatting:

When you are finished, you can open the chat connection window and tap Disconnect to close the chat and return ClaroCom back to its normal use.

This feature requires bluetooth or Wi-Fi.  The devices must both be using ClaroCom and be on the same Wi-Fi network or within bluetooth range.

Added support for split screen on iPads

You can now use ClaroCom in multi-tasking mode, allowing you to run it split-screen with other apps:

Updated Icon

We’ve also updated the app icons to a more modern style as well as updating the Speak button to match this.